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DNS system - Nameservers vs A record. Can use any of these two to change my hosting?


Jul 8, 2017
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Hello, when on my domain i am using nameservers of the provider 1 and in the hosting control panel of the provider 1 in DNS section i set A record to point to a IP address of the hosting provider 2, is there any issue with this way of setup or it will just work? How it will work? Will it add additional latency to the DNS connection and one more single point of failure point? But it will work (assuming the DNS zone file is setup for my domain on destination IP the A record is pointing to)?

I am considering to temporarily use A record instead of changing nameservers of my domain - due to me having faster access to a DNS zone than changing nameservers where my provider needs various confirmations.

Yes, changing A record for the domain and www. subdomain on provider 1 was enough to "redirect" web traffic to provider 2.

First i changed TTL of the DNS A records and a MX record to 300 (5 minutes) and after like 30 minutes (was previous TTL value) i changed the IP value. The change was live in really minutes, loading the site from new hosting.

Still i am interested to read your technical insight/comments about what i written earlier. Thank you
DNS forwarding is fine if your IP provider lets you do it. Some block it.
TTL is just time to live, I don't think it would change much.
MX is your email exchange, this is the IP of your mail server.

ideally you would set up a forward domain and a reverse domain.
One is name to IP, the other is IP to name.

If you don't want run a "real" dns server. (dnsmasq, bind) you can just put
the names and IPs in the /etc/hosts file (but you will need to do this on every computer).
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I didn't really understand your situation.

Here's a DNS system big picture :

There are root DNS server out there handled by a big institution : the ICANN. These server are basically here to tell other DNS servers what are the legitimates DNS servers. Their IP addresses are fixed and published so that anyone can know how to ask for legitimate servers.

Then there are the top level DNS servers. They are registered at the ICANN and their servers are listed on the root DNS servers. They are keeping a table of domain -> regular DNS server address

DNS Registar are companies that are registered at some top level agency and that are given the ability to request modifications on the top level servers table.

Then there are regular DNS server. They are holding your actual record list. Most registars have their own DNS server and let you configure your record list with a web UI.

Basically you only deal with registars and they let you set, on a per domain basis, the regular DNS server of your choice and if you decide to use their own regular DNS server they will provide a web UI for you to edit the records of your domain.

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