Eyes Above The Waves

Robert O'Callahan. Christian. Repatriate Kiwi. Hacker.

Monday 20 November 2006

Mail Forwarding

For years I've been using Zoneedit's free service to forward mail for accounts @ocallahan.org to various destinations (currently GMail accounts). Unfortunately Zoneedit's service seems to have deteriorated lately; many mails are delayed by half an hour or more inside Zoneedit's system, and I suspect one or more may have been dropped, although I can't prove that yet. Any readers have tips for a more reliable but free service to achieve the same thing? "Google Apps For Your Domain" is close, but apparently overkill for what I want since it seems to give you fresh GMail mailboxes for the domain email addresses, and I just want forwarding to existing accounts.

The Firefox Summit was fantastic. I met literally dozens of people I've worked with for years but never met face to face, and I had lots of fun. I'll probably write more about it soon.

Update! On the advice of an anonymous commenter, I tried using Google Apps For Your Domain, setting up one "email list" per name@ocallahan.org, each containing one recipient, the address I want to forward to. It works great! Email propagation time is reduced from 10-30+ minutes to about ten seconds, and I only have had to create one extra GMail account (root@ocallahan.org, the administrator). Thanks Anonymous (and Google)!


Josh Matthews
Well, if you used the Google Apps For Your Domain, you could just get the fresh GMail mailboxes to automatically forward all mail on to your current accounts.
As a former user of ZE's forwarding service who has now switched to GAFYD, I'll recommend that. It may be a bit of "overkill" as you said, but you can just set things up so that everything is auto-forwarded to your current Gmail account.* I have a friend who's in the same boat as you (he wants a better forwarding service, but didn't need fresh new accounts) who did just that. The upside to this is that you theoretically have one less point of failure in your e-mail chain because instead of worrying about Gmail's servers working and some third-party's servers working, you just have to worry about Gmail's
* If you're not using catchalls, then it's easier to just set up a Google Apps "Email List" for each address that you want forwarded; otherwise, if you are using catchalls, set the catchall account to auto-forward e-mails from its account settings.
Rober Accettura
I'd recommend just web hosting. Most give the option to setup forwards. Also your own pop3 so you have reliable email without branding. That's been my approach for years. No regrets.
Robert O'Callahan
Thanks Anonymous, the Email List looks like a great way to do forwarding. I'm setting up Google Apps For Your Domain now.
Thanks for the recommendation.. I was also getting tired of 20-30 min deliveries (forwards) from zoneedit, and GAFYD seems to work perfectly!
For those wishing to forward all mail for your domain, just setup an account on GAFYD (e.g. admin), go into settings and configure that admin account as a catch-all. Next, go into that admin's Gmail and set the forwarding there.
An added bonus is that I will have copies of all my mail in my Gmail for backup.
Thanks again.
I just got fed up with MyDomain.com's slow and unreliable forwarding. Found your post and switched to GAFYD. Setup was easy and test messages work fine. Thanks for the pointer!
My e-mail has even been kept by ZoneEdit for *twelve* hours before they forwarded it. Although I still have some privacy reservations about Google, they may win the battle. Previously I used Mydomain which is the same trouble as ZE. Right now they are all owned by Dotster who seems to have bought the rights on e-mail delays. Not to mention that ZE helpdesk and admins totally ignore customers who complain, all you get out of them is "one of our servers has been mail bombed and we have taken precautions so that we hope it will not happen again" or "we have ordered extra servers". I am giving up.
Nick Law
I have the same problem. Mails that don't get forwarded by zoneedit at all or delayed for at least half an hour. The mails that completely vanish are the most worrying ! Looks like I may have to drop zoneedit.
I'm assuming this technique worked for you too! If so, glad to hear! I had only tested it out a couple of times so I wasn't sure it was working for others. Scan Mail