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What is a SOA DNS Record and Can I Edit It?

What is a SOA DNS Record and Can I Edit It?

The Start of Authority (SOA) record is a crucial part of the Domain Name System (DNS) zone file. It holds important administrative information about the zone and is the first record in the zone file. The SOA record is essential for DNS zone transfers and helps manage various aspects of the domain’s behavior.

Understanding the SOA Record

The SOA record consists of several components, each serving a specific purpose. Here’s a breakdown of the SOA record syntax:
@ IN SOA ns.example.com. admins.siteground.com. (
2022010101 ; Serial
86400 ; Refresh
7200 ; Retry
3600000 ; Expire
86400 ; Minimum TTL

Let’s understand what each part means:

  • ns.example.com. – This is the primary nameserver for the domain. It’s the authoritative source for information about the domain.
  • admins.siteground.com. – This is the email address of the person responsible for administering the domain’s zone file. The “@” symbol in the email address is replaced with a dot.
  • 2022010101 (Serial) – This is the serial number of the record. It’s typically formatted as a date (YYYYMMDDNN), where NN is the revision number. This number should be incremented each time the zone file is changed.
  • 86400 (Refresh) – This is the time, in seconds, a secondary DNS server waits before querying the primary DNS server’s SOA record to check for changes. If the SOA record has changed, the secondary server will request a zone transfer.
  • 7200 (Retry) – This is the time, in seconds, a secondary server waits before retrying a failed zone transfer.
  • 3600000 (Expire) – This is the time, in seconds, a secondary server will hold a zone before it is no longer authoritative if it can’t contact the primary server.
  • 86400 (Minimum TTL) – This is the time, in seconds, that DNS resolvers should cache (store) the zone data.

Editing the SOA Record

While understanding the SOA record is important, it’s crucial to note that the SOA record cannot be modified. The values placed in it are the default for everyone on our servers. This is to ensure the stability and reliability of the DNS system. This is also why modifying or viewing the SOA record in the DNS Zone Editor in Site Tools is not possible.

If you believe there’s a need to change the SOA record, contact our Support Team. We will evaluate the situation and make necessary changes if required.

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