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Sending email this way is typically known as smart hosting. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_host. It's a pretty reliable way of sending out email if your IP has a less than perfect reputation. In this instance less than perfect could be something completely out of your hands.

Are you an EC2 user, well there is a black list for those IP's. Are you on a residential connection or a dynamic IP... there is a black list for that also. So you may have a perfectly configured MTA with a pristine IP and still have delivery issues. Using a smart host is perfect in these situations.

It's been mentioned before but part of running your own mail server is the process of learning and tweaking things to your liking. I remember the days when you could run a server on your own home connection on port 25 without any issues - but those days are long gone. A crucial part of every sys admins journey historically has been setting up and configuring a personal use mail server.

You can always run a mail server at home on a port other than 25 and have an upstream email service deliver it to your alternate port.

So if you'd rather not deal with filtering your own spam, or would like a excellent smart host with SPF and DKIM - let me know.

I'll provide commercial spam filtering with backup MX or smart hosting services to any HN user for 50% off from duocircle.com - just message me... running your own is sort of a right of passage.




I use MailGun for this, they have a very easy guide which checks that you've done everything right and they're free for a few thousand messages per month. It's been great for the few years I've been using them (though it's just for light personal use).


I didn't realize this had an actual term.

I've smart-hosted using postfix, direct for incoming and gmail/sendgrid/mandrill (before it was neutered by mail chimp) for outgoing.

It was fairly cost effective - generous free tier (upto 12k emails) for outgoing, and a small vps to host postfix (~$5/month).


I'd like to try this out. Not sure how to PM you, though…




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