Before we start the topic of the TXT records, we are just going to scratch the surface of the DNS (Domain Name System). First, we will learn what DNS is, a DNS record, and the TXT record. That way, you can better understand the process of the verification of your domain.
What is DNS?
DNS is the universal translater that links domain names to their IP addresses. It is used on all websites and many services like, for example, web hosting and emails. You should know that DNS works with DNS records, which are instruction sets, linking various resources (names, IP addresses, services, etc.) together.
What is a DNS record?
A DNS record is a simple text file that DNS uses to add data. The data can be which domain has which IP address, which domain name has another canonical name, which server is located, and more.
What is a TXT record?
The TXT record is a type of DNS record that can verify your domain and various authentication processes. The most common ways that you can use TXT are:
- Sender Policy Framework (SPF). It is a technology that can give you feedback about your emails. Basically, it shows who can send emails on behalf of the domain’s owner.
- Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM). It is a method of encryption for your emails by linking the domain name and the emails. It is another anti-forging technology that improves the security of your emails.
- Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC). It combines the features of the previous two and provides a more complex reporting mechanism. For example, it can show if the email was sent from the right domain and, if not, what the receiver should do.
- Verify your cloud account. Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and others will use TXT records with a particular string of information that they will want you to add to your DNS.
Verifying your domain with a TXT record.
If you are using a service that wants you to verify that you are the real owner of a domain, that is often performed by adding a TXT record to the domain host’s zone. A service like Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, and Google Console must first verify the owner before starting working.
They will usually provide you a code, a string of random text, that they want you to put where your domain’s DNS records are located.
If you are the owner of a domain, you would have access to your profile on your domain registrar’s site, where you bought a domain name. There you will need to create a TXT record. Depending on your provider, the type of record could be listed as TXT, DNS TXT, or TXT record.
So go to the domain settings and search for DNS management (or similar, depending on your provider).
Add a TXT record where the host will be your domain name, and the TXT value will be the code you previously copied.
Save the new record.
Now you need to wait until the propagation ends. Sometimes, changes can take up to 72 hours until your newly created record gets on all the DNS servers of the host.
Done! You will be able to use the service already.
Verifying your domain is a must when you want to use many services. The way to do it is simple, by adding a TXT record to your domain’s DNS zone.
Here are some DNS terms that will help you manage your domain name as great as possible. As a beginner, it could be really frustrating to learn the complex structure of the Domain Name System (DNS). Yet, let’s start explaining, and everything will become much more clear, and it will make more sense.
The Domain Name System, or DNS for short, is an essential part of the Internet. It is a global naming database that translates internet domain names to IP (Internet Protocol) addresses. DNS is decentralized and has a multi-level hierarchical structure. Thanks to that system, humans are not required to remember long and difficult numbers (IP addresses) to enter and explore every website. Instead, people are able to type right away the domain name and successfully connect to their desired web page.
The domain name is the identifier for a particular website. It is an individual text string used for describing devices or services, such as example.org. Users typically use it and easily remember it rather than its corresponding IP address.
The DNS zone is the administrative segment that the DNS namespace applies. Each DNS zone is managed by a separate DNS administrator. That is why the entire system is considered decentralized. In many cases, a domain and the DNS zone could be considered as the same thing, except that this is not actually accurate. A domain is possible to have only one individual DNS zone, but there are other cases that are usually more common. When a domain holds a number of DNS zones, it is pretty understandable that they are not the same thing.
Inside the DNS zone can be stored various information, which is concerning the DNS records. Additionally, inside the SOA (Start of Authority) record of the DNS zone is stored contact information about the administrator and zone parameters like Refresh and Retry rate.
DNS query is one of the DNS terms representing the process of searching the IP address (an A record or an AAAA record) or another DNS record of a domain. Imagine the user who asks for particular information, and it sends exactly a DNS query. Next, the DNS recursive server, after receiving the query, will search for the needed answer. Finally, the recursive server gets back to the user with the wanted data.
DNS records are text files that hold information concerning the exact Domain Name System. Every domain has a different amount and diverse DNS record types. They indicate separate entities and settings of a domain. For example, one of them could point to the IP address (A or AAAA record), another could show a specific service, such as the email server responsible for receiving emails (MX record), and many more.
There are two fundamental types of DNS servers – authoritative name servers and recursive name servers.
The authoritative name servers keep the zone file of a precise zone. They are able to answer queries. In this type are all the authoritative name servers of every domain, such as TLD servers (like .org, .com, etc.) and Root server (the highest hierarchy level).
Recursive name servers assist in searching for the answer to the DNS query by querying separate servers till they get a response. Thus, they are in the middle between the DNS user and the authoritative name servers.