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Understanding TTL (Time-To-Live)

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What is TTL or Time to Live? 

TTL, or Time-to-Live, is the length of time for when a zone file is set to expire. This is usually expressed in number of seconds. 

If you ask your local DNS server (usually provided by your ISP) for an Internet address, the server will figure out where to find an authoritative answer. Once provided the answer, it will keep the answer in a local cache so that if you, or someone else, ask for the same address again it will not need to make the request again. 

When domain administrators configure their DNS records, they decide how long the records should remain in remote caches. Typically, a remote server will only cache those records for the length of time specified by the TTL. After that, the remote server will remove the zone file from its local cache and ask again for an authoritative answer. Due to this, shorter TTLs can cause heavier loads on an authoritative nameserver. 

What is the default TTL value?

The default TTL is 42300, or 12 hours. 

What will be the new length of time if I lower my TTL value in the AccountCenter?

If you lower the TTL it will set to 300, or 5 minutes. 

How long do I have to wait for the lowered TTL to take affect across the internet?

When you lower the TTL to 300, or 5 minutes, it will take effect on servers immediately. But for the TTL to propagate across the internet you will need to wait from 12 to 48 hours. It is best to lower your TTL 2 days before you plan on changing your DNS so the change will propagate across the internet in the fastest possible way. 

What if I require a custom TTL value?

If you require a custom TTL value, please submit a support request along with the requested TTL value, and why it is required. 

When would Lowering my TTL Value be useful?

The following are a few examples of when lowering the TTL would be useful.

  • Transferring a domain between hosts
  • Transferring a domain between accounts or servers
  • When changing an IP Address for a domain
  • When changing the MX records or DNS records for a domain 
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