Backstory: I bungled things a bit the other day, and inadvertantly deleted the DNS overrides for my domain including the MX records that point to Google Apps, causing 2 days of lost emails.

What I want: I want to be able to monitor the email address/account so that I can be alerted if for any reason something has gone wrong and emails aren't arriving.

Thoughts: I was thinking there might be a way to test the email without having to send an actual message. Does this exist? This wouldn't help if the DNS has reset itself to a different mailserver would it?

The other idea was sending periodic emails to check the address it working. How would you automate this? You'd need to somehow check that the email address had arrived as well as checking if it had bounced.

Are there any scripts that exist that would do something like this? What would be the best method? Maybe a combination of checking that the MX records for the domain are set to what they're supposed to be set to, and sending automatic test emails to check that things are still functioning on the Google Apps end?

1 Answer 1


The keyword here is "email round trip monitoring". If you google it you will find hosted providers. As far as scripting this yourself, you only need to combine two scripts:

  • Send email via SMTP
  • Poll for this email via POP or IMAP

There are billons of scripts for these two functions availabe ;-)

The other option is to use iMacros or Selenium and script this via a web email interface by automating a web browser (if your email server has a webmail interface).

  • Thank you so much! Sometimes it really is just a matter of knowing what the correct name for something is :)
    – Acorn
    Mar 12, 2011 at 23:03

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