I'm confused with my DNS records. I own a domain (e.g. example.com).

I've set A record for my SMTP server (e.g. smtp.example.com) for outgoing emails. The email address is (e.g. person1@example.com).

I've set A record for my POP3 server (e.g. pop3.example.com) for incoming emails.

  1. What is my correct MX records? Should it point to (smtp.example.com) or (pop3.example.com) or both?
  2. What is my correct PTR records? Should it be done on (example.com) or (smtp.example.com) or (pop3.example.com) or all 3?

Thanks for any advice


The MX record must point to the SMTP server handling incoming mails.

So when you ask the question whether the MX record should point to the outgoing SMTP server, the POP3 server or both, then the answer is no.

Obviously the POP3 server and the incoming SMTP server must be somehow tied to each other, but they don't have to be on the same IP. If they are on the same IP, you can point your MX record to the name of the POP3 server.

You should create one PTR record on each of your IP addresses. It is important that the PTR record point to a valid name, and that this name points back to the IP address. If you have multiple names pointing to the same IP, just pick one of them.

Some receivers require your outgoing SMTP server to send the same hostname as the one you have in the PTR record.

  • 1
    Small clarification here, PTR records must be implemented by the entity owning the IP address block. In many cases, that is different from the domain owner. – Tero Kilkanen Aug 13 '14 at 11:33
  • @TeroKilkanen Good point. I have even come across a case where the owner of the IP block didn't know this. – kasperd Aug 13 '14 at 12:22

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