Bad news: Email becoming more unreliable.

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  1. #1

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    Bad news: Email becoming more unreliable.

    Overall I am seeing that more and more admins are screwing up their mail server configurations and making email delivery less likely particularly in Europe. The number is relatively small but it is increasing and it seems to be a case of tweaking and then they undo the tweaking after they have received enough screams.


  2. #2

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    We should have a proper email delivery discussion on devlib, and spare the "best ISP" crowd the pain on having to read.

    For me, this is becoming a huge issue. Deliverying 30K+ emails in a couple of hours without triggering various ISP's crude and refined filters.


  3. #3

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    Meeting the high level set by Asia and the Middle East then?

    I've given up on spam filters for mainland Chinese companies, their level of ignorance of even Traditional Chinese versus Simplified Chinese is exasperating. Wonderful software like Foxmail which doesn't tag encoding correctly isn't helping.

    I created the attached diagrams to help explain to people how email works, but yet to get anyone to fix their side.

    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4

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    And email magically disappears in that Anti-Virus / Anti-Spam filter.

    I've personally given up dealing with emails from our users on Yahoo who go "well I never got the verification email from you".


  5. #5

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    And just a few hours ago, I spent time with a customer who was not getting my emails.

    His ISP filters email that has HTML signatures / images embedded in them - as SPAM.


  6. #6

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    Mr Moo, Foxmail at best is a piece of shit. As an email client I have faced quite few problems that can only be fixed by replacing it. But in the mainland they grip onto it as it was the ultimate thing in messaging. I recall how everyone company we service had no issues except this guy on Fucksmail. The china firewall was having a bad day and he was not able to re-route his smtp and pop3 to non-standard ports. He was without mail for a day. Called us many times trying to see what we could do. The idiot.

    Whilst programs like Norton and other anti-virus cause problems, the problems Server "reconfigurations" are far a big problem as they affect many people in one go, particularly when some ISP has hired some fuck-wit that wants to "tune the servers". Eg, only retry deliver twice and then drop the email.

    Then there are all these great anti-spam hardware appliances "linux boxes spray painted a cool colour" which don't implement smtp properly.

    I like those ISPs that have a queue full of spam and to solve the problem they just delete the whole queue contents including real email.

    The problem of lack of bandwidth is very rare but routing problems still do affect the Internet. Years ago when we were single homed we would see floods of email from backbones or networks that could not see us for hours and suddenly a huge amount of email would come out of one or two AS's (autonomous systems/backbones).

    I am sure there is a bunch of people reading this saying "I have no problems with message loss", yeah that is what you think. You only get to find out if you lost mail when someone picks up the phone and calls you.

    At least for we get to identify the sources of the problems and we get to sort them out, but it is a hassle and increasing in frequency to a few times a week.

    Mr Moo I can't read your PDF. try encoding it with something older.


  7. #7

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    What I'm reading here seems to be all doom and gloom. Is there an e-mail filtering / anti-spam system out there that actually works?


  8. #8

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    Yes - get an ISP that delivers all your mail and a decent mail client that allows you to define your mail filters as you wish.

    And get your own domain so that you can use lots of different email addresses for different purposes. The only addresses I get spam on, out of probably over 100 that I have given to various people at various times, are the ones that I used to post on Usenet and a couple of sites that I knew were dodgy. The only "reputable" company that has leaked my email address to spammers is United Airlines, and that is easily fixed by changing my registered address with them and autoblocking the old one.


  9. #9

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    >> Is there an e-mail filtering / anti-spam system out there that
    >> actually works?

    Yes, like PDLM says.

    Also, depends on how much you're willing to pay to get your mail delivered accurately (which SHOULD be directly related to how much the mail is valuable to you).

    Yet to find a perfect system - we use spam assassin on the server combined with a couple of filters for bad IP addresses. Borderline mails that are rejected are put into the junk folders and can be viewed when bored / nothing better to do. Stuff identified without a doubt as spam - deleted on the server.

    The problem is .. everyone, and I mean everyone claims that their system works better than everyone elses (just like any market driven product range .. cars, mutual funds, beers..) and its upto the consumer to choose.


  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flat Hunter
    What I'm reading here seems to be all doom and gloom. Is there an e-mail filtering / anti-spam system out there that actually works?
    what we are discussing here is not about email filtering... this is about email delivery. 99% work but the number of email servers that are getting screwed up by the admins is increasing.

    Actually it is thanks to our email filtering service which overcomes a few of the issues with screwed up mail servers that we can detect the mail configuration problems on the other side.
    Last edited by hk.com; 19-02-2008 at 12:02 PM.

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