How to check DNS propagation?

Through time, all businesses require changes to DNS records. But even you make such modifications fast, they won’t be visible immediately. This can be a bit frustrating, especially in urgent cases. Besides, taking too long could point to an issue. In any case, you will have to check how it is going.

Basics of DNS propagation.

DNS propagation is the time that it takes for DNS changes to be fully updated across the Internet.

Remember that modifications to DNS records can be made only on the authoritative DNS nameserver. And currently, most networks are really large. They integrate many servers, machines with different purposes, and all of them can be spread globally. 

With this image in mind, you can easily understand why changes, small or big ones, take time to be completed. They have to be updated on plenty of machines! 

Additionally, the process can face obstacles that can delay it even more. For instance, the DNS cache of the network’s servers. It totally contributes to making the network more agile, but it can delay the DNS propagation. They keep the most updated version of DNS records, during the time the TTL (time-to-live) each has configured remains valid. Once the TTL expires, recursive servers naturally will look for the last update. In other words, they won’t look for the update exactly at the moment you made DNS changes, but when their TTL points zero seconds.

DNS propagation – fully explained

How to check DNS propagation?

Usually, it takes from 24 and up to 72 hours to complete the DNS propagation. Time can vary, but there are tools for network administrators to check how this process is going properly. Just blindly waiting for the update to be made is not a choice, especially when a special sale or an important deal is at stake! 

The following options can help you check DNS propagation. Pick the best for you based on your OS or preference.

If you are a macOS or Linux user, this option works for you! You are going to try the Dig command

The first step is to open your Terminal.

Already open, type correctly “dig” command. To be crystal clear, this is the format for you to replace the example with your domain name and its associated TLD.

For instance, “dig”. 

This action will trigger a lookup for A or AAAA records. When you get the result of this lookup, you will see if the IPs of your website are already modified or not. If they have changed, DNS propagation is completed. If they haven’t, the propagation is not finished yet.

Windows users, try this! You are going to use the Command Prompt.

First, open Command Prompt. Then use the Nslookup command on the domain name you want to check.

Just type: “nslookup”. Remember, this is just the format. Type your domain name and its associated TLD, instead of this.

Example: “nslookup”.

The result of this lookup will show the status of the website’s IPs. If they have changed or not yet.

Online DNS propagation checkers.

And there’s another option. You can perform DNS lookups by using online tools. They are easy to use, and you can get information about domains no matter their geographical location. These tools will show you too if the DNS changes are already updated or not.


Every time you modify a DNS record, DNS propagation must take place. Better to learn how to check it from now! And remember, DNS propagation requires time, and humans need to be patient!

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