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How Domain works for hosting?

How Domain works for hosting?

There 3 things for a domain to work with a web hosting. Many do not know the existence of DNS. DNS is actually important. It works as a directory to tell your visitor to go to the website or deliver your emails. Without DNS, your domain and web hosting will not work even they are valid or running.

Website hosting and email server are recognised and talked to each other using the IP address. An address numbers, e it an IPv6 or IPv4. Numbers are difficult to remember and it is not practical in the past using IPv4, thus there is such thing known as a virtual host, so many domains can use the same IP address.

This is where and how the DNS works. It helps to translate a name to numbers Like what I have said, DNS direct traffic for email or website. Without DNS, the name cannot be translated or resolved, everything will stop working on the internet.

Domain names registered with the registrars require 2 or more DNS. I personally prefer they are from different networks and GEO locations. So, if one DNS is down, the others are not affected should its network is having troubles. If you have 4 DNS but they are set up on the same network. It will defeat the purpose of having 2 or more DNS.

This article tells you DNS is relatively important but usually neglected. Hope it helps.

Before you email

Before you email

Hope this article is useful to our readers. We discuss a few things you must do to ensure before sending emails to someone.

These are common mistakes from many. Even for the service providers, it is common to find these mistakes for those incoming emails.

I’m listing them here and you can check if you have done these or you should you quickly rectify them.

a. Find out your SMTP Mail server IP address, It is important to know which IP address your emails are sending out from.

b. Once you know the outbound IP address. Go to MXtoolbox https://mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx to check if your outbound IP address is blacklisted by the popular RBLs.

Make sure your IP address is not blacklisted, otherwise your emails might be rejected at your recipients’ mail server.

c. Now, we make sure this outbound is listed in the DNS SPF record using this tool https://mxtoolbox.com/spf.aspx.

d. PTR record or rDNS on your outbound IP address. Using this https://mxtoolbox.com/ReverseLookup.aspx

e. You can enhance your email delivery by adding DKIM. DKIM is a kind of signature acts as the emails are sent by the sender via the permitted mail server. Most tools online are not friendly for the layman. Just write to our support team with the email address you want to check, our engineers will find out for you.

f. DMARC – This is yet widely practised and this will not work if your recipient’s mail server does not do a DMARC check. DMARC prevents spoofing and phishing like you have SPF, DKIM or both. DMARC does a bit more, like sending reports and action published in the DMARC record.

We encourage domain to publish DMARC and the above to protect your business and brand.

 

SmarterTools has no more Bundle Partnership

SmarterTools has no more Bundle Partnership

We wanted to let you know about some upcoming changes to the partnerships available from SmarterTools.

Beginning on July 1st, we will no longer be offering the Bundle Partnership. However, the Lease – Reseller and standard Reseller Partnerships will not be affected.

Existing Bundle Partners have the ability to issue Bundles until July 1st, and all Bundles issued prior to July 1st will be able to be activated as normal, even after the July 1st date.

Over the years, we’ve done our best to provide hosting providers and ISPs with the ability to provide $900 of free software that can be used as a sales incentive for their own products and services. In addition, making that software available offered a potential revenue source for partners as there was an established customer base for selling or leasing additional SmarterTools licensing, product upgrades, Maintenance and Support renewals and reinstatements, etc.

The Bundle Partnership was extremely successful but also came at a high cost. We constantly needed to maintain and monitor the issuance of Bundles to ensure that individual customers weren’t receiving multiple Bundles, that Bundles weren’t being provided for software upgrades, etc. We also tracked activations, free license conversions, and revenue generated from each Bundle Partner. As a result of all this maintenance and the associated costs in time and development hours, we have decided to discontinue this particular program and instead allocate resources to product development, quality control and other products and services coming in the near future.

As stated, we have no intentions to modify our Lease – Reseller and Reseller Partnerships. That said, as partnership renewals are coming up in June, it was important for us to notify partners early so that Bundle Partners have time to modify their automated order processing, etc. to account for the end of the Bundle program.

For those on bundle package and wish to renew their license protection can approach us for additional discount.

3 important functions you must know in SmarterMail

3 important functions you must know in SmarterMail

A lot of our SmarterMail users might have neglected these 3 important functions in connectivity. In my opinion, they are relatively important. It is good to understand the functions and their purpose.

The first one is cloud storage. Users can connect to their cloud storage like Google Drive, Dropbox and deposit their files via SmarterMail webmail. That’s mean to say, you can upload any attachment to your cloud storage after reading incoming emails. This will save time downloading the files and connect to your cloud storage to upload.

The second one is ‘Email Retrieval’. Like what it says retrieve email and it retrieves email using POP3 or IMAP4 from any mailbox that supports these protocol. This is especially good if you have many external email accounts and consider to consolidate them, read and reply with the same mailbox.

If you are a Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo users, refrain yourselves forwarding the email to them but fetch those emails from them. The email services have a very stringent anti-spam policy. forwarding emails might cause your mail server IP blocked. Remember a forwarding will forward the spam emails that you received.

The third one is rare and it might be a wanted feature to some user is an ‘SMTP Account’.  At the webmail, you can send emails using another SMTP mailbox but not the local SmarterMail SMTP. Which mean you can reply or write an email using another desired mail server. I found this is useful if I’m representing another organization.

I’m sure many SmarterMail users might have found it new and I thought you guys should know there are such things,

SmarterMail – Migration makes easy

SmarterMail – Migration makes easy

If you are using one of the email servers and want to migrate to SmarterMail, you can use the migration tool in the webmail as shown. Basically, SmarterMail imports all your emails stored on the current mail server either using POP3 or IMAP4, however, if you are Gmail user, you can import calendars, tasks and contacts too.

 

Brute-force Protection

Brute-force Protection

Whether you are using Exim, Postfix or others, I personally feel that the brute-force protection is necessary. I have seen unauthorized login attempts on email accounts especially the common ones.

I supposed your service provider has been telling you ‘please use the strong password’. However, Imseeing compromised account use a weak password. So, please remind yourselves always to use strong passwords.

A strong password can be 13 characters and above, a mixture of the symbols, capital letters, small letters and numbers. You don’t and never define such as strong password ‘P@ssword123456’ Yes. it has more than 13 characters., symbols, capital, small letters and numbers.

This type of password is very guessable, they are likely in the hacker’s dictionary. Never use this kind of password. Combination of name, birthday, handphone and NRIC number should be avoided too. A password is your first defence line, hence it is important to make sure they are not guessable.

Devices have set up with email services should install with a good anti-virus capable of detecting malicious activities like for example ports scanning which is common nowadays. This is also important to an individual, even you have a strong password, there is risk your password is stolen through a backdoor on a virus-infected devive.

If you do have the above both, the brute-force protection is useful but it is not 100% you are protected or you are safe. Hackers will attempt to login to your email account with their hacking program using a guessable password.

The ideal of brute-force protection is a rule to block further failed login after X attempts in X interval and block the source for an X period. This is effective to bar authorized access. Whoever came out the mechanism is a genius. This mechanism has protected many, not only email accesses.

Like SmarterMail has such feature out of the box, actually more like internal spammer etc. However, today topic is mainly on brute-force and yes, SmarterMail has built-in with such feature. The server admin can define the number of attempts and the block interval. SmarterMail will display the IP address and its location, should you blacklist them permanently.

I personally felt this is a great feature to protect our email users. This feature reduces the workload on email server admin too. A good email system must built-in with a good security feature and SmarterMail did it.

 

How to reduce spam emails?

How to reduce spam emails?

Actually, it is frustrating if you are receiving a lot of spam email. Even you have so-called the best anti-spam on your email service, you can receiving spam email, maybe lesser and at the same time, you might treat some emails as spam email, known as false positive.

As far as I’m concerned, there isn’t 100%. With anti-spam you are receiving lesser definitely but your definition is never the same as the server. Some anti-spam require you to set rules or train them in order to be effective

Thus, you cannot eliminate those spam emails defined by you. However, you can still minimise receiving spam emails without spending a lot to or buy a good anti-spam. Here are a few tips to help you;

a. Never use your ‘work’ email to do registration online for personal use, Your email address can be sold to someone for bulk sending. Always think twice if registration is necessary.

b. Avoid common account name like help, sales, enquiry or similar. If your name is John, avoid using john@, and add your last name.

c. Do not advertise your email address. Spammers like to use harvesting technique to collect email addresses. Common areas like auction portals, buy & sell portal etc.

e. Make sure you use SPF in your domain name DNS allows only permitted email server to send email on your behalf. I recommend ‘-a’ at the end of SPF record if you want to enforce those emails impersonate your organization.

f. Use effective RBLs on your email server. Reputable RBLs filter emails sent from bad IP addresses.

 

 

 

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Should you own a dedicated email server?

Should you own a dedicated email server?

I’m seeing some of my customers are hosting a hundred or more email accounts using cPanel or Plesk onyx. There is nothing wrong using these control panels, email service is free using either Exim or Postfix. There are free and open source email server. Anti-Spam features are limited to free and open source solutions.

They are still ok for daily usages. However, if you are relying on the webmail, the choice is limited to the free and open source solutions. They are not amazing until you have seen better webmail like SmarterMail.

Administrative functions are also limited on these email server. Creating, deleting mailboxes and updating password are likely what you need. A lot of the other features are not available or modify them using SSH shell command.

In my opinion, administrating email server, receiving and sending emails are important for an organization. I’m seeing a lot have neglected this area.

A good email server can save you a lot of troubles and enhance your email deliveries. They are equal to money. Basically, the return is higher than investing in terms of financial values.

Today, we introduce SmartMail DE250Lite at #188 per month. Lower by more than $100 with smaller disk space. The Lite version will ft those with a lower budget if they do not need the large disk space.

Enable DKIM in SmarterMail

Enable DKIM in SmarterMail

DKIM has been popular to ensure email delivery, especially for bulk senders. You can enable DKIM signing on all your outgoing emails. The feature is handy for all SmarterMail administrators. The feature is located in Domain settings.

Create and copy the DKIM keys into your domain DNS txt record.

That’s all. Now, you have enabled DKIM.