How to Check Domain DNS Records and History (5 Free Tools)

how to check domain dns history

Want to learn how to check DNS records for your website?

Knowing how to check DNS records is something every website owner should know. Sometimes, misconfigured DNS records are the reason your site is broken. You may also need to add, edit, or delete records from time to time.

In this article, we’ll show you how to check your DNS records using the best online tools on the market.

But first, let’s learn some of the reasons why DNS records are important.

What are DNS Records and Why Do You Need Them?

DNS (Domain Name System) lets you access a website by mapping a human-readable domain name like ‘nameboy.com’ with the IP address of the server where the website is stored.

Whenever you enter a domain name into your web browser, DNS matches with its corresponding IP address and loads the website pages and resources. It is like the phonebook of the internet that holds the information about all the domain names out there.

DNS records of a domain name give you details about the server’s IP address, server history, instructions on handling domain requests, and more.

Now there are different kinds of records and explaining them can get technical. If you would like to skip this, then head straight to where we show you how to manage DNS records.

The common DNS records include:

  • A: It is the record that holds the IP address where the server of the website is located. For example, the IP address of the domain called example.com is 198.102. 434.8.
  • AAAA: This record contains the IPv6 address of a domain. It is similar to the A record which stores the IPv4 address of a domain. This maps a hostname to a 128-bit IPv6 address in the Domain Name System (DNS).
  • CNAME: It stands for Canonical Name. This record forwards one domain to another domain. You can set up a CNAME record if you’ve registered similar domain names to protect your brand. For example, you can forward users who visit examples.com to your main site, example.com.
  • MX: It is an abbreviation for Mail Exchanger. This record forwards the emails sent to your domain name to the correct email server which then delivers them to your email inbox. Email providers like Outlook provide you with your MX record and handle emails on their servers.
  • TXT: TXT stands for Text and it allows you to store text notes to verify that the domain’s owners have access to DNS records. These records are used to improve email deliverability and security.
  • NS: NS stands for Nameserver. This type of record determines the multiple nameservers of a domain. These nameservers are managed by domain registrars or hosting providers. If your website is hosted on Bluehost then, then your NS records include addresses like: NS1.bluehost.com, NS2.Bluehost.com, and NS3.bluehost.com.
  • CAA: This stands for Certification Authority Authorization. The record specifies which certificate authorities (CAs) are allowed to issue certificates (like SSL) for a domain.
  • DMARC: Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance or DMARC record shows the action for a mail server to take when it receives mail from this domain, but that message fails SPF and DKIM checks.

Website owners need to check their DNS records and update them from time to time. If there is any outdated information about IP addresses and server changes, your website won’t work properly or be accessible to the users. You may also face email delivery issues.

You’ll also need your DNS records whenever you’re setting up a third-party service that requires you to verify your domain ownership.

Also check our guide: How to Check a Domain’s History Before Buying it.

With that said, let’s learn how to check and edit your DNS records with the help of Bluehost. The instructions will remain similar for other hosting services or domain registrars like Domain.com.

How to Check and Change Your DNS Records? (With Bluehost)

Many web hosts like Bluehost and GoDaddy allow you to access DNS records under the Domain section in your account.

If your host doesn’t offer this feature, you can check and edit DNS records through cPanel under Domains » Zone Editor.

This editor lets you view, manage, edit, add, and delete records.

If you’ve purchased your domain name with Bluehost, you can simply log in to your account control panel and open the Domains tab on the left menu.

check dns records bluehost

Then, click on the dropdown menu next to the Manage button on the domain you want to update and select the DNS option.

dns options

Now, you’ll be able to see all the DNS records of your domain on the next page. This includes records like Name Servers, A, AAAA, CNAME, MX, SRV, and TXT.

dns records bluehost

How to Update a DNS Record

If you want to update any record, you can click on the three-dot option next to the record and you’ll see the options to edit and delete the record.

To delete a DNS record, you can simply click on the Remove option. If you just want to edit the record, click on the Edit option. Here, we are editing an A record.

edit a dns record

After that, you’ll see the options to configure:

  • Host Record: If you’re updating the A record for your root domain, use “@”. If you’re setting up an A record for a subdomain, you can enter that for the host record.
  • Points To (Destination): You can enter the IP address of your domain here. If you’re not setting up an A record for your site, you can use the IP address of your server.
  • TTL (Time To Live): Each DNS record has an associated TTL value which determines how quickly the changes made to the record will take effect. You can choose the default minimum value of 4 hours.

edit a record

Once you’re done with the changes, click on the Save button.

How to Add New DNS Record

To add a new DNS record, you can simply click on the Add New button next to the record name. Here, we are adding a CNAME record.

add new cname dns record

Then, you’ll see these options like before:

  • Host Record: Enter the subdomain details for your CNAME record. In this example, we set up a CNAME record for ” www.startmywpsite.com”, so we’ll enter “www” as the host record.
  • Points To: Here, you’ll need to add the destination domain for the CNAME. For our example, we’ll set the destination as “startmywpsite.com”
  • TTL: You can set the default minimum duration of 4 hours.

cname add new record

Don’t forget to click on Save after you’re done.

Like this, you can edit and add DNS records for your domain with the help of Bluehost. It offers a user-friendly dashboard that lets you check and update your DNS records in a few clicks.

If you’re using a different web host, you’ll find the instructions for checking your DNS records on their website or knowledge base.

To check DNS records of any other domain name, you can check out the online DNS checker tools we’ve listed below.

5 Best Online Tools to Check DNS Records

We’ve handpicked the best online tools that will let you search DNS records for free. So, let’s dive in!

1. SecurityTrails

securitytrails how to check dns record

SecurityTrails, previously known as DNS trails, is one of the top DNS lookup tools. It claims to be “The World’s Largest Repository of Historical DNS Data”.

For over 10 years, SecurityTrails has been collecting data about DNS record changes, IP history, and more.

Now, let’s learn how to check DNS records with this tool. First, you can simply enter a domain name on the search box and click the arrow button.

securitytrails search

Then, you’ll be able to see all DNS record types like A records, AAAA records, MX records, TXT records, and more.

securitytrails results

You can even sign up for a free account to get your DNS API key and up to 50 queries per month. This will help you handle queries for your domain and manage DNS records with ease.

Get started with SecurityTrails!

2. Complete DNS

complete dns page

Complete DNS is a popular lookup tool with one of the largest DNS record history databases. It has detected more than 2.2 billion nameserver changes.

To check DNS records of a domain, you can simply click on the search box and enter the domain name that you want to search.

complete dns results

Then, it’ll show you a complete timeline of the domain name history and the changes on nameservers over the years. It will also show you if the domain has been parked before or not.

The great thing about Complete DNS is that it offers a bulk DNS checker tool that lets you search DNS records of up to 5,000 domains at one time.

Without creating an account, you can lookup DNS records of 3 domains only. You can sign up for a free account to get access to 100 queries per month with nameserver history and reverse name server reports.

Get started with Complete DNS!

3. DNSChecker

dns checker domain tools

DNSChecker is a useful tool for searching DNS records of any type of website. Once you search for a domain name, DNSChecker’s DNS lookup tool will quickly show you all the A, AAAA, CNAME, MX, and NS records.

dns checker results

Along with this, it also lets you search for location data along with DNS records from servers all around the world. You can even see which countries the website is accessible in.

Besides this, DNSChecker offers other tools for email, IP location, and WHOIS lookup. These tools will help you get more information about any domain.

Get started with DNSChecker!

4. Spyse

spyse

Another popular DNS lookup tool is Spyse. It has a huge database of 2.5 billion domains, 50+ million WHOIS records, and processes 1 PB of data every month.

To check DNS records of a domain, simply enter the URL on the search bar and hit the Search button.

spyse results

Spyse provides the most authentic DNS records by checking with 3 different DNS servers for one domain search. This gives you results of different records such as A, AAAA, NS, SOA, and PTK.

Get started with Spyse!

5. WHOISrequest.com

whois request site

WHOISrequest.com is another free tool that lets you check DNS records in a few clicks. Like Complete DNS, it provides a timeline that shows you whether the entered domain name has been registered before or not.

whois request results

It also shows the information about all the name server changes over time. You can use this tool for 5 domain queries for free without having to sign up for an account.

Get started with WHOISrequest.com

Wrapping it Up:

If you want to check your DNS records and add, edit or remove records then Bluehost is the best option out there. It lets you manage your domain and DNS records in a single easy-to-use CPanel.

Here are some of the other web hosts and domain registrars that let you change your domain DNS records:

  • Domain.com: A popular domain name registrar that comes with a user-friendly admin dashboard where you can edit DNS records to make the necessary updates.
  • Network Solutions: One of the oldest domain registrars that makes it easy to manage and change DNS records of your site.
  • Namecheap: Another domain registrar that lets you update DNS records right inside your Namecheap account.

And that’s it! We hope this article helped you learn how to check and edit DNS records of your domain without any trouble. With the help of the 5 free DNS tools we listed above, you can check DNS records of other domains as well.

Next, you can check out these useful resources:

These posts will help your search for the perfect domain name for your business and learn about the history of the domain before you purchase it. The last one will help you find more information about a domain and where you can register it.

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