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What is a Domain Name Server (DNS)?

DNS stands for Domain Name System.

The main function of DNS is to translate domain names into IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, which computers can understand. ‘Internet Protocol’ address, refers to a numerical label assigned to each device connected to a computer network that uses the (IP) for communication.

Another interesting function of DNS is the fact that it also provides a list of mail servers that accepts Emails for each domain name.

In other words, each domain name in DNS will nominate a set of name servers to be the dominant or main occupiers of its DNS records. As a result, all other name servers will be directed or assigned to this platform when looking for information about the domain name.

We are aware of possible confusion that may occur every now and then, involving the DNS. Therefore, we have included a brief description box below, highlighting various elements which control different aspects of your domain name:

Name servers A name server translates domain names into IP addresses. This makes it possible for a user to access a website by typing in the domain name instead of the website’s actual IP address.

For example, when you type in www.1-grid.com, the request is sent to 1-grid’s name server, which would return the IP address of the company’s website.

Zone file


A zone file is a small set of instructions that assigns domain names to IP addresses. A zone file is made up of ‘records’ such as A Records and MX Records. This record  assigns your domain name to an IP address.
‘A record’


If you need to set up an ‘A record’, your service provider would provide you with an IP address that will look something like If you are making use of 1-grid’s name servers but your website itself is managed by another hosting company, you would have to update your ‘A record’ for it to direct the domain to the company who is actually managing your website.

In addition, ‘A Records’ could also be used to direct subdomains to a server’s IP address. An example of a subdomain would be: west.subdomain.com

CNAME record If you need to set up a CNAME record, your service provider will provide you with a URL address similar to ‘test.example.com.’ 

CNAME records are used to specify which mail servers are responsible for a particular domain name. In doing that, CNAME would direct your subdomain to another name -server in the likes of ‘test.example.com.’

However, unlike ‘A records’ a CNAME record cannot use IP addresses. It has to assign you to another record, which is already in place for directing you to a particular IP address.

MX records A key feature of  (Mail Exchanger)MX records is priority numbers. It provides information to the querying mail server about which mail server should be used first. In short, MX records actually assigns your domain name’s email to its actual email provider.
TXT record


‘TXT’ record refers to Text record, which is used to store text information.  You can store almost any free text you want within a TXT record.

Another interesting feature of TXT record, is that it has a particular hostname/zone to which you can assign the free text.

However, the most common use for TXT records is to store SPF (Sender Policy Framework) records and to prevent emails being faked to appear to have been sent from you.


SPF record A Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record is used for identifying which mail servers are allowed to send email on behalf of your domain.

SPF data controls which IP addresses, and servers are allowed to send e-mail from your domain. So it is used to combat spam.



Updated on April 19, 2023

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