DNS

How to Check Domain’s A Record

Introduction

One of the most common issues for websites to be unavailable are their incorrect DNS records. In this tutorial, we will learn how to check if the domain’s DNS records (more specifically A records) are pointing correctly towards your hosting service while only using your computer’s operating system’s integrated consoles.

First of all, you must understand that A record is basically an IP address to which your domain is pointed in order to resolve onto host server. In short, A record is your domain’s IP address.

What you’ll need

Before you begin this guide you’ll need the following:

  • Active hosting service and registered domain name
  • Access to command shell (Windows), console terminal (Linux) or MacOS terminal
  • Working internet connection

Step 1 — Finding out the correct A record values should be

This information can usually be found in your hosting account’s control interface. Look fo the options such as Nameservers, DNS Zone Records, DNS, Update Nameservers, Account Details and so on.

This is sample interface where A record value can be found. Keep in mind that all hosting providers have different members area interfaces and yours may look different.

Sample members area

If you are unable to find the correct DNS records you should use, try contacting your hosting provider’s customer support.

Step 2 — Opening up your computer’s console in Windows, Linux or MacOS and acquiring your domain’s current A record value

For Windows:

On your keyboard find Windows logo key (it is located between left CTRL and ALT keys). Now press it together with R key.

New window Run should show up.

Sample Run Window

In this new window type cmd and click OK just the way it is shown in the picture above.

Now you should see a black command shell window where we will perform the remaining actions of this task:

Sample CMD Window

In the command shell window type the following command:

ping yourdomain.tld where yourdomain.tld is your domain name.

Similar information will show up:

Sample ping CMD Window

I have highlighted the area where you should look for your domain’s current A record values.

For Linux:

In order to call out your computer’s terminal window in Linux, press the following keys simultaneously:

CTRL + ALT + T

The following terminal window will show up:

Example terminal window.

In this newly opened terminal window enter the following command:

ping yourdomain.tld where yourdomain.tld is your domain name.

Similar information will show up:

Ping command in terminal.

Highlighted IP address represents your domain’s IP address – current A record.

For MacOS:

Firstly, you will need to open MacOS Launchpad. This can be done by simply clicking on F4 key.

In Launchpad’s search field enter terminal and push ENTER.

Mac Launchpad

Similar console terminal window will show up:

Mac Terminal

Now enter the following command:

ping yourdomain.tld where yourdomain.tld is your domain name.

This command will show your domain’s IP address in the following manner:

Ping on Mac

Highlighted area represents your Domain’s current IP address or A record value.

Step 3 — Comparing IP addresses

Since you now know your domain’s current A record values, you can compare them to the ones given to you by the hosting company. If they are the same, that means the domain is pointing to your hosting account correctly.

If they are not the same, you will need to contact the company where the domain was registered and provide them with your host’s nameservers or required A record IP address (see step 1).

Conclusion

In this tutorial, we have learned to analyze our domain’s IP address without using any external browsing tools. Using this knowledge you will no longer need to wonder whether or not your domain is pointing correctly towards your hosting account.

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