Email back up for forwarded mail?

I’m currently using another host for my website and just lost a week’s worth of email because they were “upgrading” their servers. They have not apologised and apparently they don’t back up the email anywhere after it’s forwarded (even when it’s forwarded off into nowhere!). It’s really rather appalling, isn’t it? Going a week without email (for my business) is bad enough, but not even being able to get that email ever is really just inexcusable, in this day and age.

So, my question is, if I switch to Dreamhost, will my email be safely backed up, in case the forwarding bit of software gets wonky?


I actually keep a backup myself of all my email. I have the email go to one mail box, where additionally it is forwarded.

mail user >> is a real mailbox, but also forwards to >>

The one thing you need to keep in mind is that you cannot forward mail to an aol address, due to the way they handle spam.

Mail that’s forwarded elsewhere, by definition, is not stored locally. Mail aliases are not mailboxes, so there’s nowhere to store the mail.

Unless DH is doing something unusual by taking the extra steps to store local copies, which is extremely unlikely, the answer is no. This is normal, expected behavior.

The mailbox your mail is forwarded to is where you want to worry about backups, not any transient stops in between the sender and final recipient.

If you want useful replies, ask smart questions.

It seems like it would be a simple thing to both forward my email, and save a copy of it in the home directory. That’s what I’m used to doing with other email hosts - the mail gets sent to another address and kept in the original box as well.

Oh, and I’m not sure what an alias is, really, but I’m thinking that I probably don’t need an alias, I just want to be able to have all my various emails sent to one central location for simplicity’s sake. But I don’t want to lose another week’s worth of email because it wasn’t backed up before it was forwarded. Know what I mean?

I could just use my gmail account for all my email (because gmail backs up all their servers), but that doesn’t seem very professional, and seems like a waste to have my own domain for my business but not be able to feel secure using it for email…


I think that is what I was saying. You could also forward it to two emails, one called (a real mailbox you create.) You can create as many email boxes as you like, if you want one as a central backup for all, you can do that, or if you want separate for each email, you can do that.

Forgotusername (hah!) that’s what I was doing. Or at least, that’s what I thought I was doing… I had email accounts on my domain (at my host’s servers), and had those accounts forward mail to my gmail account. But apparently, the host I was using never actually saved my email in my main accounts, and somehow forwarded everything off into nowhereland, never to be seen again!

Are you saying that Dreamhost does keep copies of email in the individual mail boxes (and catch-all) as well as forwarding?


An alias is what the DH panel calls a “forwarding only” address. These addresses are not associated with any user or mailbox so there is nowhere to store the mail.

I don’t understand how you’re losing mail in this scenario. Are you saying the mail was lost or deleted at the final destination mailbox? This happened to a Gmail mailbox?

If your aliases are fowarding to a location that is backed up, you will not lose mail unless those backups fail. There may be work-arounds to store and forward mail at DH, but this is not the default behavior for mail aliases (either here or on any other mail system I’ve used or maintained).

If you want useful replies, ask smart questions.

The email was lost from my host because during their “upgrades” they didn’t store any email that came in, didn’t bounce it, and didn’t forward it (to Gmail) either. So it just disolved into nothingness.

I’m hoping that Dreamhost has an option to have normal email accounts where the messages are stored on my bit of the server (where my website is also stored), and that offers the option to autoforward all the messages that come in to another address, too. Most email accounts I’ve had have had this option, but my current website host does not seem to do this.


Yes, it is easy to set up. Just create a mailbox in the webpanel and have it forward to another email address. I have a mailbox that stores all received mail on the server and forwards all mail to another email address. This works great for forwarding to gmail, because I can also use gmail to send mail from The mail retained on Dreamhost’s mail servers is accessible through webmail, imap, or pop. If you receive lots of mail, you might want to consider setting up the mail server to save incoming mail in date-based folders, to simplify finding a single email among thousands.

I do this for a couple of my addresses. I use the DreamHost mailbox purely for backup purposes and any mail arriving at the mailbox is automatically forwarded to my ISP email account, as well as being stored in the mailbox, it seems to work well.

So far (fingers crossed) I haven’t lost any mail that I am aware of.


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You could do that or you can just setup POP3 with your email client and tell your email client to leave mail on the server. That way mail is stored in two locations. Although, I have never lost any email with Dreamhost.

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Thanks everyone for your help! I switched my site over to Dreamhost in the wee hours of the morning and was very happy with the email options. And email delivery seems crazy fast, too. With my old host it sometimes took an hour or so to deliver my mail. But it took a few seconds with Dreamhost. Wheeee!

So, yeah, thanks everyone.


Welcome to DreamHost :slight_smile:

I hope the transition goes smoothly for you. Remember, if you run into any problems, be sure to start a new thread and I’m sure someone here will be able to help you out.

Good luck.


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Isn’t that what IMAP is for? IMAP doesn’t have the disadvantages of your scheme plus you get the ability to sort your mail into folders rather than leaving it all in your inbox.

If you want useful replies, ask smart questions.

IMAP rocks. Unless you need to store it somewhere other than your host, IMAP is way cool.


Welcome to DH!

You will have a lot more fun here. Try out those one-click installs in DH panel --> Goodies --> One-Click Installs and you will be surprised (like me although I don’t have the time to try out yet) :wink:

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I’m a new DH user here and everytime DH makes some server updates or maintinance, they back-up all my mails and files and everything works fine for me. :cool:

I’m Glad to be Hosted /w DH
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