What factors affect DNS propagation time?

When we begin moving a site to the permanent domain, we are updating information that is held in global servers that route traffic.

What is DNS propagation time? 

Propagation is the time delay between an update to a DNS zone file occurs, and when the wider internet reflects this change.  When we update the DNS (Domain Name System) records in your domain name's zone file, it can take up to 48 hours for those updates to propagate throughout the Internet. Your registrar will strive to make updates as quickly as possible. The DNS propagation time for your domain name depends on several factors that we nor your registrar can control.

Factors that affect DNS propagation time include:

  • Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) — Your ISP temporarily stores and updates DNS records at intervals.  This helps to speed up web browsing and reduce traffic, but it means that changes to the records are not immediately reflected throughout the web.  This is essentially the meaning of the propagation period. The time delay between making a change to a zone file, and the amount of time it takes before all of the global servers have refreshed to see this change.  Some ISPs only update their cached records every two to three days.

  • Your domain name's registry — If you change your domain Nameservers, your registrar will relay your change request to the registry within minutes, and they publish your authoritative NS (Nameserver) records to their root zone. Most registries update their zones promptly. For example, VeriSign refreshes zones for .com domains every three minutes. However, not all registries make updates that quickly. Registries often protect their Nameservers from overuse by setting a high TTL of up to 48 hours or more for those NS records. In addition, even though recursive Nameservers should not cache the root NS records, some ISPs cache the information anyway, which can result in a longer Nameserver propagation time.