Reply to post: Re: Smarthost likely required

The last post: Building your own mail server, part 2

SImon Hobson

Re: Smarthost likely required

Personally I explicitly do not use my ISPs mailers (inbound or outbound) as that removes a bit reason for running my own mail servers - visibility.

By delivering directly, I can see if a message has been delivered - if it isn't then I get notified. I can grep the logs and keep the lines showing a message was handed off to the recipients MX - which as far as I'm concerned (and probably for legal purposes) means it's been delivered. If the recipient MX has accepted it but doesn't deliver it, then that's "not my problem" - they should run a mail system that isn't fundamentally broken.

I'm waiting to see if Nigel makes this classic mistake in the next installment.

Basically, I take the attitude that having delivery notification is like sending snail mail by recorded delivery. I can't prove the message made it to anyone's desk, but in either case it reached their designated office address. I have had a few instances where I've been able to point out "I send you a message and it was accepted by your MX at ${timestamp}, see this excerpt from my mail server logs" - and that's put the other side on the defensive as it's now down to them to prove otherwise (hard to do when, by definition, they run a broken setup)..

I'm on a fixed IP, and I don't find the "IP in the wrong neighbourhood" to be very significant - in fact I can't remember a single example in the last few years where it has been. YMMV, and of course the "quality" or otherwise of your IP neighbourhood will be a factor. The biggest problem by far has been AOL who have always been a law unto themselves and have always been a complete and utter PITA. But I did find they have a page on their site where you can tell them effectively "yes I'm on a residential ISP, but I'm on a fixed IP and I run my own mail server" - once I found that, the problem went away.

As to spam, well I get a bit, but it just "isn't a problem" - it's little enough that I don't care. Greylisting is by far the biggest spam killer - along with a few Postfix protocol enforcements.

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