In the business world, the use of emails is a key aspect of all official communication. Using emails is easier and a more professional way of having all communication on record. What is seldom understood, though, is how emails work. Have you ever tried to send emails from your domain or address and got a ‘delivery failed’ message? Or has any of your clients complained about the inability to send you emails? It all boils down to one thing, MX Records. How MX Records work, relative to their configuration, is one of the least understood concepts of mailing systems. But how important are MX Records in the mailing system?
How MX Records Work
An MX-record is a source record in the Domain Name System (DNS). It indicates what specific IP address emails need to be sent to.
The MX Record contains the hostname of the server that handles the emails for a domain and a prioritization code.
Our highest prioritization code is 0. On our server, mail priority decreases with an increase in the assigned number i.e 0 is high and 10 is low.
Emails are routed through to an IP address which is set in the A-record. The A-record determines which IP address belongs to a domain name.
Here is how an A Record looks like
· Domain: shltraining.me.ke.
· Hostname: mail
· IP-address: 18.104.22.168
The mail server is now called mail.shltraining.me.ke., this can be used in the MX-record.
How an MX Record looks like
· Domain: shltraining.me.ke.
· Mail exchanger: mail.shltraining.me.ke.
· Priority: 0
All emails sent to email@example.com., will be sent to the mail server mail.shltraining.me.ke. with the IP address 22.214.171.124
Mail Issues Associated With Misconfigured MX Records
· You can receive emails but cannot send out or reply. This happens when the sending host has an MX record listing the host where mail should be directed to but the specified host rejects SMTP connections because it is wrongly done. The misconfiguration makes their system a one-way mail sender.
· You can also only send but your clients get error messages and delivery failure when they try to reply to your message. The misconfiguration, in this case, is in the domain’s mail system specifying a sender domain for the message when that domain’s MX won’t accept SMTP connections from the domain to which you’re sending.
Note that you may also experience problems sending and receiving problems if;
· The IP address is blocked on the server firewall
· You typed an incorrect recipient address
· There is a problem with the recipient mail server
· The recipient ISP is rejecting emails from our servers
· Either domain, sender/receiver, has been banned for spamming
How to rectify an MX Record misconfiguration on your cPanel
1. log in to your cPanel by going to yourdomain/cpanel
2. Go to the Domains section of cPanel and then click on Zone Editor.
3. Select the domain where you need to change, add, or delete the MX records and then click on Manage.
4. You can filter the records to show only the MX records by clicking on the Filter option labelled MX.
5. Proceed to make the necessary adjustments to the records
How to verify MX Record configuration with NS Lookup
1. On your PC or Desktop, go to Start.
2. At Start, Run and type cmd.
3. At a command prompt, type nslookup, and then press Enter.
4. Type the server IP address of your external DNS server
5. Type set q=MX, and then press Enter
6. Type your domain, and then press Enter. The MX record for the domain you entered should be displayed. If the MX record is not displayed, DNS is not configured properly.
How to point your MX Records to Sasahost
To point your MX records to our servers, you will log in to your cPanel and edit the MX Records. We will provide you with a server IP upon payment of a hosting package which you will use to correctly point your records