An A record is found in a DNS zone configuration and is used to map a domain name to an IP address.
The A record always points to an IPv4 address. A sample A record is illustrated below.
The record above illustrates that the domain
foo.com points to the IP address
192.0.2.1. Additionally, every A record has a TTL. The above example indicates that the IP address is cached for 14440 seconds (240 minutes by default). So, it can take up to 240 minutes for your IP address to get updated.
An AAAA record serves the same purpose as an A record. It maps a given domain name to an IP address. However, the IP address in question is an IPv6 address.
The AAAA Record resolves an IP address for a given domain name. An AAAA Record is used if your server has an IPv6 IP address rather than an IPv4. A sample AAAA record is illustrated below.
The snippet above denotes a sample AAAA record. As observed, it contains the domain name that maps to an IP address with a default caching TTL period of 14440. But, the main difference is that an AAAA record maps the domain to an IPv6 address.
Essentially, both these two records perform the same operation. Both maps resolve a domain name to an IP address. But the main difference between these two records is:
Yes, either an A or an AAAA record is mandatory. Without an A or AAAA record, the DNS resolver will not be able to resolve your domain name to an IP server (so the client (browser) will not know which server your domain gets data from).
It always depends on the IP address offered by your server. You will need an AAAA record if your server is configured to use an IPv6 address. However, if your domain is resolving to an IPv4 address, use an A record.
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