What is an A Record and When Should You Use One?
An A record is a type of DNS record that maps a domain to an IP address.
When you enter a website address in your browser, the owner of that domain could use an A record to route you to a specific server at the given IP address. This is why it's called an A record because it points to an address.
For example, if
testsuite.io used an A record to point to the IP address
184.108.40.206, then when your browser requests
testsuite.io it would be redirected to the server with that IP address, located at
A Records vs Other Options
An A record is simple and easy to use. You point a domain or subdomain to an IP address, and your traffic gets redirected to that address. Sometimes this is not the best record for you to use.
There are a few drawbacks with A records:
- You can't point another domain name
- They only map to IPv4 addresses
- If your IP is dynamic, your A record will have to change frequently
Because of these limitations, other DNS records can sometimes be a better choice.
A record must point to an IP address, a CNAME or
ALIAS can point to other names. This makes these options better suited when you have a dynamic IP address or when you don't have control over when your IP address changes.