What is a DNS Zone?

Map Of Internet 1973


A dns zone:

A good mental representation of a DNS zone is to compare it with a directory for a file path.


  • in foo.bar.com, the zone is bar.com
  • in your.foo.bar.com, the zone is foo.bar.com


A zone defines:

Apex Zone

Most of the time, you will have only one zone, the zone of your apex domain (the domain that you register).

If your nameservers are the nameservers of:

  • Cloudflare, your apex zone is on the Cloudflare website/server
  • Ovh, your apex zone is on the OVH website/server


  • A DNS zone can contain multiple subdomains
  • Multiple zones can exist on the same server.

Zone file

Zones file are configuration files of the DNS nameservers that defines a zone.

They describe the namespace of that zone (the mail servers, …)

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