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Recommendations for 3rd Party SMTP services?
03-20-2008, 03:44 AM
Post: #1
Recommendations for 3rd Party SMTP services?
Hi..
As per the multitude of discussions on the forums about the email limits imposed by dreamhost, and the lack of other alternatives offered by dreamhost I am curious as to others' experiences & recommendations for 3rd party alternatives.

More importantly than limits & policies (we WOULD comply with the strict requirements DH has if there was any point), is the fact that mail sent from dreamhost mailservers is consistently more likely to be flagged as spam than mail from our other hosts. As such we currently still pay for full hosting somewhere else (expensive) just for the quality of its SMTP service.

** Although I'm interested in anyone's experiences, my context is one of a non-profit society communicating with paid members for which we have suitable approval but who will unlikely every go online to go through a convoluted multi-step opt-in confirmation. We also have quantity (300+ mails a day by staff members and 10k mail shots) and quality (customers are rarely web savvy enough to tweak a junk filter like spamassassin so we have to do our best to make mail appear like the legitimate mail that it is)

So, some options we are exploring:

1. Paid SMTP services / guaranteed mail services?
Any of these cost effective for general non-sales related communication? The ones we have seen cost upwards of 15c per message! This is justifiable if we were selling something, but for regular communication is a killer.

2. Keep paying $40 or so a month for our old host just for their SMTP service (no limits, no 'inflexible' policies, 'clean' mailserver (no blacklistings) for over 5 years!) (Or just drop DH & go back to them - despite cost & poor control panel)

3. Get a dedicated server on which we can run our own SMTP server & maintain it. Anyone doing this? Have any comments on firms that manage such machines with smtp running on the same machine as the web server?

4. Pay for a fixed IP with our ISP and just have an utgoing mail server sit on our network?

Ideas/thoughts/recommendations/horror stories are most, most welcome - I'm sure there are many otherwise happy DH'ers (who arent on the Blingy cluster ;-) that are suffering similar email woes.

Thanks & Regards,

xp
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03-20-2008, 07:58 AM
Post: #2
Recommendations for 3rd Party SMTP services?
I just use GAFYD (http://www.google.com/a/) on all my domains and for my costumers.

They have Grade A small filter and 99.99% uptime.
They have some kind of outgoing email limit outside the domain (500 emails at once if I'm not mistaken) / per account.
You can either use there FREE for non-profit, or go PAID and have extra option and HD space.
Other then that, running you own SMPT on your network works great (if you have enough upload speed, and can get a PTR and clean/spam free IP)

--
BUGabundo :o)
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04-02-2008, 12:42 PM
Post: #3
Recommendations for 3rd Party SMTP services?
We have used everyone.net for a few years, since our last shared host got flaky with their mail services. When we moved to DH we kept the mail services "off-site" and looking at the various issues here I'm glad we did. We haven't had a single issue in a couple years, not a single bit of downtime, low spam volume, and no reports that we haven't received mail or that something we sent wasn't received. Email is all they do and they do it well - it just works and I don't mind paying for it. The base package is for 5 real accounts with unlimited aliases pointing to those accounts. That's fine for our purposes, YMMV. We don't make use of IMAP or their browser interface, only MS Outlook as POP3/SMTP client.

One thing that people tend to forget about shared hosts is that they are like all-in-one devices that scan, fax, print, and do other things - but if just one of the functions doesn't work then the whole device is flaky. I like DH for their HTTP/FTP and related services. I don't want to make use of their email services and people should really consider shopping around for best-of-breed services with different hosts. These all-in-one internet hosts aren't necessarily experts in every field, and if they're not the best in one field that shouldn't reflect on their other services. Sure, you're going to pay more if you use different companies for different services, but for (I think) $35/year I've been getting flawless email services, and I don't care where it comes from, I'd gladly pay at least twice that amount for the peace of mind that I've had with email compared to the way it was before. My business relies on email, not so much on the HTTP services. Again, YMMV, but if you're going to rely on anything for your business then don't expect to get top-grade all-in-one services for $8/month. The stability of your business is hopefully worth more. I'm not suggesting anyone leave DH email, or DNS, or HTTP, or anytthing else, just keep your eyes open for high quality and decide for yourself what stability is worth and what your tolerance is for lack of stability. As the old saying goes, you can get something fast, cheap, or good - pick two, you probably won't get a good balance of all three.

HTH
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04-02-2008, 01:51 PM
Post: #4
Recommendations for 3rd Party SMTP services?
I think that's very good advice, and that a lot of people could benefit from reading your post! Thanks for sharing your experience with your other sourced email provider.

I agree that it's very rare, if not impossible, to find a single place that is "the best" for everything, and that you can often get a much more robust package by utilizing "best of breed" services in particular areas (email being one of them!) even if it cost "a little" more money.

At the end of the day, that additional cost is usually insignificant when measured against the overall quality of services you receive.

--rlparker
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04-02-2008, 09:25 PM
Post: #5
Recommendations for 3rd Party SMTP services?
Hey Starbuck, Thanks for your recommendation and sharing your experiences. You made some good points and I will look into that service for our business! I'll look into everyone.net now and take your comments under advisement for our business.

Appreciating your time to reply...

X
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04-02-2008, 09:27 PM
Post: #6
Recommendations for 3rd Party SMTP services?
Hey Bugabundo. Thanks for the recommendation. I have taken a look at google apps and am seriously considering it... outgoing volume is an issue for me, but the idea is a good one!

Appreciating your time to reply.

Alex
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