Domain Name Healthcheck

Posted on the 28th February 2010

Domain names are important in today’s businesses providing companies with an online presence. Traditionally domains act as an address for your website and email but now are also used for both IT and marketing.

The majority of domains are configured incorrectly, this exposes your business to security risks and can result in poor email and website performance.

Is your domain configured correctly?

SPF records
SPF (Sender Policy Framework) records should be configured on every domain specifying what servers are allowed to send email. This will reduce the chance of your email getting caught in spam filters and will also provide greater security to your domain reducing the chance of domain spoofing. A SPF record is setup using the “TXT” record in your DNS control panel.

Unrealiable nameservers can cause email and web downtime. Its important that the nameservers your using are setup correctly to provide an efficient service. Using websites like intoDNS will report on the namesevers your domain uses and will show any configuration warnings and errors.

MX records
MX records directs email to the correct server. If your domain is using only one MX record then you are increasing the risk of email downtime. If the server that receives your email goes down or has a connection issue your email will start bouncing back to the sender and you will never receive that email. This is most likely when your hosting your own email system in house for example Microsoft Exchange or a small business server. To prevent your email bouncing you should have a second MX record setup pointing to another server. Then if for your email server is down your email will start queueing on the backup server until your server is ready to recieve email again, this prevents emails from boucning and means if there is an issue you will still receive your email. Radweb offer a Backup MX record service giving your email the stability it needs.

Reverse DNS
To be able to send emails to email hosts like AOL , BT, Yahoo and similar RDNS needs to be setup on your IP address. This means the IP address that sends email needs to  resolve to a DNS entry. If your routing emails out from an in-house email server then it can be hard if not impossible to get RDNS setup on the IP supplied by your ISP. Its usually recommended to use a Smarthost to route emails which will then remove the need of having to setup RDNS on your IP address.