relayhost - what smtp server can I use?

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relayhost - what smtp server can I use?

Jeff Lacki

I have a situation with hosting.com, trying to setup
a friends postfix config.  Since I knew nothing about
them I asked him to find out what their smtp server
was.  They said that we cannot use it and gave us a link
to setup postfix, however they show no relayhost (smtp)
server in the config!

My question is, who can I use as an smtp relayhost
if the local host doesnt have one?

Thanks,
Jeff

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Re: relayhost - what smtp server can I use?

Terry Carmen
Quoting Jeff Lacki <[hidden email]>:

>
> I have a situation with hosting.com, trying to setup
> a friends postfix config.&nbsp; Since I knew nothing about
> them I asked him to find out what their smtp server
> was.&nbsp; They said that we cannot use it and gave us a link
> to setup postfix, however they show no relayhost (smtp)
> server in the config!
>
> My question is, who can I use as an smtp relayhost
> if the local host doesnt have one?

If your ISP won't let you use their SMTP server, you'll need to  
configure your own or find someone who will let you use theirs. At  
this point your best bet is to find someone who will relay mail for  
you (generally this costs money), or switch to a hosting provider that  
has an SMTP server they will let you use.

It's not difficult to setup postfix, however getting large ISPs to  
accept your mail can be a full-time job.

If you're going to be sending out individual emails to people you  
know, it probably won't be a problem. If you're going to setup a  
mailing list or want to send bulk email, it's an entirely different  
story.

For example, you can send a few emails to AOL and they'll go through.  
However if you send a bunch of mail to AOL or a few users click the  
"SPAM" button, suddenly you won't be able to send any mail to AOL, and  
getting this fixed takes work, which you may or may not want to do.

Terry


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Re: relayhost - what smtp server can I use?

Stan Hoeppner
In reply to this post by Jeff Lacki
Jeff Lacki put forth on 2/9/2010 10:53 AM:
> I have a situation with hosting.com, trying to setup
> a friends postfix config.  Since I knew nothing about
> them I asked him to find out what their smtp server
> was.  They said that we cannot use it and gave us a link
> to setup postfix, however they show no relayhost (smtp)
> server in the config!
>
> My question is, who can I use as an smtp relayhost
> if the local host doesnt have one?

Typically in a hosting or colocation situation you send smtp directly to the
recipient domains' MX'en.  You don't typically use an smtp relay in this
scenario.  Unfortunately snowshoe spammers abuse both colos and hosting outfits,
so the IP(s) you've been assigned my have a less than stellar mail reputation.
This is the same reasons hosting companies don't want customers using their
relays.  They don't won't their relays ending up dnsbls.  You didn't provide
your IPs so I can't check them out.

Run your IPs through this and see how many hits you get:
http://www.mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx

If you only have a handful of hits, at places like the five-ten dnsbls, you
should be fine sending direct smtp mail.  If you find your IPs are listed in
spamhaus, sorbs, or barracuda , you'll have a serious uphill battle getting your
mail through.

This is why people buying hosting or colo with the intention of sending mail
need to do more than topical research into potential providers before handing
them the plastic.  For example, $4.95/month VPS service is probably not a good
candidate for hosting a legit mail sending host because at that price spammers
have probably already run the IP reputation of the provider into scorched earth
territory.  VPS in general, from a spam fighter perspective, is not a good place
to host outbound mail.  VPS services are nearly block-on-sight for many spam
fighters.

--
Stan