DNS MX settings

Posted on 2009-06-27
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I have one domain registered with a registrar and want all the hosting done on a different server.
I have access to all the DNS-settings. NS, A and MX etc.

Do I just need to edit the primary and secondary DNS-Server, or do I have to change also the MX and A-records which are currently set at the registrar?


Question by:prooffice
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LVL 71

Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 24727209

If you're changing the server that hosts DNS you need to be editing the NS records with your Registrar, not those within the zone itself (as displayed above).

Otherwise the parent servers will continue to direct requests for your domain at ns5/


Author Comment

ID: 24727229
I can also change the NS records over my control-panel.

Of course I am going to change both nameservers first.
But I am not sure, if I have to change the mx and A settings after that, too.

Attached a screenshot of the basic DNS-control-panel.
LVL 71

Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 24727238

Are you moving your mail services as well?

If you are, then I would change them where they are now as well. Until the TTL (Time To Live) expires for the NS records people will still be using your current DNS service to find the MX record.

Do bear in mind that the MX record have a TTL as well, until that has expired mail will still end up on the current system (gradually changing over to the new system).

Otherwise, modifying the Name Server entries above would render the contents of the zone (in the first post) irrelevant.

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Author Comment

ID: 24727296
Yes I want to move the website including webspace and email.

So, if I keep both (old and new) systems working and change the NS-records, for about 24 hours some mail might end up on the old system and some at the new system. After approx. 24 hours everything should end up on the new system, only. Is that correct?
LVL 71

Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 24727362

If you don't change the MX records where they are now, worst case is 27 hours for full change-over (24 hour TTL on NS, plus 3 hour TTL on MX).

If you do change the MX, worst case is 3 hours change-over for e-mail. Domain services will still take 24 hours to completely change.

Same applies for the website (if that's moving), if you change the address on the current servers, worst case is 3 hours.

3 hours in each case is based on the current TTL for your records (rather than a number I pulled out of the air :)).


Author Comment

ID: 24727378
Many thanks! Clarified a lot things for me, already.

Worst case means I have to keep both systems running and have to check for my emails at both servers for 3 to 27 hours, depending on what settings I will apply?
But I still wouldn't lose any mails, even in the worst case of 27 hours for full change-over?
LVL 71

Accepted Solution

Chris Dent earned 500 total points
ID: 24727436

Will both mail systems be available for the duration of the change-over? There's no reason to lose any mail if they are.

The only instances I've seen mail lost in these situations is where an ISP removes the configuration allowing delivery to the original system.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 31597311
Both systems will be available during the change-over.

Many thanks!

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