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Old 2 Feb 2017, 02:12 AM   #31
mavas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony17112acst View Post
mavas: I'll have to digest that recommendation (since I am a novice), but will your recommendation explain why I get email from everyone else in the world ...but not comcast? FYI, when you setup the account, we are instructed to use mbox.freehostia.com.
A mail exchanger record (MX record) is a type of resource record in the Domain Name System that specifies a mail server responsible for accepting email messages on behalf of a recipient's domain, and a preference value used to prioritize mail delivery if multiple mail servers are available.



Comcast Requires valid mx records to point to the correct servers when sending and receiving. Where other companies are not as strict about it.
So in this case what could be causing the issue is that comcast is trying to deliver but not sure where it needs to be delivered.

Last edited by mavas : 2 Feb 2017 at 02:28 AM.
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Old 2 Feb 2017, 03:12 AM   #32
jhollington
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Actually, mail.freehostia.com is just what they're identifying themselves as in the SMTP banner:

Code:
220 mail.freehostia.com ESMTP Exim 4.86_2 Wed, 01 Feb 2017 19:03:15 +0000
mail.freehostia.com is a CNAME (alias) record that points to mbox.freehostia.com, which is the A (address) record for the mail server:

Code:
; <<>> DiG 9.8.1-P1 <<>> mail.freehostia.com
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 37973
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 2, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;mail.freehostia.com.		IN	A

;; ANSWER SECTION:
mail.freehostia.com.	3592	IN	CNAME	mbox.freehostia.com.
mbox.freehostia.com.	1147	IN	A	162.210.102.199
Freehostia is absolutely correct that you should be using mbox.freehostia.com as the target for the MX record. As per RFC 974, an MX record should never point to a CNAME.

Why they have that CNAME there and why their SMTP banner is "mail" rather than "mbox" is obviously a bit odd, but it shouldn't cause anything to break unless the sending server is being seriously picky. The reverse DNS (PTR) record for 162.210.102.199 does correctly resolve to mbox.freehostia.com:

Code:
; <<>> DiG 9.8.1-P1 <<>> -x 162.210.102.199
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 38777
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;199.102.210.162.in-addr.arpa.	IN	PTR

;; ANSWER SECTION:
199.102.210.162.in-addr.arpa. 2838 IN	PTR	mbox.freehostia.com.
So there's no mismatch there; only the SMTP banner is off, and almost no mail servers should care about that enough to refuse to transmit — at most it's usually just an error noted in the outbound server's log file.
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Old 2 Feb 2017, 03:15 AM   #33
jhollington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony17112acst View Post
Jholl: Yes, they have webmail ...it's what I'm using temporarily.
If you log into the webmail, are you able to send a message from your Freehostia account to your Comcast.net address?

If that works, then that rules out any possible issues with this legitimately being based on DMARC records or blacklists — not that I buy any of that anyway — as it would be beyond insane for Comcast to refuse to send mail to a server that's on a blacklist while still happily receiving mail from them.

That said, if you can get a message through from Freehostia to Comcast, please post the headers here from the received message in your Comcast account, as that might provide some more useful information as to what's going on.
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Old 2 Feb 2017, 03:27 AM   #34
tony17112acst
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jholl: Regretfully, my free Freehostia account does not allow the sending of email ...with both SMTP AND with webmail (which is too bad). I'll look up to see if I can pay a one-month fee to upgrade (not a full year) and see if sending works OK.

UPDATE: Well, they want $36 minimum for me to send email and I just can't do it just to send 1 email and all it would prove is Comcast is crazy (not solve the actual problem, if if I understand correctly).

Last edited by tony17112acst : 2 Feb 2017 at 03:55 AM.
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Old 2 Feb 2017, 03:39 AM   #35
FredOnline
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If you're talking about the domain anthonytonini.com, I'm confused why you have MX records set for Freehostia if you can't (under your free plan) send via them.
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Old 2 Feb 2017, 04:06 AM   #36
mavas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony17112acst View Post
UPDATE: Well, they want $36 minimum for me to send email and I just can't do it just to send 1 email and all it would prove is Comcast is crazy (not solve the actual problem, if if I understand correctly).
I do want to point out that you stated in one of your posts that you moved one of your domains being hosted on freehostia.com to godaddy and you stopped having and issue of getting emails from Comcast to that domain.

"
* 50Webs offers no support for their free services, and since Comcast said it's not their fault, I decided to change my web and email hosting to Freehostia,
* I set up my Freehostia account just ONE WEEK ago,
* To my utter amazement, Freehostia was having the exact same problem receiving Comcast emails!!!
* After much research, I found they are both part of the same company: Liquidnet, "

I also want to point out that you are using a company that supplies no support for using their free service and will not assist with issues you are having. Claiming the sender who makes multi attempts to deliver a message to your domain but fails due to no response from the server does not point 100% at the sender. It is a 2 way street.

Comcast is known to have strict sending and receiving policies.

Last edited by mavas : 2 Feb 2017 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 2 Feb 2017, 04:52 AM   #37
jhollington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony17112acst View Post
UPDATE: Well, they want $36 minimum for me to send email and I just can't do it just to send 1 email and all it would prove is Comcast is crazy (not solve the actual problem, if if I understand correctly).
No, it would definitely not solve the problem. It would merely be a test. At this point if you were going to spend money, I'd just suggest spending it on a better mail provider

Quote:
Originally Posted by FredOnline View Post
If you're talking about the domain anthonytonini.com, I'm confused why you have MX records set for Freehostia if you can't (under your free plan) send via them.
I sort of wonder about this too, but I'm assuming that Freehostia provides a mailbox at their "free" level and expects people to use their ISP SMTP servers to send mail.

Not what I would consider a good solution, but you get what you pay for, and it's pretty rare to find a provider that will let you host your own domain for free in the first place, so I guess some compromises are necessary.

At this point, I'm seriously thinking the best option is just to give up and get everything off of Freehostia. The very fact that they've landed on an RBL makes me question their stability and reliability as an e-mail provider (and by the way, they're still getting refreshed on that UCEPROTECTL1 there was another hit early this morning, which suggests that they've been on that RBL for a while).

It wouldn't entirely surprise me to discover that Comcast isn't sending to servers that are blacklisted in this manner, except for the fact that I would expect their support staff to have a clearer indication of this. It's definitely not common for senders to care about blacklists, but it's not out of the question either. There could even be reasons why they might treat this as a transient failure rather than a permanent one, especially with a blacklist like UCEPROTECTL1, which is a temporary blacklist. Again, I still think this is an unlikely scenario for all of these reasons, but it's not an impossible one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mavas View Post
I also want to point out that you are using a company that supplies no support for using their free service and will not assist with issues you are having. Claiming the sender who makes multi attempts to deliver a message to your domain but fails due to no response from the server does not point 100% at the sender. It is a 2 way street.
Well, I don't think any of us are saying that it's 100% the sender's problem, but when trying to diagnose an email transmission problem, you have to start with looking at the place that is currently the source of the DSN, and then go from there. Technically speaking, until Comcast successfully hands off the message to another provider, they're responsible for at least determining why they're unable to do that, even if it's not their fault. It's unfortunate (and a bit perplexing) that Comcast isn't returning a specific error message here as that would likely provide an explanation as to what's actually happening.

Quote:
Comcast is known to have strict sending and receiving policies.
While this is definitely a valid point, the transient nature of the errors suggests it's not the issue. A strict outbound policy should normally result in an immediate and permanent failure, and should frankly provide some useful error responses. Thus far, it would seem that the attempts by Comcast support to explain why these messages aren't getting through have been inscrutable at best, and outright misinformation at worst.

Further, considering the state of their DMARC and SPF records, I honestly wouldn't even say that their receiving policies are all that strict, and very few providers have particularly strict sending policies beyond things like message size limits and anti-virus filtering, which I'm going to assume are not the issue here.

Keep in mind that when we talk about "strict sending and receiving policies" we're actually talking about two different things. Like most ISPs, Comcast would definitely have strict policies on what can be sent and received (e.g. maximum message sizes, types of attachments, number of recipients, etc), but as an ISP they really can't have strict policies on where mail is sent to and received from this is exactly why their DMARC and SPF records are this permissive.

The bottom line is that I don't see this as a "policy" issue if it were, Comcast should be able to identify the problem pretty easily. That said, I agree with the statement that it's not all Comcast's problem.... there is something wrong between Comcast and Freehostia that only seems to affect this specific communication channel, and there's enough odd stuff going on Freehostia (such as being on an RBL) that suggests that their infrastructure isn't exactly up to snuff on their end. IMHO, however, none of this changes the fact that it's up to Comcast to at least provide a definitive answer as to why their systems cannot or will not deliver messages to the domain in question.
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Old 2 Feb 2017, 05:09 AM   #38
mavas
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I would like to see more support attempts form freehostia.com as well. When reading the forum and trying to see if my understanding would be of any help. I see nothing being said about what freehostia is doing to try and help other than trying to charge you to find out the cause of the issue.
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Old 2 Feb 2017, 05:17 AM   #39
tony17112acst
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mavas: I am impressed that you read this huge, long thread! Thanks for taking the time to help!

Quote:
I do want to point out that you stated in one of your posts that you moved one of your domains being hosted on freehostia.com to godaddy and you stopped having and issue of getting emails from Comcast to that domain.
Actually it was tonytonini.com only that I moved.

FYI:
* 50Webs does not offer any support, but Freehostia DOES - and they have checked their logs/traffic (not 50Webs);
* I had tonytonini.com at 50webs and anthonytonini.com parked at Godaddy (forwarded to tonytonini.com);
* When 50webs could no longer get emails from Comcast, I switched tonytonini.com ONLY to Freehostia;
* When Freehostia was found to have the same Comcast problem, I setup Godaddy's free email for tonytonin.com since they are my registrar;
* Godaddy technically hosts tonytonin.com (temporarily) so I can get emails from Comcast till the solution is found;
* To continue testing, I pointed anthonytonini.com to Freehostia so mail and web service is with one place with no complications;
* For tonytonini.com only, I made an A record at Godaddy to send WWW traffic to Freehostia; but I test with anthonytonini.com.
* anthonytonini.com is hosted by Freehostia for mail AND webtraffic as a test to get this solved. Once solved, I will go back to 50Webs.
* I changed NO records (MX or otherwise) with Freehostia for anthonytonini.com except the added the SPF and DMARK records to test;

Last edited by tony17112acst : 10 Feb 2017 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 2 Feb 2017, 05:20 AM   #40
jhollington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mavas View Post
I would like to see more support attempts form freehostia.com as well. When reading the forum and trying to see if my understanding would be of any help. I see nothing being said about what freehostia is doing to try and help other than trying to charge you to find out the cause of the issue.
That's a valid point. I was originally under the impression that the OP said Freehostia told them the messages weren't even reaching their servers, but when I went back I realize that this was simply from Freehostia's analysis of the DSNs.

That doesn't mean their analysis isn't correct, but it doesn't paint the full picture this is what the headers look like to me as well, but there's not enough information to know why Comcast is generating these messages. Freehostia could be helpful by taking a look through their log files and seeing if they're getting any inbound communication attempts from Comcast. Being a smaller provider, it's likely easier to get them to do this than to try and find somebody at Comcast that you'd be allowed to talk to who actually even knows what an outbound SMTP server log looks like, much less where to find them

In other words, simply due to the bureaucratic nature of Comcast, you might have more luck getting Freehostia to try and identity any error messages they're seeing on their end if they're "hanging up" on Comcast, their logs should definitely show why this is happening,
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Old 2 Feb 2017, 05:27 AM   #41
tony17112acst
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Here is Freehostia's replies; they respond to everything I asked:

1/25/2017
Quote:
Thank you for contacting our Technical Support Department.
In this case you can disable the Blacklist Protection for the particular mailbox, but I can see that you've already did that.
So I'm gonna have to ask for a copy of a bounce message that you referred to, so we can further investigate.
Looking forward to your reply.
1/27/17
Quote:
From the headers of the provided bounce it appears that this message is not even leaving comcast system, as you can see:
Reporting-MTA: dns; resqmta-ch2-03v.sys.comcast.net [69.252.207.35]
Received-From-MTA: dns; resomta-ch2-08v.sys.comcast.net [69.252.207.104]
Both mail transfer agents are related with their system. Such mail is not even registered in the logs of our mail server.
We seen such bounces before, and the issue is with comcast services, as the messages is not even leaving their system.
Please contact with comcast technicians again, and ask for more information regarding this problem.
If there is anything else we can assist you with do not hesitate to contact us.
1/28/17 (Me)
Quote:
I talked with Comcast support technicians and after testing, they concluded that Comcast is not handing off the messages to Freehostia AND 50Webs because you lack a valid: DMARK record, SPF record and DKIM record.
Can you help with this please? It is very important that I get email traffic from Comcast customers as they are very large and I assume many of your clients are having the same problem.
1/28/17
Quote:
The DMARK and SPF records are managed from the client side, which means that if you need to use such records in your DNS zone you simply have to go to your "DNS Records" section (in the control panel > my domains > dns records menu) and create them.
** Keep in mind that those values / records have an effect only for the outgoing mail messages (the messages that you send from your mailboxes with us toward comcast and others, not for incoming mail messages).
In this case the most likely issue is that the Comcast server from which the messages are send is blacklisted and our filters are not allowing the messages, to make sure that is the issue the sender will have to try and send a test message once again and if the message is not delivered to contact us back informing us from which mailbox it was send, so our administrators can check the logs on our servers.
1/28/17 (Me)
Quote:
I don't understand DMARC yet, but I did get advice that Comcast shouldn't care whether there is DMARK or not because it's normally for the RECEIVING domain, not the sending (Comcast), so that doesn't make sense to me. Comcast shouldn't care whether Freehostia has DMARC if it's sending the email traffic to you.
Anyway, I am a Comcast customer and I can send a test email anytime. I indeed sent a few this morning and a Comcast support technician ALSO sent one or two.

(1) A few test emails sent this morning had the following facts:
FROM FIELD: tony@tonytonini.com
SMTP: sent with comcast.net SMTP)
SENT TO: mail@anthonytonini.com (hosted by Freehostia)

(2) Another test email by me that was sent with Comcast's WEBMAIL:
FROM FIELD: tonytonini@comcast.net
SMTP: sent with comcast.net SMTP
SENT TO: mail@anthonytonini.com

(3) Another email test from a Comcast technician this morning:
FROM FIELD: csatech276@comcast.net
SMTP: sent with comcast.net SMTP
SENT TO: mail@anthonytonini.com
1/28/17
Quote:
I will escalate the ticket to our administrators, so that they can check the server logs. We will contact you back once we have any updates from the administrators.
1/28/17 (Me)
Quote:
One other thing: I had an email expert tell me that it could be malfunctioning greylisting. But I don't know if you impliment it or not, but if you do, could you also look into that - it fits the symptoms.
1/28/17
Quote:
In this case could you please try sending 3 - 4 mail messages (one after another) from your Comcast mailbox to the mailbox on this hosting account, to make sure that it's not a graylisting issue and also to have more recent information in the server logs for the mail messages.
1/28/17 (Me)
Quote:
OK, I just sent 4 messages in less than 30 seconds with:
FROM FIELD: tony@tonytonini.com
SMTP: sent with comcast.net SMTP
SENT TO: mail@anthonytonini.com (hosted by Freehostia)
1/29/17
Quote:
After further investigation our administrators do not see any information on the server logs regarding the send mail messages, which means that they did not even reach our servers. In this case the issue is coming from the server from which the messages were send, so please contact the Comcast support for further assistance (to check their logs since the mails have never left from their server and resolve the issue).

Last edited by tony17112acst : 2 Feb 2017 at 05:34 AM.
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Old 2 Feb 2017, 05:27 AM   #42
mavas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony17112acst View Post
* Godaddy technically hosts tonytonin.com (temporarily) so I can get emails from Comcast till the solution is found;
* To continue testing, I pointed anthonytonini.com to Freehostia so mail and web service is with one place with no complications;
* For tonytonini.com only, I made an A record at Godaddy to send WWW traffic to Freehostia; but I test with anthonytonini.com.
* anthonytonini.com is hosted by Freehostia for mail AND webtraffic as a test to get this solved. Once solved, I will go back to 50Webs.
* I changed NO records (MX or otherwise) with Freehostia for anthonytonini.com except the added the SPF and DMARK records to test;

Not a problem first off I am learning a lot as well by trying to help in ways I can. Just a random question, What happens if you set up an auto forward with keeping a copy on the domain tonytonini.com to auto forward to the anthonytonini.com?

If my understanding is correct this might shed some light of what is happening.
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Old 2 Feb 2017, 05:39 AM   #43
FredOnline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhollington View Post
At this point, I'm seriously thinking the best option is just to give up and get everything off of Freehostia.
This makes sense to me, as I cannot see what Freehostia are doing for Tony.

Not only are there problems with the e-mail - crucial if you're running a business.

Also, doing a Google search for, for example "harrisburg pa apartments for rent", is not bringing up any results for Tony's websites.

So I would be surprised if Tony is getting many hits to his website, if at all.

If I was in Tony's position, I would bale out of Freehostia.
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Old 2 Feb 2017, 05:41 AM   #44
jhollington
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Quote:
After further investigation our administrators do not see any information on the server logs regarding the send mail messages, which means that they did not even reach our servers. In this case the issue is coming from the server from which the messages were send, so please contact the Comcast support for further assistance (to check their logs since the mails have never left from their server and resolve the issue).
Okay, that last one pretty much answers it, assuming that they checked the logs properly, but I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt as that's all we can really do. It's easily possible that they could miss connection attempts depending on their log level these might not even appear *but if Comcast were establishing an SMTP session that would certainly show up.

None of this is surprising to me, mind you, as from everything I've seen, my best guess right now is that Comcast isn't able to reach Freehostia's servers at all for whatever reason. Unfortunately, the trick is to find somebody at Comcast who knows what they're talking about and has the necessary access to look into the problem for you. Large ISPs like Comcast almost always insulate their actual administrators many levels away from the front-line support people, which is what makes trying to resolve issues like this so challenging.

This doesn't mean this isn't Freehostia's problem on some level, however, but as I said earlier, it's still up to Comcast to conclusively identify that. Despite being on page three of this thread, we're not a lot further ahead.... all we know right now is that Comcast is trying to deliver messages to Freehostia, but they can't get through and can't seem to figure out why that is.
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Old 2 Feb 2017, 05:48 AM   #45
jhollington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mavas View Post
Not a problem first off I am learning a lot as well by trying to help in ways I can. Just a random question, What happens if you set up an auto forward with keeping a copy on the domain tonytonini.com to auto forward to the anthonytonini.com?

If my understanding is correct this might shed some light of what is happening.
At this point I don't want to rule anything out, so this is worth a try, but I don't think this is going to really reveal much of anything.... What you'll get is basically two sets of headers that reflect the combined results of sending a message from Comcast to Go Daddy, and then sending another message from Go Daddy to Freehostia, and we know both of those communication channels are working fine.

I suspect the real problem here is either some very strange mail configuration issue at Comcast (e.g. not sending to RBL-listed mail servers), or a much deeper routing problem that affects all communication from Comcast's mail servers to 162.210.102.199 (mbox.freehostia.com) or more accurately, possibly that entire IP subnet, since the same problem was encountered with 50webs.

Tony: When you were on 50webs, what was the MX record you were using for your domain?
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