I want to get spam

Well, that is not what I want.
What I want is to filter the spam myself using SpamSieve. I have my own domain. My mail provider uses spam filters that stop legitimate mail from reaching me. I have tried to ask them to disable all filters, they will not do it. I have concluded that I will have to set up my own mail server, which I am capable of doing. But I am lazy so I wonder if any of you have found a willing provider. Or know about an easy solution to configure your own. My plan if nobody knows a good alternative is to use Centos Linux on VMware and setup an dedicated server only for mail with Exim and Dovecot. I already have two Linux servers going here at home on a macmini.

Fastmail lets you disable all spam filters. If you insist on running your own, Luke Smith has a script that makes the setup fairly painless. I’d use a VPS, as most ISP IP ranges are blacklisted by email gateways.


That is great advice Josh. I need to set up a Wordpress instance too so maybe I should look at Amazon AWS? I had a 2 day course at work 6 years ago, but never got to practise it. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it is vague what cost you will end up with…

My provider, pair.com has an option to turn off spam filters (or a third option, to put “Junk” in the subject line for suspected spam, this is the option I choose), on a per email account basis.

They are not the cheapest, but I have been very happy with their service for over a decade.

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I concur with Josh’s Fastmail recommendation; they’e competent and handle domains well. They do some filtering that you can’t stop–spamhaus zen. Anything that gets caught by zen belongs there. But if you loosen the fastmail filters enough to not get false positives and let spamsieve deal with the rest. it’s nearly perfect.

You really don’t want to run your own mail server. It’s not just configuring it properly to begin with and keeping up with security, though those are irritating enough to avoid it. Once you’re up and running, the mail you send is going to get caught in other people’s server spam filters much more often. The giants have been increasingly thumbing their noses at small independent mail servers no matter how correctly they’re configured. They don’t bounce the mail back to the sender and they often don’t put it in the recipient’s spam folder, they just drop it on the floor. They’ll accept it from you with no errors in your logs, but never pass it anywhere more useful than /dev/null. Also, if you have down time and no backup server with the MX set properly, you’re probably going to lose mail. Mail servers typically used to keep trying to send for 5 days, then three, but I noticed recently that many (including fastmail) are down to one day of retries.

If you decide to run your own server anyway, be sure to tell it not to send mail over IPv6. IPv6 is treated as huge blocks of addresses by spam filters, and most of the blocks in use by VPS companies have already been poisoned beyond redemption by spammers.

I can hardly wait to get rid of my last remaining mailing list so I can move my primary domain to Fastmail…


Great explanation. There are whole departments of people dealing with inter-ISP mail questions. The staff know one another and have direct connections. If you aren’t big enough, you don’t get a seat at the table. Just trying to deal with the paperwork would be anywhere from a few hours to dozens of hours per month (the latter if you get hit with an unmerited ban and are trying to de-list yourself).

An alternative which gives you control of inbound would be to run inbound without filters on a server or your own or Fastmail but use a service like SendGrid for outbound. Depending on your usage case, not cheap.

Bill Gates dreamed of making email a paid service back in 2004 (with Microsoft at the toll booth) at 1¢ per email. We’ve arrived now, though the charges are more indirect.

100% agreed. The term we used to refer to what you’d be dealing with while writing about the mail server in Take Control of OS X Server was “toxic hellstew.”

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I guess Internett isn’t a nice place after all. :wink: I used to admin a mailserver for a medium sized commercial printer back in late 1990 to 2002, it worked quite nice. I guess our IP was spot clean back then. :thinking: Thanks for making things very clear to me. I’l have a look at Fastmail.

Yeah, email used to be something anyone could do. Thanks to spammers and bots, it really requires non-stop administration by professionals nowadays, plus expensive filtering services or hardware. Sorry!

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