FAQ - General

How to configure MX and A records for an Exchange Server

MX and A records are used by a DNS server to decide what to do with incoming email. You can set your MX and A records on your domain to tell it to let your exchange server handle any emails sent to the domain. This tutorial aims to provide a thorough understanding of the process of configuring your MX & A records.


NB: Because all website hosting ISP's are different, the steps for changing your MX and A records are likely to be different than shown in this tutorial. For directions on where to go on your hosting control panel in order to change your MX and A records, contact your web host.




First, some general knowledge about DNS records:


DNS records are comprised of 4 parts:

  • Domain - This should be equal to your domain name. In this case, "avapa.co.uk"
  • Type - There are several different types of DNS record, but for the purpose of configuring an Exchange server, we will use MX and A type.
  • Data - This will be either the IP address of your Exchange server or the domain name of your website
  • TTL - This means "Time To Live" and sets the interval for the DNS server to check for DNS record changes. If set to 24 hours for example, the DNS server will use the last seen DNS record for 24 hours before checking for any changes and using the new DNS record if it has changed.


In order to set up your domain MX and A records for use with an Exchange server you need to create two new DNS records like this:


Record 1:

  • Domain = "yourdomain.com"
  • Type = A
  • Data = "Your exchange server's external IP address"
  • TTL = 5 minutes


Record 2:

  • Domain = "yourdomain.com"
  • Type = MX
  • Data = "yourdomain.com"
  • TTL = 5 minutes


After about 5 minutes your DNS record changes should be reflected on the domain. At this point, try sending a test email. If you recieve it through your Exchange server the DNS records have been updated. At this point you should change the TTL of BOTH DNS records to a longer period, e.g. 24 hours. This will make queries to the DNS server respond faster.


And your done! for information about how to setup an exchange server go here:


Tutorial for setting up / configuring a Microsoft Exchange 6 Server

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This FAQ was last updated on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

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