DH Email ease of use

I am looking for a host so that I can move a number of sites. I would really like having the same interface for managing these sites. But as I read thru the forums, it seems that DH uses a somewhat non-standard method for email.

Most of my clients don’t have huge email needs, but they do need reliability, and ease of use.

I would appreciate any comments on setup, management, etc of the mail. Thanks

Non-standard? Dreamhost supports pretty much everything you’d reasonably expect, where mail is concerned: POP3, IMAP, SMTP, all with TLS/SSL. Webmail is provided via Squirrelmail, which isn’t pretty, but it’s about the best you can get these days, sadly.

DH mail is exactly as easy to use as mail from anywere else. Propietary systems aside, e-mail is e-mail. Ease of use has more to do with the client software than anything else, and your users can use whatever they want.

If you want useful replies, ask smart questions.

I had seen some posts recommending that people use another service for their email, that email addresses are different than users, and some other quips that I didn’t understand.

I realize nobody comes to the forum to tell everyone their email is great, so I do take it with a grain of salt.

Just wanted to ask before I signup and start migrating people.

DH is pretty flexible - if you need Email managed a certain way I’m sure that either 1) other customer has done it and you can model them, or 2)support can get it up on your account the way you like it,



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That is the one major difference between email here on DreamHost and most other hosting providers.

Mail boxes you create will have a login like [/b]m1234567[/b]. This isn’t a big issue, but it does confuse some coming from other providers that do things differently.


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Just a note, that m1234356 log on is for E-mail clients only - webmail uses the E-mail address and pass.

You can also get around this if you set up users (FTP/Shell) with E-mail addresses, rather than just plain E-mial addresses. It’s pretty easy once you understand though - nothing really difficult.


from the wiki:

[quote]… Snag: your e.g. "fred@yourdomain.com" mailbox won’t have login name “fred” as you might have expected. It will have a login name like “m7483986”, which your users may find less easy to remember e.g. for logging in at non-DH webmail.

Workaround: Create the mail address not through panel Mail… but instead through Users | Users | Add New User where you can choose a friendly login name from those not already taken on the DH system. Though this method creates also an FTP user of the same name, if you don’t want this you can delete it using […/ Delete] - check the box for user type ftp box not the box for user Type mail.

How do I send email from my new email address?

In a pinch, you can always just use DreamHost’s free webmail system at your own domain!

If you’d like to use a regular email client, you just need to go to your mail settings and set your from address in your program to be the one you’d like! You should also set your outgoing (SMTP) email server to be mail.yourdomain.com, and if you have an option to specify a port, you can change it from 25 (the default) to 587. Also, be sure to select that “my server requires authentication” and enter your username (most likely m#######-style) and mail password.

You should now be able to send email from your regular email client.

Snag: Most outgoing mail can be intercepted by another user who on his panel has added bogus mail services for external domains he doesn’t own.

Workaround: Use a non-Dreamhost SMTP server. … [/quote]
I think I understand what is happening. I still have a few questions.

Why switch ports for outgoing mail?
Is outgoing e-mail interception something I should worry about?
Why does DH recommend using another service for outgoing mail?

These issues may be present on every host, but this is the first time I have seen them discussed.

Thanks for any help.

Why switch outgoing ports?
Some ISP block port 25 for their users. It’s an attempt to cut down on the possibility of sending spam out - if you have to send it through their servers, they can monitir and control it. Dreamhost has enabeled port 587, which gets around this block.

I wouldn’t worry much about your E-mail being intercepted. I don’t see how this is a possibility anyways. Dreamhost E-mail is sent throgh secure connections… it’s no easy business getting that stuff. There was an issue that came up before, that this statement may have stemed from. When you send out an E-mail from DH servers, they first check with their own DNS to see if there’s an entry for that domain, if there is, it’s sent there. If there’s no entry, they do a look up for the name servers, and forward as appropiate.

Normaly this is just fine, but it’s percievable that someone adds a domain through the panel that they don’t own - now they will get all of the E-mail dreamhost customers send to that domain. I believe Dreamhost has some safegaurds against just any old domain being added, but it’s a possibility (a very, very small one)

I think I’ll go update see about updating the wiki article to be a little more realistic.

Perhaps one draw back to having the knowledge base in the wiki is that you can no longer see what Dreamhost officially has said, and what is user commantary. I wouldn’t pay any attention to that entire part.

You’re always welcome to post questions on the forums, regardless if they’re presnet with every host or not. The only thing most people ask is that you (and I’m not saying that you didn’t) search before you post. If it’s been asked before you can find your answer quicker with a search than asking all over again. So by all means, post away. :slight_smile: (it’s late)


Thanks, that cleared things up. I’ll be signing up later today.

As an experienced networking and software engineer I have to say I found DreamHost email setup/configuration to be probably their weakest link. But I think it may be a case of just knowing too much - I’m familiar with many systems and DreamHost was like none of them. If I’d just read and followed the instructions exactly, as perhaps a less experienced user might have (might have…), I may not have had those problems.

As a domain/email administrator once you have the hang of it you’ll have no problems setting up additional accounts and instructing your users on exactly what to type/enter in their email clients or web browser.

Many aspects of DreamHost are just different, a few are, in my humble opinion, limited or inferior compared to alternatives offered elsewhere - but by no means “worst in class” and often times “good enough for the average user”. In particular I’d single out configuration and capabilities of spam blocking, having to deal with spam via webmail (I hate webmail - its always a last resort for me when I’m stuck somewhere without my laptop), the Squirrel Mail client itself (which I’d probably give a ‘C’ grade but since I use it infrequently I don’t bother about that too much), and finally various inflexibilities of email forwarding, tagging and mirroring email accounts.

All said and done DreamHost is still a bargain.

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