PTR record, what is it and how do I use it

We regularly receive questions about adding a PTR record and whether this is possible at SQR.NL. Time for a blog, then.

To answer this, we will first explain exactly what a PTR record is and its function.

What is a PTR record?

In our guide How to Manage My DNS, we explain to you that DNS is actually a listing of records that translate names to IP addresses, so you don’t have to memorize all the IP addresses.

A PTR record, or pointer record, is used to set reverse (reverse) DNS. Whereas an A record is used to convert a hostname to an IP address, a PTR record does the exact opposite. Namely, converting an IP address to a hostname.

So it is a DNS record on an IP address that points to a domain name.

What do you use a PTR record for?

A PTR record is used if you have your own mail server. Because you can easily convert an IP address to a hostname using the relevant PTR record, this hostname refers to your mail server.

Mail servers perform a check to see if the server in question really is who it says it is and is not secretly impersonating another server and thus able to pry sensitive information loose. With the presence of the PTR record, the receiving server verifies that the sending server is the real one. Most receiving mail servers do not accept e-mails from mail servers without a PTR record.

Very simply put, it is similar to a phone call to your bank, the IRS or insurance company. On the phone call, they want to verify who they have on the line before providing sensitive information to you.

How do I set up a PTR record?

A PTR record can only be set by the provider/owner of the IP address. So you cannot request this from any provider where DNS changes are made. So SQR.NL cannot help you further with adding a PTR record.

The provider of your IP address needs at least the following information:

  • The WAN IP address of your mail server. You can look it up by going from your mail server to
  • In addition, it is often necessary to have an A record of your domain name point to the IP address. For example, in your domain name’s DNS, create and point it to the IP address. However, you can arrange this with SQR. NL if we host your domain name

We also always recommend adding an SPF record. Want to know more about the usefulness of an SPF record? Then read my blog What is an spf record and why do I need it.

Example of a PTR record 600 PTR

Hungry for news?

Subscribe to the Hosting.NL newsletter and stay informed. Your data will be used to send news, technical updates, and support articles.

Entered data is only used to send our newsletters