Mail Server Migration 2021
03/30/2021 – FIXED: Microsoft-Hosted Email Sending Us to Junk!
After pretty much everything else from the migration had settled down, Microsoft-Hosted Exchange, which hosts email for many businesses, was still sending all our email to its recipients junk folders. Initially we had trouble getting access to MS tech support as they seem to only want to work with their direct email hosting customers. After finally getting access and working with a tech for more than two weeks, we believe this issue has now been resolved. Our tests are now going directly to recipients’ inboxes. While we still do not–and may never–know the exact reason this was happening, the Microsoft tech with whom we’ve been working said this morning that their Product Team, which is at two step escalation, “fixed an old rule” in their spam filter system.
If you know of anyone who had been receiving your email in their junk folder and never marked your email as Not Junk, please try sending to them again to see if you’re now delivered to their inbox.
To all of our users who have been affected by this issue, we sincerely apologize for what we know has been a major inconvenience.
01/20/2021 – Some Mail Being Deferred
We have noticed that some email providers, most notably AOL, Yahoo, domains hosted by MS Office 365, and possibly Verizon, are not accepting our mail for delivery right like normal. We believe this is because we had to use new IP addresses for our mail servers, and while these IP addresses do not have bad reputations, they also don’t have good ones. They simply have no reputations. Because of this, these providers are treating us like a person who has no credit at all. They’ll give you some credit, but not as much as if you had great credit. So they’re intentionally imposing delays, so we have to retry, multiple times in some cases, before they accept mail from us. We believe this is due to what’s known as “zero day spam”. With zero day spam, spammers buy domain names and IP addresses in bulk, and within hours of registering the domain names, they blast out mass quantities of spam in an effort to get it all delivered before their new IPs end up on blacklists. We believe we’ve mitigated this at least somewhat by adjusting our retry schedule to retry every 5 minutes during the first 65 minutes after you click Send. This way even if you have a dozen recipients, and their server is deferring us, they should all have received your message in about an hour.
The other issue we’re seeing is that in some cases, our logs show a message as having been delivered, but the recipient says it wasn’t received. In this case the recipient should check their spam or junk folders in both their email program (Outlook, Thunderbird, Mac Mail, etc.) AND in their webmail to see if the message was put there. Either way they should put you in their trusted senders/exception list. If it’s not in either place, they should contact their email admin, like you contact us, and have them check the mail server logs to see what happened after their server accepted the message. Also if possible, the email admin should put our mail server IPs (220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, and 22.214.171.124) in their exception list to be on the safe side.
The good news is that this cautious behavior on the part of recipient mail servers should only last a short time, just until they decide we’re not going to blast them with spam. We are taking steps to expedite the process where we can, but unfortunately we have no direct control over how long it takes them to make this decision.
Thank you for hanging in there with us! This should be cleared up soon.
01/18/2021 – Server Encryption Fixed
Mail server encryption was fixed this evening. Our email apps and programs as well as our mobile devices are once again able to use encryption when connecting to our server. If your doesn’t work right off the bat, please reboot it whether it’s a PC or a phone. Also gmail and comcast servers are again willing to send us email.
Again we apologize for this temporary inconvenience, and we do appreciate your patience as the dust settles so-to-speak.
01/17/2021 – Migration Successful…For the Most Part
Our email is all snuggled into its new home on the new server, and webmail is working well. However we are experiencing an issue with encryption. Something about encryption on the new server, while it agrees with websites including webmail, is not working and playing well with email apps/programs like MS Outlook, Thunderbird, Mac Mail, and mobile devices. We’re working on the problem and hope to have it resolved sometime tomorrow, 1/18. In the meantime, we suggest using webmail as a temporary workaround. Webmail URLs are as follows…
We’ve also learned that gmail and comcast mail are having trouble sending mail to the idcomm.com domain. We do not believe this is the case for other mail domains hosted on our server. We also think that once we resolve the issue above, this issue will also be resolved. This appears to be producing a temporary error, so sending servers should be holding messages in their outbound queues for 2 to 3 days depending on their configuration. When this is resolved, those messages should come in.
We apologize for this temporary inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we work to resolve these issues.
New User Interface
Since SmarterMail on the new server will have a new user interface next weekend, we thought we’d post some screen shots so everyone who wants to can take a look ahead of time. Click the thumbnails for larger images.
Your new webmail login screen will look like this.
After logging in, you may see a Getting Started screen. You can choose a light or dark theme; time zone should already be set to Mountain Time and country to United States; zip code is not necessary but you can enter it if you wish. Recovery Email Address is optional but may help if you forget your password.
When ready click OK to proceed to your inbox.
The folder list, message list, and reading pane are laid out very much like the current interface. The main difference you’ll notice is that instead of being aligned vertically along the left edge of the webmail window, the control icons are laid out horizontally across the top. From left to right you have…
- Show/Hide the folder list (the 3 horizontal lines or the menu hamburger)
- News Feeds
- New (message, appointment, contact, etc.)
Above the message list you have the different action buttons.
- New (i.e. new message)
- Select (to Select All)
- Delete (same as current)
- Reply (Reply individual, Reply to All, or Forward)
- Sorting (3 uneven horizontal lines)
- More Actions
And just so you’ll have an idea of what dark mode looks like, here it is.
Below are what we think will be the two most commonly used settings screens.
The Account tab is where you would change your password, set a Reply-To address, and disable/enable Greylisting as well as select light or dark theme and set your default delete action.
The Spam Filtering tab is where you’ll find your Trusted Senders list, which now is separated into a Trusted Domains list and a Trusted Email Addresses list.
Again these are what we feel will be the most commonly used screens. Naturally if you have questions once you’ve started using the new SmarterMail interface, please feel free to shoot us email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 303-796-3000.
Thank you, and enjoy!
Scott & Susie