Since I Did my Wireshark records I have swapped my outgoing SMTP to a gmail server account, much faster and not noticed any problems with no mail refusal/spam counter measures. However there are some problems in this area I think:
Anti-Spam measures out in the world now include SPF and DKIM data that mail services can (should?) check are set up. I have set up SPF records for my mail domain and I am likely to now be breaking the rules I setup for SPF (basically I said Virgin servers handle my mail out and that is no longer true).
Something you declare in an SPF record is if, and where you want any feedback on your compliance. This helps find out if someone is using your details or pretending to send mail from your email address.
I am likely to now be breaking my own rules and have received a daily summary from gmail servers indicating that 4 mails I sent (these were little tests to a gmail account of my own) failed SPF checks, although those test messages did arrive (maybe because I was sending from gmail servers they are more lenient?). This implies mail to other destinations might also fail if the mail servers are doing SPF/DKIM anti-spam measures.
To fix this I need to decide if I am really switching to only using SMTP at gmail and update my SPF record for my domain.
I mention this for anyone who is trying or thinking about the same ideas. I do not know if wrong SPF setup is worse than no SPF setup in terms of the mail getting through (I have never seen a bounce message from a saying "rejecting your bad SPF email", but maybe that is because I might be a spammer and they deem it better to fail silently) - at least I get some summary daily feedback at the moment.
I have not changed config on my phone so will check up if a few emails I sent outside UK etc yesterday arrived!
Virgin's SMPT settings require verification that senders of email are indeed bona-fide users of Virgin's SMPT server. This verification is provided by Virgin users quoting their personal Virgin username and password among their outgoing settings in their email client software such as Thunderbird. Outgoing emails sent out via Virgin's SMTP server ought to be forwarded immediately into the world (relayed) on acceptance of that authentication. Anything which may occur subsequent to that relay occurs on the other side of the Virgin SMPT server. The problem which remains unresolved is the question about the excessive time it takes for the SMTP server to process the outgoing message. It appears from users' evidence above that when using SMTP servers other than Virgin's there is no such delay experienced. And so, the question remains: why is it that Virgin's own SMPT server causes an appreciable delay when sending out emails from legitimate Virgin users? Is there perhaps an issue with Virgin's SMTP server? Or is there most certainly not an issue with Virgin's SMTP server? If there's not an issue with Virgin's SMTP server, then we can all begin to look elsewhere.
Yes, I totally agree KVoice! I did not intend in any way to detract from the urgency that VM look into their server config. My recent Wireshark captures of packet traffic confirms that the Vm SMTP server sits for 30s at some point in the exchange with Thunderbird.
On our same network, different laptop, I think I see NO delays using Apple Mail as the client - so the delay seems to happen when Thunderbird (on any platform OS) sends to VM SMTP server. Other mail clients seem to have been also reported as no problems in other postings.
I sent 3 individual emails to an email address which doesn't exist. I clicked 'send' at exactly 16:44:00. At 16:47:03 the emails finally went from my send queue, consistently taking over one minute per email! At 16:47:05 my 'Sent Items' list showed the 3 emails as being sent at 16:44. At 16:47:10 my 'Inbox' showed 3 "undeliverable" items received at 16:45. How can I receive responses at 16:45 from emails sent at 16:47:03
@rnewfie: I read that as the 3 emails were sent early in the overall process but for some reason your email software (Thunderbird?) waited for a final reply from the mail server which seemed to be waiting on something that delayed or failed (a timeout). During this time the server was presumably trying to find how to get to the non-existent addresses... The header and full content of the replies you got might say a bit more about where the delay happened as there are usually lots of timestamps on each bit of the route...
mmm, tried this myself (actually with SMTP switched to gmail for now) to no-existant people and no-existant domains and the emails went out reasonably fast and appeared in my Sent box. Which I think is what you saw too. At some point I assume I will get a bounce message, although the non existent domains could be (would be better?) rejected right away.
Your actual bounce messages arrived fast it seems, but that should happen separately from your sending and not as part of the send process. Out of interest what sort of fake addresses did you send to?