Firstly, a nameserver (or NS) record is always associated with a domain name (e.g., courier.com). The NS record is responsible for finding the authoritative DNS server for the specified domain. In laypeople's terms, it specifies the location of the nameserver in which your DNS records are stored.
The NS record lets people access your site through your domain name. It is used to find the nameserver that holds the DNS records for the given domain. So, you may have multiple DNS records in different nameservers, but the Internet will route traffic to the nameserver specified in your NS Record.
For example, if a user types "courer.com", the Internet uses the NS record for "courier.com" to find the nameserver that contains DNS records to ensure that users can access the site (via other records like A, CName).
An NS record typically contains the following:
The snippet above denotes the NS record for the domain
foo.com. It specifies that to find out more about
foo.com (finding its DNS Zone Configuration), we have to visit its nameserver at
The NS record finds the nameserver that contains the DNS records for the specified domain, while the A record is used to map the domain name to a specified IP address. Essentially, an A record points the domain name to an IP address of your server which serves the customer.
Generally, DNS propagation differs based on the type of record you've updated. However, it typically takes 72 hours for the DNS record to be updated worldwide.
Generally, two or more nameservers are recommended, so your domain will remain online if your primary server goes down. On the other hand, you can have more than two nameservers if you wish you distribute the DNS lookup load across multiple nameservers.
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