The DNS records of a domain name perform many important functions. They basically tell your domain name where to find your website, emails, and other associated data. They can also be used to secure your domain name and verify it against certain applications, such as your Facebook pixel and Google Analytics account. From time to time you may need to add, remove or modify some of your DNS records. Unfortunately, the way the internet works means that these changes do not take effect immediately. To make matters worse, because the DNS records are replicated across many DNS servers around the world, not all servers are updated at the same time.
This lag, whilst you wait for the DNS servers to update, is called DNS Propagation. It can take anywhere from between a few minutes to a few days. This article explains how to can use the Hippo DNS Propagation tool to check if changes to your DNS have propagated correctly. We don’t cover how to update your DNS, this is covered in a different knowledge base article.
The DNS Propagation Tool
- Go to the DNS Propagation tool by visiting https://dns.hipposerve.co.uk.
- Enter the Domain Name You Wish to check and select the DNS record you are checking from the dropdown box.
- For the purpose of this knowledge base, we are checking the NS (Nameserver) DNS entry.
- Click Check
- The DNS records will be searched on a range of DNS servers around the world and the outcome will be displayed on a map
- In addition, the results of the NS search will be shown against each DNS server checked. You can use this to determine if your Domain is returning the expected results for each DNS record.
Interpreting the Results
In the example above, All the DNS servers, returned a successful result. In the example above, it means that the DNS for the nameservers is fully propagated. If these were the nameservers you were expecting, then you can be assured that the DNS records are correct.
There are other examples that you may see.
Example 1 – Unknown Domain Name
- In this example, all the nameservers fail to find any DNS records for the domain name.
- This result means that the domain name you typed in does not exist. If you look at our example, we have misspelled harryhippo.co.uk as harryhoppo.co.uk. Simply retry with the correct domain name.
Example 2 – Some DNS Servers Not Responding
- There are many hundred of DNS servers around the world. Not all of these are up 100% of the time. Some have a fault, others go down for maintenance. We only check your domain name against a sample of these. If you see 1 or a few red X’s, it probably means this DNS server is down.
- As long as your DNS records are correct on the remaining servers, you are OK.
- In this example, the DNS server in São Palo, Brazil is currently not responding to our query.
- The resilience of the internet come from the fact there are many other DNS servers around the world that are still active and working.
Example 3 – Partial DNS Propagation
- DNS can take a number of hours to complete propagation. In fact, it can take a few hours before you see any changes at all. We recommend waiting at least 1 hour after you make changes before you check the DNS.
- Initially, you may see a number of DNS servers that appear not to recognise the domain name. This is normal during the early stages of propagation.
- After A few hours, you should start to see some DNS servers update with the new values.
- If after 24 hours you see no change to the DNS results, you may wish to check to see if the records you have entered are correct. If you still face difficulties, you should contact your registrar for support. In the case of Hipposerve this is at https://help.hipposerve.co.uk.