How to ping an email address.

Jason Che

ping

A ping is basically a query, placed through a net, to another computer with the purpose of making sure there is a valid connection with it. This can be done in a local net or via the internet. As such we are able to ping an email address.

This is, to send a query to the email server of the address and see if there’s a stablished connection. This can be done regardless of the system you’re using, as this is a part of basic networking tools.

Most of the time you don’t have to bother doing this manually. But if for some reason you need to do it here you can learn how. We will be covering the process for Windows and mac. Also, we’ll provide another option at the end.

Process to ping an address in windows.

This is done using the command prompt console. We’re covering this for windows 7 and 8. You’re going to want to get the Mail Exchange records, or “MX”, for the domain of the email address. Luckily, we can connect to the server directly using Telnet, for this you have to turn the remote access protocol of Telnet On.

Step 1.

Press “Windows + R” on your keyboard to open the run box. Type optionalfeatures and press “Enter”. This will open the windows features panel. Check the box that corresponds to the “Telnet Client” and hit “Ok”, this turns on Telnet. Now restart your computer.

Step 2.

Press “Windows + X” on your keyboard and then select “command prompt”. Obviously, this will open the command prompt console (This is for windows 8). If you’re still running windows 7 for some reason then you want to click “Start”, then type “Command Prompt” and hit “Enter”.

Step 3.

Type “nslookup -type=mx domain.com” in the command prompt console. Keep in mind that you do have to replace “domain.com” with the actual name of the domain you’re trying to ping. Press “Enter” now you have in front of you the list of MX records for that particular domain.

Step 4.

Use the Telnet protocol to connect to the domain’s server. In the case of Gmail type “Telnet gmail-smtp-in.l.google.com 25” this can be exchanged for whatever other MX record you’d like. Press “Enter” to connect.

Step 5.

Type “HELO” and press “Enter”. This will communicate with the domain’s server. Now you want to type the email address you’re trying to ping like this. ”mail From: [email protected]” Press “Enter”, now type “rcpt to: [email protected]”. Here you have to replace “PingThis” for your email address and “PingThis2” with the email address you want to ping.

Step 6.

Press “Enter” to ping. If the email address exists you will get an “OK” for an answer. Otherwise you’ll get a “Does Not Exist” or “Disabled” as the answer.

Be sure to input the address without typos.

The process for mac computers.

This is a very similar process; the real difference will be opening the terminal. Nevertheless we will be covering it step by step.

Step 1.

Get to your hard drive. From the desktop double click your Mac HD.

Step 2.

Look for the folder named “Applications” and enter it.

Step 3.

Find “Utilities” and enter it.

Step 4.

Double click “Terminal” to open it.

Step 5.

Test the connection to the mail.test.net on the port 995 or 993. For this type “telnet mail.test.net 995” sometimes it can be on port 993, in which case change 995 for 993. Press “Enter”.

If the connection is stablished you will see the message “Connected to mail.test.net” and “+OK”.

Step 6.

Test the connection to smtp.test.et on the port 587. To do this type in the terminal “telnet smtp.test.net 587” and press “Enter”.

Step 7.

With this you should see conclusively if the connection is possible or not. After that just type “quit” in the terminal and press “Enter”.

Take notice that the essence of this process can be extrapolated to Linux distributions and applied just as easily.

Why use this method?

Advantages.

You’re able to verify that an email address is valid using this method. Likewise, you can determine if it’s a fake or invalid address.

Disadvantages.

In some situations it might not be really effective to determine if a mailbox exists or not.
Not a simple process for most people.

Other method, do it online.

Basically, any email verification service online can do this for you. There are several in the internet but not all of them are reliable. At the end of the day if the service you hire for this can’t be trusted, they will likely end up giving you bad or incomplete information.

Most of the services are reliable however, and they will do all the heavy lifting for you. They will report to you if the address was valid or not and more. For instance, if you want to ping the email address to check for spammers or if its valid. The email verification service will also give you information about that, they will check for blacklisting, formatting errors and mailbox existence. This will help you determine if the address exists and if it’s legit.

Try EmailVerify, they are one of the best services out there and we’re confident in recommending them. They are reliable and trustworthy of your data, whether you need to ping an address for a marketing campaign or for security. This is a great service to turn your attention to.

Last words.

Be aware that temporary server errors and crashes can cause the failure when you’re trying to ping an email address. There is not a 100% safe way to validate and ping an email address other than sending an actual email.

However, there are ways to be fairly certain that this process is working and the address is valid without the need to send a mail. The best we can say is that if the connection fails the first time, try another and keep trying for about a day maybe. Usually this is the longest a server can be down. If after that you still get no valid answer then most likely is a non existent email address.

Be careful before sending mails and always use a service to check if the address is blacklisted. This is just in case it does exist but you don’t know if it’s a spammer.

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