Website Terminology Glossary
An MX record (Mail Exchange record) is a type of DNS (Domain Name System) record that specifies which mail server is responsible for handling emails sent to a specific domain name. MX records are essential for email communication because they help route emails to the correct mail server.
When someone sends an email, the email is sent to the recipient’s domain name (e.g., example.com). The sender’s mail server then checks the domain name’s MX record to determine which mail server to send the email to. The MX record specifies the priority and hostname of the mail server responsible for handling incoming emails for that domain. If the first mail server is not available, the next server in the list is tried until the email is successfully delivered.
For example, if the MX record for example.com specifies the mail server mail.example.com with a priority of 10 and another mail server backup.example.com with a priority of 20, the sender’s mail server will attempt to deliver the email to mail.example.com first. If that server is unavailable, it will try backup.example.com.
MX records are important for ensuring email delivery and maintaining reliable email service for a domain. They can be managed and updated through a domain registrar or hosting provider.