How does email systems decide if my email address is a microsoft or ISP account?

Discussion in 'Help Desk' started by Steve G, Sep 19, 2020.

  1. Steve G

    Steve G New Email

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    I'm a PC support tech

    This maybe an obvious one but it's something I've never understood how it works.

    If you have created a Microsoft account with for example Joe.Bloggs@talktalk.net
    That is now Microsoft email address. You can log in to email from the Microsoft account webpage with that and send/receive emails!

    Yet Joe.Bloggs@talktalk.net also has an email address with TalkTalk and can log in to email with that on his TalkTalk webpage and send/receive emails!.

    So how does the 'email world' determine which email server/inbox to send the emails to? I'm guessing it something to do with MX records and the actual addressing of the email headers.

    It gets even more confusing when Joe.Bloggs@talktalk.net is logging into a nice new shiny Win 10 PC/Laptop as the first thing Microsoft get you to do is signing with a Microsoft account!

    Then a password change occurs and they loose access to their email as what they are actually doing is logging into the PC with the Microsoft account but the email/client is the TalkTalk one. And they get confused as to which password they have changed!

    I always try to avoid setting Win 10 up like that scenario above and always create a @Hotmail or @outlook account for my clients

    Any insight to this would be appreciated
    Steve
     


  2. popowich

    popowich EQ Forum Admin Staff Member

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    Hi Steve,

    Yes, where the email gets delivered is determined by the MX records:

    ;; ANSWER SECTION:
    talktalk.net. 250 IN MX 10 mx.talktalk.net.

    ;; ANSWER SECTION:
    mx.talktalk.net. 300 IN A 62.24.202.42

    There may be additional routing or delivery once received by the MX servers.

    The email headers do not determine how to deliver, they're a record of the email was handled.

    Welcome to Email Questions!
     

  3. Steve G

    Steve G New Email

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    Hi popwich,

    Thanks for the reply. I understand the MX record talkalk.net. But let be give you another example of what I don't understand base on the scenario on my post

    So someone who has never emailed this 'joe blogs' before or has ever been sent an email by 'joe.blogs'
    Just types in Joe.Bloggs@talktalk.net in their email client/webmail, writes their messages and click send.

    How does it know or his email providers smtp server know at that point if the email should go to the talktalk account email server/inbox or the Microsoft account (Same email address!) email server/inbox?

    Thanks
    Steve
     

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