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Transfering domain to Zoho Mail

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freebirduk
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Transfering domain to Zoho Mail

The domain name that I use for e-mail is registered and hosted with Plusnet. I'm trying to move the domain, for e-mail purposes to Zoho Mail (I don't need web space, just email).

Having registered with Zoho I was advised to add a cname to verify that I control the domain. That worked fine. I'm now asked to remove any MX records and add three for Zoh:

  • Priority 10 mx.zoho.eu
  • Priority 20 mx2.zoho.ue
  • Priority 30 mx3.zoho.eu

I have done this successfully but Zoho fails to verify this. I think it's because Plusnet adds an automatic priority 10 address mx.avasin.plus.net which I can't access.

Could you advise as to how I might proceed please?

17 REPLIES 17
MisterW
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Re: Transfering domain to Zoho Mail

I don't think you can do what you want without moving your domain to another hosting service. The only way to prevent the automatic pri 10 mx is to change the mail delivery to smtp and supply an ip address to receive the mail. This is intended for people who run the own mail servers and will send mail not only for your hosted domain but also for your <accountname>.plus.com addresses. 

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freebirduk
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Re: Transfering domain to Zoho Mail

Thanks for this. I’m trying to move the domain to Zoho. The way I picture it I currently have mydomain.co.uk ‘superimposed’ with my username.plus.com email. What I want is for mydomain.co.uk to be completely hosted by Zoho with username.plus.com just for Plusnet account messages. I’d assumed that changing the MX records would achieve this but it sounds like I need to do something else instead?

MisterW
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Re: Transfering domain to Zoho Mail

You will need to move your domain to a new hosting service and then set the mx records for Zoho

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freebirduk
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Re: Transfering domain to Zoho Mail

Yes that’s understood. And the new hosting service that I want to move my domain to is Zoho. How do I go about this please? The instructions from Zoho tell me to change the MX records but, from what you tell me, that’s impossible. 

bobpullen
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Re: Transfering domain to Zoho Mail

@freebirduk what you're trying to do should be possible without having to transfer your domain.

If you drop me a private message containing your account username and the domain in question, then I'll take a look the next time I'm able.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
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MisterW
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Re: Transfering domain to Zoho Mail

@freebirduk you aren't transferring the domain to Zoho, you are just transferring the email service. I have a domain ( not hosted by PN ) which uses the Zoho email service, and as you said earlier, all Zoho require is that you confirm ownership of the domain with a CNAME record and then point the MX records to Zoho.

The problem is that , using the external ( user accessible) Interface to the Plusnet DCS (domain control system),I dont see how it is possible to set the MX records for a hosted domain without changing both the domain and account.plus.com email to smtp delivery.

Maybe @bobpullen as a staffer has more knowledge of the DCS system , or has access to the internal side of it, which would allow changing the hosted domain MX records without affecting the.plus.com email.settings

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freebirduk
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Re: Transfering domain to Zoho Mail

@MisterW  that makes sense. I've contacted @bobpullen and will await his reply. The important thing to me is to bypass the PlusNet email server. I've had a number of issues with it and hope that a Zoho based solution will suit me better. Happy though if routing only is via Plusnet.

bobpullen
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Re: Transfering domain to Zoho Mail

Fix

Hosted domain records can be configured independently of the .plus.com domain.

@freebirduk - as per my reply to your private message, I've done as you have asked. There were some (easy to make) mistakes made with the DNS records you had added, and a setting needed toggling.

It's a waiting game now whilst DNS does its thing. 

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
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freebirduk
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Re: Transfering domain to Zoho Mail

Many thanks @bobpullen and @MisterW . Mail now flows to Zoho.

Bob I've messaged you about a couple of extra DNS entries that Zoho want for SPF and DKIM verification.

Plusnet support as good as ever 👍

MisterW
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Re: Transfering domain to Zoho Mail

@freebirduk did Bob manage to sort your SPF and DKIM records ?

There is a workaround to add an  SPF record ( but not DKIM ) to hosted domains which might work if the ZOHO outgoing servers are the same as the MX records OR you are happy to send via the Plusnet server ( relay.plus.net )

Post back if you'd like the workaround.

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freebirduk
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Re: Transfering domain to Zoho Mail

@MisterW I've not heard from @bobpullen yet but I'm sure he's a busy man and things take time to propagate. More when I have it.

freebirduk
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Re: Transfering domain to Zoho Mail

@MisterW Bob has let me know that he’s unable to set up the SPF or DKIM records on the Plusnet system so great if you could let me know the work-around?

MisterW
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Re: Transfering domain to Zoho Mail

@freebirduk 

Ok, to explain the problem and what the workaround will do.
SPF and DKIM records are TXT records. The user available access to the Plusnet DCS is very limited
and does allow for the adding of TXT records, only CNAME,A and MX records are configurable.
Internally the DNS servers are capabable of presenting TXT records so its a matter of what is possible using the
limited user interface. So whilst it is not possible to support a DKIM record it IS possible to support a standard SPF record.
The workaround will generate an SPF record as below:-

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

This record specifies that the permitted servers are all the Plusnet outgoing servers ( relay.plus.net )
plus those defined in any MX records for the domain. So in your case, you will be able to either send via relay.plus.net OR (if the Zoho outgoing servers are the same as the ones defined in the MX records ) via the Zoho servers.

The workaround is enabled by creating an additional MX record, using the existing domain configuration options,
with a very low priority ( i.e will never be used ) as follows:-

mx      999999      please-add-spf-records

Behind the scenes a script runs periodically to check for the existence of this record and if it exists, creates the SPF record
as defined above. Deleting the additional MX record will remove the SPF record. It can take up to about 4 hours for the SPF record changes to be visible.

Hope that helps

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freebirduk
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Re: Transfering domain to Zoho Mail

@MisterW That's great. Now submitted and awaiting propagation. I've assumed that there's no full stop after please-add-spf-records.