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What is the Role and Relevance of PTR DNS Resource Records?

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What is the Role and Relevance of PTR DNS Resource Records?

You might be familiar with DNS records that map domain names to IP addresses. But have you ever come across the term “PTR (Pointer) records” or perhaps “reverse DNS records?”

PTR records, or reverse records, as the name suggests, are the exact opposite of “a” DNS records. So, instead of translating domain names to IP addresses, they resolve IP addresses to the corresponding domain names. For example, if you have an IP address (like, a PTR record can tell you that this IP address is associated with “mail.xyz.com.” 

Let us dig deeper into knowing why PTR DNS resource records are relevant and how they function within the DNS.


What is the Significance of these Records? 

Let’s face it, mail servers do have a strict spam screening, but it is not always perfect, especially in cases when even legitimate emails are marked as spam due to reasons like using incorrect keywords or targeting the wrong audience. In such cases, having properly configured PTR records can make a significant difference.

Here’s how:

Verifying the Sender’s Identity

When it comes to verifying the sender’s identity, a PTR record comes in handy! That is to say, when an email server receives a message, it refers to the PTR record of the sender’s IP address to confirm if the domain name matches the address. 

Providing Anti-Spam Support 

Email servers and spam filters rely on reverse DNS lookups to check incoming emails. This is where a PTR record steps in. A valid record that links an IP address to a legitimate domain name serves as a sign that the email is probably not spam. Without this record, it is highly likely that your emails will end up in the spam folders

Building Reputation

With a PTR record in place, you can establish a good reputation with internet service providers and email providers. When you send an email with PTR records configured, it shows giants like Google and Yahoo that your organization follows the recommended best practices and they subsequently push your emails to the recipients’ inboxes instead of the spam folders

Complementing Authentication Methods

PTR records add another layer of security to existing email authentication methods, such as SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. While these records are not exactly a part of these protocols, they help verify IP addresses of the sending servers. In a way, they complement the authentication protocols so that the email system becomes more secure.

What are the Signs that You Should Configure Your Own PTR Record?

Configuring reverse records is not really a mandatory step to follow, especially if your organization uses a pretty uncomplicated email ecosystem on Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. But if your organization’s ecosystem is complex with multiple email servers, diverse domains, and heavy email traffic, you cannot sleep on this step!

Here are a few signs that indicate that you should configure your own PTR records:

If Your IPs are Directly Allocated 

If your ISP offers your organization its dedicated IP range, it comes with complete autonomy over your DNS records, including PTR records. With this kind of control, you can ensure that each outgoing mail server has a corresponding PTR record that accurately maps the IP address to your domain name. This simple step will significantly improve the chances of your emails being marked as legitimate and consequently enhance email deliverability. 

If Hosted Services Allow Customized PTR Labeling

Most cloud and hosting services understand that PTR records are integral to ensuring enhanced email deliverability, which is why they allow you to customize these records. By giving you the flexibility to tailor your PTR records,  these services help you maintain consistency and reinforce your branding by matching PTR records with your domain names. It also adds to the trust factor, ensuring that your emails are less likely to be flagged as spam.

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If Hosted Services Come with Preconfigured PTRs

Giants like Microsoft 365, which operate on a larger scale, do not necessarily offer customization of PTR records. Instead, these services ensure that their IP ranges have properly configured PTR records that reflect their managed domains. Although the lack of customization seems like a limiting factor, it only shows their commitment to maintaining a secure and reputed email environment for all users. If your organization relies on one of these reputed services, you can be assured that your email deliverability and security are being managed effectively. 

Now that the meaning of email security has evolved, thanks to  Google and Yahoo’s latest policy updates, the significance of PTR records has become even more critical. This is why it is more important than ever to implement your PTR records correctly. 

Need help setting up PTR records for your domain? Our team of experts at DMARCReport is here to help you through the process. Contact us today to know more! 

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