I’m stuck on a basic dns issue here "I think". I can send email but unable to receive.

What I want to achieve is host webfiles of my webpage on and use smtp ip from

I think my A records might be wrong. enter image description here

What is happening is mxtoolbox is picking up as the email server as but the smtp is supposed to be sending from Likely dns issue. I'm just not seeing it.

enter image description here

Yet smtp test looks decent, not perfect but should work. enter image description here

1 Answer 1


When you tell mxtoolbox to "Test Email Server" named jessemacdougall.com, it does exactly what you told it to do. You're not testing "the mail server of domain jessemacdougall.com" - you are testing whether server jessemacdougall.com can successfully receive mail. And if you use the "DNS Lookup" function, the only actually published A record for that name is

I'm guessing that the A record with a Name of just . and a Value of is being rejected by the DNS server as being outside the DNS zone. You probably should delete that record altogether.

(In DNS records, a name that ends in . is supposed to be fully qualified. A name that is only . effectively claims to be one of the root DNS servers of the whole Internet - and you definitely don't want to claim that by accident, hence the sanity check.)

If you want to test the mail reception capabilities of, you should use either the IP address or the name magnifies.jessemacdougall.com. This allows the mxtoolbox to be used to test servers before they are placed into full production use (by pointing the domain's MX records at the server).

You are receiving email because there is a MX record telling the world that the name of the server that handles the mail of domain jessemacdougall.com is actually magnifies.jessemacdougall.com:

jessemacdougall.com.    3600    IN      MX      10 magnifies.jessemacdougall.com.

Because of this record, mail servers on the internet will know to connect to magnifies.jessemacdougall.com i.e. IP address if they have mail to deliver for you.

The receiving mail server of domain jessemacdougall.com does not have to be named jessemacdougall.com. It might even be in another domain altogether, as long as the MX record is correctly set and the server administrator has configured the server to accept mail addressed to the jessemacdougall.com domain.

There is one special case where the mail server name would need to match the domain name. That is when the domain has no MX records at all. But this is poor practice: a valid receiving mail server should have MX record(s) pointing to it. This leaves the A record corresponding to the domain name free for other purposes: in most cases (like yours) it is used for a web server.

In order to clear the "SMTP Banner Check", the email software on would need to state its name as magnifies.jessemacdougall.com in the SMTP Banner. In most cases, this means configuring that name as the canonical hostname in the SMTP software on that host.

Your problems with outgoing email might be caused by your SPF record. When looking up published DNS records of type TXT for your domain, I can currently see:

jessemacdougall.com.    1021    IN      TXT     "v=spf1 -all"
jessemacdougall.com.    1021    IN      TXT     "google-site-verification=U3GFANwgQpWi8WIXsp-zvrb9sqxO5FxW14f5qquz0IU"

The first line is the SPF record. The v=spf1 -all means that any outgoing mail servers not listed in the SPF record should explicitly be considered invalid - but then the record lists no valid outgoing mail servers at all. So effectively, your domain's SPF record is currently saying "this domain will not send any legitimate mail at all: if you see any email claiming to originate from here, it is the result of forgery/malware and should be summarily discarded as spam." No wonder you cannot successfully send anything!

If you want to send outgoing mail to the internet from, the value of the SPF record should instead be:

v=spf1 ip4: -all
  • Thank you for the response! Much appreciated your not wasting your pearls here friend. I made a mistake though; I can send mail but not receive it using qmail. The period. you outline is actually a wildcard/* does your answer change? My proprietary software auto generates the dns so I believe the spf record is fine, however I did try what you suggested with no luck. The spf is currently the way you suggested. Could it take 24-48 hours to propagate? This smells like a software problem i may have to contact the engineer. Nov 17, 2020 at 2:38
  • Your current SPF record seems to have a typo: it currently has value v=spf1 ip:4 -all. It should be ... ip4:<valid sender IP> ... with no space between the ip4: prefix and the IP address.
    – telcoM
    Nov 17, 2020 at 10:17
  • thanks EagleEye, I changed it same effect. Nov 17, 2020 at 17:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.