What is DNS Propagation?

What is DNS? DNS, or Domain Name System, is the internet’s “phone book.” It translates human-friendly domain names (like example.com) into IP addresses (like that computers can understand. When you type a website address into your browser, the DNS system helps your computer find the server where the website is hosted. This process is called DNS resolution.

What is DNS Propagation?

DNS propagation refers to the time it takes for changes made to DNS records to be updated and visible across the internet. When you make a change to your domain’s DNS settings, such as changing your website’s IP address or adding a new subdomain, the updated information must be propagated (spread) across various DNS servers around the world.

Real-life Example: Let’s say you moved to a new home and changed your phone number. You’d need to inform your friends, family, and other contacts of your new number. Similarly, when you update your domain’s DNS settings, the change must be communicated to all the DNS servers worldwide.

Why Does DNS Propagation Take Time?

DNS propagation takes time because the internet is a massive network of interconnected servers. When you make a change to your domain’s DNS settings, the updated information must be communicated to thousands of DNS servers around the world. This process is not instantaneous, as each server has its own cache (temporary storage) that stores DNS information. The cache is updated at regular intervals, typically between a few minutes to 48 hours, depending on the Time To Live (TTL) settings of the DNS records.

How Does DNS Propagation Affect You?

During DNS propagation, some users might still see the old DNS records, while others see the updated records. This inconsistency can cause temporary issues, such as website downtime or emails not being delivered. To minimize the impact of DNS propagation, it’s crucial to plan your DNS changes carefully and be patient while waiting for the propagation to complete.

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