Those of you who've been following our recent Service Status Announcements and blog posts will know that we're currently in the process of migrating all of our customers to a new anti-spam platform based on hardware supplied by the well-respected email security experts, IronPort. We're now well into the migration plan, and we're hoping to have everybody moved across over the next fortnight. We're sure a lot of you will have questions about the migration so we've knocked together a quick FAQ below that should hopefully answer some of the more commonly asked ones.
How can I tell if I've been migrated? Each batch of migrations that we do is being announced in advance on our Service Status feed and you can expect to receive an email to your 'postmaster' address within 48 hours of being moved across. If you don't check this mailbox or for some reason you don't receive the notification email then there are a couple of other ways you can check to see if you've been migrated. Check the email headers of your received mail. If your email is being routed through IronPort then you'll see reference to this in the headers.
Another method, is to perform a DNS Lookup to see what servers are responsible for handling email for your username or domain. This can be done using the DIG command in Unix or the NSLookup command in Windows. You can also do this using an online DNS lookup service like the one here. Enter ns1.force9.net for the Name server and Under Domain name enter the bit after the ‘@‘ sign of your email address. Select Mail Exchange (MX) from the drop-down below and click Perform Query. What you are looking for are the names of the servers that are handling your email. If you haven’t been migrated yet and you have spam filtering switched on then these will be Postini's servers and the output will look something like this: This is what the output looks like if you have been migrated and have spam filtering switched on: If the output looks like the example below then you have spam filtering switched off. Switch it on by visiting the Manage My Mail tool in the Member Centre.
Where's all my spam gone? Both internal testing and feedback from those who have been moved to the new platform suggests that you are very likely to notice a considerable reduction in the volume of spam emails that arrive in your inbox once you've been moved across. This is mainly due to the effectiveness of IronPort's reputation based filters that are very efficient at blocking junk email before it reaches your inbox. You can read more about reputation based filtering here. Further details about IronPort's reputation filters can be found here.
I'm still receiving email that's been filtered by Postini? Even after your DNS records have been updated to point to the IronPort platform, some email may still be getting sent to you via Postini's servers. This is because it can take 24-48 hours for a DNS change to propagate across the Internet. Another possibility is that a spammer has cached your MX records and is still sending messages directly to the Postini system. This will cease to be a problem once everybody has been migrated across and the Postini system has been decommissioned.
I'm currently using Postini Quarantine, how will these changes affect me? Once you’ve been moved across to IronPort, most of your email will stop getting scanned by Postini’s servers. This will render the current Quarantine system pretty useless as all of your email will be bypassing it. Instead you'll need to login to the IronPort Qurantine. One new feature we’ll be bringing to the table is the introduction of Quarantine Summary Notifications, that get sent to you each day where you’ve had email quarantined by the IronPort systems. These emails list the messages that have been identified as spam and offer a handy link that delivers the original message to your inbox if you decide it isn’t spam. For more information on the new Quarantine system take a look at our updated Help & Support pages.
Quarantine keeps telling me that my username or password is wrong? You will only be able to login to Quarantine directly if you have a paid-for subscription account. Customers with non-subscription accounts will not be able to login to Quarantine but will still be able to take advantage of the daily Quarantine Summary Notifications and use the links in those emails to release any messages that aren't spam.
Why am I receiving more spam? Because there's no easy way to disable IronPort's reputation filters, we have made some changes to the way your email is routed if you have spam filtering switched off. Before now, turning spam filtering off did not actually stop your messages getting routed via Postini. This has now changed so If you have spam filtering switched off, your email now completely bypasses IronPort and Postini and is instead sent directly to our mail delivery servers (mx.cores). Whilst Postini did minimal filtering of your email when the spam filter was switched off, it's possible that you might receive more spam email now if you have anti-spam disabled. If you're worried about the volumes of spam you're receiving then switch the filter back on using the Manage My Mail tool in the Member Centre.
I've received a confirmation email but my messages aren't being routed through IronPort. Check that you haven't got spam filtering switched off. If you have your email will be bypassing both Postini and IronPort.
I've turned spam filtering off and my emails are still getting spam filtered! Because of the changes described above, switching spam filtering off is now dependent on a DNS change. DNS changes can take 24-48 hours to propagate across the Internet so it can take this long before the spam filter is completely switched off.
I have spam filtering switched off an i no longer have access to the Edge Protection controls.
When you turn spam filtering off your email is no longer routed through Postini or IronPort. This means that it's no longer possible to offer Edge Protection whilst the anti-spam service is disabled. An alternative is to switch spam filtering on, switch spam tagging off and select the option to deliver spam email to your Inbox - this is equivalent to having Edge Protection switched on but spam filtering switched off.
I can't see the 'List' tab in Manage My Mail anymore? We have decided to remove Mailing List functionality for customers that aren't using the service. You can find more details about this decision over on our Community Site forums.
I have another problem? If you are experiencing a different problem, or have a question about IronPort that isn't answered above, then why not head over to our Community Site forums where we've set up a dedicated forum where you can discuss our plans for the future of the email platform. .Bob Pullen Plusnet Comms Team