How to Decode DNS Zone Types

What is a DNS Zone?


A DNS Zone is part of a group of components that make up DNS. These objects are managed by an administrator or organization in a granular manner. DNS zones can contain varied information about a domain and subdomains. Multiple zones can also exist on the same server. DNS information is stored within a text file called a DNS zone file.



What is a DNS Zone File?


A DNS Zone file is a plain text file stored on a DNS server which contains all the records for every domain within a given zone. Zone files can include more than 44 different record types, but should always begin with an SOA record (or Start of Authority).



Types of Records


As mentioned, there are many DNS record types used within a DNS Zone, all of which serve a unique purpose. Below are some examples of the most commonly used record types and a brief description of each.



Start of Authority (SOA)


The first record in any zone file is the SOA resource record. This record is an essential part of the DNS zone file. It indicates the domain’s zone and the fundamental properties of the domain name server. Each zone file can contain only one SOA record.


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