domainMX.net


Site Map

Home
Pricing
Order
FAQs
Support
Contact
Links

Welcome to domainMX.net

domainMX.net provides a set of "mail server" services for domain owners, including various forms of MX service, alternate port SMTP, UUCP and address forwarding.  domainMX.net is operated by Scott Logan.

Services

Please note that domainMX.net is no longer accepting new clients.
Primary or Backup MX Service
My servers can accept mail for your domain and forward it on to your mail server(s) using SMTP.  Useful if your server is not connected 24/7.
Alternate Port Delivery
My servers can accept mail for your domain on the standard SMTP port (25) and forward it to your server(s) on a non-standard port.  Useful if your ISP blocks port 25.
Outgoing SMTP service
Allows you to send mail through the domainMX.net servers.  Useful if your ISP doesn't provide an SMTP server or if their SMTP server forces you to use a particular sender address.  Available on both the standard SMTP port and several alternate ports.
UUCP Service
My servers can forward mail to your server(s) using UUCP over TCP/IP.  Also allows you to send outgoing mail via UUCP.
Address Forwarding
Forwards email addressed to users in your domain to other email addresses.  For example, you could have mail for john@yourdomain.com forwarded to jsmith8521@yahoo.com, mail for mary@yourdomain.com forwarded to mary@myISP.net, and anything else addressed to @yourdomain.com forwarded to a third "catch-all" address (or rejected with a "user unknown" error).


domainMX.net is not a POP mailbox or webmail service.  All email processed by my servers is delivered to other servers (yours or another provider's), not directly to end users.  However, you can use domainMX.net to take mail sent to your domain and forward it on to whatever POP mailbox or webmail account you already use (see "Address Forwarding", below).


What exactly is "MX Service"?

Mail servers willing to receive email for a particular domain are published as "MX records" in the domain name system (DNS) information for that domain.  Those mail servers are assumed to know how to deliver that mail to the appropriate recipients' mailboxes.  MX records are defined (along with other DNS record types) in RFC 1035.

I can configure two (or more) of the domainMX.net servers to accept email for your domain name.  Those servers will either deliver the email to your mail server (using SMTP or UUCP) or forward it on to a different email address (address forwarding).

Why would you use this service?

Well, you certainly could set up your own email server and add a single MX record for it to the DNS information for your domain.  However, you might want (or need) to take advantage of the domainMX.net service if you are in any of the following situations:
  • Your mail server is not "online" continuously because you have a dial-up connection to the Internet
  • You want to have a backup MX host for the times when your mail server is unavailable
  • Other hosts can't connect to your mail server because your ISP blocks port 25 (the standard SMTP port)
  • You use UUCP rather than SMTP to send and receive email
  • You don't want to run your own mail server and just want email for your domain forwarded to other email addresses.

If any of those apply, I can provide two (or more) solid, well connected, UNIX based servers that can act as MX hosts for you.

How is mail delivered from the domainMX.net servers to your server(s)?

Assuming you're running your own mail server (or servers), your email can be forwarded to your server using either SMTP or UUCP.  SMTP is generally much less complex and is the preferred method.  SMTP delivery to your server can occur either on the standard SMTP port (25), or on an alternate port if desired.

Normally my servers will attempt delivery immediately upon receipt of an email addressed to your domain.  If that attempt fails, they will retry periodically (every 15-30 minutes, normally) until successful.  If you connect infrequently or for short periods of time, I can configure my servers to not attempt delivery until you indicate that your machine is available using the SMTP ETRN protocol.

Another delivery option is UUCP.  I support UUCP over TCP/IP (on the standard port, 540) and UUCP over SSH.  You must have a working knowledge of the UUCP system you're using.  If you need help setting things up or have questions, please consult the many FAQs and HOWTOs available before you ask me.

UUCP over TCP/IP connectivity be either unidirectional (you connect to my server to "poll" for your mail) or bidirectional (my servers will initiate connections to you whenever mail for your domain arrives, and you can poll my servers as well).  UUCP over SSH is unidirectional only: you will need to poll my servers for your mail.

What about outgoing mail?

Most people with an SMTP-based mail server can handle their own outgoing mail, but there are some exceptions: for example, some ISPs block not only incoming connections to port 25 on your computer, but also outgoing connections from you to port 25 on another computer.  This is often done for a good reason: many spammers use dial-up or cable/DSL accounts to send their bulk emails.  However, it does make things difficult for the rest of us as well.

Not to worry; I can provide outgoing SMTP service, both on the standard port (25) as well as on selected other ports as well.

To use the outgoing SMTP service, your SMTP software must be capable of authenticating itself to my servers using the SMTP AUTH mechanism.  Most popular mail transfer agents (server software, like sendmail) and many mail user agents (mail readers, like Outlook, Netscape, etc.) can be configured to use SMTP AUTH for outgoing connections.  If you can't use SMTP AUTH, your mail server must have a static IP address, and a reverse DNS (PTR) lookup for that IP must reliably return your domain name (this is not the case for most people connected to an ISP over a dialup, cable, or DSL connection).

UUCP service can be used for both incoming and outgoing mail.

Note: I strongly oppose the distribution of unsolicited commercial email ("spam").  I have a zero-tolerance policy for this: if you use my servers to send unsolicited commercial email, bulk email, or spam of any description, expect to have your service cut off immediately and without notice (or refund).

Address Forwarding

If you don't want to run your own mail server, you can have email addressed to your domain forwarded to other email addresses.  I can configure my servers to forward mail for up to five separate user addresses in your domain (user@yourdomain.com) to other email addresses (like "bob@hotmail.com" or "you@yourISP.net").  Each of the five addresses in your domain can be forward to a different email address (or to more than one).

You can also specify a "catch-all" address where email addressed to any other user in your domain will be sent. Alternatively, such mail can be returned to sender with a "user does not exist" error.

All changes to the forwarding information for your domain are done manually, so if you think you'll change this information frequently, or if you need more than five forwarded addresses (plus the catch-all), then I suggest you look at the the mail services offered as part of many web-hosting packages.  Many offer unlimited email forwards and allow you to update them on-line via the web, but generally they also charge a fair bit more than I do.

Note that to use the address forwarding service you must still have a domain name (though it can be a third or fouth level domain, like "myhost.DynDNS.org").  You'll also need DNS service for the domain, so you can add MX records that point at my servers.

Do you charge for the domainMX.net service?

Yes, I do.  The domainMX.net servers are all co-located with Internet Service Providers who charge both a monthly fee and a per-gigabyte fee for traffic.  I charge for these services to cover the cost of the additional traffic, to help offset the fixed co-location costs, and to cover the time I spend monitoring, maintaining and backing up the servers.

What are the technical requirements for the servers on my end?

First, you must have a domain name and have existing DNS service for it.  I don't provide DNS service as a rule; in exceptional circumstances I might provide secondary DNS (only).  I'm also not a domain registrar.  See my links page if you need pointers to DNS providers or a domain registrar.

For address forwarding service, the only other requirement is that the email addresses you want your mail sent to must exist and be deliverable from my servers.

If you want to operate your own mail server, it must run some sort of mail server software that speaks either SMTP or UUCP.  I use sendmail, but there are many alternatives available for both UNIX and Windows.  The setup of your mail server is up to you: while I might be able to assist with sendmail configuration, I have little experience with other software: find a good FAQ or HOWTO and dig in.

If my servers will be connecting to yours (always true for SMTP, optional for UUCP), then your machine must have a fixed hostname that I can used to reach them.  Note that your IP address can be dynamic, as long as you use one of the many "dynamic DNS" services and ensure that your hostname always points at your current IP address (see here for some issues associated with dynamic DNS, though).

If you're using a firewall (or a router that includes a firewall), you must permit incoming TCP/IP connections on the appropriate ports (540 for UUCP, 25 or some alternate port for SMTP) and (with a router) make sure those connections are forwarded to your mail server.

If you're looking for webmail, pop3 mailboxs, DNS service, or web hosting you've come to the wrong place.  You can check out the links page and see if there's anything of interest there.

Okay, where do I start?

First, review the pricing information and perhaps take a look at the FAQs.  Then fill out the form on the order page.  I'll contact you via email to arrange service.

Copyright © 2002-2010
Scott Logan
visitors since August 11th, 2002