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Can't always send email to Gmail accounts from Plusnet mailbox

Annie
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Can't always send email to Gmail accounts from Plusnet mailbox

I have my own domain name and I use it to forward email to my Plusnet mailbox (styled someone@name.plus.com). Until recently, the domain was registered through 123-reg but I moved it to Fasthosts about 10 days ago and am using their nameservers.

I have always used Thunderbird to send messages from my domain (but really it's my Plusnet email account with my domain's address inserted in the Email address box). However, since moving to Fasthosts I seem to be having problems sending email to Gmail accounts. Sometimes my emails go through (which is odd) but sometimes they are not delivered.

This is an example of the bounce message I'm getting...

 

 

      This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.      

Delivery to the following recipients failed permanently:

   * myaddress@gmail.com

Reason: A message that you sent to the following recipient could not be delivered due to a permanent error. ** The remote server ?? responded with: ** anniebarnesuk@gmail.com ??:?? This message was created automatically by mail delivery software on the server .


Reporting-MTA: dns; avasout-peh-001 [212.159.14.17]
Received-From-MTA: dns; [192.168.1.68] [80.229.217.173]
Arrival-Date: Thu, 04 May 2023 08:52:43 +0100


Final-recipient: rfc822; myaddress@gmail.com
Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 550-5.7.26 This mail is unauthenticated, which poses a security risk to the

Last-attempt-Date: Thu, 04 May 2023 08:52:43 +0100

 

 

Note: I altered my Gmail address above.


My husband was having the same issue but, although we are using Fasthosts as the registrar for his particular domain, they are not governing the forwarder as his namesevers are with my web hosting provider in America and so the forwarder has been set up there. It still forwards to his Plusnet mailbox. At first, he too had some email not arriving to Gmail accounts but I deleted the MX records that were still hanging around in the 123-reg control panel for both of our domains and he may be getting on with sending to Gmail now. He will have to do a few more tests to be absolutely certain though.

I contacted Fasthosts about my problem and they said that it would be due to Google's update to their servers and the need for SPF records to be set up at the Plusnet end.I cannot see anywhere in the Plusnet portal where I can do anything with an SPF record. Am I missing it? I'm afraid I'm not all that technical.

Does anybody here know if the problem does indeed lie with our Plusnet email accounts or, if not, what the issue might be and how I might go about resolving it please?

I do have the facility to create mailboxes at my webhosting company if all else fails. However, I have to move my parents' and aunt's domains away from 123-reg too as they are soon to be removing the forwarding facility there and I don't really want to use up all my space at my hosting comapany on family email storage, especially as they don't tend to delete all their emails off the server. My aunt uses Plusnet and my parents use BT so I presume I'm going to run into this isuue with them too.

Any help is much appreciated

 

Annie
25 REPLIES 25
MisterW
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Re: Can't always send email to Gmail accounts from Plusnet mailbox

I contacted Fasthosts about my problem and they said that it would be due to Google's update to their servers and the need for SPF records to be set up at the Plusnet end.I cannot see anywhere in the Plusnet portal where I can do anything with an SPF record. Am I missing it? I'm afraid I'm not all that technical.

Yes, you need an SPF record for your domain BUT its nothing to do with Plusnet!. Your domain is registered at Fasthosts and it is there that you need to specify an SPF record. Basically the SPF record specifies which mailservers are permitted to send mail for the domain. So in your case you need an SPF record that specifies the PLusnet mailservers.

You should create one as follows:-

v=spf1 include:_spf-internal.plus.net include:_spf-internal2.plus.net ~all

At first, he too had some email not arriving to Gmail accounts but I deleted the MX records that were still hanging around in the 123-reg control panel for both of our domains and he may be getting on with sending to Gmail now.

MX records have nbothing to do with sending mail, they define where mail is received for your domain.

Using mail forwarding ( unless the forwarder supports SRS (sender rewriting system) ) is not a good idea and you will find that some forwarded mail does not get accepted by the PlusNet servers. These days, if you wish to use a domain for email then you really need a proper hosting account that supports SPF and DKIM.

 

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Annie
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Re: Can't always send email to Gmail accounts from Plusnet mailbox

Thank you @MisterW for your reply. I have added the SPF record into the DNS records at Fasthosts for my domain. There was one in there already (presumably to do with Fasthosts). Is it OK to have both or do I need to remove the original TXT record?

Thanks for explaining the MX records. You can see I'm pretty green with all of this.

I will look into seeing whether Fasthosts support SRS.

Annie
Townman
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Re: Can't always send email to Gmail accounts from Plusnet mailbox

Ideally you should use your MX host's SMTP service rather than a third party's.  See Using Fasthosts SMTP servers

As suggested above, email forwarding is an ugly game.

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Annie
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Re: Can't always send email to Gmail accounts from Plusnet mailbox

@Townman this presumably means we would have to purchase mailboxes, yes? I moved from 123-Reg in order to keep hold of the forwarding facility but I see what you are saying.

I will have to try to find a way to explain to my family that they need to purchase mailboxes. I have not moved their domains away from 123-reg yet. I may use my web hosting company for mine and my husband's mailboxes but I'll see how we get on with the newly added spf records in the meantime.

Annie
Townman
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Re: Can't always send email to Gmail accounts from Plusnet mailbox

Hi Annie,

Sorry, I might be a little confused - who is providing the email forwarding 123reg or Fast hosts?

If you were to consider a paid for email hosting service, this Mythic Beasts - Mythic Beasts (mythic-beasts.com) is probably the best option around.  If the whole family are on the same domain, you would be looking at £2pcm for as many mailboxes as you need.  Many hosting providers charge by the mailbox (email address).

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Annie
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Re: Can't always send email to Gmail accounts from Plusnet mailbox

Hi @Townman I probably haven't explained things very well.

The mail forwarding to mine and my husband's Plusnet accounts has recently been switched from 123-reg to Fasthosts but I haven't moved my parents' or aunt's just yet so they remain at 123-reg for now.

I'm afraid we all have our own individual domains rather than one family one and I've realised that my web hosting company in the US has a limit on how many Add-on domains I can have there so I will definitely need to find solutions for the rest of the family.

I think I'm right in that I can't transfer our own domains away from Fasthosts for 60 days so I'm stuck with them at the moment.

My aunt isn't at all tech savvy and I don't live near her so talking through making changes in her email programs with her on the phone is just impossible. I notice that Mythic Beasts do a redirection service and crucially, mention SRS so do you think this would be a good compromise for my aunt so that she won't have to update her email settings? I'm not entirely sure that Fasthosts do SRS.

Annie
MisterW
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Re: Can't always send email to Gmail accounts from Plusnet mailbox

I'm afraid we all have our own individual domains rather than one family one and I've realised that my web hosting company in the US has a limit on how many Add-on domains I can have there so I will definitely need to find solutions for the rest of the family.

Mythic allow unlimited domains to be hosted on an account, providing you don't exceed the storage or bandwidth allowance. I currently have 3 domains hosted on my account.

I think I'm right in that I can't transfer our own domains away from Fasthosts for 60 days so I'm stuck with them at the moment.

You don't need to transfer the domain registration away from Fasthosts. You can open the Mythic account, create all the mailboxes and then finally switch the nameservers ( using the Fasthosts control panel ) to the Mythic ones.

I notice that Mythic Beasts do a redirection service and crucially, mention SRS so do you think this would be a good compromise for my aunt so that she won't have to update her email settings? I'm not entirely sure that Fasthosts do SRS.

Mythic do provide SRS , there's an option on the redirect settings to use SRS. AFAIK Fasthosts ( like many other simple redirect facilities ) don't provide SRS.

@Annie there's going to be a bit of a learning curve but for an initial outlay of just £2 you can create a Mythic account, add all your domains , create mailboxes etc as part of the learning process, whilst still maintaining your existing email forwarding setup with Fasthosts. Once youre happy you know what youre doing and have everything setup you switch the nameservers to Mythic, only at that point does anything change.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Annie
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Re: Can't always send email to Gmail accounts from Plusnet mailbox

@MisterW Ah, I hadn't appreciated that Mythic don't need to host the domains or that they can all go in the same account. I'll look into it.

Earlier, I'd asked my American web hosting provider about the SPF record for my husband as the nameservers point to them and I gave them the Plusnet code as suggested, ie.

 

v=spf1 include:_spf-internal.plus.net include:_spf-internal2.plus.net ~all

 

 

However, they went ahead and changed the SPF code to the following instead.

 

v=spf1 +mx +a +ip4:64.188.2.244 include:relay.mailchannels.net ~all

 

They gave the explanation...
"You would put that SPF only if mail service was handled by Plusnet. Currently, according to DNS lookups, the mail for harveybarnes.com is handled by us."

--

I'm getting very confused. I understand why I put the code in at Fasthosts for my own domain and at my US web host provider for my husband's domain but I don't understand why they are using different code. Each are forwarding mail to Plusnet mailboxes so can I be sure Plusnet won't reject mail sent to my husband's account?

--


Incidentally, I don't know if I'm doing this correctly but I looked at the source code in my own domain's emails before and after updating that code and I think things are good now. Beforehand I saw lines which included

 

Authentication-Results: mx.google.com;
       spf=softfail...........

 

and now I see

 

Authentication-Results: mx.google.com;
       spf=pass.......

 

This is a good sign, yes?

The only thing I wonder is, I saw mention in other threads about turning off the Plusnet mailbox spam filters. I generally do but if I wanted to use them would this code still work?

 

Thank you for being patient with me. I'd be lost without the experts in here.

Annie
pjmarsh
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Re: Can't always send email to Gmail accounts from Plusnet mailbox

The address(es) listed in the include part of the record resolve to the IP Addresses of the servers that you want to send mail from.  With what you now have there, only the server(s) with IP Addresses behind relay.mailchannels.net would be authorised to send mail.  If you are sending them via Plusnets smtp server, then you would need the ones @MisterW posted

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MisterW
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Re: Can't always send email to Gmail accounts from Plusnet mailbox

@Annie  ok, so there are two aspects to email for a domain, the servers where your email addressed to your domain is received and the servers you use to send email from your domain. They need not be the same, although they usually are.

The SPF record specifies which servers are authorised to send mail FROM a domain, the MX record specifies which server receives email TO a domain

They gave the explanation...
"You would put that SPF only if mail service was handled by Plusnet. Currently, according to DNS lookups, the mail for harveybarnes.com is handled by us."

They are providing a full email hosting service and thus handling the mail TO your domain and are perhaps assuming that you are also sending via their servers, which you probably are (or should be) and thus for that domain the SPF should specify their servers.

For your other domains, you are receiving mail at Fasthosts but sending via the PLusnet servers. This is because FAsthosts are not providing a full email hosting. They are only providing a forwarding service and no facility to send via their servers. Hence for these domains the SPF record should specify Plusnets mail servers.

Hope that helps explain

 

This is a good sign, yes?

Yes

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Annie
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Registered: ‎25-09-2007

Re: Can't always send email to Gmail accounts from Plusnet mailbox

@pjmarsh Thank you. I was just performing some tests and we're getting bounced mail with what my US host put in. I wish they'd read my message carefully.

I've had to leave another message because entering the correct line isn't straightforward in their backend. Hopefuly they'll get back to me soon.

Annie
Annie
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Re: Can't always send email to Gmail accounts from Plusnet mailbox

@MisterW actually, they do provide mailboxes and perhaps I should be using one instead of forwarding email to Plusnet. My hubby is using his email for work so doesn't want too much disruption at the moment.

They have now altered it to

 

v=spf1 +ip4:64.188.2.244 +include:_spf-internal.plus.net +include:_spf-internal2.plus.net ~all

 

The ip4:64.188.2.244 bit is their ip address. I don't think this should be in there or does it not matter?

Annie
MisterW
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Re: Can't always send email to Gmail accounts from Plusnet mailbox

I don't think this should be in there or does it not matter?

It does not matter, in fact what it now means is that both their server and Plusnets are authorised to send mail for the domain

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Annie
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Registered: ‎25-09-2007

Re: Can't always send email to Gmail accounts from Plusnet mailbox

@MisterW  That's good to know. Thank you.

One final question (I hope). When they initially set up the SPF record, even though it was wrong, they also created a DKIM record. Will this interfere with email forwarded to Plusnet or is it only relevant if/when I create a mailbox with them?

Annie