My ISP blocks SMTP Port 25. Can I still host a mail server?

Want to run your own mail server at your house, office, etc, but can’t because your Internet Service Provider blocks inbound port 25? First, let’s talk about why your ISP blocks Port 25, and then I will tell you a simple, cost effective solution.

Why?
In an attempt to control Spam and viruses, most Internet service providers block inbound and outbound port 25, which means you could experience technical problems when sending email i.e. it won’t work. If ISPs didn’t block outbound port 25, a computer could get infected with a virus and then that virus could could send out thousands, if not millions of spam emails – infecting lots of other computers and networks too.

How to check
It is easy to check to see if your ISP blocks Port 25. You can call and ask the ISP if they block port 25 it is best to specify Inbound or Outbound. If you do not want to deal with having to contact the ISP you can test port 25 Inbound yourself. To do so you need to have a server running on port 25 and port 25 port forwarded in your router and firewall. Once configured head over to canyouseeme.org, type 25 into the box and click “Check your Port” You will have to do this from the location of your network that you want to check. If it comes back with an error, chances are high that your ISP is blocking port 25.

My ISP Blocks Port 25, What can I do?
Don’t fret…. There is an easy solution if you want to run an email server at your house and your ISP blocks port 25. No-IP Reflector is a cost effective workaround. Reflector allows No-IP to be the primary mail exchanger for your domain. When an email destined for your domain arrives at our servers, we forward it on to your inbound mail server, which can be on a different (and unblocked) port of your choice. Not only does Reflector allow you to run your own mail server from home, but it also does extensive spam / virus scanning, so you don’t have to worry about dealing with spam, which can be a serious headache. Reflector also includes greylisting and customizable RBL (Real Blackhole Lists) lists. Reflector will also hold all of your emails for a max of 7 days if your mail server is unreachable. Our servers hold your emails until yours is back online and continuously attempts to resend the messages back to your server. How sweet is that?

Also, please note that if your ISP blocks outbound port 25 you will need to use an outbound SMTP server such as Alternate-Port SMTP which allows you to send out through our servers using a different port. Our outbound servers also have a PTR record created which will help you send to major mail providers.

Do what was once impossible — run your own mail server. Plus, until the end of March, all* email services are 25% off. (not valid on renewals – new service only) Use coupon code: MARCH25 during checkout.

 

What are Name Servers?

Name servers perform the critical task of translating domain names to the IP address needed to connect online. You can think of them like a phone book. They hold all of the IP addresses of all the domain names that are hosted on them. If it weren’t for name servers saving all of the records of domain names, you would have to know the IP address of every single website that you visit. Visiting the No-IP website would not be as simple as typing in www.noip.com into your browser, you would have to type the actual IP address http://8.23.224.107.
Name Servers

When you register a domain and host a website, you are able to choose who handles your name server records. If you delegate your domain to No-IP, our Plus Managed DNS handles your websites DNS. Choosing a managed DNS provider is a wise decision if you rely heavily on your website and hate the thought of experiencing any downtime. How much would website downtime cost you?

Related article:
What is DNS?

 

Registering a New Domain? Better Research Its History

Thinking of registering a new domain name? One thing that people often forget to do, is to research the history of the domain name. I recently attended SMX West and Duane Forrester from Bing gave an example of a large company that had been complaining, a lot, that Bing was blocking their domain for no reason.

Domain Name Image

Turns out, Bing was blocking their domain, but it wasn’t because of things that the company was doing. The domain was being blocked because what had been done with the domain before the company owned it. The previous owners had been distributing Malware and Bing had, indeed, blocked it.

How can you learn about the history of a domain before you purchase one? There are a few red flags to look for. If you find a domain that seems almost too good to be true, it probably is. If the domain is cheap and a good one, chances are pretty high that it is cheap for a reason. Research is very important when buying a new domain name. You can use the trusty Way Back Machine to see what the domain has looked like in the past few years. You can also use the Domain Tools Whois History to see the ownership history and blacklist history.

The last thing you want when starting a new website is to be excluded from the SERP for reasons uncontrolled by you. Also be sure to follow our 6 tips for choosing the right domain name.

Have you ever registered a domain name only to find out later that it had been used inappropriately before? What did you do to resolve the issue?

Matt and Duane’s Adventure in SEO: SMX West

I had the ultimate privilege of attending SMX West, the Search Marketing Expo in San Jose, CA this past week. It was an amazing experience packed with tons and tons of great knowledge. I am pretty sure I witnessed something there that will probably never happen again in this lifetime: Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam Team and Duane Forrester, Senior Product Manager with Bing’s Webmaster Program on stage together talking about SEO.

If you want your website to rank well, Cutts pointed out the top things that can get your website in trouble.

1. Too many doorway pages. If you are generating too many pages to target one unique phrase, it can sometimes lead to duplicate content which is a big NO, NO.

2. Autogenerated content. This practice speaks for itself… and Cutts shared an example of absurd auto-generated content  -a serious question is answered entirely by quoting a Freak Nasty song (which Cutts recited to a gleeful crowd). Autogenerated content is even worse when site owners use pictures of the Google web spam team. (This seems to happen more often than one would expect.)

3. Keyword stuffing- black hat SEO 101, and no website should practice it, ever.

4. Gibberish content- avoid it at all costs. If your content doesn’t read well and sounds robotic, overly stuffed with keywords, you have a major problem. His example of this was a Korean website, that even though it was in a different language, you could easily tell that it was stuffed with keywords.

5. Hacking- not necessarily the websites fault, but you will be penalized by Google if your website falls prey. Cutts said that 90 percent of penalizations are related to black hat practices, but a lot of spam reports are also related to hacking. “Keep software up to date,” Cutts suggested. He also said, “Fetch as Googlebot is your friend – it’s an easy way to see if your site got hacked.” Keep an eye on your Webmaster Tools and sign up to receive email alerts so you will quickly be notified when something goes wrong.

In closing, Cutts said, “Be excellent to each other! Be excellent to users and search engines and give people content they want.”

Duane Forrester of Bing also had a similar message. He said, “If your content is the best thing since sliced bread, you’re going to rank well. We are focused on what searchers are engaging and how we can deliver them better results.”

So, my take on it? Content is not only king but also queen and ace. If your content rocks, your website ranking will rock too! What are your thoughts on content and SEO?

What is Recursive DNS?

What is recursive DNS? Every website on the Internet needs to have at least one authoritative DNS server. Authoritative servers are where that websites records are kept. The more authoritative DNS servers your website has, the more redundant it is. To understand exactly what recursive DNS is, let’s explain what exactly DNS is.

In order for a website to be accessed via its URL, i.e. www.noip.com, the website needs DNS. The Domain Name System performs like a phone book. If not for DNS you would need to know the phone number or IP address of every single website. DNS acts like a phone book by pointing a URL to the websites IP address for you. This means you don’t have to know the IP address of every website. How frustrating would that be? I can barely even remember my own phone number, let alone the phone number of every single website that I want to visit.

Anyway, the place where the phone numbers of the websites are kept are the authoritative DNS servers. Each website has at least one and if you want the website to be fully redundant, (meaning if one server has issues or downtime, your website will not be affected) they often have more – that are all located in geographically redundant locations. When you type www.noip.com into your browser, your computer queries the recursive DNS provider. If the recursive DNS server has the answer cached, then it gives that answer if it doesn’t have the answer cached, the recursive DNS server then queries the authoritative DNS server. The authoritative DNS server returns the correct answer and the website is loaded.

Although it sounds quite confusing and time-consuming, all of this happens in milliseconds. Questions or comments? Leave them in the comments! Also, click Like to share this with your friends!