Author Topic: Email 'forwarding' service  (Read 844 times)

SoreTween

  • Most of me survived the Pennine Bridleway.
Email 'forwarding' service
« on: November 26, 2019, 09:19:45 pm »
Does the following make sense?  It's been a long time and to be honest I never fully understood what I'm about to try and record.

A decade or two ago I set up a couple of domains with Titanhosts (now Titan Internet), one for me and one for Mrs Tween.  They registered the domains for me and set up, I think, mx records so that *@domain1.co.uk and *@domain2.co.uk all got forwarded to my plusnet account.  All good, it cost me a peppercorn rent to renew the mx records each year and a sane fee for the Domain renewals each time they arose.  Meanwhile Plus provided much the same service for domain3.co.uk which is my company.  That cost rather more each year to renew the service and a not so sane fee each time the domain3 renewal came up.  But well, company money.   All three domains ended up in the same myaccount.plus.net mailbox for my local mail server to popfetch and sort out (Surgemail - overkill but not expensive).

Then Titan got taken over, at least twice.  They won't do the simple mx record arrangement any more.  I have to pay them to have webmail accounts for Domain1 and Domain 2, that costs more.  Nothing stays in the webmail accounts, they supposedly still just get forwarded.  I probably couldn't be arsed with the increased cost except that they don't work.  Approximately 90% of <newuser>@domain1.co.uk and <newuser>@domain2.co.uk emails end up in a bitbucket somewhere never to be seen.  I've checked my mail server logs, the emails never get pulled from Plus.  I can log into my plus account and refresh, refresh refresh - the email never arrives.  Somehow Titan are forking it up.  I have no idea what proportion of <establisheduser>@ emails go in the bitbucket but some certainly are.

When I set these things up I spoke to one of about three geeks running the whole show at Titan who knew exactly what they were doing.  Crucial because I didn't.  Now I can if I choose waste a lump of my mortal minutes talking to a call centre droid who will without fail tell me everything looks right their end.

Does the above make any sense to those that understand such things?
I think I need to have a conversation with Andrews & Arnold but frankly I have no clue if I'm making any sense at all.   Any other recommendations for who to talk to?

Thanks
2019 targets: TINAT 160 rough
There is only one infinite resource in this universe; human stupidity.

robgul

  • Cycle:End-to-End webmaster
  • . . cyclist, Cytech accredited
    • Cycle:End-to-End
Re: Email 'forwarding' service
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2019, 09:39:47 pm »
I got lost part way through your description . . . but I feel your pain .... I think you are simply trying to control incoming mails?

We have a BT Business broadband account with the landline (fibre to about 100 yards away so pretty quick) - that's on a bundled deal at a good price.

The email client we use is Intellect (Time & Chaos + email) at a one-off licence cost providing diary and loads of bells and whistles (you could use Outlook for what we do but that's MicroShaft and like Apple I have an aversion)

We did have a number of domains, some with websites, at Heart Internet and another supplier but we've just changed that.

What we want is :  email forwarded from specified email addresses incoming (one for me and one for my wife) AND a catch-all forwarding that comes to my email client  (that means anything in front of the @<domain>) - I use this to be able to identify and control incoming mail ... and suppress easily (i.e. I can seed it) if it becomes tiresome by setting up a further forward for a specific sender  (e.g. I'm fed up with emails from a specific sender so I set that to be sent off into the ether with forward to   offintotheether@aol.com  never to be seen again  :thumbsup:) - the email client also has the option to set rules to either file incoming mails downloaded- or to "delete at server" when they do download.

Still with me?

We've just moved the whole lot from Heart to Ionos where so far the service and set up changes have been painless ... and a peppercorn first year cost and then a very reasonable ongoing rate after 12 months.

Rob

Re: Email 'forwarding' service
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2019, 10:49:45 pm »
Does the following make sense?  It's been a long time and to be honest I never fully understood what I'm about to try and record.

A decade or two ago I set up a couple of domains with Titanhosts (now Titan Internet), one for me and one for Mrs Tween.  They registered the domains for me and set up, I think, mx records so that *@domain1.co.uk and *@domain2.co.uk all got forwarded to my plusnet account.  All good, it cost me a peppercorn rent to renew the mx records each year and a sane fee for the Domain renewals each time they arose.  Meanwhile Plus provided much the same service for domain3.co.uk which is my company.  That cost rather more each year to renew the service and a not so sane fee each time the domain3 renewal came up.  But well, company money.   All three domains ended up in the same myaccount.plus.net mailbox for my local mail server to popfetch and sort out (Surgemail - overkill but not expensive).

Then Titan got taken over, at least twice.  They won't do the simple mx record arrangement any more.  I have to pay them to have webmail accounts for Domain1 and Domain 2, that costs more.  Nothing stays in the webmail accounts, they supposedly still just get forwarded.  I probably couldn't be arsed with the increased cost except that they don't work.  Approximately 90% of <newuser>@domain1.co.uk and <newuser>@domain2.co.uk emails end up in a bitbucket somewhere never to be seen.  I've checked my mail server logs, the emails never get pulled from Plus.  I can log into my plus account and refresh, refresh refresh - the email never arrives.  Somehow Titan are forking it up.  I have no idea what proportion of <establisheduser>@ emails go in the bitbucket but some certainly are.

When I set these things up I spoke to one of about three geeks running the whole show at Titan who knew exactly what they were doing.  Crucial because I didn't.  Now I can if I choose waste a lump of my mortal minutes talking to a call centre droid who will without fail tell me everything looks right their end.

Does the above make any sense to those that understand such things?
I think I need to have a conversation with Andrews & Arnold but frankly I have no clue if I'm making any sense at all.   Any other recommendations for who to talk to?

Thanks

I may be wrong, but I believe it's relatively rare nowadays for mail providers to offer catch-all forwarding (mine no longer does).  They want you to pay for individual mailboxes on your domain, and any email sent to an address on the domain for which there isn't a paid mailbox is simply thrown away.

Maybe that's what's happening to you?

robgul

  • Cycle:End-to-End webmaster
  • . . cyclist, Cytech accredited
    • Cycle:End-to-End
Re: Email 'forwarding' service
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2019, 07:47:17 am »
Does the following make sense?  It's been a long time and to be honest I never fully understood what I'm about to try and record.

A decade or two ago I set up a couple of domains with Titanhosts (now Titan Internet), one for me and one for Mrs Tween.  They registered the domains for me and set up, I think, mx records so that *@domain1.co.uk and *@domain2.co.uk all got forwarded to my plusnet account.  All good, it cost me a peppercorn rent to renew the mx records each year and a sane fee for the Domain renewals each time they arose.  Meanwhile Plus provided much the same service for domain3.co.uk which is my company.  That cost rather more each year to renew the service and a not so sane fee each time the domain3 renewal came up.  But well, company money.   All three domains ended up in the same myaccount.plus.net mailbox for my local mail server to popfetch and sort out (Surgemail - overkill but not expensive).

Then Titan got taken over, at least twice.  They won't do the simple mx record arrangement any more.  I have to pay them to have webmail accounts for Domain1 and Domain 2, that costs more.  Nothing stays in the webmail accounts, they supposedly still just get forwarded.  I probably couldn't be arsed with the increased cost except that they don't work.  Approximately 90% of <newuser>@domain1.co.uk and <newuser>@domain2.co.uk emails end up in a bitbucket somewhere never to be seen.  I've checked my mail server logs, the emails never get pulled from Plus.  I can log into my plus account and refresh, refresh refresh - the email never arrives.  Somehow Titan are forking it up.  I have no idea what proportion of <establisheduser>@ emails go in the bitbucket but some certainly are.

When I set these things up I spoke to one of about three geeks running the whole show at Titan who knew exactly what they were doing.  Crucial because I didn't.  Now I can if I choose waste a lump of my mortal minutes talking to a call centre droid who will without fail tell me everything looks right their end.

Does the above make any sense to those that understand such things?
I think I need to have a conversation with Andrews & Arnold but frankly I have no clue if I'm making any sense at all.   Any other recommendations for who to talk to?

Thanks

I may be wrong, but I believe it's relatively rare nowadays for mail providers to offer catch-all forwarding (mine no longer does).  They want you to pay for individual mailboxes on your domain, and any email sent to an address on the domain for which there isn't a paid mailbox is simply thrown away.

Maybe that's what's happening to you?

The ability to catch-all forward was one of the features I checked before the move to Ionos (although Heart did do it as did several other outfits I considered)

Rob

SoreTween

  • Most of me survived the Pennine Bridleway.
Re: Email 'forwarding' service
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2019, 08:37:20 am »
I think you are simply trying to control incoming mails?
That's the main motivation yes, I want to be in control - hence running a local mail server.  One option would be to put my server on a business line exposed to the internet but that scares the wotsits out of me. I know I'm not capable of securing it adequately.
2019 targets: TINAT 160 rough
There is only one infinite resource in this universe; human stupidity.

SoreTween

  • Most of me survived the Pennine Bridleway.
Re: Email 'forwarding' service
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2019, 12:14:59 pm »
After some extensive testing it turns out there is nothing wrong with my Titan service.  The problem is dumbass suppliers (github, OpenPLC & NordVPN being the latest) classifying my email addresses as undesirable or disposable.  I use <servicename>@<mydomain>.co.uk for everything.

F##kers :-(
2019 targets: TINAT 160 rough
There is only one infinite resource in this universe; human stupidity.

Morat

  • I tried to HTFU but something went ping :(
Re: Email 'forwarding' service
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2019, 11:43:43 am »
So.. if you're running your own mail server - are you just using titan as a mail filter?
Do you have a static IP address where your server lives?
Tandem Stoker, CX bike abuser (slicks and tarmac) and owner of a sadly neglected MTB.

Re: Email 'forwarding' service
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2019, 09:04:56 pm »
The first thing is to ensure that you own the domains. Then, assuming that you're not now happy with what you're getting from Titan, you can take them to another supplier.

You don't necessarily need your own domains to run your own mail server of course (I'm running one, and I don't have my own domain). Mail is a "multi-hop" system - mail just keeps getting passed from server to server till it reaches one that actually runs the final target mailbox. If you have your own mail server, you're doing no more than to add an extra link in the chain.

Domains such as yours (or any other) really exist for humans. Computers use numerical equivalents (IP addresses) to do the actual routing/delivery. That's why more than one domain can correspond to the same server (subject to some necessary configurations). So, in principle at least, your domains could be forwarding addresses, or they could be alternative names for Titan's mail servers, so that your mailboxes actually run there.

It's all a bit like the post. Any postal address (e.g. 1 High Street) might turn out to be a forwarding address - there's nothing special about the format of one that makes it different from a "normal" address where your recipient actually resides or works.

Where a lot of the problems come is that having various alternative names, and mail being forwarded all over the place, can quickly make your mail look like spam, in that you're using techniques that are also used by dodgy characters to hide their tracks. So you fall foul of various measures that are not really aimed at you.


Re: Email 'forwarding' service
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2019, 10:43:50 pm »
I use <servicename>@<mydomain>.co.uk for everything.

I stopped doing that years ago as spammers tend to just target {github,trello,tumblr,instagram,twitter,facebook,etc}@<domainname>} automatically as it's an easy fire and forget guess, they can also do targeted spear phishing as an account of tumblr@<mydomain> is going to be expected tumblr looking emails, so it's the perfect place to send faked tumblr password reset emails.

I'm moving to unique addresses for each service, but they're random-ish aliases (I run my own domain but disabled the catchall as it just attracted too much spam).

Most of the aliases are just the form <random_first_name>.<random_surname>@<mydomain.com>, e.g.

Twitter: david.jones@<mydomain.com>
Tumblr: robert.smith@<mydomain.com>
...

The idea is that there are no guessable addresses and they all look vaguely legitimate.

Sure I have to remember the unique addresses but having them all filtered to individual folders in a client means it's nice and quick to look them up. Password managers also make it easy.

Of course this is all thrown up in the air as the domain I've had for more than 20 years could be getting more expensive as the top level .org domain has been sold off to a private company (headed up by an ex-ICANN employee) and I'm guessing they'll start price gouging in a few years. My plan is to renew for a couple of years next time it comes around (to avoid the price hike) and then decide if I need to move everything to a new domain (or email address).
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

SoreTween

  • Most of me survived the Pennine Bridleway.
Re: Email 'forwarding' service
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2019, 10:31:43 am »
@Morat;
Yes static domain but I don't think that's necessary for my needs.  It was necessary for me to have an open port for a service I ran locally but i could switch to dynamic DNS now.  Titan just have my mx records pointing at their servers, basically I pay them to deal with the securing of public facing servers.

@Drossall:
Yes I do own the domains and can move them though it now seems there's no point.

@Greenbank:
Good idea, I might try that.  I already use randomly generated personal data, where I went to school, first pets name etc.  Random names might get past the problem I'm having.
2019 targets: TINAT 160 rough
There is only one infinite resource in this universe; human stupidity.

Morat

  • I tried to HTFU but something went ping :(
Re: Email 'forwarding' service
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2019, 08:21:30 pm »
There are many ways to skin this cat, of course, but in your situation I'd set up a Centos server (minimal install) and install the free version of Zimbra. It would handle all your domains and provide webmail out of the box (or a connection to Outlook if you prefer). It'll do Activesync to Android/iPhone too if you install the paid version.

https://www.linuxtechi.com/install-opensource-zimbra-mailserver-centos-7/

You could host the server at home on your static IP or get hosting, your choice. If you're not a Linux person then you'd need to learn the basics first.

In any event, Cloudflare provide free DNS services with excellent DDoS protection, just pay someone like Easily when it comes to renewal time on the Domain.
Tandem Stoker, CX bike abuser (slicks and tarmac) and owner of a sadly neglected MTB.