I'm trying to point a domain to my internal exchange server

Posted on 2006-05-18
Last Modified: 2012-06-22
Hi all,

My company has an Exchange 2000 server running on W2K server.  We have only been using it for internal mail and have been using an outside company to host our internet mail.  Due to a recent problem with this company I have been instructed to investigate taking control of our email.  I purchased a domain for testing, changed the A record to point to the WAN address of my firewall, and set a rule to route SMTP to the internal address of my exchange server.  Now for the questions!

What should I be pointing the MX record for the domain to?  Should it be pointing to or some reference to my internal server?

Should I change the default DNS addresses that come with or should I change them to the ones provided by my ISP?

I have already added the domain in recipients on the exchange server.

Anyone have a link to a simple how to guide for setting something like this up?

Basicly I have an internal mail server and a firewall.  I want to send mail from outside to the internal mail server.  I've tried sending mail to the new domain and this is the response I'm getting.

Permanent Failure: Bad destination system address

Obviously I've got something wrong.

Thanks for the help!
Question by:joepackaging
    LVL 104

    Accepted Solution

    MX records point to hosts only.
    Therefore if you have setup an A record of to point to, then you set the MX record to point to

    Thats it. Nothing else needs to be changed.
    You already have the domain in recipient policy.
    Don't change the DNS servers - there is no need.

    LVL 7

    Assisted Solution

    in a simple single ip scenario you would typically have a single A record ( and an MX record that would be reference the aforementioned A record.

    so if you have a single ip of and you have the follow should exist:

    mail      IN      A
    @      IN      MX      10

    thats what it sounds like you need to do at least.  That will allow public mailservers to find your email server and deliver accordingly.
    LVL 95

    Assisted Solution

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Set your MX record to point to your mail server BY NAME.  If your mail (exchange) server is, then you need:

    A record for
    MX record pointing to

    Make these entries on whatever your primary name server is according to your registrar.

    And as you have, you need port 25 open (if you have a T1 you almost certainly have the all ports open as far as the ISP is concerned.  If you have DSL or cable, you MAY need to contact them and make sure the ports are open.

    LVL 26

    Assisted Solution

    The MX record can point to any name you long as that name resolves to your external IP address. "" is one convension, but it doesn't need to be.

    You can leave controlling the dns...but make sure the records are correct. You need an MX record pointing to some name ( and that name needs an A record for the external ip address of your network (assuming your exchange server don't have a public IP).  

    Then you need to forward port 25 on your firewall (the ip that points to) to your internal exchange server. If you let us know what kind of firewall you have, we can help you do this too.

    Then it should work, assuming the dns changes have propagated.
    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution

    you need a mx record pointing to or
    if you use the latter, you need to make sure will resolve to your ip

    Author Comment

    I have a sonicwall 3060 with enchanced OS.  Just occured to me.  Do I need to point the A record to the Wan interface  public address or the gateway address?
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    You need to point it to whatever address is visible to the world.

    If all traffic goes through that, visit and use the address it reports.

    Author Comment

    I think I see my mistake.  When I changed the A record at I forgot to put "mail" in.  so it was actually pointing to instead of  Well, 12 to 24 hours before I can test.  I'll let you all know.

    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Some DNS servers update right away and may not take that long - you may also want to consider hosting your own DNS to have better control over this.  In conjunction with a third party, such as, you can have a reliable DNS setup (I use it for my own domains and have been hosting my own domains for about 1.5 years now with no problems).
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    For does this sound right?

    A Record points to

    MX Record
    Host Name  Priority  Mail Server
    -------------------------------------------------------   High


    Write Comment

    Please enter a first name

    Please enter a last name

    We will never share this with anyone.

    Featured Post

    Why spend so long doing email signature updates?

    Do you spend loads of your time carrying out email signature updates? Not very interesting are they? Don’t let signature updates get you down. Let Exclaimer Cloud - Signatures for Office 365 make managing email signatures a breeze.

    Granting full access permission allows users to access mailboxes present in their database. By giving full access permission one can open and read the content of any mailbox but cannot send emails from that mailbox.
    ADCs have gained traction within the last decade, largely due to increased demand for legacy load balancing appliances to handle more advanced application delivery requirements and improve application performance.
    In this video we show how to create a mailbox database in Exchange 2013. We show this process by using the Exchange Admin Center. Log into Exchange Admin Center.: First we need to log into the Exchange Admin Center. Navigate to the Servers >> Data…
    how to add IIS SMTP to handle application/Scanner relays into office 365.

    737 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    21 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now