MX-record: how does it work?

Mail Exchange (MX) records are DNS records that are necessary for delivering email to your address. In simple DNS terms, an MX record is used to tell the world which mail servers accept incoming mail for your domain and where emails sent to your domain should be routed to. If your MX records are not pointed to the correct location, you will not receive email. An MX-record (Mail eXchange-record) is a type of resource record in the Domain Name System (DNS). This is the system that, among other indicates to what specific IP address emails need to be sent.

The MX-record contains the host name of the computer(s) that handle the emails for a domain and a prioritization code. Emails are routed through to the IP address which is set in the A-record of the host.

The A-record (or address-record) determines which IP address belongs to a domain name. This record 'translates' the domain name to an IP address.

The mail server is called and, this can be used in the MX-record. MX records consist of two parts: the priority and the domain name.The lower the number means a higher priority. Outgoing email servers connect to the MX servers in order of priority. If you use more than one MX record and both have the same priority, it picks one at random. This in effect load balances the connections. Changing your MX records only points where new email is sent and does not migrate old email to the new email hosting company. 

Example of an MX-record:

  • Domain:
  • Mail exchanger:
  • Priority: 10
  • Mail exchanger:
  • Priority: 20

All emails sent to [email protected], will be sent to the mail server or and handled per configuration (forward / catch-all / blackhole)

Who controls my MX records?

Your MX records are controlled at the company where your Nameservers are pointed. all DNS changes (including custom MX records) are made in your domain controlpanel.

All DNS changes (including custom MX records) must be done at the company that hosts your nameservers. If you want to use @Emailforward-hosted mail service with a domain, you can set up custom mail DNS records at your outside DNS provider using the @Emailforward mail DNS information from your domain controlpanel. 

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