Do you know what is exciting? Waiting hours and even days at a time, pressing refresh!
Said no one ever. Waiting is a daunting task nobody likes, but sometimes, there is nothing that you can do. When it comes to DNS, DNS propagation is the time to refresh, and it depends on an important factor. Would you like to know which?
What is DNS propagation?
DNS propagation is the time that it takes to update your latest DNS changes all across the Internet. Imagine if you have a new web hosting. You need to get into your DNS control panel and redirect the traffic. You will change the IP address of the A and AAAA records to point to the new place. You will instantly update this data inside the authoritative name server for the zone. Good, but there are plenty of DNS resolvers around the globe. They have a cache memory that stores the DNS records, the time that they indicate on their TTL value. So, if the records were recently updated, the recursive servers won’t check the new value until the TTL expires. There comes the problem of DNS propagation. It does not happen instantly on all servers on the Internet! You need to wait!
How to lower the waiting time?
What you can do to lower the time is to change the TTL value of the DNS records. That way, you can change the IP addresses and know that it will not take a lot of time to propagate. When the propagation is done, you can set the TTL as you wish. Keeping a low TTL value of the DNS records will provoke DNS queries more often. This will put more load on your name server. If you are using a Managed DNS service and pay per query, it will cost you. If you have a plan with limited DNS queries, it can still have a negative effect.
How to check DNS propagation?
Of course, you can do it manually and use a command like the Nslookup command (Windows and macOS) or Dig command (Linux), but it takes a lot of time. You can probe the domain that you are interested, from different servers like 22.214.171.124 (Google), 126.96.36.199 (Cloudflare), and so on, and see the results. But there are also special tools to show you the DNS propagation quickly and easily, straight from your browser.
Here is one that you could use:
- Open the DNS propagation site or another if you like
- Put the IP address or the hostname into the empty field and press the button.
- See the results and compare the IP addresses. If they are those that you recently put, then it is ready. If they are the old ones, you need to wait a bit longer.
Now you know what DNS propagation is and how to check if it is ready. Just a little tip before the end of this article, keep the TTL of your records lower, and your DNS propagation will happen faster. You are welcome!