At Internet hardly any market is as competitive as the Web hosting. Particularly in the lower and middle price segment, the Provider always wi.der in the prices for all-round carefree packages. In addition to storage space, they usually include a Domain, Databases and E-Mail-mailboxes. Complete packages are inexpensive and highly recommended for beginners. In professional and business use, however, problems can quickly arise with e-mail communication in particular. Which problems occur in detail and how you can prevent them, we explain in this Guide.
Business e-mail communication: Problems without separate email server
It is estimated that there are about 1.5 billion e-mails on the road in Germany every day. A large proportion of these are business e-mails containing important information. Most companies depend on their e-mails with offers, order and dispatch confirmations, newsletters and business correspondence reaching the recipient on time. With a cheap shared hosting-However, this is not always guaranteed by the provider.
shared web hosting means that several users can access a physical Server share. Think of the server as an apartment building with up to several hundred parties. Although each tenant has its own domain, they share a common (IP) address. The individual Domains routes to these IP address. If now the website hacked, the attacker may be able to use the vulnerability to Spam-Mails via the server. This has far-reaching consequences for all users.
IP address ends up on blacklists
Webmail providers automatically detect a frequent spam volume from an IP address and report it to the various spam blacklists. What does this mean for you? Since many email servers use blacklists to pre-sort mails, the server may evaluate and sort your emails as spam. E-mails from senders that are on the blacklist usually do not reach the recipient. They are often deleted directly or end up in the spam folder. If the Web host and the security hole is eliminated, the blacklist entry can be reversed. Unfortunately, many affected people only notice the problem when the proverbial child has already fallen into the well. Many only become aware of it when, for example, the first customers or business partners complain because they do not receive replies to e-mails.
However, the problem cannot only affect you on a shared Hosting-account, but also on a rental server if you do not have a separate email server. For example, if you are running on your server with open sourceSoftware like WordPress, Drupal or Typo 3, special care is required. Due to their widespread use, the Content Management Systems are popular targets. Almost daily new security holes appear, for which there are regular Updates there. If you skip one or more updates, you run the risk of Hack of the server. If a mail server is installed on the server in question, there is also a risk of being blacklisted if spam is sent.
The solution: Strict separation of web hosting and email server
A strict separation of web hosting and email server reduces the risk of email communication restrictions due to hacks. You achieve this separation by placing your website on a server and your email communication on a vServer outsource. It is important that both servers have their own IP address and that no other users use the IP address of your e-mail server. The separation of the subdomains for accessing the website and for sending mail is done via the DNS entry (the so-called MX record).
In practice, the separation works as follows:
- The subdomain mail.domain.de redirects to the IP address of the mail server.
- The subdomain(s) www.domain.de and/or domain.de to the IP address of the web server.
In this way, you retain full control over the reputation of your IP address.
A separation of e-mail and web hosting is also an advantage in case of a failure of the web host. Normally in this case neither your website nor your e-mail address can be reached. Through the separately set up email server, you remain accessible for customers even if your website fails.
The separation also has a safety advantage. If you operate your own server for your web hosting, its operating system and all associated software packages must be kept regularly up to date. With so-called Managed servers, the web host takes over this task. In the case of a self-administered server, the customer is responsible for this himself. On servers especially the mail-Functions like Sendmail and Postfix a popular target for hackers. When separating web storage and email, it is not necessary to have a Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) on the Web server to install. By disconnecting, you automatically close a security gap.
Unlimited e-mail-Addresses and storage space
Finally, operating a separate server for e-mail traffic has another advantage: Compared to standard offers from webhosters, you have no limit to the number of possible e-mail addresses. With the e-mail server on your own vServer, you can use any number of mailboxes, aliases, autoresponders and forwardings set up. There is also no limit to the amount of memory. Most web hosters limit the storage space for incoming e-mails in their offers. An own mail server limits the storage space only by the size of the hard disk.