April 2010 Newsletter – Ping Tool

MxToolBox Ping is one of the free tools provided by MxToolBox to help you determine if Inbound and Outbound mail flow is working.

As System Administrators, most of us are familiar with using the ping command as a tool to see if a host is unreachable or unavailable. Ping works by sending Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) echo request packets to the intended host and waits for a response. If a response does not occur, it will fail and return blank packets. If a response does happen, the results will be returned in the form of response packets.

At MxToolBox we wanted to harness the power of ping in a different manner to help administrators troubleshoot their Inbound and Outbound Mail Flow. We have created a quick and easy tool to do this. Simply send an email from your network to ping@mxtoolbox.com and the tool will look at the email headers of your message and send you a notification back immediately. Please note that the subject and body do not matter. The response email will include several helpful troubleshooting tools including your Outbound IP, server hops, any transaction times or delays and it can help trace the route your email is taking to discover any outbound gateways you might be using.

An example of what the email looks like when it comes back from ping@mxtoolbox.com is below and a few of the features have been highlighted:

  1. This is your Outbound IP Address
  2. Link back to Blacklist Tool. We would highly recommend setting up a Blacklist Alert through our Free Server Monitoring Tool. If this is configured, you will get an automatic alert if your server becomes Blacklisted.
  3. Link back to our SMTP Diagnostics Tool. We would highly recommend setting up a SMTP Alert through our Free Server Monitoring Tool. If this is configured, you will get an automatic alert if your server becomes unreachable.
  4. Transaction time on this email and an explanation of the actual transaction times and hops. The hops will also include any delays if they are present.
  5. Other Misc Headers


While this is one of our favorite free tools, we have even more tools available on our website. Be sure to check out the MX Record ToolBlacklist ToolSMTP Diagnostic ToolFree Server MonitoringSPF ToolDNS Lookup and more!

If you are not able to resolve your mail server problems or have other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us or view our Email Business Products.

March Newsletter
Introducing the MxToolBox Super Tool

From all of us at MxToolBox, thank you for your business and your time.

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