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How Long Does DNS Take to Propagate

Posted 15th November, 2021

In order to fully start working, name server changes typically take up from 24 to 48 hours. This period of time, also known as propagation, is the estimated duration of time it takes for cache records and root name servers across the whole web to be updated with the DNS information of your site.

Is the DNS propagation time affected by any factors? When the DNS records, or Domain Name System records, are updated in the zone file of your domain name, in order for those updates to propagate through the Internet, they will need up to 48 hours. There are several factors that are out of our control and that determine the propagation time of the DNS, even though we aim to make updates as speedily as possible.

Some of the factors that determine the propagation time of the DNS are the following:

  • The registry of your domain name – If you change the nameservers of your domain name, your change request is communicated to the registry within a couple of minutes, and the registry publishes your authoritative nameserver records to their root zone. The zones are usually promptly updated by most registries. For instance, zones for .com domain names are refreshed by VeriSign every three minutes. However, you need to keep in mind that not all of the registries make updates in such a fast manner. Root nameservers are often protected by registries from overuse in a way that they set up a high TTL (time to live, a sort of expiration date that is put on a DNS record) of up to 48 or more hours for those nameserver records. Additionally, even though the root nameserver records should not be cached by recursive nameservers, some ISPs cache the information anyway, and a longer nameserver propagation time comes as a result of this.
  • Your Internet Service Provider, also known as ISP – DNS records are cached by your ISP, which rather than retrieving fresh data from your DNS server, is stored the data locally. This reduces traffic and speeds up Web browsing, which slows down the propagation time. TTL settings are ignored by some ISPs, and their cached records are only updated every 2 to 3 days.
  • Your TTL Settings – In the zone file of your domain name, you can set up the Time to Live for every DNS record. Like we previously mentioned, TTL is the period of time for which servers cache the information for your DNS records. The propagation speed can be increased by shorter TTL settings. For instance, if a certain record’s TTL is set to two hours, the information for that record is stored locally by servers for two hours before retrieving the updated information from your authoritative nameserver. Although, keep in mind that the number of queries can also be increased by shorter settings, and the processing time of your server can be slowed down by that increased load.
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