MX record: Why is it important?

MX record is one of the common DNS records that is essential to know. Each action that you want to perform and is related to domains also requires DNS records for guidance. So let’s explain what the purpose of it is and why it is important.

MX record explained

You can probably find the MX record to be called a mail exchanger record. Don’t get confused. It is the same thing. The DNS MX record points to which server is arranged for accepting the emails that go for an exact domain. 

For example, if you want to send an email to Daniel@example.com, your device will have to know the location of Daniel’s email host. Therefore, it will view for the MX record on the name server of the domain. This server has the data for the domain example.com. After once you have it, your device will get the information about the server, which is arranged to accept the mail. After that, it will send the email there.

So to get it clear.

People need it to send you emails. More accurately to your domain. They receive the information about where the mails are supposed to be sent and the correct server. 

So, why are you required to have an MX record?

If you want to receive emails on an email that looks like this – name@yourdomain.com, you will need an MX record. Just specify which server that you have is going to be responsible for accepting your emails.

If you miss defining such a server, the sender will not know what to do. And probably that will lead to not even trying to send you the email.

Structure 

MX is a simple DNS record with the following elements:

Type (or record): In this case, it is MX.

Host: Here is your domain name.

Priority: Presented with a number from 0 to 65535. It sets the email’s priority and importance. The lower the number is, the higher priority.

Points to: Here, you specify the server which is receiving the domain’s emails.

Time to live (TTL): This is the time the MX record will be saved in the cache memory. 

How to check your MX record?

If you want to check your MX record, you can do it very easily. There are many different ways, including you can do it through a website. Another possible way is to use a command on almost any OS, like Windows, Linux, macOS, etc., or applications (iOS and Android). You could find a site that only asks for the domain name and the kind of record you want to see.

For Linux and macOS, use the dig command

First, you have to open the Terminal application. 

On macOS: You have to open the Finder, go to Application, open Utilities. There you will see the Terminal. Open it. 

On Linux (Ubuntu): You just have to press Ctrl+Alt+T buttons together. The Terminal will open up. 

Then inside it, you will have to type the following command. An important thing to know is that you start it by pressing enter:

dig example.com MX

*You have to change example.com with the domain you want to view. 

For Windows, use the nslookup command

First, you have to start the Command Prompt. Click on the Windows Start icon, and then write “cmd,” and you will view it in the results. Click on it. 

After that, inside the Command Prompt just type, the next command and press enter:

nslookup -query=mx example.com

*You have to change example.com with the domain you want to view. 

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