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Dynamic IP Blacklisted - mail to @btinternet.com disappears

Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎12-12-2013

Dynamic IP Blacklisted - mail to @btinternet.com disappears

Hi

I have my own personal domain (purely for vanity 🤣 ) and have been happily sending and receiving mail via the POP and SMTP servers provided by my domain provider.

I am not a business and do not run my own mail server - I use email purely for personal purposes.

Recently I have had notice from friends that they have not received mail that they were expecting from me.  After some experimentation I have narrowed it down to just addresses @btinternet or @btopenreach. 

gmail, aol, live, sky, hotmail and yahoo do not seem to have a problem receiving mail from me.

After further investigation and using mxtoolbox I find that my currently allocated dynamic ip address is on two PBL blacklists - Spamhaus and Sorbs.

Speaking to Plusnet Support they confirm that they have no knowledge of any wrongdoing from that ip address.

I switched the router off and on again (classic!) and was allocated a new ip - this one was only on Spamhaus PBL blacklist.

Chancing my arm I tried again, leaving a good hour before turning on.  [-Censored-] - back to two blacklists on this new ip!

So, raising a ticket with Plusnet support I get the following response:

I can see you don't have a Plusnet mailbox on the account, which also means you don't have authorisation to use our SMTP server. Therefore, the issue will be due to you using an alternative SMTP server. 

I've now added a Plusnet mailbox to the account to allow you authorisation. Please correct your SMTP server to relay.force9.net which should resolve the issue moving forward. 

You may also need to set SMTP authorisation, using your account username and password. 

Now I been happily running without a plusnet mailbox for years so this is arrant nonsense, as is the need for me to use plusnet's SMTP server - I could use Google's server if I wanted to.  The server being used is NOT the issue, it is the ip address the mail is being sent from ie from Thunderbird on my laptop (or K9 Mail on my phone) through plusnet's BLACKLISTED ip before it even hits the SMTP server.

As I understand, the receiving server/router will (or may) check the headers of the email for the originating ip and check it against the blackilists  - it there it will either bounce or eat the email.

As I also understand it, Spamhaus and Sorbs would have contacted Plusnet to warn them that their IP address is about to be blocked.  Obviously this warning was ignored.

So - what are my options?

I have gone back toPlusnet support telling them they are talking rubbish, but will they be able/willing/bothered to liaise with Spamhaus and SORBS to remove their ip from the blacklist?

I have said that I am on a dynamic IP.  Would a static IP help?  Any guarantee that the static ip allocated would not be blacklisted?

If I am FORCED to use plusnet's smtp server - is there any downside to doing this?

 

Apologies for the essay, and thanks in advance.

 

21 REPLIES 21
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,150
Thanks: 2,234
Fixes: 161
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Dynamic IP Blacklisted - mail to @btinternet.com disappears

and do not run my own mail server 

Your IP status is irrelevant since you are not sending directly from that IP,  you are sending via either your domain providers servers or the PlusNet relay.

The problem is very likely to be that you don't have SPF records configured for your domain. Your domain provider should allow you to configure SPF records for your domain.

There's a description of SPF here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sender_Policy_Framework . THE SPF record defines which servers are allowed to send mail for your domain.

Shout up if you need further help...

Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎12-12-2013

Re: Dynamic IP Blacklisted - mail to @btinternet.com disappears

Hi, and thanks for the response.

It is not my domain that is blacklisted - all clear according to mxtools.com.  It is purely the ip address(es) I have been allocated.

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,150
Thanks: 2,234
Fixes: 161
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Dynamic IP Blacklisted - mail to @btinternet.com disappears

I didnt imply your domain was blacklisted, just that you may not have SPF records configured. Use MXTOOLBOX to check for SPF records .

Again, your actual IP is not relevant UNLESS you are sending using your own mail server directly.

Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎12-12-2013

Re: Dynamic IP Blacklisted - mail to @btinternet.com disappears

Apologies, didn't mean to doubt your explanation:  just that I obviously don't understand what I'm doing!

Having run my domain through the spf check I receive the attached results.  All looks good to me.

 

 

 

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,150
Thanks: 2,234
Fixes: 161
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Dynamic IP Blacklisted - mail to @btinternet.com disappears

No problem.

Those IPs listed in your SPF appear to be prgn.misp.co.uk servers , is that your domain hosting ?

If you want to use the PlusNet relay then those servers will need adding to your SPF record.

Add include:madasafish.com to your SPF, that should allow all the PN servers as well

 

NB I've asked the moderators to move this to the email board for better visibility

 

Moderator
Moderator
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Registered: ‎11-01-2008

Re: Dynamic IP Blacklisted - mail to @btinternet.com disappears


Moderators Note


This topic has been moved from Everything Else to Email

Customer / Moderator
If it helped click the thumb
If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'
Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎12-12-2013

Re: Dynamic IP Blacklisted - mail to @btinternet.com disappears

Hi,

My domain itself I bought from easily.co.uk

I bought a package from tsohost.com (used to mess around with my own website, now defunct, only use the space to host email accounts).

I changed the nameservers on my domain at easily to those provided by tsohost, and I use Thunderbird to download my email.  I set the servers in Thunderbird to sputnik.servers.prgn.misp.co.uk - so yes, you are correct.

I'm confused as to why I would want to (or need to) use Plusnet's relay servers when I have not needed to for so many years - and it seems there is no problem in my spf settings as it stands ... ?

If all is OK in my spf, then what else is causing the disappearing mail - apart from the blacklisted ip addresses?

I'm assuming madasafish is something to do with plusnet, although I've never heard of it.

I appreciate your time.

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,150
Thanks: 2,234
Fixes: 161
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Dynamic IP Blacklisted - mail to @btinternet.com disappears

You are correct, you shouldnt need to use use the PlusNet servers. Using the sputnik.servers.prgn.misp.co.uk is fine and, as you say, it agrees with your SPF. I honestly dont see how your actual IP address being blacklisted should be a problem, the receiving email server SHOULD only be interested in where the mail is being sent from ( in this case  sputnik.servers.prgn.misp.co.uk ) and the domain that it is coming from.

I assume you're not getting any bounce messages from mail's that are going astray ?

I've seen similar problems in the past with google's and microsoft's servers dropping mail. What seems to happen is that it gets marked as spam and depending on the recipients settings, either just gets dumped or sometimes moved to their spam.junk directory.

Sometimes, getting the recipient to whitelist your address can help.

Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎12-12-2013

Re: Dynamic IP Blacklisted - mail to @btinternet.com disappears

Wow - appreciate the swift response.

The good news is that I'm not doing anything wrong, my settings appear correct - hurrah!

The bad news is something is causing mail to @btinternet to disappear.  I receive no bounces.  The recipients have checked their spam and do not find my mail - so I'm assuming adding me to a whitelist will have no effect since it doesn't reach them anyway!

The blacklisted ip was mooted as a reason by the tsohost tech support which was my first port of call.

Since Plusnet is BT's love child, you would think that there would be a bit more trust between them and let emails pass ....

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,150
Thanks: 2,234
Fixes: 161
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Dynamic IP Blacklisted - mail to @btinternet.com disappears

Since Plusnet is BT's love child, you would think that there would be a bit more trust between them and let emails pass ....

You're joking, they only talk to each other when forced to...

But in this case, when you're sending via your domain host , then PlusNet are not involved at all.

Try googling 'tsohost btinternet' , there's been quite a few reports of problem in the past but none recently!

You're not using mail forwarding on your domain are you ?

Seasoned Pro
Posts: 982
Thanks: 246
Fixes: 4
Registered: ‎22-11-2014

Re: Dynamic IP Blacklisted - mail to @btinternet.com disappears

Have you contacted your provider to see if there are any issues with your account? I noticed email from my 3rd party provider wasn't reaching GMail accounts. They had run some maintenance a few days earlier and some tweaks were made to my account to correct the error.

Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎12-12-2013

Re: Dynamic IP Blacklisted - mail to @btinternet.com disappears

@MisterW No, the only change to my domain is to specify the TSOHOST nameservers

Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎12-12-2013

Re: Dynamic IP Blacklisted - mail to @btinternet.com disappears

@Marksfish My host was my first point of call.  It was they who identified that my ip was on two blacklists.  i have been back to them and they say all is well their end - which the domain check I ran seems to indicate is true.

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 16,628
Thanks: 6,839
Fixes: 63
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Dynamic IP Blacklisted - mail to @btinternet.com disappears


Dynamic IP addresses can be a pain if they have been abused.  If people receiving emails submitted from that IP address  decide the do not want the email and therefore mark them as spam (rather than asking the sender to stop sending them) the IP address from which they were sent is marked as suspect.  Enough people marking such emails as SPAM will then get that IP address black balled - typically for 24 hours.

The dynamic IP address can get reallocated and some else then catches a cold.

I have seen Plusnet users connected by a Pub Wifi service being unable to send emails via the Plusnet relays because the submission IP address has been blackballed.  24 hours later (same IP address) and all is fine.

Sending your emails via the Plusnet Relay might mitigate the issue, so long as @yourdomain's SPF specifies Plusnet's relays as being permitted senders for the domain ... and you are not the source of SPAM email.  Look for rouge software on your machine(s).

Some mail providers - notably BT and Yahoo are becoming overly (possibly erroneously) aggressive in blocking SPAM propagation.  Elsewhere, I have seen Yahoo's DKIM / DMARC implementations causing total havoc where an email sent from a Yahoo user to an email address which forwards elsewhere giving rise to complete non-delivery.

Your best bet here is to chose the fixed IP address optional component for a one off £5 charge.