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    What does @ mean when setting DNS settings?


    I recently had to modify an a-record / web alias setting for a client.

    When I looked at their DNS settings their were 2 entries, one was an @ that was set as a web-alias, the other was a www a-record pointing at an IP address. This @ setting seemed to point all instances of the site URL, without the www, to the web alias - which was wrong. When I made the @ web alias another a-record, with the same IP address as the other a-record, everything was fine. The www and without www, all pointed at the correct server.

    Just wondered if anyone had an explanation of what @ means when setting DNS settings? I don't like fixing things by blindly playing around or trying common sense. I like to know what I'm doing especially when it comes to secretive world of DNS.

    I have set a-records a lot and never used an @ sign myself. Not until yesterday.

    I've tried Googling @ and searching within forums for them but search engines don't seem like @ signs in the search phrase.
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    This issue is to do with setting A-records using a URL vendor's DNS control panel - not a vhost file or anything like that. The sort of DNS control panel you get with speednames.com, UKReg etc...
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    The @ symbol refers to just the domain... Basically when no prefix is used, the @ symbol can be used.
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    Originally Posted by hollis3162
    I like to know what I'm doing especially when it comes to secretive world of DNS.
    Except for some poorly documented/designed DNS control panels out there on the web, there's nothing really secretive about DNS. It's a set of open standards that are easily found with a google search.

    DNS related RFC's

    As was already pointed out, the '@' symbol really hasn't got anything to with DNS. It's just a shortcut that some DNS control panels let you use to save on typing. Review whatever help system they provide for clues.
    I no longer wish to be associated with this site.
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    In DNS records the '@' that you are seeing is nothing more than a character used to refer to the domain name itself. It has more to do with the system or control panel that you are working in than an actual DNS entry. In simpler terms, you can view this as a place holder in an instance in which there is no character or prefix to be used. If you look at the primary A record, for instance, the '@' is often times used here since there is not a predetermined sub-domain or prefix needed for that entry.




    Darius Cubbage
    Technical Support Analyst
    Last edited by hiker; September 7th, 2009 at 10:02 AM.

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