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SOA Record Lookup

What is an SOA Record in DNS?

The Start of Authority (SOA) record is a type of DNS record that holds important information regarding a domain or DNS zone. For example, it contains the email address of the administrator responsible for the DNS records and the information relating to the last update of the domain.

An SOA record is integral to conforming to standards and plays a vital role in performing zone transfers.

Why Do You Need an SOA Record?

The SOA record is responsible for holding important information that DNS zones require when performing DNS zone transfers. A zone transfer allows administrators to automatically propagate the changes made to the DNS records on the primary nameserver amongst the rest of the secondary nameservers.

Without this mechanism, an administrator must manually update all the relevant records, potentially resulting in mistakes and inconsistencies in the DNS records.

Not only that, but an SOA record holds information such as the "zone serial", which lets a secondary nameserver identify changes made to the DNS record and ensures that the secondary nameserver initiates an update of the zone file via a zone transfer.

What Does an SOA Record Look Like?

The SOA records follow a standard format, ensuring that all web browsers and servers understand its content.

Seven different components make up the SOA records:

  1. MNAME - The name of the primary nameserver for the zone
  2. RNAME - The email address of the administrator; however, this field will not contain the "@" sign
  3. SERIAL - A numeric value that represents the version of the DNS file. This number increases by one integer for every change made to the DNS file.
  4. REFRESH - The time in seconds a secondary nameserver must wait before requesting a new SOA record from the primary nameserver
  5. RETRY - The time the secondary nameserver must wait after a failed refresh before retrying
  6. EXPIRE - The upper time limit before a DNS zone loses its state of authoritativeness
  7. TTL - The time that a resolver must wait for a response from the nameserver

The following SOA record shows an SOA record on "google.com"

1 ns1.google.com. dns-admin.google.com. 476698623 900 900 1800 60

How To Perform SOA Record Lookup Using This Tool

You can perform an SOA record lookup by executing the following steps.

  1. Access the tool using the official link
  2. Enter the domain name to lookup
  3. The tool will display the SOA record details if the domain name contains an SOA record.

FAQ

How do I find my SOA records?

A DNS hosting provider hosts the SOA record among the many DNS records. Therefore, the SOA record will be visible within the DNS configuration of the domain.

How do I create an SOA DNS record?

You may create an SOA record by using a DNS management console provided by the DNS provider, such as AWS Route 53.

Is SOA record necessary?

Yes, the SOA record is essential and helpful when performing automated tasks such as DNS zone transfers.

What's the difference between NS & SOA record?

An NS record holds the name server record, which delegates a DNS zone to an authoritative server; however, an SOA record designates the primary name server and administrator responsible for a specific DNS zone.

How many SOA records are there for a DNS zone?

A DNS zone must have one SOA record containing the zone's necessary details and the administrator in charge.

Can I delete a SOA record?

You cannot delete the SOA record set for a DNS zone; however, you can alter the values within the record. This record is essential for any DNS zone to function correctly.

Is SOA record still relevant?

Yes, the SOA record is imperative to allowing DNS zone transfers. Therefore, all domains or DNS zones must contain one SOA record.

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