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jumbo_mcswanky
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Busniness SMTP Relay

Hi,

I'm using my own domain with hmail to manage my own email. I have read ravenstar68's guides on email FAQ and using own domain and I have SPF, DKIM and DMARC setup and tested successfully but I'm still blocked from sending email to gmail as i'm on DHCP and my virgin public IP is not authorised to send to gmail.

The bounce back says

Please use the SMTP relay at your service provider instead.

 

I can find smtp.virginmedia.com but i need a login and from the information i have found this seems to be more for checking your virgin email. Is this what i should be using? If so do i contact the business advisors for a login?

Thanks

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ravenstar68
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Re: Busniness SMTP Relay

Before we go any further we need to discuss the Elephant in the room

Business Use.

If you are using a standard residential connection, then it's not suitable for running a business.

  1. You have no tight SLA's with regards to fix times.
  2. Virgin Media's residential connections are allocated via DHCP.  While the addresses are 'sticky' and rarely change, they can still change without notice.  If you are running an inbound mail server, this can lead to delivery issues should your IP change without you noticing.
  3. Virgin Media's email servers are also explicitly for residential use (as stated in the T&C's, so while it's possible to relay your outbound mail through them for personal use.  VM will accept no liability for business losses (nor will any other residential provider for that matter).

If you are running your own email server then you need either:

  • A VM Business connection which provides you with a static IP address and the reverse DNS either delegated to you so you can set the hostname or VM to set the reverse DNS for you.
  • OR a hosted email service that is set up with business use in mind.

You could also consider setting up a Virtual Private Server for a nominal fee  and host an email server on that.  (Note make sure the VPS provider gives you a unique IP address though).

If you want to disregard the above, then what you need to do is set hMailserver up to relay your outbound mail via smtp.virginmedia.com, as it sounds as if it's currently trying to deliver your mail directly.  Something which a lot of email services will reject from a Dynamic IP address.

Tim

Edit - The login for the SMTP server is the same as if you are using Outlook or any other email program.

Host smtp.virginmedia.com
Port 465 SSL/TLS
Username - Your full Virgin Media email address - e.g. joebloggs@virginmedia.com
Password - Your Virgin Media password.

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jumbo_mcswanky
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Re: Busniness SMTP Relay

Hi Tim,

Thanks for response, I'm on Virgin Business Voom 500 but I couldn't find a business forum, in fact I found a post stating there wasn't one and so I ended up here.

I have the option of a static IP on my current package but as I'm not expecting to stay on Voom 500 and return to the basic business package, or a different supplier, once the promotional period is over I've never taken it up as realistically I've never needed one before now and I'd rather not configure everything to require a static IP if one might not always be available.

My VPN and everything else works fine with DDNS and as I get so few company emails setting up a mail server was really more out of interest than necessity. Just after taking the time to learn everything to set one up - I'd have liked to see it through.

 

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ravenstar68
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Re: Busniness SMTP Relay

@jumbo_mcswanky 

What you could do instead is relay your outbound mail through another SMTP server, e.g.  If you have a Gmail or Outlook account, you could try using their SMTP servers instead.

For example gmails is smtp.gmail.com
                                    Port 587 StartTLS
                                    Username: Your Gmail address
                                    Password Your Gmail password (unless you use 2FA, in which case you need to set up an App specific password)

However you would need to change your SPF record to  v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com ~all

Remember SPF tells the world which IP addresses your mail is seen to be coming from.

Similarly if using Microsofts servers you'd need to use the recommended SPF record for Office 365 accounts

v=spf1 include:spf.protection.outlook.com ~all

 

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jumbo_mcswanky
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Re: Busniness SMTP Relay

@ravenstar68 thanks for the suggestion, I had already tried this and had it setup and running but found the From address shown to the recipient is basically my gmail account as it shows <sender name from my domain> <my full gmail address>.

So i decided with that outcome you might as well just use gmail and save yourself the other management that comes with your own domain if going down this route. The documentation i've read about using the Virgin SMTP is the same setup so i'd expect the same outcome just with a virgin email address.

I was wondering if Virgin had any provision for this situation as I'd assume other small business would be in a similar position that they send such a small amount of emails it's hard to justify any cost, however small, when there are free alternatives.

If i remember a static IP on the basic business package was £5 a month, so no great cost. However as i only need that for email G-suite email on my domain is also £5 a month but with the google infrastructure running it.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and for the guides you wrote on email. I had incorrectly assumed my IP was in Spamhaus Virgin would have had users sending spam on the IP at some point, very informative.

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jem101
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Re: Busniness SMTP Relay


@jumbo_mcswanky wrote:

 

....snip

 

I was wondering if Virgin had any provision for this situation as I'd assume other small business would be in a similar position that they send such a small amount of emails it's hard to justify any cost, however small, when there are free alternatives.

snip....


It is unlikely that VM would have such a provision in place because it's very, very unlikely that small business would actually want to go to the bother of setting up their own locally hosted email server. It's one of those things that seems on the face of it to be relatively easy but is really a minefield of gotchas and 'well that won't actually work quite the way you think it will'.

The 'free' options come with all sorts of drawbacks, having an email address of info@mycompanyname.gmail.com is far less professional looking than info@mycompanyname.co.uk so it is very temping to register your own domain name and try to do your own thing and then run into issues. Realistically, for 99 times out of a hundred it just isn't worth it and it's far better to get a simple Exchange-online only account on Office 365 (or Microsoft 365 as we need to now call it) and use that. All the advantages of your own email domain with none of the complications of managing it. Not that it is perfect, nothing is, the Azure platform can and does occasionally through a wobbler but then so does gmail and AWS.