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Alternative to PlusNet's pathetic mail server?

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Alternative to PlusNet's pathetic mail server?

I run my own business and therefore reliable email is hugely important to me - and I'm not getting that from PlusNet's box of bolts which they lovingly refer to as a "mail server".

Can anyone recommend any options I can explore which would mean incoming and outgoing emails did NOT go via PlusNet's servers? Any hosting firms which offer reasonably cheap email deals?
12 REPLIES
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Alternative to PlusNet's pathetic mail server?

If you look into mac hosting you should find yourself a bargain for both hosting and email.

I have though got my own mail server running using the plusnet mail servers only as backup for any periods of downtime my server or my connection may suffer. This is not suitable for many I know but it is an option and one worth mentioning.


Regards,
ziggx
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: 26-07-2007

Alternative to PlusNet's pathetic mail server?

Hi Tomspcs,

How did you set up your mailserver? Was it very difficult because I've got business emails taking up to four days to get through +net and it's becoming a serious issue. Any pointers would be welcome.

Ziggx
Patch
Grafter
Posts: 122
Registered: 30-07-2007

Alternative to PlusNet's pathetic mail server?

Any links anyone can provide to a good tutorial on setting up our own mail server would be appreciated.

We already have mdaemon (from altn) runnign for the office, but it is set to collect mail from plus net via pop. I guess we would also need to set up the firewall in our netgear router to alow this.

I know it can be done, and imagine it is fairly straight forward, but am wary of providing an open relay for abuse!

Any suggestions.

Patch
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Alternative to PlusNet's pathetic mail server?

Hi ziggx,

Nope setting up the mail server wasnt very difficult at all. Simply get an old machine ( one that will prove reliable and will cope with the windows you will put on it ( server edition or not ) or even linux ( although im not a linux user ).

I then got a mail server ( mail enable standard is free to use and simple enough to understand ) installed that.

I then got my domains not pointing at plusnet ( ns1.force9.com and ns2 etc ) to point to a free dns host such as http://freedns.afraid.org/ and then set the records up from there to point to my IP.
The 1 domain that is pointing to Plusnet I have changed the setting for email (Under My account > Domain Names) and selected smtp and chose my IP.

This then send all the email from this domain to that IP and if the mail server is down ( or my connection ) the email gets bounced back to the plusnet mail server as a backup.

It sounds a bit drastic at first, but it really is simple and there is nothing to it.

Regards,
ziggx
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: 26-07-2007

Alternative to PlusNet's pathetic mail server?

Thanks Tomspcs -- given the current terrible (and unpredictable) state of +net's email servers it sounds like it's worth a go.

Best Wishes
Ziggx
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Alternative to PlusNet's pathetic mail server?

running your own is just as bad as using plusnets though as you rely on the pn connectio to be working (which is never really true) plus you will need to have a server always online for this to work,. best bet would be to get a hosting provider to set you up what you need as thats totaly outside the PN network
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Alternative to PlusNet's pathetic mail server?

Pleased to see that I am not the only one suffereing with emails not getting delivered - in and out. The Technical Support (Telephone is now reporting a 40 minutes wait time which for business es is simply not acceptable.

After many years of supporting and recommending PLUS.NET, I am seriously considering transfering my business out (and that of the clients I manage domains, etc. for).

I suppose it is too much to expect technical to monitor these forums and get involved!

Roger
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Alternative to PlusNet's pathetic mail server?

Lots of options, depending on where you get hosting and what you want with your mail. Someone mentioned MDaemon, and that can easily be used as an SMTP service, not using POP, and I am pretty sure they've more than adequately plugged "open relay" problems - talk to the tech staff at Zen Software (UK resellers) or whomever you bought MDaemon from. One small firm I know is using some servers to host their website and then for each user they forward mail :

username@domain.co.uk to username@domain.com
username@domain.co.uk to username@runbox.com

Mail sent to * @domain.com goes to their MDaemon server (and their second connection if the first cannot be reached, or a third server if the HQ is not reachable). The third server also gets most of the spam sent to it, and dumps that into Gmail. They reject mail sent to invalid usernames..

It might seem like overkill, but the staff tend to use the office mail server for mail to other members of staff, of course, and to correspond with clients., so incoming messages from clients is important, and there are two (or three) servers for each of their domain, to limit the chance of lengthy delays.

If their ADSL links go down(they have two, so can switch over) or there's a major problem (fire, flood, power cut) and the office HQ MDaemon cannot accept mail, then everyone can work from home, using the mail stored at runbox.com

Runbox can also be set up to accept all mail for a domain (you set an MX record to point to the Runbox cluster) and can then filter it by "To" username to send on, if you want.

A happy customer of Runbox.com and yes, I could give a link that helps towards next subscription, but don't know if allowed on this web forum... See runbox.com but also check MailSnare.net and Fastmail.net - I have used all three, and then plenty more on top!
lingbob
Grafter
Posts: 734
Registered: 05-04-2007

Alternative to PlusNet's pathetic mail server?

Quote
I have though got my own mail server running using the plusnet mail servers only as backup for any periods of downtime my server or my connection may suffer.

This is exactly what I've done but now that the spammers have discovered it very difficult to penetrate my defences, they're using the popular spammers trick of delivering their payloads to the PlusNet mail servers which, very conveniently for the spammers, then deliver the stuff on their behalf!! :x

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Martin
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Alternative to PlusNet's pathetic mail server?

Oh dear - maybe you should point to a service running SpamAssassin as the last MX and then the spammers will find most of their junk is still being rejected, or a "catch all" that sends it to a Gmail account, which should never "fill up" however much spam goes in each day.

In the past I've added a final entry pointing to 127.0.0.1 with a name of no-spammers.domain... However you might find some services block incoming mail if they spot an "invalid" entry in your MX list, and mine was a little-used domain, not for a business.
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Alternative to PlusNet's pathetic mail server?

I don't use the email provided by PN.

I purchased my own domain name from 1&1 for £1.99. I then signed up to their email package for 69p a month. Details here http://www.scoutbase.org.uk/index.htm. You get five email pop3 email addresses spam filtering and antivirus. They have a step by step[ guide to set up the email accounts.

The beauty is that if you change ISP you don't need to change your email address.
lingbob
Grafter
Posts: 734
Registered: 05-04-2007

Alternative to PlusNet's pathetic mail server?

Quote
Oh dear - maybe you should point to a service running SpamAssassin as the last MX and then the spammers will find most of their junk is still being rejected,

Yes, that's a possibility but if PlusNet were running SpamAssassin, or any other spam-killing software, we wouldn't need to do that. Another possibility is that I remove 'mxlast.plus.net' from the DNS records for my domain but that poses a couple more questions:

1. Am I actually allowed to do that?
2. If so, how would I actually do it?

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Martin