RE: Cannot Send To Earthlink

  • From: "John Tolmachoff \(Lists\)" <johnlist@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "'[ExchangeList]'" <exchangelist@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2005 09:33:50 -0700

Ah, the Earthlink DNS problem. Yes, it is their problem. For some reason,
when their servers listed in the MX records are not available or busy, they
do not correctly respond with a 4.4.x code, meaning there is a temporary
problem and try again later, they do not respond at all. So, then the
sending e-mail server will CORRECTLY according to RFC look up an A record
and attempt to send to that IP. That IP then gives a 5.x error and you get
the resulting bounce.


Earthlink needs to fix their problem by correctly responding with a 4.4.x
code when their servers are busy instead of trying to push on every one
their crap about RFC 2821. Additionally, their A record should not be
responding to SMTP at all if that is the way they are going to configure
their DNS records. If their A record was not responding to an SMTP request,
the all would be fine as the sending server would then record a failure to
connect and requeue the message for later delivery.


John T

eServices For You


-----Original Message-----
From: Lloyd Williams [mailto:Williams@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2005 8:45 AM
To: [ExchangeList]
Subject: [exchangelist] RE: Cannot Send To Earthlink

Hi I originally posted the question. I have now resolved it. I too initially
thought the problem was a reverse DNS lookup issue; however, it was
something else.

It is described in the following link


In a nut shell the problem was solved by switching the DNS my SMTP connector
uses to an external DNS. 

The problem was caused by my internal DNS somehow switching from using the
EarthLink MX record to using the EarthLink A record





From: Scheele, Brian [mailto:bscheele@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2005 11:21 AM
To: [ExchangeList]
Subject: [exchangelist] RE: Cannot Send To Earthlink

I did not see the original question, but thought this might be helpful to


Earthlink will block any email from any server that does not have reverse
dns properly configured.  For example, Sprint currently does not support
setting up reverse dns properly for their ADSL customers, so we have to
forward our email through a smarthost.  Since Earthlink and Sprint are
partners with DSL, Sprint directed me to have Exchange send all email to  This resolved our email issue.


We have Symantec Mail Security for SMTP Gateways, which will allow us to
route through the smarthose for only those destinations that we have
problems with.  This allows us to use DNS for everyone else that normally
works.  There are other programs out there that will do the same thing.


Do not try to contact earthlink about any email issues since most of their
tech support is clueless.






Brian Scheele

Systems Administrator

Clark Filter

3649 Hempland Road

Lancaster, PA 17601-1393

Ph:  717.285.5941 x176

Fx:  717.285.3039 ------------------------------------------------------
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