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Can you ping an e-mail addy?

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Can you ping an e-mail addy?

If you are trying to work out a contact e-mail normally you can get it right within a few goes.
For example, John Smith could be jsmith@...... or jnsmith@.....or johnsmith@.......

But could you ping the addresses in some way as you could an IP address to see if it were "alive"?
5 REPLIES
prichardson
Grafter
Posts: 1,503
Registered: 05-04-2007

Can you ping an e-mail addy?

Hi,

The answer to the question is yes & no.

Through the use of DNS, you can determine which server should be handling the email.

By connecting to this server, you can submit a request to send to the address. At this point, the server can choose to accept or reject this address.

Thus far, the answer being yes. Some servers will reject this request, if the persons account does not exist.

However, the no comes from the way many servers are configured these days. This can be through design or ignorance.

Servers can often accept the address, even when it doesn't exist.

Through ignorance, it can be because of a misconfiguration. Through design it could be because that server is only an intermediate one, and not the final host.

Some examples.

Autoturn provided by PlusNet, will accept email through design, even if after all said and done, the address doesn't exist.
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Can you ping an e-mail addy?

oh, thanks for the reply. How do i go about tracing the way the message routes? I take it you can't use the ping or tracert utility?
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www.dnsstuff.com

www.dnsstuff.com used to have an email checker which checks the server to see if it will accept incoming mail. Not sure if its still there but you can also check the MX records there so its worth a visit.

Jay
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Can you ping an e-mail addy?

oh, thanks Cheesy
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Can you ping an e-mail addy?

I think you can finger a user / email on linux to see if the email was vaild. Don't ask me how, its all beyong my technical scope Smiley