Libre SMTP relaying

Hey all,

I’ve recently been setting up some infrastructure and needed to run a mail server. I quickly realised how difficult that is. You finally get everything setup and then you are blacklisted by some random $megacorp. Also, for the purpose of recommending self-hosting to beginner sysadmins, it is not feasible for them to run their own mail server. But we should all still be able to send email.

So, I am using a SMTP relay. It’s a quick 4 line change in the postfix configuration and two TXT records set on the DNS configuration and it’s done. I can recommend this.

However, it is terrible for privacy when you have to use something like https://www.mailjet.com/ who track all your emails. Mailjet is interesting because you do not require a PTR record (which you sometimes have to ask your ISP for, and sometimes you pay more for). Nearly anyone can understand and use it.

So, who knows of trustworthy and privacy respecting SMTP relays? And can they match this ease of setup? I’d happily be paying for this. I’d really appreciate any pointers in this regard.

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Every Mail Provider that allows you to use your own domain should also deliver messages for you. It’s the same thing as configuring SMTP in Thunderbird after all. You can start your research with this list.

I also think all those “hosting your own mail server is hard” articles should point out that this only refers to the sending part, and only if you don’t want to use a relay.

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I have been running my own mailserver for many years, and I have never had any significant problem with blacklists and such (around 10-15k emails every day - mailing lists, relay for services etc).

It is also a common misconception that [BIG PROVIDER] does not have a problem with their IP’s getting on blacklists - they do, alot.

I have been notorious when it comes to email authentication (always, always always make sure that your email follows SPF, DKIM, DMARC, PTR matches Hostname) and that is the key to keeping your network clean of blacklists. Also, make sure that you that you choose a good provider (not DigitalOcean, Vultr or similar) - and that mean that it would cost more.

If you can satisfy this - you will succeed :slight_smile:

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