In this article, we are going to talk about the AAAA record. This is a really important part of how the internet works.
Introduction to an AAAA Record
An AAAA record is a type of information that helps computers use the internet. It is a lot like another type of information called an A record. We talked about A records in another article called “What is an A Record: A Crucial Element of Internet Navigation“.
A and AAAA records are kinds of DNS records. These records help turn website names that we can read into addresses that computers can read. But there are some differences between A and AAAA records because they work with different types of addresses.
IPv4 and IPv6: A Brief Overview
There are two kinds of computer addresses: IPv4 and IPv6.
IPv4 addresses look like this: 192.0.2.1. They are made of four sets of numbers from 0 to 255 (the common size is 32 bits), separated by periods. But we have used almost all possible IPv4 addresses because there are so many computers and other devices using the internet. To solve this problem, a new type of address was made. This new type is IPv6.
IPv6 addresses consist of eight groups of four hexadecimal digits, separated by colons, like 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334. Their size is 128 bits. They are longer than IPv4 addresses. And there are a lot more possible variations of IPv6 addresses. This means the internet can keep growing.
Example of an AAAA Record
example.com. 86400 IN AAAA 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334
Let’s look at what each part of this AAAA record means:
- example.com.: This is the website name that the AAAA record is for
- 86400: This is the TTL or Time To Live. It says how long the record can be saved by a computer or web browser. In this case, it can be saved for 86400 seconds or 24 hours
- IN: This stands for “Internet”. It tells us this is a record for the internet
- AAAA: This shows what type of DNS record this is. Here, it’s an AAAA record, which is used with an IPv6 address
- 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334: This is the IPv6 address for the website
When you put it all together, this is what happens: When you type example.com into your web browser, your computer looks at the AAAA record. It gets the IPv6 address 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334 and then connects to the server at that address to show you the website. The AAAA record can be saved for 24 hours. After that, it gets updated in case the address changes.
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