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Running your Domino server on a consumer home network DSL or CABLE system? Bad news on the way...(updated)

By Andrew Pollack on 05/26/2005 at 11:03 AM EDT

Information Week, and a bunch of others, are carrying an article that references a renewed FTC (Federal Trade Commission) effort to get consumer carriers worldwide to stop allowing SMTP traffic outbound to anything other than their own mail relay servers. In short, that would mean if you had a Verizon DSL home account and Verizon opted to participate (or was forced by future legislative policy to participate) you could no longer send SMTP mail via your own server -- it would have to go out through your "".

The move is designed to cut off so called "spam zombie" machines, which are home PC's often connected to high speed links, which have been infected with various malware that allows remote spam or virus senders to utilize that link for outbound propagation of their slime. According to the article, "35 government partners from more than 20 countries" are already cooperating.

I think It is likely that consumer oriented providers will jump on this bandwagon quickly. It lets them wrap themselves in the antispam flag while at the same time reducing the number of home based servers chewing up their network bandwidth. The move also is good for the ISP's branding effort as it means more users sending emails with that ISP's branded domain in the return address.

If you're a small shop and still haven't cut over to a commercial contract for your bandwidth yet, the sound you're hearing is the other shoe falling. Personally, as I've been paying for commercial grade service at considerable expense for years -- because I am in fact doing commercial work on it -- I have little sympathy and fully support this initiative. I have made no secret of this over the years, and I'm sure that ticks some of you off who may have to spend some money. Hey, are you running a business or not?

Of course I should point out that this will also lead to an increase in the popularity of virtual network providers. You'll pay then "x" dollars a month to be the other end of a secure encrypted tunnel between you and their network, and they'll put you on their network. I'd like to think, however, that these sophisticated users will be less likely to be spam zombies however.

There are  - loading -  comments....

Signs of that already arrive here tooBy Stephan H. Wissel on 05/26/2005 at 12:06 PM EDT
I was toying with DNS queries on my local ISP's DNS. To my surprise the DNS of
my ISP resolves IN A entries and nothing else. So if I would run an outgoing
SMTP it couln't resolve any MX record. So kind of smart. What'd NOT smart: It
doesn't resolve TXT records, so I can't implement a client side SPF
As you said: no symathy for the move but full support.
;-) stw
My own thoughts on this are...By Richard Schwartz on 05/26/2005 at 01:32 PM EDT
This is nothing new. Major ISPs have been blacklisting dynamic IPs for over a
year, forcing servers on consumer-class DSL and cable connection to relay off
their servers. This is a problem only in two cases: (a) if the ISP filters out
mail on their relays if the from address isn't in their domain or one they have
registered for the customer (particularly if the ISP won't register domains for
customers!) and (b) if the ISP imposes rate limits on outbound messages that
are lower than the server needs to legitimately generat. I have heard of some
ISPs that are doing (a). I haven't heard of any that are setting rate limits
yet, but I imagine it will be happening -- as this is the real goal of what the
FTC is trying to do: force the major ISPs to take responsibility for
controlling the volume of outbound mail from home PCs.

I'm doing this...By Jess Stratton on 05/26/2005 at 05:17 PM EDT
I have my Domino server on my home network. It's more like a playground than
anything, but I'm using POPWeasel to collect all my mail from my POP3 accounts
into my one Domino server.

I just have my Configuration document set to use "" in the "relay
host for messages leaving the local internet domain" field. Basically it's the
same setting that you'd have for outbound SMTP if you used any other POP3
client... I don't see how this is any different.

Interestingly, my IP address has not changed in two years anyway. :-)
My own thoughts on this are...By Jon Johnston on 05/26/2005 at 05:52 PM EDT
So.... how are they actually going to do this?
Seriously, how do they think that ISP's are going to be able to filter the
outbound SMTP traffic coming from home PC's?

What tools, what filters are going to block it?

I'm not against the step, but what good is this going to do?
It's not rocket scienceBy Richard Schwartz on 05/26/2005 at 11:08 PM EDT
ZipLink has proprietary and patented technology for "Mail Message Metering".
It is targeted at very large ISPs.

Given the source code to Sendmail (freely available) and a few weeks time, any
reasonably experienced C programmer with a background in SMTP could do
something similar in a matter of a few days or weeks. The hard part will
certainly not be the programming. It will be avoiding infringement on the
ZipLink patent.

I use Pipex in the UK, home office broadbandBy Alan Bell on 05/27/2005 at 05:28 AM EDT
for about £30 per month ($45 ish) I get ADSL with a static IP address and terms
and conditions which allow me to run a modest network and host whatever I like
on it. I would not use the raw consumer offering to host stuff, but if you are
paying for a static IP then that is because you expect other hosts to be able
to know where you are. I know DHCP IP addresses tend not to change on ADSL, but
I would not map a domain name on to a potentially moving target. They are
moving me to 2MB download (still 256 upload) soonish too.
Actually, you don't need "commercial grade service at considerable expense"By Brian Benz on 05/27/2005 at 11:38 AM EDT
With other platforms this is perhaps necessary, but with Domino there are
alternatives.....How about this?

-Rent a Windows or Linux server at a low-cost host like Server Beach (+- $119
per month).
-Install your home-based Domino server there, or a create a new server.
-Route Notes mail through your home-based Notes client or Domino server to your
new hosted server.
-The hosted server routes mail via SMTP.

Now you have solved the SMTP limitation problem, and as a bonus you have an
external mail server that runs even if your home-based connection is down. Oh,
and if you replicate your other DBs out there, you also have off-site
redundancy. And you can put your Web site out there too. If it's hacked, their
server is hosed, not yours. Plus regular tape backups, plus redundant net
backbone, etc. All for a fraction of the cost of the "commercial" line to your
home, which in my experience is usually the same thing as a consumer line, but
at a higher price.
That's 100% true -- and a great alternative for mostBy Andrew Pollack on 05/27/2005 at 12:50 PM EDT
I'd respect anyone making that decision -- it doesn't make senes for me because
I have several servers and as many as a couple of dozen different service ip's
or ports in use. I've considered several times going that what however and if
I wasn't so all over the place with my own lab, it would be a good move.
I am still running my "home" server off my consumer ISP...By Rock on 05/28/2005 at 09:47 PM EDT
But I am running my blog and other sites off of (who are
AWESOME). I had problems in the past being blacklisted because I was trying to
run my own SMTP through my little Domino server - AOL and some others wouldn't
accept mail from me, and certain blacklists had our ISP listed because it was
"consumer grade dynamic".

Right now to get around this I simply have my outbound SMTP routing to my ISPs
SMTP server. Currently my ISPs SMTP server doesn't require a name/PW to route
mail (since the IP is in the same subnet), and it works fine. However I do
realize that this probably won't be the case in the future, and I'll probably
switch my mail routing to as well in the near future.

I'm also using DominoDeveloper.netBy Devin Olson on 06/14/2005 at 02:08 PM EDT
I realize I'm a little late on this thread, but I'm going to pipe in anyway.

I used to have business class service to the house, but the cost just got way
out of hand. I changed over to a residential class service, and have hosted my
stuff at

They host apps (like my blog) as well as my mail. My home machines replicate
with their servers, and everything runs great. As an added benefit, they are
using a Barracuda anti-spam firewall, which means my mail is (almost) spam

The hosting fee + my residential fee is about $80/month less than I was
spending before.


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