This is the third in our series on making the most of your MxToolbox account. Today we’ll talk a little about email troubleshooting and what results you can receive from MxToolbox email lookups.
As our name implies, MXToolbox started as a company dedicated to helping customers with email. We continue that with our large number of email related tools and lookups. There are several things you can do with our tools:
Test your Email Server’s DNS Setup
To receive email, you need to have MX records setup for a domain. These can be setup to point to your ISP’s email services, a third-party email service like Gmail or Outlook.com or even an email server sitting in a backroom at your office. Regardless, you need to make sure your MX records are properly setup or no email will find it’s way to you. You can test you MX records with the MxToolbox SuperTool.
Once your email server is online, you need to test it to see if it is accepting email. Our SMTP test gives you multiple subtests to on your email server, including:
- Open Relay – Whether or not your server is an open relay. It should not be.
- Reverse DNS Mismatch – DNS matches the IP address and there is PTR record pointing back from the IP address to the domain.
- Valid Hostname – Checks that reverse DNS is a valid hostname for the DNS.
- Banner Check – Checks that reverse DNS matches the SMTP Banner.
- TLS – Checks that the server supports TLS encryption.
- Connection Time – Checks connection time.
- Transaction Time – Checks total transaction time.
Once your email server is up and running and accepting email, the next question is will your email be accepted by your customers, partners and vendors. Email delivery can be a challenge for companies, especially small companies getting started. MxToolbox has several lookups that can give you insight into whether your email is deliverable or if your deliverability configuration is working beyond the basics of “Am I on a blacklist?”.
- SPF – Check your SPF configuration, which specifies which servers are able to send from your domain.
- DKIM – Verify that you DomainKeys Identified Mail setup is correct and accessible.
- DMARC – Check your DMARC configuration to ensure that others can read it and send you rejected email from your servers and validate email coming from you.
- Email Deliverability – See if your domain is on an email delivery problem list.
Analyze Email Headers
Sometimes email seems to work properly and yet a message takes days to arrive. Sometimes you need to analyze a message to makes sure your system is processing everything correctly or investigate a suspicious email. MxToolbox created a handy email header analyzer just for that purpose. Header Analyzer takes your email headers and runs a complete analysis of hops, delays, and important email delivery information. Use it to decode email delays!
In next topic of this series, we will discuss using DNS lookups.