Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a question that isn't answered below, please feel free to send us an email and let us know.
Gateway Email Services
- Q. Is a gateway service more cost-effective than purchasing virus and spam filtering software and running it on our mail server?
- Software installed on an email server must be managed and
maintained. And it's a CPU and disk-intensive process. It
lowers the effective capacity of your server.
With the MailRoute service, all maintenance is done for you. We update our software on a continual basis to ensure that your protection is always up to date. Since spam and viruses are removed before they reach your network, you benefit from increased bandwidth availability, and there's less load on your email servers. Our customers see an average 65-70% decrease in incoming email traffic with our spam and virus filtering.
- Q. How can MailRoute offer a 99.999% uptime guarantee?
- We have developed a completely redundant and distributed network of data centers. A failure of an individual server or software process is detected automatically, and all data is rerouted to another server, or even another server in another geographic location.
- Q. Does this slow down my email delivery?
- The typical message is processed by MailRoute in a few seconds. Any increase in latency is typically undetectable.
- Q. How do I get started?
- Once you submit a sign-up or trial request to MailRoute, we will configure our servers to start processing email on your behalf. All you need to do is change the MX ("Mail Exchange") record of your DNS ("Domain Name System") servers. Once you make the change, the email starts to flow through our network, and you're protected. You can be up and running very quickly.
- Q. What is a MX record?
- A MX ("Mail Exchange") record is used to route email. It informs sites on the Internet where mail should be sent. A sender's mail server uses the global DNS system to look up the hostname of the appropriate recipient mail server. This type of record is called a MX. By changing your MX record to 'mail.mailroute.net', you are directing senders' email to go to MailRoute. We review and clean your email, then pass it along to you.
- Q. What is a DNS server?
- When you send email, you use a Domain Name. For example, email sent to addresses on the site www.mailroute.net uses the domain name 'mailroute.net.' When you send email, you need the Internet's Domain Name System servers to translate the domain name into an IP address. Domain Name servers translate domain names to IP addresses, a unique numerical identifier.
- Q. What do I tell my ISP or mailbox hosting company to do in order to change the MX record?
- Simply ask your domain name administrator to do the the following:
Please change the MX record for the domain "yourdomain.com" to 'mail.mailroute.net'. This should be the only change that you make to the domain. Please don't change any other settings. Please don't change the address or delete "mail.yourdomain.com" - leave this just the way it is.
- Q. How effective is MailRoute's spam filtering service?
- On average, we recognize and filter over 90% of incoming spam. Some users report recognition rates of 96% or higher.
- Q. What happens to email identified as spam?
- We allow you to set the parameters for spam detection. You can have any or all spam redirected to a web-based repository. Or you can have it delivered with a modified subject line or an additional email header. You can even choose to filter out highly spammy email, while tagging and delivering email that has few spam characteristics.
- Q. Is my email confidential?
- Internet email is inherently insecure - it travels over public networks and through multiple servers on its way from source to destination. MailRoute processes each email, looking for spam and viruses, and then delivers it to the destination. We don't view or store it for any other reason. MailRoute does support TLS and SSL encryption, so sending servers, or customer mail servers that also support this can benefit from an encrypted email path.
- Q. Does MailRoute use a whitelist, and how can I ensure that friendly email addresses are not blocked?
- Yes, MailRoute uses a whitelist. You may whitelist any addresses you choose on a per-user or domain-wide basis.
- Q. How often does MailRoute update the anti-virus software?
- We check for updates every few minutes, and when new ones
are available, we broadcast them to all our servers after
they pass a comprehensive test suite. You're protected as
soon as the updates are available.
In some cases, we can put a filename or filetype block in place to stop a fast moving virus even before formal anti-virus definition updates are available.
- Q. What happens to email that is infected with a virus?
- It is destroyed. We believe that an email that has been infected is compromised. No cleaning service can possibly insure that a "clean" email hasn't been damaged in some way.
- Q. What about virus-infected files that are buried in Zip or StuffIt archives?
- We recursively unpack all types of archives (i.e. zip, arc, sit, lha, uuencoded). If an archive contains an archive, that is also unpacked and scanned.
- Q. Do we still need our desktop anti-virus software if we're using the MailRoute Service?
- Yes. Our service significantly complements desktop and
server software solutions. Since an infection could come from
a downloaded file, a cd-rom, or floppy disk, we recommend that
you continue to use desktop software.
Currently, over 90% of all viruses are carried by email, including virtually every fast-moving virus. We've found that the update schedule for email protection must be much more rapid than for the typical desktop solution. Since we employ multiple anti-virus engines - using solutions from multiple anti-virus provders - our protection is greater than the single-source protection found on a desktop. Desktop anti-virus protection requires continual updates and management. The MailRoute service is completey hands-off and automated.
Store and Forward Services
- Q. What is "Store and Forward"?
- We've heard this also called "mailbagging" or "disaster
recovery". MailRoute's Store and Forward services act
as a secondary mail server to your primary email servers.
If your servers are down, we hold all the email until they
come back up and are ready to accept email. Then we deliver
it in a smooth, controlled manner.
MailRoute includes the Store and Forward service in all of our other service offerings. If you have us filter your email for viruses or spam, we give you store and forward for free.
- Q. Is it available separately?
- Yes. Even if you don't use our spam or virus filtering services, you can still have MailRoute act as an emergency backup for your email servers. We have the same 99.999% uptime guarantee for this service as for all our others.