MX record or Mail Exchanger is one of the most essential Domain Name System record types. In this article, we will take a detailed look at its main purpose, how it looks and why it is so beneficial. Let’s start.

What is a DNS record?

DNS records are text instructions. They provide them to the DNS server, allowing it to determine which domain names each IP address belongs to. They’re small and easy to update, and their size varies depending on the query type. We are humans, and we remember domain names, not different and complicated IP addresses. But computers can’t read these domain names. So they must rely on records to comprehend and decipher words. That is, they turn the text file into machine-readable numbers.

MX record – the main purpose

MX record is one of the most utilizing DNS records. Its abbreviation stands for Mail Exchange. What does it mean? It contains information for sending email servers, such as the name of the responsible server for accepting emails on behalf of the domain. So it establishes a link between the domain name and the inbound mail server.

How does it work?

Mail Exchange record works in a simple way:

  1. First, someone wants to send an email to example@info.com. Then the outgoing mail server sees the domain name, and it will query it to see where its name servers are located.
  2. Second, this domain name (in our example info.com) will reply with one or more MX records. So you will exactly see the servers permitted to receive info.com email.
  3. In the final step, the sender obtains the MX records. It determines which host or hosts are responsible for receiving emails and requests the servers’ IP addresses.

Structure of Mail Exchange record

If you want to understand MX record better, you have to know what it looks like:

TYPE: MX record – here, you have to enter the record type

HOST: domain name – here, you have to enter the domain name 

POINTS TO: your receiving email server’s hostname

PRIORITY: 20 – The importance of the mail is indicated by a number ranging from 0 to 65535. The lower the number, the higher the priority.

TTL: 1h – Time-to-live value. It indicates the time this record will be saved in the cache memory.

Why is the MX record beneficial?

Yes, it is absolutely advantageous. Here are the main two of its benefits:

  • MX records can assist in ensuring that email servers are evenly distributed. So that one does not perform all of the work while the other remains idle.
  • Mail exchangers can help against spam emails. Basically, a spam filter provider replaces the inbound email server. Notes are scanned for viruses and other dangerous information by the system. Valid objects move through, but questionable items are held back, returned, or deleted.

Conclusion

You are now familiar with one of the most critical DNS record types – MX record. To sum up, it provides essential data for which mail servers accept your domain’s inbound mail and where emails delivered to your domain should be directed to. This can greatly help your business run smoothly and without problems. So, don’t hesitate and make an MX record!