You likely send and receive multiple emails on a daily basis through your branded domain name – and want to ensure smooth and proper delivery of those emails. This is where MX records come in. What are MX records? Well, mail exchange records (MX records) identify the mail server that receives emails on behalf of a domain name.

📚 Read on to further understand MX records and how to set them up for your domain name.

What are MX records and how do they work?

When you send an email to someone, the email message needs to travel from your email service provider to the recipient’s email service provider. To do that, the email needs to know which server is responsible for receiving emails for the recipient’s domain. This is where the MX record comes in.

Think of it like a directory that lists the address of the email server that’s responsible for receiving email for a particular domain. When an email is sent to that domain, the sender’s email service provider checks the MX record to find out where to deliver the email message.

MX records are really important because they help ensure that emails are delivered to the right place. Without MX records, emails might get lost or delivered to the wrong server, which would be a big problem!

Similar to a phone book that contains names, phone numbers, and addresses, an MX record also consists of names, IP addresses, and a record of settings within the Domain Name System (DNS). MX records also usually contain priority settings, the host record or hostname, time to live (TTL), and the domain the records point to. A priority setting assigns the main server that will first receive emails.

How do you set up MX records for a domain name?

More than knowing the answer to what are MX records, you should also learn how to create MX records. The process of setting up MX records for domain names varies per provider. However, generally, you need to log into your domain hosting solution’s control panel. Afterward, go to DNS settings and DNS records. You will then be able to manage the DNS and find Mail Exchanger (or MX).

cPanel MX Entry tool.

You’ll have to provide the necessary details, such as the priority number. Use the @ symbol in the host record column and enter your domain name in the Points To part. For the TTL, you can stick to the default time, like four hours, or change it accordingly.

How to manually add MX records.

Once done, just click Save or Create Record to apply the settings. If you wish to edit your MX records, simply choose the domain name you want to change. Select Edit, provide the new information, and click Save again. It can take a while, up to 24 hours, to reflect the changes.

Conclusion 🧐

MX records dictate which mail server accepts emails for your domain and where emails sent to your domain must be routed to. By learning how to access, create, or modify your MX records, you can maintain solid and successful email operations.

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