DNP (DotNetPanel) – Setup Google Apps MX, CNAME and SPF records
Written by Shai Ben-Naphtali Saturday, 16 January 2010
Since Google Apps is one of the best (if not the best) email services out there, here is how you can setup your domain, which you have its DNS managed by Arvixe, to point to Google.
This blog post presumes you’ve already setup your Google Apps account and that you are just now doing the finishing touches (ie. final DNS settings to have Google handle your emails). If you’ve setup your Google Apps account correctly, this final step will put the finishing touch and allow Google to handle all your emails needs.
For this to be done, you’ll need to setup three DNS records:
- MX records, thus telling the world, who handles email for your domain (ie. Google).
- CNAME record, so that if you type mail.yourdomain.com (replace yourdomain with your own domain name – like mail.shai-arvixe.com), it points to Google Apps login page.
- SPF record to tell the world that Google is allowed to handle emails for your domain (this helps other mail servers know that Google is allowed and thus, help prevent filtering emails from you as spam).
Note: the links above point to Google’s own help articles, respectively.
Edit DNS zone records:
- In your control panel, click on Domains and then on the domain name in question (picture 1)
- Now click on Edit DNS zone records (picture 2)
- First, delete the mail A record and the default TXT record by clicking the Red X to the right on the respective row (picture 3)
- Click the pencil icon to the left of the first MX record to set the default record to a higher value (higher means lower priority), we don’t want to delete it, since we don’t want to interrupt current mail connectivity if such exists (picture 1)
- Change current value of 10 (ten) to 20 (twenty) and click Save (picture 2)
- Now go to Google’s MX Records page and begin entering new records, one at a time. Click Add record (picture 4)
- Pick MX from the drop-down box, enter the record in the Record Data field and enter the priority in the MX Priority field (picture 4)
- Repeat this step for all the MX records that Google provide in the aforementioned link.
- Note: Don’t enter the . (period) at the end of each record (as Google says, since our DNS doesn’t need it.
- At the end, you should have something like (picture 5)
- Now go to Google’s CNAME Records page and begin entering new records, one at a time. Click Add Record (picture 1)
- Pick CNAME from the drop-down box, type mail in the Record Name field and ghs.google.com in the Record Data field (picture 2)
- You can now also add docs, sites and calendar CNAMEs as well (picture 3)
- Google recommends that you add the following SPF record to your DNS zone. Click Add record, pick TXT from the drop-down box, copy/paste the record into the Record Data field (picture 1)
v=spf1 include:aspmx.googlemail.com ~all
End result (after MX, CNAME and SPF):
After all said and done, you can always ask Arvixe’s support to review your dns zone and make sure you did it correctly, this is what we should see, if you did it all right (picture 1)