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I'm soon going to transfer a client from an existing server elsewhere. Their current server uses the following for its incoming and outgoing mail settings:

example.com

My client has over 20 email accounts on the server, and all connected to each of his staffs computers, phones etc. So, after setting his account up on the VPS with cPanel, it now automatically set the incoming and outgoing to:

mail.example.com

Is it possible to get it to work without the mail. ? So he won't have to go on every computer and phone etc for all 20 accounts and update the incoming and outgoing server settings.

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If the example.com and mail.example.com DNS records point to the same IP address (which is generally the case with shared hosting setups), then yes, it will work without the mail subdomain.

To check, run the following commands:

nslookup mail.example.com
nslookup example.com

However, you may want to take advantage of SSL encryption on the connections, which may require you to use mail.example.com or another hostname entirely depending on what SSL certificate is used.

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