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Efficient Domain Transfer

snillocik
Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎16-12-2014

Efficient Domain Transfer

I currently have a .co.uk domain hosted with 1and1 which is used for email for members of my family. The domain is due for renewal in 6 weeks time and I would like a procedure to transfer this to Plusnet that would reduce the time that emails will not get delivered. If I issue a domain transfer with 1and1 then they will "release the domain after five(5) days as required by ICANN if there are no restrictions, disputes, etc." However from the start of these 5 days I cannot carry out any administration on my domain settings within 1and1 control panel including changing any nameservers and cannot access my domain name webmail, thus I presume all emails are bounced during this time. I know this to happen as I recently transferred my business domain and was without emails for a week.
My initial thoughts on achieving this were:
1) Change nameservers on 1and1 to point to Plusnet nameservers
2) Change MX Record on 1and1 to point to another mailserver. This could possibly be a mailserver setup on a computer at my house.
Once DNS records have changed - i.e. a few days later...
3) Start the domain name transfer process.
So I am looking for any issues with this process and any other suggestions/thoughts.
Keith
10 REPLIES 10
bobpullen
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Re: Efficient Domain Transfer

Hi Keith, my suggestion would be to just change the name servers and being the domain in for hosting only. Once you're happy with that then you can initiate a full transfer if you so desire.
Whilst it's not really protocol, I can probably set up the zone records here for you beforehand so down time is negligible.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

snillocik
Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎16-12-2014

Re: Efficient Domain Transfer

Thanks Bob,
Just to make sure I understand this correctly, I think this is the process:
1) Change the nameservers on 1and1 to point to:
ns1.force9.net
ns2.force9.net
and give you the current mx record details for the mail server hosted on 1and1. I haven't an active web server, so not concerned about that.
2) Once the new DNS records are active, raise a hosting request on Plusnet for my domain
3) Once this is done, presumably the mailserver is active on your servers and I then setup mailboxes for my domain.
4) issue a domain transfer a few days later. I definitely will be doing this as I want to get away from persistent 1and1 marketing calls.

A couple more questions:
On point 3) are the mx records for my new Plusnet mailserver created as soon as the mailserver is created, or can I create mailboxes and then the mx records changed from pointing at 1and1 mailserver to Plusnet afterwards. I guess this is the crucial bit for minimising potential mail loss.
Where is the hosting request form? I cannot find this on my member site.

Keith
Chris
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Efficient Domain Transfer

You can set up the mailboxes you're going to need via the 'manage my mail' tool on our website whenever you want, these will initially work on your @username.plus.com account but when the domain is added later they'll work on that too.
Can you create a support ticket at contactus.plus.net with details of the domain you'd like to transfer in. I'll get someone to pick this up and reply.
Former Plusnet Staff member. Posts after 31st Jan 2020 are not on behalf of Plusnet.
snillocik
Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎16-12-2014

Re: Efficient Domain Transfer

I chose to leave the domain transferral until a time when it wouldn’t be used quite so much and started the process this Monday morning (29th December). I don’t normally bother leaving feedback on web-sites, but thought I would do so this time as it might provide help for others thinking of going through this process - sorry if this is a bit long-winded.
Following PlusNet’s procedure at ​https://portal.plus.net/wizard/?p=wizard&page=22138&wizard_id=38 I changed the name server settings on 1and1 admin control panel for my domain. First problem; this cannot be done unless all hosting/email is de-activated from the domain, thus email is not available from this point on as mailboxes have been deleted. This proved more problematic than just re-moving my mailboxes (as I mentioned earlier, I am not using this for web-hosting) as there still seemed to be a pointer somewhere to my domain. The only way I could completely achieve email de-activation was to change my domain registration email address from my own domain email address to a PlusNet one. Now name servers able to be changed and after a few hours, this was reflected on whois details.
3:40pm raised a question with PlusNet support detailing hosting domain name to be transferred.
1:31pm Tuesday 30th, comment in call - saying "escalating to correct pool. Please add to account.”
2:16pm - next comment from PlusNet support saying "Please advise the customer to use the portal to add the domain.” - I was expecting my domain name to now be visible in my member’s centre portal and waited a couple of hours just in case it took time to activate.
Approx 4:00pm called PlusNet and detailed the call ref - reasonably quick response and the support guy informed me that this domain should be active in about 1-2 hours. So, checked after dinner to find nothing had changed.
Approx 19:30pm started a chat session with PlusNet, now told that my case had been passed to the network team and it will likely take another 24 hours before my domain is activated!!! I mentioned that I was not at all happy and would post my feedback on this forum as I am now doing.
A couple of thoughts/questions:
-> Why do we have to update the name servers to PlusNet before a support call is raised? Why could this not be done as part of the support call - i.e. case gets to network team, they ask customer to change(or request change to) name servers and then when visible in Whois, the domain activated on PlusNet. This would mean significantly less email/web-hosting downtime. Or does this spoil SLAs?
-> I guess some of this comes down to "the more you pay, the better the service”. I recently moved my business domain to Zen and after I got past the ridiculous 5 days that 1and1 blocked my email, Zen dealt with my technical queries in minutes and not hours/days. I must admit, if I had been told i would be without mail for 2+ days, I am not sure I would have continued to move it to PlusNet.
I’ll put up another post once the task has been completed.
Keith
bobpullen
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Re: Efficient Domain Transfer

Hi Keith,
It looks like the domain has been transferred in at our side now, although DNS can take 24-48 hours or so to fully propagate.
Quote from: snillocik
Following PlusNet’s procedure at ​https://portal.plus.net/wizard/?p=wizard&page=22138&wizard_id=38 I changed the name server settings on 1and1 admin control panel for my domain. First problem; this cannot be done unless all hosting/email is de-activated from the domain, thus email is not available from this point on as mailboxes have been deleted.

Quote from: snillocik
-> Why do we have to update the name servers to PlusNet before a support call is raised?

This is what I offered to do here. Create the records on our side before you changed the nameservers. Apologies if I didn't make myself clear Undecided
Quote from: snillocik
Approx 19:30pm started a chat session with PlusNet, now told that my case had been passed to the network team and it will likely take another 24 hours before my domain is activated!!! I mentioned that I was not at all happy and would post my feedback on this forum as I am now doing.

The network team didn't need to get involved so I'm sorry you were advised as such.
Quote from: snillocik
Why could this not be done as part of the support call...

Only certain front-line staff have the necessary permissions to create the zone file and transfer the domain onto your account. I think you've just been a tad unfortunate to have dealt with one of our newer/lesser experienced advisers.
Anyway, all looks well now so keep an eye on it and shout up if things aren't as they should be in a day or two.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

snillocik
Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎16-12-2014

Re: Efficient Domain Transfer

Unfortunately, Bob I have just seen your new post, but things have not got better. I have copied my reply back to your support team:
I have just raised a call asking why I cannot add mailbox users on my domain and why the SMTP option to my static IP address was not available. The only answer the agent could provide was that these would be active in 24-48 hours. I know it is standard practice for ISPs to state that DNS records will take 24-48 hours to propagate and thus potentially I will not receive any mail until after this time, however mailbox setup and creation of DNS records is down to the provider and could be configured straight away if the facility was available in your portal. I feel 4-5 days without email (the time this domain hosting transfer could potentially take) is totally unacceptable and have therefore decided to revert the name servers back to 1and1. Incidentally, 1and1 also say that it can take 24-48 hours for the name server change to take place, but do allow me to configure user mailboxes on my domain. This is the first time I have used PlusNet's support and technical services and I am not impressed.

I was aware of your offer to create the records beforehand, however, at the time I was not in a position to transfer the email and didn't want to start a process that I may not be able to complete for a few weeks. At the beginning of this post, I did mention that I wanted minimal disruption to emails - I am now on my 3rd day without them and allowing for New Year's Day Bank Holiday, it may well be another couple of days before I am allowed to setup mailboxes or select an option to point the smtp to my own mail server. I think this is totally unacceptable. The call I have just had with one of your agents was also poor; I can appreciate that she may not understand the technicalities of SMTP, DNS, etc, but when asked if I could escalate the call, refused to do so. You Bob, are very knowledgeable (which is fine until you are on holiday or not available), but
there does seem to be a training issue with other PlusNet Support.
Regards
Keith
snillocik
Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎16-12-2014

Re: Efficient Domain Transfer

As a further postscript:
In the time I spent writing the last post I received an email to my domain mailbox at 15:16 via 1and1 name servers (I changed the name servers and setup mailboxes at approx. 14:30). This does illustrate that the 24-48 hours propagation time used by ISPs is now a bit outdated and that if the configuration option was available in the portal transferring mailboxes need not be so onerous
bobpullen
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Re: Efficient Domain Transfer

Quote from: snillocik
I have just raised a call asking why I cannot add mailbox users on my domain and why the SMTP option to my static IP address was not available.

So, which of these is it you're wanting to do? Direct messaages to a mail server you manage or have us handle mail for the domain?
Both can be done now.
You can create domain records/point mail to an SMTP server here.
As Chris explained here, POP/IMAP mailboxes could have been set up weeks ago. Indeed, they can still be set up now here. The .plus.com mailboxes etc. are synonymous with your domain email i.e. email sent to postmaster@username.plus.com gets routed to the same mailbox as stuff addresses to postmaster@domain.tld
Quote from: snillocik
The only answer the agent could provide was that these would be active in 24-48 hours.

The DNS propagation cannot be speeded up, but as mentioned above, you're free to configure stuff ahead of this happening.
Quote from: snillocik
I know it is standard practice for ISPs to state that DNS records will take 24-48 hours to propagate and thus potentially I will not receive any mail until after this time, however mailbox setup and creation of DNS records is down to the provider and could be configured straight away if the facility was available in your portal.

This could all have been avoided if the mailboxes were set-up ahead of the transfer and you'd accepted my offer to create the zone records ahead of the name servers being changed Sad
Quote from: snillocik
I feel 4-5 days without email (the time this domain hosting transfer could potentially take) is totally unacceptable and have therefore decided to revert the name servers back to 1and1.

Is this how you're planning on leaving things? If it is, we will need to remove the zone records at our side?
I'm sorry you feel you've been let down.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

snillocik
Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎16-12-2014

Re: Efficient Domain Transfer

Your question:  "So, which of these is it you're wanting to do? Direct messaages to a mail server you manage or have us handle mail for the domain?"
My answer:
Either - I just wanted to have my email working as quickly as possible. I had a mail server setup on a server at home and could have used this if it was the easiest option.
In your help guide it states:
1. Mail settings
You can choose from three options:
POP3 - I want to collect my mail using POP3
Email sent to your domain will be delivered to the mailboxes set up on your account - Read more about mailboxes.
SMTP - I want mail to this domain to be delivered to my static IP by SMTP
This is for advanced users only - all mail sent to your domain will be forwarded to your accounts static IP address.
Other - I wish to specify DNS records for mail to this domain
This is for advanced users only - add your own DNS records so all mail sent to your domain will be sent to a static IP address of your choosing - Read more about configuring DNS records.

On my member portal I still don't get the second option, I get:
SMTP mail service only available on accounts with static IP address component
(I DO have a static IP address)

I had already configured the relevant mailboxes with plus.com addresses, but I also expected an option to setup user mailboxes with my own domain name as separate mailboxes, this is what I have experienced on other ISP portals and wasn't explained to me by your support agent.
I have already replied to the zone records point.
And yes remove the zone records, as I mentioned in my postscript this is all working again on 1and1 name servers
bobpullen
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Re: Efficient Domain Transfer

Quote from: snillocik
On my member portal I still don't get the second option, I get:
SMTP mail service only available on accounts with static IP address component
(I DO have a static IP address)

Ah, I see!
That is peculiar and I've never come across it before if I'm honest. I'm guessing it's a problem that's arisen since we made static IP's add-ons with a £5 one off charge for activation. The code governing IP addresses was different prior to this. You could still have created the MX records manually using the 'Other' option or we could have made the alterations here (they just wouldn't have been reflected by the Member Centre).
I guess none of this is really relevant now though. I've removed the zone records from our systems to avoid any confusion.
Apologies again for all the hassle.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵