As the war on spam continues, friendly fire and collateral damage continue to grow.

Many professionals are finding that they can no longer send email from their own domain. Instead, more and more Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are now forcing their customers to use the ISP's email servers to the exclusion of all others.

Put in practical terms, this means that if ATT (among many others) is your ISP, but you also own your own domain (such as you will probably find that you cannot send outgoing email through your own domain's email servers.

In an effort to reduce spam, a growing number of ISPs are restricting email activities so that you can only use their servers for sending email. This is done by "blocking Port 25" (the standard communication channel for sending email) at the ISP level. The result of this limitation is that this will only allow subscribers to send email through the ISPs servers.

While this makes it much easier for ISPs to track spammers, and is of minor consequence to the average consumer, it creates problems for business users.

Professionals who have their own web site and domain can greatly benefit by using their own domain's email servers, as opposed to those controlled by their ISP. Not only will using your own domain's email server reinforce your web site's address, you can often send email much more effectively when you're not sharing a server's resources with millions of your ISP's other customers.

If your ISP is blocking Port 25, then you have two practical choices.

First, many IPS will unblock this port on a case by case basis, upon request. A simple call to your ISP's technical support may be all that is required to free your account from this restriction.

If your ISP says that they cannot (or will not) unblock Port 25 for your account, then choosing another provider may be your only other recourse.

In the long run, you'll likely find the effort well worth your time.

Additionally, the next time you start looking for a new ISP, make sure that: "Do you block Port 25?" is on your short list of questions for use in comparing Internet Service Providers.


Copyrighted with all rights reserved by Stephen M. Canale