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So I have added my domain to Route53 and updated the name servers of the domains to that of Route53.

I have added the record sets (A, MX and TXT) that I need.

How do I know when these DNS records are effective or do I just wait and keep on checking who.is for the domain?
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Updating your name server information with the parent servers (the gTLD servers) is the responsibility of your registrar so you should ask them how often they send updates to the parent servers. –  joeqwerty Nov 30 '12 at 15:36
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Joe is pointing out that if you haven't already replaced your domain's NS servers with the domain registrar, you need to do that before anything will take effect (AWS's servers must be your authoritative NS servers for your domain).

Once that's set, whenever you create new records in your zone they should become visible within a short period after some propagation. For example, if you just bought a domain on GoDaddy, created a stub zone in Route53 for your domain and take the NS server values they assign you and drop them back into the domain record with GoDaddy, any new records you add should be visible within 15-20 mins normally, or perhaps up to an hour.

The process of propagation, however, is entirely out of your hands once you've published new values. So you should always make smart use of TTL.

To make sure your values have propagated, you should get comfortable with the command line and use a tool like dig or nslookup to check:

dig host.domain.com

Should give you a result like this. My command is on the first line:

myhostmachine ~ # dig www.acme.com

; <<>> DiG 9.7.3 <<>> www.acme.com
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 9821
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;www.acme.com.          IN  A

;; ANSWER SECTION:
www.acme.com.       16390   IN  A   216.27.178.28

;; Query time: 30 msec
;; SERVER: 8.8.8.8#53(8.8.8.8)
;; WHEN: Thu Dec 13 11:53:09 2012
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 46

And nslookup would look like this. My command is on the first line:

myhostmachine # nslookup www.acme.com
Server:     8.8.8.8
Address:    8.8.8.8#53

Non-authoritative answer:
Name:   www.acme.com
Address: 216.27.178.28
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I use check-host.

Here's an example:

http://check-host.net/check-dns?host=example.com

This will lookup your host from multiple locations around the world in parallel.

You get the results, the time it took (latency) as well as the TTL values.

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