MXroute website (domain) mail solution

MXroute domain email solution

Updated: 04/12/2019.

In this post I’ll explain what is MXroute email service and how it is set up and used. Read these instructions from the start to the end – to get an idea of what needs to be done. Then, on the “second go”, follow the instructions step by step, without skipping. It is important in order to avoid any problems.

Contents:

  1. What is MXroute mail service?
  2. Starting with MXroute
  3. Adding (your) domain
  4. Adding an email address
  5. DNS setup – IMPORTANT
    …5.1. DKIM DNS setup
  6. Testing – DON’T SKIP THIS
  7. Spam filter and catch-all email setup
  8. IMPORTANT: setup with website hosting control panel


1. What is MXroute mail service?

Simply put: it is a post-box. Enabling you to send emails from your domain addresses so they arrive to their destination (recipients) and to have all the emails sent to you reach your inbox. That is, instead of using [email protected], you can set up [email protected] This looks a lot more professional with business communication and it is also cool to have an email address with your domain. 🙂

Note: email delivery is not the most reliable thing in the world, because of the protocol used for it. It is based on technology from the end of the previous century. In fact, because of the enormous amount of spam, I’d say it’s even more complicated and less reliable now. Hence, based on my knowledge and experience, anyone claiming they can 100% guarantee email delivery is either consciously lying, or just not experienced enough. Good quality mail services still offer the largest possible probability of emails being successfully delivered. Nothing more and nothing less.

MXroute company started in 2013 with a goal to offer reliable and affordable domain email delivery and exchange. Its founders are Jarland Donnell and Ryan Arp.

Other similar services are MS Exchange (Microsoft) and G-suite (Google). More on them perhaps some other time.


2. Starting with MXroute

After paying for the package you opt for, you’ll get an email with control panel login information, including the username and password.

  • I suggest, just like with hosting services, that you sign up with an email that will not be used with MXroute (gmail, yahoo, or something third) – so you have a means of communication in case of any problems.
  • Also change the login password – just in case.

Password is changed after logging in to the given control panel address (cPanel is used, with a switch to a new panel being considered since the cPanel price rise):

MXroute password change - same as with any cPanel
MXroute password change – same as with any cPanel
Picture 1


3. Adding (your) domain

Domain you chose when registering will already have been created. It is possible to add an unlimited number of additional domains. Current user interface insists on creating a sub-domain, along with a domain. I don’t know why.

Adding domains using MXroute control panel Subdomain has to be added, whether you need it, or not.
Adding domains using MXroute control panel
Subdomain has to be added, whether you need it, or not
Picture 2


4. Adding an email address

After you have created a domain for the address, now you can create an address. This was explained in the post about cPanel email setup, but here I’ll give a short overview, without going in details of why is it done that way.

Choose "Email Accounts" (1) then click "+CREATE" (2) Picture 3
Choose “Email Accounts” (1)
then click “+CREATE” (2)
Picture 3
Choose a domain for which you want to create an email address (1) Choose address and password (2 and 3) Limit mailbox size (4) I prefer to check settings from the cPanel, so this is cleared (5) Click "+CREATE" (6) Picture 4
Choose a domain for which you want to create an email address (1)
Choose address and password (2 and 3)
Limit mailbox size (4)
I prefer to check settings from the cPanel, so this is cleared (5)
Click “+CREATE” (6)
Picture 4

Now it’s time to write down all the mail info, so it can be connected with mail clients (Mozilla Thunderbird, Outlook, Gmail…).

Click on "CONNECT DEVICES"
Click on “CONNECT DEVICES”
Picture 5
Write down all these details, you'll need them. Of course, you can always return here to see them
Write down all these details, you’ll need them. Of course, you can always return here to see them
Picture 6


5. DNS setup – IMPORTANT

Instructions given here are of crucial importance for the proper email functioning.

Log into MXroute portal ( https://portal.mxroute.com/ ).

Choose "My Services" from the MXroute portal
Choose “My Services” from the MXroute portal
Picture 7

Then, in the services list, choose the one where the email you wish to configure was created in.

Just click somewhere in the service area (not the domain, it will take you to your website :) )
Just click somewhere in the service area (not the domain, it will take you to your website 🙂 )
Picture 8
Write down SPF record (copy/paste the part between the quotation marks in a text editor)
Write down Primary MX, Secondary MX and SPF record (copy/paste the part between the quotation marks in a text editor)
Picture 9

Now it’s time to enter the fields into the DNS. Either within cPanel (or another hosting control panel), or a separate DNS if you are using it. I’m using Cloudflare, so I’ll give instructions for it (general instructions for cPanel mail DNS setup).

In any way, you should log into your domain DNS settings (in this case Cloudflare’s DNS settings).

Choose TXT (1), enter your domain name (2), then "click to configure" (3) - it will open a window to add the SPF record When done, click "Add Record" (4)
Choose TXT (1), enter your domain name (2), then “click to configure” (3) – it will open a window to add the SPF record
When done, click “Add Record” (4)
Picture 10

Now you should add Primary and Secondary MX records (from picture 9). When adding these, set priority to 10 for the Primary and 20 for the Secondary MX.

Procedure starts like in the picture 10, only now you should choose “MX” from menu (1), and finally “Add Record (4).

Of course, instead of "primary.mx-record" you should enter your MXroute Primary MX record
Of course, instead of “primary.mx-record” you should enter your MXroute Primary MX record
Picture 11

Repeat the procedure for the Secondary MX, with Priority set to 20, instead of 10.


5.1. DKIM DNS setup

If you wish, now you can setup DKIM records (if not using Cloudflare, give it from a few to 48 hours for DNS propagation to take place). Opinions on the DKIM records are divided: everyone thinks they are obsolete and needless, while I think they should be configured. 🙂

To activate this option, go to MXroute cPanel main menu, choose DKIM, then in the menu shown click “Enable”.

After that, go to: http://dns-record-viewer.online-domain-tools.com

Enter fields as shown in the picture. Host / IP address is: “default._domainkey.YOUR-DOMAIN”, while DNS server is your Primary MX record (picture 9).

Picture is self-explanatory with the paragraph above. Numbers are for reference / questions
Picture is self-explanatory with the paragraph above. Numbers are for reference / questions
Picture 12

After this, you will get DKIM value in two parts. You should copy/paste both parts in a text editor, so they are “glued” – no adding extra spaces between them, before, or after. Such, merged”, value gives that email’s DKIM record value.

Copy/paste (1) and (2) text to a text editor
Copy/paste (1) and (2) text to a text editor
Picture 13

Now this should be added to the DNS as a TXT record.

Copy/paste DKIM value into field (3), with other fields filled in as shown in the picture Click "Add Record" (4)
Copy/paste DKIM value into field (3), with other fields filled in as shown in the picture
Mind the full stop “.” after “default” and before “_”. Click “Add Record” (4)
Picture 14


6. Testing – DON’T SKIP THIS

Before testing, especially if you are not using Cloudflare DNS, for faster propagation of the new DNS records, it might help to flush Google DNS cache.

For a start go to https://dkimvalidator.com to confirm it’s all working.

There you will see an email address to which you should send an email to check if DKIM is setup properly. For sending the email you could use webmail from the cPanel, or set up your mail client for the MXroute (explanation how to set Gmail to use domain email address).

Copy/paste the address to send the email to
Copy/paste the address to send the email to
Picture 15

10 minutes after sending the email, click “View Results” (picture 15).

You should see "pass" in the fields on the screen (scroll down each field)
You should see “pass” in the fields on the screen (scroll down each field)
Picture 16

Test the email with other tools as well – instructions for email testing.

Mail tester suggested in the above linked post recommended using this DMARC DNS record: TXT “_dmarc” with the value “v=DMARC1; p=none”.

That’s it – you’ve solved most of your email receiving and delivery problems… for a while. 🙂

Don’t send spam, don’t forward emails to other addresses (use integration) and it will all be good.

Set up your website for the email (how to set up WordPress to send emails using SMTP).


7. Spam filter and catch-all email setup

If you want to be sure all the emails received will be downloaded to your mail client (Thunderbird, Gmail etc.), so you can “manually” sort out the spam from the legit emails, spam filters can be disabled to a point. This might be useful for business-crucial applications, where it is better to take some spam, than risk missing a (potential, new) client email. For disabling spam filters, set the options as shown in the picture 17:

To be sure you receive all the emails to your integrated email client, you can disable (at your responsibility) your spam filters, then sort it out yourself
To be sure you receive all the emails to your integrated email client, you can disable (at your responsibility) your spam filters, as shown in the picture, then sort it out yourself
Picture 17

This setup will be used for all the mail accounts on your MXroute account.

Catchall email setup is used for emails sent to your domain, but to a non-existent address. Like [email protected] Catchall setup is configured on a per domain level and offer various options. An example of catchall setup is shown in the picture 18:

Choose a domain (1) Choose options - I opted for a notification message (2) You can also set Advanced Options (3) Finally, click "Change" to save the setup (4)
Choose a domain (1)
Choose options – I opted for a notification message (2)
You can also set Advanced Options (3)
Finally, click “Change” to save the setup (4)
Picture 18


8. IMPORTANT: setup within website hosting control panel

After I’ve set it up all nicely, I noticed one problem: emails sent from websites hosted on the same hosting server were ending up on the local server’s email, not on MXroute. If the email account gets deleted from the hosting server, it’s even worse – emails don’t get delivered at all (bounce).

Email(s) ended up on the local website hosting server
Email(s) ended up on the local website hosting server
Picture 19

Louis from MXroute has the solution: setting up mail exchanger to remote. Within cPanel, it is done the following way:

First select "Email Routing" from the "EMAIL" section within cPanel
First select “Email Routing” from the “EMAIL” section within cPanel
Picture 20
Select "Remote Mail Exchanger" (1) and click on "Change" (2)
Select “Remote Mail Exchanger” (1) and click on “Change” (2)
Picture 21

Only after this is a website properly set to use MXroute (or any other external email service – principle is the same).

DirectAdmin setup is a bit different than cPanel:

Choose MX records from the E-mail manager
Choose MX Records from the E-mail manager
Picture 22

Then you need to change options, edit the MX record (if one exists) and add the second MXroute MX record:

Uncheck (1) and click on edit (2)
Uncheck (1) and click on edit (2)
Picture 23
See chapter 5 for primary and secondary MX setup option details
See chapter 5 for primary and secondary MX setup option details
Picture 24

After this, click on “ADD RECORD” (shown in picture 23) and enter the values for secondary MX (it’s Value is 20).

Share...

Leave a Comment