CNAME vs A Record: Difference and Comparison

Starting one’s own business is perhaps the most powerful choice one can make. Starting a business with all the funding, documents, and uncertainty about whether it will be fruitful or not is a significant change in a person’s life.

It also comes with a lot of responsibility. As creating a website or a domain is a vital component of a widespread business, CNAME, and A Record are two of the aspects for this.

Key Takeaways

  1. CNAME (Canonical Name) records map one domain name to another, while A (Address) records map a domain name to an IP address.
  2. CNAME records are used for aliasing, whereas A records directly link a domain to an IP address.
  3. CNAME records cannot coexist with other records for the same domain, while A records can.

CNAME Vs A Record

A CNAME record is a type of resource record that maps one hostname to another hostname which is useful when running multiple services from a single IP address. However, A Record maps a hostname to one or more IP addresses which is useful for managing which IP addresses are assigned to a particular machine.

CNAME Vs A Record

Instead of pointing to an IP address, the CNAME record refers to another name. It’s a domain name’s pseudonym.

If a person seems to have the domain name “” but also wants “” to be connected to the very same address, they must create a CNAME record in the DNS domain registrar, wherein “” is declared as a standard A or AAAA entry.

An A record links a domain name to the IP address of the hosting server.

An A record is one of the numerous sorts of DNS entries that can be created for a domain, the most common of which is the IPv4 numeric IP for a specific host., for example, corresponds to

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCNAMEA Record
Definition A CNAME is a domain data that refers to a different domain address rather than an IP address.An A Record is a data record that points straight to an IP address.
DomainDomain aliases (www) and subdomains (mail) are linked to the parent domain via CNAME records.A record’s sole purpose is to link the parent domain (webserver) to the correct IP address.
Finding Name The CNAME record is a name-to-name mapping. It can be used if no other records for that name exist.When the IP addresses are verified and consistent, the A record translates a name between one or more IP addresses.
ImportanceCNAME records aren’t required in theory, but they are required in practical terms.A record is DNS (Domain name system) records that are necessary for the operation of the DNS system.
Example The most popular example of CNAME records is www, which is used to distinguish URLs from websites.The address server domain foo. the bar contains an A record that points to the IP address 123.456.678.900.

What Is CNAME?

The CNAME record is abbreviated as Canonical Name. A CNAME transcript is a resource record that indicates that a domain address is just an alternative to another canonical or widely recognized domain address.

Also Read:  Surfshark vs NordVPN: Difference and Comparison

A CNAME record is defined by Webopedia as “a DNS record indicating the actual, or original, mail server of a machine with which its aliases are connected.” To link to the World Wide Web, a device operating a Web site should have an IP address.

The DNS converts a computer’s domain address to an IP address, but there are situations when many domain names respond to the very same IP address, which is when the CNAME comes in handy.

A computer could have an endless number of CNAME aliases, but each alias must have its CNAME record in the database. “

For instance, if one has numerous sub-domains, such as,,, and so on, one could use CNAME to connect them collectively.

As a result, entering any one of the sub-domains would take visitors to the main domain, such as “www is a common example, which is used to designate URLs as websites. “www refers to a domain name, which in turn refers to a web server that will handle the inquiry. 

What Is A Record?

The Domain Address Network was developed to allow people to visit web pages by typing their web addresses instead of their IP addresses into their devices. Consider how tough it’d be to keep a record of all of the IP addresses of all of the sites.

To go to, for example, simply type the web address into your browser’s search window. If the DNS hadn’t been set up, one would have to enter the IP address, which is

Instead of keeping a massive list of every website’s IP addresses, we can simply write down their web addresses.

Also Read:  MS Office Student vs Professional: Difference and Comparison

The DNS A record fulfills the DNS’s primary function. It gives details as to which IP address is linked to a specific domain. The “A” in “a record” means “address.”

So, in the instance given, the zone files, or DNS records, for the domain contain an A record that states that is located at the IP address If users don’t have an A record, users won’t be able to access it.

As a result, whenever a user inputs a domain name in their browser’s URL bar, the relevant server responds with the IP address for just that domain from its zone records, allowing the person to visit the website.

It’s worth noting that A records exclusively operate with IPv4 addresses, not IPv6.

Main Differences Between CNAME and A Record

  1. A CNAME links to a separate domain location instead of an IP address, while an A Record is a data record that points directly to an IP address.
  2. CNAME records are used to link domain aliases (www) and subdomains (mail) to the parent domain, whereas A records are used to link the parent domain (webserver) to the right IP address.
  3. The CNAME record represents a description mapping, which is beneficial when no other records with that name exist, whereas the A record converts a term between one or more validated and consistent IP addresses.
  4. In theory, CNAME records aren’t required, although they are in practice, whereas A records are DNS (Domain name system) entries that are essential for the DNS system to function.
  5. The most well-known CNAME record is www, and it is used to differentiate URLs from websites. The address domain server (, on the other hand, has an A record pointing to the IP address 123.456.678.900.

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

dot 1
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

Leave a Comment

Want to save this article for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own articles box!