SpamWall Operations Manual

Setting Up MX Records

MX is an acronym for "Mail eXchange". An "MX record" is a DNS record used to define the mail server host(s) that accept email for a given domain.

The MX Record for a domain is contained in the DNS zone file for the domain on the DNS server or servers that provide service for the domain.

In order to modify the MX record for a domain to route email for that domain to your SpamWall system for processing the simplest method would be to replace the IP address associated with the "pop" or "mail" record, which is usually the IP address of your existing mail server, with the IP address of your SpamWall system.

These records would look something like this:

domain.com.      IN      MX      0        pop
domain.com.      IN      MX      10       pop 

pop              IN      A       192.168.173.100
      

In this case, the primary and secondary MX records for “domain.com” are associated with the “pop” host name (sometimes this is alternatively called "mail"), which itself has an “A” record set up to map it to the "192.168.173.100" IP address of the existing mail server that accepts email for the domain.

In this example all that you would need to do to route email to your SpamWall system for processing is to replace the "192.168.173.100" IP address with the IP address of your SpamWall system.

The modified record would look something like the following, with the "216.55.101.xxx" reference being the IP address of your SpamWall system:

domain.com.      IN      MX      0        pop
domain.com.      IN      MX      10       pop 

pop              IN      A       216.55.102.xxx
      

Another option would be to set up an “A” record for “spamwall.yourdomain.com” which is mapped to the IP address of your SpamWall system and then associate the MX records with the “spamwall” host name. In this case the MX record entries would look like this:

domain.com.      IN      MX      0      spamwall
domain.com.      IN      MX      10     spamwall

spamwall         IN      A       216.55.102.xxx
      

Using "spamwall" or another alternative host name as the MX host for your SpamWall system would be the preferred option if the "pop", "mail" and other similar host names are in use for other purposes, this being for instance if your email users are using the "pop.yourdomain.com" or "mail.yourdomain.com" host names as the POP and/or SMTP server host names in their email client applications.

After making modifications to the DNS zone file for a domain either by editing the zone file directly or by using a control panel for this purpose you may need re-start the DNS server in order to make these changes "live".

If you do not have access to the DNS zone file for your domain then the technical administrator of your domain, which would likely either be your ISP or web hosting provider, should be able to modify the MX records for you.

If you require any advice or assistance with modifying the MX records for your domain to route email to your SpamWall system you can contact support for assistance with this.

If the provider of DNS services for your domain provides you with access to a control panel system for modification of DNS records you will need to consult the documentation associated with the service in order to determine how to re-map the MX record for your domain to your SpamWall system.

If your DNS service provider is unable to assist you with the modification or re-mapping of your MX record you should contact support for advice and assistance with this.

Note that due to distributed nature of the DNS system the MX records you have modified or set up to route email to your SpamWall system may not result in all email being directed to your SpamWall system immediately. It may take up to 24 hours or more for the new MX information to propagate (be available to all other DNS servers) across the Internet so that all email for any given domain is directed to your SpamWall system.

Until propagation is fully completed some email for your domain may be directed to your SpamWall system and some may continue to be directed to your regular email server however no email will be lost or mis-directed during this transition.

If you have any questions about the modification of MX records or re-direction of email for your domain to your SpamWall system or if you require any advice or assistance with any action related to this you should contact support for assistance.

More information on the various features and services available on the SpamWall systems can be found in the SpamWall Product Overview section of this guide.

 

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