Many of our older customers may remember that years ago we didn’t allow email forwarders to third party services like Gmail, Yahoo, etc. We later adopted SRS to assist us in providing quality email forwarding to those third party services, and thus far it’s worked out pretty well. However, a new problem has creeped up that resembles the one that led us to forbid that forwarding in the first place. We’re not changing our policy on forwarding, but we do need to crack down on this misguided use case that has restored the original problem. Let me explain a bit.

Let’s say that I’m forwarding email from jarland@mxroute.com to jarland@gmail.com. Now I send myself and email to jarland@mxroute.com from mxroute@gmail.com. Without SRS, Gmail sees MXroute send an email to jarland@gmail.com from mxroute@gmail.com. Now Gmail isn’t going to like this very much. Gmail has specified who is allowed to send from @gmail.com addresses and if you guessed that no service other than Google is allowed to do that, you guessed correctly. So in the eyes of Gmail, I just committed a great sin in the world of email: I spoofed a third party service, and even worse I sent the spoofed email to the same service that I spoofed. More than likely, they’re going to rate limit email from the IP address that I sent it from, and someone else is going to see a slight delay in their next email to Gmail (if their email happens to try to go out via the same IP before we retry from another). Multiply that by thousands of IPs and tens of thousands of customers, and you could see where a crisis might start to unfold.

With SRS, this problem is solved. Because now the email in my above example doesn’t go from mxroute@gmail.com to jarland@gmail.com. Instead, it goes from SRS0=HHH=TT=gmail.com=mxroute@mxroute.com to jarland@gmail.com. Well guess what domain our servers ARE authorized to send for? Correct, your domains and ours.

Sadly, filters know nothing of context. They are dumb objects that do exactly what you program them to do and literally nothing else. They don’t know what you mean to do, they don’t know what you think is sane, they do what you tell them and that’s it. Filters that “redirect” email do not utilize SRS. In reality they spoof the sender.

Some people have been going around giving our customers bad advice and telling them to create filters that forward all email to Gmail (or other services) rather than to simply create an email forwarder in DirectAdmin. This article here is a fine example: https://pixl.my/how-to-redirect-mail-from-mxroute-to-gmail-elsewhere/

Forwarders should be created in DirectAdmin (Login to DirectAdmin) under “E-mail Manager” and then “Forwarders.” They should not be created as email filters that redirect all email to a third party service. We beg you, ignore this bad advice. We’re going to remove these filters if you create them because we care about providing the highest quality inbox delivery to all of our customers, and this is growing into a problem that seeks to undermine our efforts.