Is there a whois equivalent to find out the hosting details for email?

5 Answers 5


The MX record is part of the DNS record for a domain name; you can look at the record directly, or just use a website like MX toolbox: http://www.mxtoolbox.com/SuperTool.aspx?action=mx%3agmail.com

This will direct you to the address of the mail server.

However, this isn't always the actual mail server - in some environments this is actually the address of the spam filter, which forwards the messages to the actual mail server where they are stored.

  • 1
    +1. I was going to post the same answer until I read yours. As you said, the MX record is not always a direct indication of where the email is actually hosted.
    – joeqwerty
    Sep 4, 2010 at 11:28
  • What about private registration?
    – Chris
    Sep 4, 2010 at 11:55
  • 2
    What do you mean? It's irrelevant whether or not the domain registration is private. If the owner of the domain wants to recieve email at the domain then he\she needs an MX record (or barring that, an A record for the domain) to tell sending MTA's where to send email for the domain. As Mitch stated in his answer, the MX record is not a direct indicator of where the email is actually hosted.
    – joeqwerty
    Sep 4, 2010 at 12:30

look up the MX record in DNS.

on windows: at cmd prompt:

nslookup <enter>
set type=MX <enter>
hotmail.com <enter>
  • +1. Don't forget exit <enter> :)
    – jscott
    Sep 4, 2010 at 11:00
  • haha.. why would you ever want to exit nslookup! good point though, i always mess that up with quit Sep 4, 2010 at 11:07
  • superb dude....
    – PravD
    Feb 23, 2017 at 6:38

The host command will show you.

$ host serverfault.com
serverfault.com has address
serverfault.com mail is handled by 50 aspmx3.googlemail.com.
serverfault.com mail is handled by 10 aspmx.l.google.com.
serverfault.com mail is handled by 20 alt1.aspmx.l.google.com.
serverfault.com mail is handled by 30 alt2.aspmx.l.google.com.
serverfault.com mail is handled by 40 aspmx2.googlemail.com.

You could also use dig: dig yourdomain.com mx


Here's a quick command to check the MX records of a domain;

nslookup -q=mx email.startupschool.org

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