Let’s Find A Site’s MX Records

Today’s article is going to be rather specific and brief, as we learn how to find a site’s MX records. This isn’t something everyone is going to need to know, but it’s useful for debugging an email issue when you’re hosting websites. So, some folks are going to find it useful – and will then know how to find a site’s MX records. Read on!

I suppose most of my readers will not know what an MX record is…

In short, an MX (Mail Exchange) record is another DNS (Domain Name System) record. In this case, it is used to route emails to the correct server (via the IP address, basically). From there, your server will route the emails to individual email inboxes.

Basically, you want to know this information when things go pear-shaped with your emails or maybe when you’re using a 3rd party email service provider. There are reasons why people will want this information, they will want to find a site’s MX records.

Additionally, I figured I’d do this article now while ‘dig’ is still fresh in our memory. After all, I’ve used dig in the previous two articles and this is the final dig-related topic that I can think of. Here are the previous two articles, if you’re not reading these articles in order and are unfamiliar with the dig command:

How To: Find A Website’s IP Address
How To: Find A Site’s Nameservers

So, with all that in mind, let’s learn how to find a site’s MX records!

How To Find A Site’s MX Records:

Yes, dig is run in the terminal. Yes, you’ll need an open terminal to follow along. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal now open, the syntax for this specific dig command is:

For example, you’d find this site’s MX records with:

If you want, as the other dig commands used recently, you can use the +short flag with this, like so:

The output should look like this:

using the dig command to find a site's MX records
There, you can see this site’s MX records. This is public information. So, gawk away!

You can have more than one MX record, should you want failover but the mail protocol already includes some efforts to resend mail when there’s an outage. That’s irrelevant here, but information that I might as well share.

Also, like the other dig commands covered, you can put the flags at the end, like so:

So, that’s an option. I’m not sure why it’s an option. If anyone has a clue as to why it’s an option, do feel free to share. Heck, even if it’s a wild guess, I’ll take it. But, if you want more information about the dig command, run man dig in your terminal.


There you have it, it’s another article. I think this is the last dig article, but who knows? This time around, we’ve learned how to find a domain’s MX records. For those that need to know, this will be handy.

For everyone else, you’ll likely forget this by tomorrow – and that’s okay. You don’t have to carry all the tools in your toolbox. If you tried, you’d need a very big toolbox and it’d be hard to carry it!

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Review: MetaClean (Clean Exif/meta Data From Email Attachments Automatically)

Today’s article is about MetaClean, a Thunderbird plugin that you can use to automatically clean Exif (and other meta data) from email attachments. This is not the type of article I usually write, but it’s a very interesting extension for the Thunderbird email client. It’s good enough to help make folks aware of it.

Just the other day, I updated this article:

How To: Sanitize Exif Data From Your Digital Images For Privacy Sake

The update was largely a link that went to a study regarding the privacy implications of Exif data. If you’re unfamiliar with Exif data and its importance, I would strongly encourage you to read the article. I’d also strongly encourage you to read the linked article. If you’re concerned with your privacy, or are regulated to be concerned with the privacy of others, this might just be one of the best extensions you’ve ever used.

See, Exif data is just one type of meta data. Lots of files, from pictures to text documents, contain meta data. For example, a file generated by a rich text editor (such as LibreOffice) will contain your username, may contain a record of edits, and may contain a list of usernames that have also edited it. Meta data contains all that and more.

Enter MetaClean…

Note: MetaClean is a proprietary product with an enterprise/business solution that offer their services free for personal use. It’s a closed source product and using it means you trust them to perform the services claimed and adhere to their claims.

The file remains on the server for the time necessary for its processing, depending on the size of the file the processing time varies from 10 milliseconds to 600 milliseconds, after this time the file is removed and it will be impossible to restore it (GDPR compliant).

Read on to learn more about using MetaClean.

MetaClean Automatically Removes Meta Data:

It’s easy enough to add MetaClean to Thunderbird. Just click on Add-Ons and Themes, and then in the search box put “MetaClean.” The search result should contain the extension and you can install it with a single click. It’s remarkably easy.

MetaClean basically uploads all of your attachments to their own server, strips out the meta data (but will leave their own branding in the field, for free users) and then returns the sanitized file to your computer before the email actually sends. I tested this with a number of files and it’s amazingly fast.

Again, it requires that you trust them – and not care that they leave a comment in your meta data. The comment is harmless and won’t lead to you in any way. Your privacy will not be compromised.

Here’s the amazing thing, it not only does all that – but it even works on compressed files – though it only currently supports 7Zip and .zip formats. With them supporting Thunderbird (and it working fine on Linux), we can hope that they’ll expand that to .gz and some folks may like it if it could also work with .rar files. For now, it works just fine with the compressed files I tested.

Meta data is in all sorts of things that you create or touch, though it’s not always a bad thing. It’s sometimes useful to have meta data. I, for one, like to include the ID3 tags with my music files. But, you don’t always want to share the meta data. In fact, in some industries you have to not share it – to be compliant with privacy laws. However, if that’s you, you might be interested in their professional options – where the server that strips the meta data is actually owned and run by you.

Basically, once you’ve added it as an extension, it will automatically sanitize your files – removing any personal meta data from the file. It does this all without any user intervention (once you tell it to automatically do so). If you want to send a file while including the meta information you can also tell the plugin to let that email through with the personal information attached.


It’s really that simple. Just install MetaClean and forget it. You won’t have to wonder if you remembered to sanitize your meta data before you sent it. You can be pretty confident that it was sent without that private data still attached. It’s definitely one of the most beneficial and easiest Thunderbird extensions that I’ve worked with lately.

I realize that I forgot to give it a number rating! In this case, it does what it says on the tin. I wish their privacy policy (while excellent) spelled it out a bit better. The tools could be a bit more fine-grained. They could see about adding support for more compression formats. As for the rest, they do great. I’m going to award them a solid 8 out of 10.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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