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The MX record from nslookup tells the address of an MX server. In the email client, this address can actually be entered on both [incoming email server] and [outgoing email server], will this work?

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When I ping mail.netvigator.com, smtp.netvigator.com and pop.netvigator.com. I always get three different addresses. The smtp server is for email sending and pop server is for email retrieval. Then what is the use of mail.netvigator.com? –  bobo Nov 30 '09 at 16:10
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smtp.netvigator.com is only for the customers of your ISP. mail.netvigator.com seems to be an older mail server (at least it runs an older version of InterMail than smtp.netvigator.com). Last but not least: Why don't you just read the FAQ (cs.netvigator.com/support/technical_support_e.html) of this provider? –  joschi Nov 30 '09 at 17:45
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3 Answers

up vote 0 down vote accepted

It could work if your provider hosts its mail infrastructure on only one machine.

Usually bigger ISPs use seperate machines for receiving mails (the MX hosts which are listed in the domain name system), sending mails (only with authentication) and serving mails (POP3/IMAP).

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sorry, not true. The provider might have the mail architecture on other machines, and have a port forwarding mechanism to redirect connections to 25/110 to other machines behind a NAT. –  lorenzog Nov 30 '09 at 12:54
    
@lorenzog: your comment is gibberish. I'm not sure why you downvoted joschi's answer, but I upvoted it because it is, in a nutshell, accurate. Most large email providers separate their receiving and sending email servers, regardless of whether they use NAT or not. I'm not sure how your comment regarding NAT is relevant to the question. Furthermore, your answer is also gibberish and doesn't directly answer the question being asked. –  joeqwerty Nov 30 '09 at 13:28
    
@lorenzog: That's why I wrote it could work, but usually it won't. –  joschi Nov 30 '09 at 14:56
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The MX record for your domain tells the Internet where to forward mail to get it to you. If you have only one SMTP server this should be the MX. If that same server also has a working IMAP and POP server on it, then yes that will work.

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First of all, a MX record is the address of the server handling SMTP for that domain. For example,

$ host -t mx google.com google.com mail is handled by 10

google.com.s9a1.psmtp.com. google.com mail is handled by 10 google.com.s9a2.psmtp.com. google.com mail is handled by 10 google.com.s9b1.psmtp.com. google.com mail is handled by 10 google.com.s9b2.psmtp.com.

The fact that the address can be entered both in incoming/outgoing does not actually mean much. Yes, it does work but nothing prevents that domain's ISP from having different domains all handled by the same host (advertised as MX).

Furthermore, your own ISP might block all traffic going to SMTP servers but his own, in a (futile, anyhow) attempt to reduce spam. Thus you might have to use a different SMTP server, based on where you connect from. And combination of the above.

In short - to answer your question: yes, it might work. But even if it does, it would not mean anything meaningful.

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