MX only or MX+A for Email server? Beside, why multiple locations?

I’m trying to set up my own Email server(s). It looks I need to add 2 DNS records, one MX and one A records ??

Type     Hostname                      Value                            TTL (seconds)
* MX     10     14400
* A                    3699

However, after I specify these 2 records, I checked Networking->Domains again:

Domains:                                                Directs to                                   multiple locations
2 A / 1 CNAME / 1 MX / 3 NS	

Why multiple locations? And is it OK to keep it as multiple locations?

After a while, I tried to telnet on the server:

jiapei@SERVERNAME:~$ telnet 25
Connected to
Escape character is '^]'.
250-SIZE 11534336
250 DSN

After a while, I tried to telnet from my laptop

➜  ~ telnet 25
telnet: Unable to connect to remote host: Connection timed out

But, telnet hangs there…

I seriously have NO idea where I’m wrong? Can anybody give me a hand please?

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DigitalOcean Employee
DigitalOcean Employee badge
February 13, 2019
Accepted Answer

Hey friend,

Great questions! I wouldn’t worry about the multiple locations thing, that’s not a terribly important statement at this stage. You are correct that an MX record needs to be a hostname, so if you’re running the mail server yourself you’ll need an A record and then you’ll reference that A record as the MX record. MX cannot be direct IPs, basically. They’re just alias records, much like a CNAME.

As for your laptop, I would propose that either software on the laptop is blocking port 25 or the laptop is on a network that is blocking port 25. Try from another server to that one. If it still fails, reach out to our support team and see if SMTP is blocked on your account. If so, they may have a solution for you.


Thank you Jarland for your prompt reply. Thank you very much…

  1. FIRST of ALL: Please check

  2. I noticed that two main local Internet Service Provider, say, Telus and Shaw Cable, both blocked the port 25 in order to avoid SPAM. Details can be found at: TELUS HSIA Security Measures Policy and Shaw Cable: Is Port 25 (STMP) Blocked?

I wonder if there anything else that I can do for my DigitalOcean Email Server setup?

Thank you very much Pei

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