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missing inbound emails when using zeit DNS

September 13, 2019 at 2:05pm

missing inbound emails when using zeit DNS

September 13, 2019 at 2:05pm (Edited 6 months ago)

Hi, I recently switched to zeit DNS management. I'm not sure it's the root cause, but am just posting to see if anyone else has come across this issue. Here's what I did:

  • was previously using zoneedit to manage my DNS. Exported the file and then uploaded it to zeit
  • Switched my godaddy to point to zeit DNS
  • Everything seemed to be working fine. Domain names routing fine for websites. And all emails seemed to be coming in okay.
  • We discovered that people were telling us that they had sent us emails yet we never received them. EDIT: AND, they never received a bounceback.
  • Checked spam folders, filters, etc to ensure that the emails weren't accidentally misfiled.
  • As far as I can tell the missing emails are coming from corporate domains, i.e. not gmail.com or yahoo.com, etc.
  • We run our email service through free google apps version, so there's no way I can inspect any logging. I can verify that we receive a large majority of our emails. But certain corporate domains emailing us fail.

I'm going to try switching back to my previous DNS set up but also wanted to post here to see if anyone else has run into this. Will update later with more findings.

Update 9/27/19

My Theory

Here's my theory (while also disclaiming that I have only a surface understanding of networking/SMTP/Email technologies/protocols):

  1. Everything is working fine. External SMTP servers look up our MX records and everything resolves fine. Domain names, IP addresses are cached.
  2. I do the DNS switch from zoneedit to zeit. External SMTP tries to send another email. The email goes between servers handing off the message from server to server as it tries to make its way to google mail server.
  3. Google looks at the headers and sees that IP addresses or routing is different and assumes it's spam.
  4. Google takes no action on the email, meaning, it does not send a rejection notification nor does google deliver the email.

September 13, 2019 at 2:09pm

Greetings, If you set the MX records for the domain properly, then the problem is out of our scope. You must check with your email provider the root cause of the problem and we are free to give you any information that you may need.

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The MX records were exported/imported correctly... I just looked them over again and all the entries are identical. If MX records were incorrect would that explain only certain emails disappearing? It seems like it would be an all or none proposition (as in all emails will fail). And the sender would receive a bounceback alert or something.

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The MX records were exported/imported correctly... I just looked them over again and all the entries are identical. If MX records were incorrect would that explain only certain emails disappearing? It seems like it would be an all or none proposition (as in all emails will fail). And the sender would receive a bounceback alert or something.

True. But what I mean is, if the DNS record is correct, technically the domain or the DNS is not a variable on this problem. I would try to reach out to your email support for them to investigate this issue.

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Ya. It just seemed date coincident... Trying to rule things out. Thanks for your reply.

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I'm back with an update: So, I had 2 friends email me from their corporate domains and I experienced the missing email issue (no receipt, no bounceback). I reconfigured my DNS off of zeit dns back to using zoneedit. I had my 2 friends try again a few times and it still failed. After a few hours of flailing around, the email started working again... I'm presuming that there was a time lag for dns propagation, but anyway, the emails are now working again.

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I still don't feel like I have located the root cause though. I'd like to do some more testing and maybe try to break my email again (using a non-production domain). I'd like to clear zeit dns as the culprit, but honestly, this was really the only modification that I made. What

says about MX records being an all or none proposition makes sense to me, and why only certain domains are failing is baffling. But, at this point I still suspect something that involves zeit dns.

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If anyone has the inclination to help debug, I'd appreciate it.

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I'm back with an update: So, I had 2 friends email me from their corporate domains and I experienced the missing email issue (no receipt, no bounceback). I reconfigured my DNS off of zeit dns back to using zoneedit. I had my 2 friends try again a few times and it still failed. After a few hours of flailing around, the email started working again... I'm presuming that there was a time lag for dns propagation, but anyway, the emails are now working again.

Correct. The DNS can take some time to propagate.

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I still don't feel like I have located the root cause though. I'd like to do some more testing and maybe try to break my email again (using a non-production domain). I'd like to clear zeit dns as the culprit, but honestly, this was really the only modification that I made. What

says about MX records being an all or none proposition makes sense to me, and why only certain domains are failing is baffling. But, at this point I still suspect something that involves zeit dns.

Hard to say. I will get help from the team!

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Could you post what the MX records look like (censoring whatever you don't want to share)?

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As a note, when you set up email, you should include SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records as well. Sometimes the lack of these records can affect deliverability. I'd recommend using a tool like mxtoolbox.com to diagnose issues

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Those were all in there, but that affects deliverability which was never a problem. My problem is solely regarding receipt from specific domains.

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Right, but some email servers are stricter about these settings

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so, you're saying that SPF, DKIM, DMARC would affect inbound emails?

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lemme rephrase... configuring my own SPF, DKIM, DMARC would affect emails coming into my domain? even though those settings are for validating emails originating from my domain? )

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I only have a basic grasp of these technologies and am trying to get a better grasp on them. but that doesn't seem quite right

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MX records from now dns ls and from zoneedit

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What's the value of your DMARC record? It's possible incoming mail is being quarantined/rejected because their SPF/DKIM not being configured correctly

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DMARC helps email senders and receivers verify incoming messages by authenticating the sender's domain. DMARC also defines the action to take on suspicious incoming messages.
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That makes sense, but there was a period of time where it was working and a stretch of time where it wasn't (when i switched to zeit dns) and now it is working again (using zoneedit dns).

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What's the value of your DMARC record? It's possible incoming mail is being quarantined/rejected because their SPF/DKIM not being configured correctly

rec_5d688dXXXXX _dmarc TXT v=DMARC1; p=none; rua=mailto:XXXXX@XXXXXX.com;
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Please correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't our DMARC record affect our outbound emails and not our inbound emails?

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BTW, I just switched to zeit dns from zoneedit on another domain that I own which is suitable for a testbed. Will keep you apprised of my findings.

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