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Understanding Email Routing in cPanel

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Email routing plays a pivotal role in determining how emails are delivered to and from your domain. Ensuring the correct configuration in cPanel can be crucial for the seamless flow of your communications. This article breaks down the “Email Routing” feature in cPanel, provided by SmartHost.ie, and guides you through its functionalities and settings.

Accessing Email Routing in cPanel:

To start

  1. Make sure you are logged in to your cPanel Account
  2. Navigate to the ‘Email’ section.
  3. Click on ‘Email Routing’.

Email Routing Options

Within the Email Routing section, you’ll encounter several options:

Automatically Detect Configuration

By default, cPanel will attempt to automatically detect the best routing method for your domain.

Local Mail Exchanger

Choose this option if your website and email are hosted with SmartHost.ie. It ensures that emails are delivered directly to the server where your cPanel account resides.

Imagine your email system as a post office that’s located within your own town (SmartHost.ie, in this case). When someone sends you a letter (or an email), it goes directly to this local post office because both your mailbox and the post office are in the same location.

In technical terms, when you choose the Local Mail Exchanger, you’re telling the system that your email server (or post office) is right here with SmartHost.ie. So, any emails sent to your domain will be delivered directly to the server where your website and email are hosted with SmartHost.ie.

Backup Mail Exchanger

Useful if you have a backup email server. With this option, the server will hold onto emails if the primary server is unavailable, preventing potential email loss.

Imagine there’s a scenario where your local post office is temporarily closed for renovations. Instead of letting your letters pile up or get lost, you’ve made arrangements with a neighbouring town’s post office to hold onto your mail until your local post office reopens.

The Backup Mail Exchanger works similarly. If, for some reason, your primary email server can’t accept emails, the backup will step in and hold onto these emails for you. Once the primary server is up and running again, the backup will forward these emails, ensuring you don’t miss any important communications.

Remote Mail Exchanger

If your email is hosted with a third-party provider (e.g., Google Workspace or Microsoft 365), select this. It ensures that emails are routed to the external service provider.

Let’s say you’ve decided to have your mailbox in a different town, perhaps because they offer some special services you like. In this analogy, this other town represents third-party email services like Google Workspace or Microsoft 365. So, when someone sends you a letter, it doesn’t go to your local town’s post office; instead, it’s directed straight to this other town where your mailbox is located.

By selecting the Remote Mail Exchanger option, you’re informing the system that you’re using an external email service provider. Thus, emails sent to your domain will be routed to this external service, not to the server at SmartHost.ie.

Importance of Correct Configuration:

Setting the wrong email routing option can lead to undelivered emails, bounced messages, or even lost communications. It’s essential to:

  • Understand where your emails are hosted.
  • Regularly review and adjust settings, especially if changes are made to where your email or website is hosted.

Troubleshooting Email Routing Issues:

If experiencing delivery issues:

  • Confirm the chosen Email Routing option aligns with your hosting setup.
  • Check for recent changes or migrations that could affect routing.
  • Reach out to SmartHost.ie support for assistance if issues persist.


Email Routing is a fundamental feature in cPanel, ensuring that your emails find their way to the correct destination. SmartHost.ie is dedicated to providing a smooth hosting experience, and understanding the intricacies of features like Email Routing can significantly enhance your digital operations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Mail Exchangers

Q1: What is a Mail Exchanger (MX)

A: A Mail Exchanger (MX) is like a guidance system for emails. It tells the internet where to deliver emails for a specific domain. Think of it as the address label on a package, directing it to the right location.

Q2: Why are there different Mail Exchanger options in cPanel?

A: Different businesses have different email hosting needs. Some might use SmartHost.ie for both their website and email, while others might use third-party email services. These options (Local, Remote, Backup) let users choose how they want their emails routed based on their specific setup.

Q3: How do I know which Mail Exchanger option to choose?

A: It depends on where your emails are hosted:

  • If your email is hosted with SmartHost.ie (the same place as your website), choose Local.
  • If you use an external email service (e.g., Google Workspace), choose Remote.
  • If you have a backup email server to hold emails when the primary is down, choose Backup.

Q4: Can I switch between Mail Exchanger options anytime?

A: Yes, you can change your Mail Exchanger settings in cPanel whenever you need. However, it’s essential to understand the implications and ensure you’re selecting the right option to prevent email disruptions.

Q5: What happens if I choose the wrong Mail Exchanger option?

A: Choosing the wrong option can lead to emails not being delivered, getting bounced back, or even getting lost. It’s crucial to set the correct option based on where your email services are hosted.

Q6: Is there a way to automatically set the best Mail Exchanger option?

A: Yes, cPanel has an “Automatically Detect Configuration” option. When selected, cPanel tries to determine the best routing method for your domain based on its current setup.

Q7: I’m still unsure about my Mail Exchanger settings. What should I do?

A: No worries! Reach out to SmartHost.ie’s support team. They’ll assist you in understanding and setting up the correct Mail Exchanger option for your domain.

Remember, the Mail Exchanger settings play a vital role in ensuring your emails reach the right destination. Always ensure they align with your email hosting setup. If in doubt, it’s always best to consult with professionals.

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