Here are some answers to some common questions we have gotten about our anti-spam service.
Questions about the unique features of this service.
What are HostDime's Email Filter and Archive Services?
They are our cloud-based services that provide greatly improved anti-spam and anti-malware email protection compared to standard on-server or local anti-spam technologies. Archiving provides industry-compliant email archiving and continuity.
What are the components of these services?
There are three components to HostDime's Email Filter and Archive services all of which can be purchased separately.
- Inbound filtering: This service filters out spam and malware from a domain's incoming mail.
- It also provides 15 days of backup MX service for free. If your local mail server goes down, our service will store your incoming mail for the covered domain and redeliver it once your mail server is available again.
- Outbound filtering: This service allows you to filter mail that your users send FROM your local mail server through our service. This will allow us to filter out spam if one of your domain's mail accounts gets compromised.
- Archiving/continuity service: This saves copies of all incoming or outgoing mail from your domain for an extended period. You can even use the service to send mail if your main mail server is down.
What are the benefits of this service compared to locally hosted anti-spam tools or filters?
- All filtering is done in our special cloud service and only clean mail gets delivered to your local mail server. This frees up your server to focus on other tasks.
- We have a team of experts working 24/7 to ensure our service filters out the latest spam and malware. You don't have to spend your time doing that.
- The service is simple to set up. All you need to do is change your MX records (for inbound filtering) and we can even help you with that.
- There are no configuration changes required for individual mail accounts. Mail can be sent and received normally.
- Our service protects all email accounts in your domain. Most services third-party services charge you for every mail account that gets filtered.
- It doesn't require you to host your email service itself elsewhere. You can continue to manage your email in cPanel or Plesk or your local mail server exactly as you do now.
- Our service is backed by our outstanding 24/7 support team.
Technical Service Questions
More in-depth answers about how this service works.
In somewhat more technical detail, how does this service work?
Inbound works by changing the MX records that the domain points too. This causes all legitimate mail senders and most spammers to send mail to HostDime's Email Filter service first. Our service receives the mail and the automated service checks to see if if the mail is spam. The first level is several layers of conservative blacklists that filter only known, active spam origins. Mail filtered this way doesn't get quarantined. If the mail makes it through the blacklist, the system then runs proprietary tests on the mail to determine if it is spam. If it is likely spam, the message is quarantined and not delivered. If the message is clean, HostDime's Premium Anti-Spam Service servers deliver the mail to the user's normal mail server.
Outbound works by configuring a smarthost for the covered domain. This causes mail sent from that domain to automatically and transparently deliver to HostDime's Email Filter servers. They scan the mail and if it is spam, it is quarantined and not sent. If the mail is clean, our mail servers send the message to the recipient.
Archiving/continuity keeps copies of incoming and outgoing mail for extended periods. Clients and admins can also log into a separate white label webmail service to check and send mail if their local mail server is down.
Where is the mail processed? Is it GDPR compliant?
Mail is processed in one of hundreds of servers in the EU or US. It is possible to configure the service so that it only uses servers in the US or only in the EU. Our service is GDPR compliant.
Do humans read my mail to determine if it is spam?
No. The spam and malware scanning is fully automated. We don't read your mail.
Questions concerning the costs associated with the service
What are the costs for this service?
For 1-10 domains, the cost is as follows:
- Inbound filtering costs $14.99 per domain per month.
- Outbound filtering costs $14.99 per domain per month.
- Archiving service costs $29.99 per domain per month.
- If you want to bundle all three services together, the total cost for all three is only $49.99 per domain per month.
Is there a multi-domain discount?
Absolutely! If you have 11 or more domains to protect, the cost per domain drops:
- 11-25 domains:
- Inbound filtering costs $13.99 per domain per month.
- Outbound filtering costs $13.99 per domain per month.
- Archiving service costs $27.99 per domain per month.
- Bundle of all three services: $46.99 per domain per month.
- 26-50 domains:
- Inbound filtering costs $12.99 per domain per month.
- Outbound filtering costs $12.99 per domain per month.
- Archiving service costs $24.99 per domain per month.
- Bundle of all three services: $43.99 per domain per month.
- 51-100 domains:
- Inbound filtering costs $11.99 per domain per month.
- Outbound filtering costs $11.99 per domain per month.
- Archiving service costs $23.99 per domain per month.
- Bundle of all three services: $39.99 per domain per month.
- 101-250 domains:
- Inbound filtering costs $10.99 per domain per month.
- Outbound filtering costs $10.99 per domain per month.
- Archiving service costs $21.99 per domain per month.
- Bundle of all three services: $36.99 per domain per month.
- More than 250 domains:
- Inbound filtering costs $9.99 per domain per month.
- Outbound filtering costs $9.99 per domain per month.
- Archiving service costs $19.99 per domain per month.
- Bundle of all three services: $32.99 per domain per month.
How much will it cost to have you help me set these services up?
If you'd like us to help set up inbound mail filtering, there will be a one-time fee of $14.99 per domain. You can also set up this service yourself by following the directions HERE.
Setting up outbound filtering costs $14.99 per domain.
To set up archiving or a bundle of services together for the same domain, the cost is $29.99.
If you have many domains you'd like to set up, please discuss the matter with our Sales team and they will let you know the cost.
Service Configuration Questions
Explanations of how to set up the service.
Can I configure incoming filtering myself?
Yes. You can find the documentation for that HERE.
Can I configure outgoing filtering myself?
This service is much more complicated to set up, so our technicians will take care of it for you after you sign up.
My domain has several configured subdomain email accounts. Are the subdomains covered as part of the main domain?
In certain cases, yes.
If your subdomain emails are configured so that you have the same mail accounts as your main domain, then you can set up your subdomains as a domain alias. Our service will then quarantine all of the subdomain received spam with the main domain and deliver all of the mail to the same local mail server.
If you have different email accounts for your subdomains than your main domain or the subdomains resolve to different servers then you will need to purchase service separately for each subdomain so configured.
Is it possible to only filter specific subdomains instead of the entire domain?
Within certain limitations, yes.
- You can specify a subdomain like sub.domain.com as your filtered domain.
- In most cases this will require that you have the subdomain configured as a separate account in cPanel or Plesk.
- Without that, in some cases, both the main and subdomains will be filtered.
Can subdomains split across multiple different servers be filtered?
Yes, but subdomains that deliver to different locations are treated as separate domains and you must purchase service separately for each subdomain configured this way.
Can I whitelist or blacklist certain email addresses?
Yes, once you sign up, you'll be able to log into your anti-spam account and set up white or blacklists as needed. Each email user can have a separate white or blacklist or you can assign certain global white or blacklisted addresses globally to all email accounts.
Can I import white or blacklists from another service like Spam Assassin?
You can add the same addresses to our white or blacklists as you have set up in another service, but you probably don't need to do so.
Our mail filtering service is far better than what you may be using now (like Spam Assassin), so while other services may need carefully tended white or blacklists to work properly, ours shouldn't. You should only blacklist email that isn't spam, but which is something you know you don't want (for example, mail from someone you never want to talk to). Whitelisting should only be needed if you want to be extra certain that no mail from that address or domain gets filtered as spam.
There is not currently a way to mass-import white or blacklist items from another service, though you can export your white or blacklist as a CSV file if you want.
Does incoming mail filtering cause SPF record issues?
Potentially, yes. It is recommended that you disable inbound SPF record checks for our mail servers. The list of possible IPs are listed in our inbound mail filtering setup documentation.
Does outbound mail filtering cause SPF record issues?
Only if you haven't added +include:spf.antispamcloud.com to your existing SPF record. If you add that, then there won't be an issue. Our team will help you configure that when we set up the service.
Does this service cause DKIM record issues?
What to do if there are other issues.
If I have a problem with this service, who should I contact?
You can contact HostDime 24/7.