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1797 posts

Uber Geek
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Topic # 127524 13-Aug-2013 17:01
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I recently started a new job and have slowly been becoming the 'go-to' IT guy as nobody else in the office has any real computer problem solving experience. 

This has led to some strange discoveries and weird hacks people have done over the last 12 years in the current office but one in particular is troubling me at every turn. 

It's regarding outgoing SMTP servers but first i'll explain the problem. 
- My boss travels frequently for work so needs email access abroad. 
- Our email is hosted by some place called flashlevel.net and the outgoing smtp server settings they ask me to use are mail.archwksp.co.nz and port 26 with no ssl
- My boss' laptop had its outgoing smtp server set to smtp.xtra.co.nz on port 25 which would work fine here in NZ but would fail in AU etc.

When he would travel outside of NZ he would have to enter a local smtp server to get his email to send. This obviously caused issues as he'd have to fiddle with his email settings all the time and I'd have to repair the 'fixes' he'd made.

I changed his settings to the default flashlevel settings above and he was happy until recently when several emails have been bouncing back. 

I've tracked it down to when we send email using smtp.xtra it goes through fine, but if we send from mail.archwksp it fails. 

I was bemused to say the least as to why we were using an xtra smtp server when our email isn't hosted with xtra, but I was more confused when emails to only a couple of addresses failed from the mail.archwksp settings. 

99% of all email works fine, it's just to these addresses that it fails. 

The errors aren't consistent however most are "retry time not reached for any host after a long failure period" 

Questions:
Why is this going on? 
Where should I start looking to find a solution?
Also, is it a simple job bringing the email hosting back to someone more local/not unknown?


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787 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 876618 13-Aug-2013 17:35
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yes very annoying isnt it!!!

When on a telecom line ( internet ), you have to use their crappy outgoing servers, not sure why but it sux!

the one way i got around this was to let outlook do the "auto add email" account thing.


Try these :
http://help.telecom.co.nz/app/answers/detail/a_id/1547/~/verifying-non-xtra-email-addresses-in-yahoo!-mail
http://help.telecom.co.nz/app/answers/detail/a_id/3634/~/how-do-i-setup-a-third-party-email-account-in-outlook%3F






136 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 876653 13-Aug-2013 18:17
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Questions: Why is this going on?
Where should I start looking to find a solution?
Also, is it a simple job bringing the email hosting back to someone more local/not unknown?

Why is this going on? No idea, boss went to use those servers on a home connection had issues, so they said use these servers?
Where should you start? Talk to the provider, check if the current SMTP server works in other places, (Try sending some emails on public free wifi systems, see if it fails or not)
I would recommend if you do look for another provider for the email services, find one that for god sakes uses thier own smtp host as alot here are too lazy and go use your providers outgoing server, which is damn stupid.

787 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 876663 13-Aug-2013 18:27
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Lazarui:

Questions: Why is this going on?
Where should I start looking to find a solution?
Also, is it a simple job bringing the email hosting back to someone more local/not unknown?

Why is this going on? No idea, boss went to use those servers on a home connection had issues, so they said use these servers?
Where should you start? Talk to the provider, check if the current SMTP server works in other places, (Try sending some emails on public free wifi systems, see if it fails or not)
I would recommend if you do look for another provider for the email services, find one that for god sakes uses thier own smtp host as alot here are too lazy and go use your providers outgoing server, which is damn stupid.


I think it is a telecom problem, contact them and ask them how to use a thirdparty smtp.
My mail was working fine on my xnet line last month,i moved to a temporary location which uses telecom and it didnt work.

i did follow the link ( verify ) above and things seem to be fine now.

 freitasm : Also, for those of you using a third party
email address and trying to send the emails via Telecom's smtp server
YOU HAVE REGISTERED THE THIRD PARTY ADDRESS WITHIN THE WEBMAIL, HAVEN'T
YOU? This is not a new requirement, actually something I posted about back in 2008: http://www.geekzone.co.nz/freitasm/4703




2445 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 876664 13-Aug-2013 18:27
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Switch to using flashlevel all the time, but use SSL on port 465. (flashlevel should support this, if they don't, then they're pretty crap)

Most residential ISPs will block outgoing SMTP on port 25, as to prevent spam. You should be able to use outgoing authenticated port 465 over SSL/TLS to any SMTP server that supports this.

You should be using your own specific SMTP server as per above, especially if you have SPF/DKIM records setup properly for your domain's email.
(Also, make sure you're sending authenticated SMTP over SSL, especially if he's going to be sending email from public wifi hotspots etc!)

Email is hard :P

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 876805 13-Aug-2013 23:39
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Lets see if i can help explain

Most ISP's block outgoing port 25. This means that you have to use their smtp server if you want to use port 25. The reason is because of spamming viruses.
A virus cannot be downloaded into your computer and start spamming directly by sending mail to random smtp servers which accept email for their domains.
eg. a virus could easily query the domain somecompany.co.nz and start sending email to its smtp server which accepts the incoming mail by messaging aaa@somecompany aab@somecompany aaac@ until it gets to yourname@somecompany and a message gets through.

If a telecom user were to start spamming random smtp servers, potentially a block of telecom's ip addresses may be added to an antispam list. This will mean possibly that 254 of telecom's customers in that block may suddenly find half the world doesnt want to accept any email from them.

So by forcing telecom customers to route their email through smtp.xtra.co.nz, telecom is able to prevent this by limiting the amount of email you can send each hour, and cut you off if its too spammy (they get complaints from other isp's about you)


smtp.yourdomain.co.nz is not going to accept you either unless the recipient of the message has its mail box within that server. It will not relay to other domains for two reasons
1) It doesnt know who you are
2) You may be relaying spam through so it wont pass on messages to other servers, only accept emails for local users because it can lookup its local list of mailboxes to see if they are real addresses or not.

However there is a way around it
You can tell smtp.yourdomain.co.nz who you are - if they will allow you to. This is outgoing smtp authentication.
Some hosting companies dont provide you with smtp authentication on a port other than 25. These are bad email providers. Clearnet is one, and I think domainz is also one from memory. They say to use your own isp's email servers and cannot understand that modern business users are mobile and dont want to use the motel's isp email server because that means changing settings beyond what the user is typically capable of.

So if your hosting provider will allow you to, you can bypass your isp's port 25 block by using a different port to connect to the smtp server. Often this will be port 2525 or 465. 

Then you can say "I am authorised to relay mail through you" by enabling outgoing authentication / logon to smtp server, and providing a username and password - typically the same as the incoming server.

By using your email provider's smtp server on a port other than 25, instead of your internet provider's, you can bypass the port 25 blocks and authenticate to it so you can relay email through it from anywhere - including at home, and while traveling.

By blocking port 25, an ISP will contain any viruses you have on your computer, but your email program knows a way around that by using a different port or knowing the isp's smtp server to relay through rather than trying to contact foreign smtp servers directly.




Ray Taylor
Taylor Broadband (rural hawkes bay)
www.ruralkiwi.com

There is no place like localhost
For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here






1797 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 876855 14-Aug-2013 08:21
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OK, so I understand most (some) of the above but I'm still a bit confused.

I understand the port 25 spam issue but our flashlevel hosting lets us use port 26 with no ssl or a totally different incoming and outgoing server (bishamon.wiredns.net) with ssl and port 465. Using either of those we still find email is bouncing back from a couple of people.

Is it that their spam filters are bouncing us?

We only have telecom for internet. Not email, so i'm not sure how we could even verify with xtra as I have no login for them (that I can find on our system)

I'll dig a little deeper.

2445 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 876864 14-Aug-2013 08:27
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Disrespective: OK, so I understand most (some) of the above but I'm still a bit confused.

I understand the port 25 spam issue but our flashlevel hosting lets us use port 26 with no ssl or a totally different incoming and outgoing server (bishamon.wiredns.net) with ssl and port 465. Using either of those we still find email is bouncing back from a couple of people.

Is it that their spam filters are bouncing us?

We only have telecom for internet. Not email, so i'm not sure how we could even verify with xtra as I have no login for them (that I can find on our system)

I'll dig a little deeper.


Hmm, odd. Can you paste in some of the headers/bounce messages? (Perhaps with usernames redacted, but the domains would be useful in order to check various DNS records, etc)
(This could be a flashlevel problem, but we'd need to see the bounces)


787 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 876866 14-Aug-2013 08:34
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We only have telecom for internet. Not email, so i'm not sure how we could even verify with xtra as I have no login for them (that I can find on our system)


Phone telecom and ask them for your details. They will also be able to walk you through the verifying of thirdparty smtp's.
Each dsl user has a @xtra email account, its default with telecom.








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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 876873 14-Aug-2013 08:41
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These are a typical set of error messages:


<Mailer-Daemon@bishamon.wiredns.net> wrote:

>This message was created automatically by mail delivery software.
>A message that you sent has not yet been delivered to one or more of its
>recipients after more than 24 hours on the queue on bishamon.wiredns.net.
>
>The message identifier is: 1V7cQe-0001rd-Re
>The date of the message is: Fri, 09 Aug 2013 14:27:45 +1200
>The subject of the message is: qqqqqqqqqqqq
>
>The address to which the message has not yet been delivered is:
>
> aaaa@dunningthornton.co.nz
>
>No action is required on your part. Delivery attempts will continue for
>some time, and this warning may be repeated at intervals if the message
>remains undelivered. Eventually the mail delivery software will give up,
>and when that happens, the message will be returned to you.






<Mailer-Daemon@bishamon.wiredns.net> wrote:

>This message was created automatically by mail delivery software.
>
>A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its
>recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:
>
> aaaa@dunningthornton.co.nz
> retry timeout exceeded
>
>------ This is a copy of the message, including all the headers. ------
>
>Return-path: <xxxx@archwksp.co.nz>
>Received: from yyyy.lnk.telstra.net ([165.228.130.150]:49307
>helo=[192.168.0.68])
> by bishamon.wiredns.net with esmtpa (Exim 4.80.1)
> (envelope-from <xxxx@archwksp.co.nz>)
> id 1V7cQe-0001rd-Re
> for aaaa@dunningthornton.co.nz; Thu, 08 Aug 2013 22:27:50 -0400
>User-Agent: Microsoft-MacOutlook/14.3.5.130515
>Date: Fri, 09 Aug 2013 14:27:45 +1200
>Subject: qqqqqqqqqqqq
>From: <xxxx@archwksp.co.nz>
>To: <aaaa@dunningthornton.co.nz>
>Message-ID: <CE2AACE1.1EC6%xxxx@archwksp.co.nz>




>This message was created automatically by mail delivery software.
>
>A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its
>recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:
>
> dddd@maltbys.co.nz
> SMTP error from remote mail server after initial connection:
> host mx.clear.net.nz [203.97.33.212]: 554 mxin1-orange.clear.net.nz
>
>------ This is a copy of the message, including all the headers. ------
>
>Return-path: <xxxx@archwksp.co.nz>
>Received: from yyyy.lnk.telstra.net ([165.228.130.150]:49244
>helo=[192.168.0.68])
> by bishamon.wiredns.net with esmtpa (Exim 4.80.1)
> (envelope-from <xxxx@archwksp.co.nz>)
> id 1V68Ms-0006M9-F7; Sun, 04 Aug 2013 20:09:49 -0400
>User-Agent: Microsoft-MacOutlook/14.3.5.130515
>Date: Mon, 05 Aug 2013 11:58:30 +1200
>Subject: qqqqqqqqqqqq
>From: <xxxx@archwksp.co.nz>
>To: <mmmm@minedu.govt.nz>
>CC: <dddd@maltbys.co.nz>


Thanks, will call telecom later on and see what the story is. 

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  Reply # 876947 14-Aug-2013 10:25
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Sign up with AuthSMTP for email sending. Reputable, reliable delivery. Used them for years, not associated with them other than as a customer. Email still comes from the same address, and arrives back as normal.

Sounds like you need to completely switch out the email hosting solution though. Fastmail.fm is worth a look, as is google for business.




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TOGAF certified enterprise architect
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1797 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 878099 14-Aug-2013 13:38
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Thanks, will have a look at AuthSMTP and fastmail.

It's always an uphill battle to get money out of the boss but it will be interesting to see if he likes the idea of a more reputable service.

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Wannabe Geek
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  Reply # 878626 15-Aug-2013 11:11
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Try Office 365. If your boss is away, this exchange system would be good to access his information from anywhere.

PM Me if you would like more infomation

787 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 878635 15-Aug-2013 11:20
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Cloudalliance: Try Office 365. If your boss is away, this exchange system would be good to access his information from anywhere.

PM Me if you would like more infomation


+1 to that, much cheaper than AuthSTMP , and you dont have to do any maintenance. Makes life great!




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  Reply # 878642 15-Aug-2013 11:27
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AuthSMTP is a good solution if your boss wants to keep using the same incoming servers. It's not the best solution overall, putting in place a proper email solution would be best. Office 365, google, Fastmail.Fm, etc. I will move my personal and small business email to fastmail once I get around to it, because it's cheaper than google given the way I run things.




AWS Certified Solution Architect Professional, Sysop Administrator Associate, and Developer Associate
TOGAF certified enterprise architect
Professional photographer


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 878644 15-Aug-2013 11:27
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With regards to those errors, the smtp server itself is unable to contact the destination server to deliver your message. Usually this is a network connection issue between the two.

As said above, it sounds like its just a better idea to change the smtp provider.




Ray Taylor
Taylor Broadband (rural hawkes bay)
www.ruralkiwi.com

There is no place like localhost
For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here




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