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I had a small issue with an email address recently, after a few changes of MX records with the help from my hosting company these were resolved.

I have tested the email address from multiple accounts, my server, gmail, aol, hotmail etc.

I have tested the MX records using a look-up service - and they are the correct records given to me by my hosting company.

However, I have been told some users are still getting emails bounced back to them, I am soon to find out the exact errors (I will have to wait a couple of days to get these).

Is there a tool I can use to test the email address that is more advanced than a MX lookup record - perhaps a way of pinging it from different servers and seeing what the response is.

The changes to the MX records were made over 48 hours ago - I am assuming that should be plenty of time to avoid email bouncing back.

Any tips and tools or article links are much appreciated.

Many Thanks

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Lawrence, Would you please clarify if you are referring to inbound bounces or outbound bounces? Is the user having trouble receiving email, this would be an inbound bounce. - or - Is the user having trouble sending email, this would be an outbound bounce. Thanks... – condiosluzverde Oct 15 '09 at 18:16
checkout I've been using them for over a year and very happy with their toolset. – Saif Khan Oct 31 '09 at 3:42

Not everyone uses MX records for their e-mail, so servers expecting A records to resolve to a usable mailhost (where there is none) will still get bounces.

Also, 48 hours is not always long enough for all caching servers to update, though it should be enough time...

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Who doesn't use MX records for sending mail? That would be a totally new thing to me and seemingly a very very broken way to operate. – Ben Oct 15 '09 at 20:11
Anyone not using the MX record has no way to know which A record is the mail server if there is more than one. You can't identify it based on mail received from their system either. – John Gardeniers Oct 16 '09 at 6:47
Any number of older sendmail installs default to standard DNS lookups. – kmarsh Oct 16 '09 at 11:54
If I'm not mistaken, MX records are not required and if there is no MX record for the domain then a sending email server will look for an A record for the domain and send the email there. If there is no domain A record (only host A records) then the email will not be sent. Granted, it wouldn't be considered standard practice to not have an MX record. – joeqwerty Oct 16 '09 at 15:16

imho, the best way to test is by sending real email to/from multiple sources like you have done.

and if you tested all ok, then might/could be problem on the sender smtp.

if you can attach full header on the error mail returned, then we can analyze further into it.

if you want to dig into the smtp, you can use telnet:

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Try using telnet - see the info in this article (which should be useful, even if you are not dealing with an Exchange server or on Windows):

How to Use Telnet to Test SMTP Communication

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FYI - Telnet is not Windows specific. In fact it was adopted from the Unix world. – John Gardeniers Oct 16 '09 at 6:48
Good point. Thanks for that reminder (I'm getting old....) – condiosluzverde Oct 16 '09 at 15:03

Thanks everyone for your replies. I eventually got to the bottom of this one, it turned out that when the domain had been added to the provider (godaddy) there was an issue with the MX records not having the word 'europe' within the address.

Their panel and interface made it hard to access and change this due to the way the domain had been pointed from one provider using name servers and IP address.

Simple answer was to move the domain to Godaddy so I had full control, all panels could be accessed and updated easily.

On a side note, be carefull when using Godaddy hosting and php - you have to use a php5.ini command to get it to default to php 5 - before I knew this I was getting huge timeout errors.

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Don't forget that SORBS and other unfriendly blacklists may cause your mail to bounce when your MX record changes and again if you don't have a matching A record to go with the MX record.

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