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How does DNS Propagation work?

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What is DNS?

Please refer to our article How DNS works to know more.

What is DNS Propagation?

To put it simply, DNS Propagation occurs when the main name server informs secondary and subordinate servers about a change in your Name Server records.

The flow works something like this:

Root Server (.com / .net / .org etc.) >> Subordinate Servers >> Your Local ISP Server >> Your Internet Router >> Your local machine.

Will a change in my DNS Entries take time to Propagate?

If you are not changing the NS records, then the changes will propagate much faster. But if you are changing the NS / NameServer records, then you will need to wait it out (upto 48 hours).

A records, MX records and CNAME records can take upto 8 hours to propagate, but they can also get updated in 2 minutes as well. On an average, we have seen A records propagate in about 10 minutes.

When will my domain name servers propagate after being changed?

When the main (root) server starts informing other servers about any change that you have made, this is known as propagation. The root server propagates the changed information across countries.

This process takes upto 48 hours to complete. During this time, as the changes are sent from server to server, parts of the world will be able to connect to your website, depending on their location, ISP Settings and local DNS Settings.

While you might see the site on the new namserver, people in your building or even in your house or office on a different ISP may see the old site before the changes were made. Due to the costs involved in keep the Name Servers up to date, some ISPs may delay propagation and may have large time lags between updates.

How long will my expired domain take to become active after being renewed?

When a domain name expires, the Nameservers are automatically changed at the Registrar end. This means that the domain is pointed to a default page belonging to the Registrar, until it is renewed or drops and becomes publicly available again.

When you renew the name, the Nameservers are changed back to your original Nameservers. This change needs to be informed to all other DNS servers globally. See the previous answer to know more.

Can I do something at my end to speed up the process of Propagation?

Not really. Neither you nor we can do anything to change the propagation time for global servers. We cannot control how soon an ISP in South America or in Europe (or anywhere in the world) will update their servers with your new server information.

It’s best to plan for downtime in advance and take precautionary measures to ensure that propagation does not affect uptime. Renewing domains before they expire can also help you to avoid such a situation.

However, you can try the following steps to refresh your local DNS cache:

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