Jan 02, 2020
How to Use Hostinger’s DNS Zone Editor in 2021
If you’re using Hostinger service, chances are, you have come across the DNS Zone Editor in your hPanel. But what is it and what does it do? This article will answer your questions and teach you how to use it, so keep on reading!
What is DNS and DNS Zone Editor?
Simply put, DNS or Domain Name System is a system that translates domain names into IP addresses. When you enter an address, a request is sent to the domain’s name servers, and the servers will retrieve the IP address from its DNS record.
When you need to, DNS records can be created or modified using the control panel’s DNS Zone Editor. For instance, you need to edit those records when you want to switch web hosts or point your domain to another address.
Read on to discover how to edit various types of DNS records using Hostinger’s DNS Zone Editor.
Exploring Hostinger’s DNS Zone Editor
Upon entering the Hostinger’s DNS Zone Editor, you can see that there are various DNS record types you can edit, add and remove. In this section, we will cover all the available ones in our system and how to modify them.
What is an A Record?
A Records are the most basic DNS Records that are used to point a domain or subdomain to an IP Address. However, A Records only point to IPv4 addresses.
Let’s take a look at some of the examples below:
You can see that there are two listings in our Hostinger’s DNS Zone Editor: ftp and naked (@) domain. These records will point ftp.example.com and example.com to an IP address of 22.214.171.124. If you want to point one domain or subdomain to various IP addresses, simply add an A Record entry with the same hostname but with a different IP address.
To create a new A Record, simply click Add New and fill the required fields:
- Host — stands for an internet hostname. It is a label used to identify a network. The @ symbol indicates the root domain (example.com).
- Points to — the IP address that your domain points to.
- TTL — stands for Time to live. It specifies how long a DNS query should be saved in a resolver’s cache. Most providers usually set it to 14400 seconds (4 hours).
After you input all the required information, hit Create to save the entry.
What is a CNAME Record?
CNAME, short for Canonical Name, is a commonly used DNS Record to make one particular domain as an alias for another domain. This makes it possible to have multiple addresses pointing to one IP address without having to create an A record for each domain.
Let’s say you have an A record that points avg.yourdomain.com to 126.96.36.199. If you want average.yourdomain.com and median.yourdomain.com to point to the same IP address, just add two CNAME records that assign those domains as the aliases for avg.yourdomain.com.
Thanks to this system, if you ever need to change the IP address, simply edit the A record for avg.yourdomain.com and the aliases will follow suit.
Creating a CNAME record works similarly to making other records in the Hostinger’s DNS Zone Editor. The small differences are the values you put in the Host and Points to fields:
- Host — the name or subdomain name used as the alias. Based on our example, that would be average and median.
- Points to — the domain where the aliases will point to. In this case, it is avg.yourdomain.com.
What is an MX Record?
MX, also known as Mail Exchanger, specifies the mail server responsible for receiving emails sent to your domain.
Aside from Host and TTL, there are two other fields that you must enter when creating a new MX record:
- Priority — this field determines the priority of each server. The lowest number represents the highest priority.
- Points to — the destination or address of the server that is responsible for receiving emails.
What is a TXT Record?
A TXT record is a DNS entry that holds text information for sources outside of your domain.
Common examples of TXT records are Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM). Both records are used to secure email exchanges from spoofing or phishing attempts. The first one works by specifying the IP addresses or hostnames that are permitted to send messages on behalf of a domain, while the latter authenticates emails by adding cryptographic signatures to messages.
By default, an SPF record is already created when you open the Hostinger’s DNS Zone Editor. It is identified by the v=spf1 tag within the TXT value.
If you want to create a new TXT record, click Add New and fill the required fields. However, the information will vary depending on the entry you want to make:
- Host — for DKIM, this would be filled with the name of the selector along with _domainkey.
- TXT value — this is similar to Points to. However, instead of redirecting traffic, it is used to display the information you want to specify in the entry.
What is an AAAA Record or IPv6?
The AAAA record is quite similar to the A record we previously covered. But instead of pointing to an IPv4 address, it allows you to point your domain to an IPv6 one.
By default, this record is left blank in Hostinger’s DNS Zone editor since most internet service providers (ISPs) and internet routers haven’t supported IPv6 yet.
What is an NS Record (Name Servers)?
Name servers store authoritative DNS server records of a domain and are responsible for translating the user-friendly name to an IP address. There are at least two name servers for each domain, one serves as a backup when the other is down.
This is the record you need to edit when you want to switch web hosts.
What is an SRV Record?
SRV is a record in the Domain Name System that specifies the server location of various services to establish a connection with them. Just like the AAAA record, this one is empty by default.
The required information for this record is similar to others, with some differences:
- Priority – determines the priority of a server. If there are multiple entries available, the one with the lower number will be prioritized.
- Name – this field consists of service, protocol, and host. For example: _sip._tcp.example.com.
- Weight – if multiple records have the same priority, then this value will determine which one should be contacted first. The higher the value, the more preferred it is.
- Port – the port number used by the service.
- Points to – the address of the destination server.
What is a CAA Record?
It’s important to have CAA records to prevent the wrong certificates from being issued. However, you don’t need to create different CAA records for your subdomains. One CAA record that is set for your root domain will be applied to all of your subdomains.
The underlying information of this entry is similar to any other. However, instead of Point To, it has Content that consists of:
- Flags — unsigned integer between 0 to 255. The default flag is 0.
- Tags — can be issue or issuewild. Use issue when you want to allow a single CA to issue your certificate, and use issuewild if you want a CA to issue a wild certificate only.
- Values — the domain name of the CA.
Resetting Your DNS Zone to Default Settings
Sometimes, you may encounter an error when editing the DNS Zone. If you have no idea how to fix it, it is possible to revert the settings back in Hostinger’s DNS Zone Editor:
- Scroll down to the bottom of the DNS Zone Editor -> Reset to Defaults.
- Check the Confirm box and click Reset.
To recap once more, DNS is a system that translates domain names into its numerical IP counterparts. The information about a particular domain name is stored in DNS records, which are editable via a DNS Zone Editor.
In this article, we have learned how to use Hostinger’s DNS Zone Editor as well as the DNS types that can be modified inside it. Hopefully, this guide will be helpful the next time you need to use the feature!