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Old 1 Nov 2013, 07:42 AM   #1
wildhorse5678
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Problem with Plus addresses

Im trialling fastmail at moment and i have created a Plus address to try out that option. I sent an email To the plus address from my yahoo account and it got directed into the correct folder on fastmail. But when i tried to send a return email to yahoo from the plus address it gets bounced back. This doesnt happen with the default ie non plus address.

Is this a common problem with the Plus addresses because of the + symbol ???.

Does the same thing happen with Subdomain email addresses ???

I dont want to take out a paid subscription if i cant rely on either the plus or subdomain system for alias addresses
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Old 1 Nov 2013, 11:25 AM   #2
n5bb
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Arrow Using plus and subdomain addressing with folder personalities

Welcome to the EMD Forums! I apologize for the very long post, but wanted to fully answer with suggestions to get the folder addressing working properly. This will work fine once you get the settings correct.

Fastmail is very reliable, and plus addresses work for most other services. I use subdomain aliases instead, because I can't remember any service which rejected them and I like the look of a subdomain address.

I just tried a test from Yahoo to a Fastmail plus and subdomain address, and they both worked when I replied, with the replies arriving properly in my Yahoo test account. Yahoo is not always reliable when sending or receiving, so it may take several minutes for messages to/from Yahoo to get delivered.

When you say the reply (from the message sent to the plus address) bounced, what exactly happened? If you go back to that folder, open the original message received from Yahoo, and click Reply, here is what should happen:
  • The Fastmail Compose screen opens up, with the Yahoo address in To and a proper From address at the top (above the To address). Certain settings (some uses of a wildcard *) can result in the default From address not being a proper address, requiring manual editing on the Compose screen at the top. But this can be configured to automatically set up properly, and if the From address is your plus address it should properly be delivered to Yahoo - I specifically check this.
  • You can enter some additional body text if you wish, then you should click Send at the top or bottom. A Message sent notice should pop up for a while at the bottom.
  • Within a few minutes (depending on the speed of Yahoo, not Fastmail), you should see the reply in your Yahoo account.
  • If you see a "bounce" back to your Fastmail account, what does it say? The body of that message should describe the problem.
Please note that the Fastmail Settings > Preferences (at left) > Advanced (at upper right) > Personalities screen controls how you send messages. Unless you have changed the defaults in the Folders setup screen for the test folder you are using, messages sent use the default Personality (the one marked with an *asterisk).

The personality (From address when you send a message) is also affected by the Settings > Preferences (at left) > Advanced (at upper right) > Account Preferences screen.Things can get complex when determining the correct personality to use when replying, so I recommend you set the From when replying setting to Always default folder/main. Be sure to Save your settings when you make a change.

You can then use the Settings > Preferences (at left) > Advanced (at upper right) > Folders screen to force the Default personality for that folder to the one you set up for the plus address.

When all of this is set up, incoming mail to the plus address will be filed in the proper folder, and replying to that message from that folder will cause the plus personality to be used and place the plus address in your From field (rather than your main email address).

My guess is that you are somehow getting a malformed From address which is preventing the message from being sent. Look over my suggestions and I'm sure it can be resolved. The complex part is getting the replies to use the plus address (or subdomain address) rather than your main account address. It takes several steps, but you can set this up so that different folders act like different email accounts, with specific email addresses used for each folder.

Once you understand subdomain addressing, I think it's easier. You can put anything to the left of the @ (such as a folder name or anything else), and to the right of the @ you use your main login username followed by a period (.) then the domain. So if your login address is [email protected], you can use subdomain addresses such as:
[email protected]
[email protected]
If the folder "folder12" exists, the first address will deliver into that folder. If that folder doesn't exist, the message will be delivered into your main Inbox.

If the folder "banks" containing the subfolder "BOA" exists, the second address will deliver into that subfolder. The case of the folder names and case in the email address is ignored. If that subfolder doesn't exist, the that message will file into the "banks" main folder.

Another advantage of using such subdomain or plus special addresses is that you know that messages with these odd addresses are nearly positively from your bank, since nobody else knows this oddball address.

Bill
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Old 20 Nov 2013, 08:42 PM   #3
thomas44
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Plus or Subdomain-Adressing for Sent Items

Hi Bill

If I want to send a bcc from my personality to be placed in the 'Sent Items' Folder of another FM-account I have access to: how can I achieve that?
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Old 20 Nov 2013, 11:13 PM   #4
lane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas44 View Post
If I want to send a bcc from my personality to be placed in the 'Sent Items' Folder of another FM-account I have access to: how can I achieve that?
You can tell your personality to send a bcc to the address [email protected] (or whatever domain), and it will be placed in his "Sent Items" items folder. The separator is the underscore character.
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Old 20 Nov 2013, 11:30 PM   #5
thomas44
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Great. Thank you very much.

Quote:
The separator is the underscore character.
This helped...
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Old 21 Nov 2013, 12:51 AM   #6
Jacinto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n5bb View Post
Once you understand subdomain addressing, I think it's easier. You can put anything to the left of the @ (such as a folder name or anything else), and to the right of the @ you use your main login username followed by a period (.) then the domain. So if your login address is [email protected], you can use subdomain addresses such as:
[email protected]
[email protected]
If the folder "folder12" exists, the first address will deliver into that folder. If that folder doesn't exist, the message will be delivered into your main Inbox.

If the folder "banks" containing the subfolder "BOA" exists, the second address will deliver into that subfolder. The case of the folder names and case in the email address is ignored. If that subfolder doesn't exist, the that message will file into the "banks" main folder.

Another advantage of using such subdomain or plus special addresses is that you know that messages with these odd addresses are nearly positively from your bank, since nobody else knows this oddball address.

Bill
Good day Bill.

That is an excellent explanation of sub-domain addressing. I have never used it but may give it a whirl.

However, unless Fastmail is also taking care of DNS for the private domain, I don't see how it would be possible to use sub-domain addressing with private domains (perhaps with wild card MX RR?).

Does FM permit sub-domain addressing for private domains?

Thank you.

--
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Old 21 Nov 2013, 03:04 AM   #7
lane
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For private domains, it might depend on how you enter MX servers at your supplier, unless you have nameservers set to Fastmail.

For example, I use Godaddy for my private domain. I leave my nameservers at Godaddy, not Fastmail. At Godaddy, I enter * (asterisk) in the Host field as a wildcard for all subdomains that do not have an explicit MX server different from Fastmail. In the Points To field, I of course enter in1-smtp.messagingengine.com at priority 10, and (separate line) in2-smtp.messagingengine.com at priority 20. It works for me.

Godaddy uses @ in the Host field to set the primary domain MX.
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Old 21 Nov 2013, 03:34 PM   #8
n5bb
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As Lane said, you need to enable subdomains with a wildcard (or you could enable only specific subdomains). If you are using the Fastmail Custom DNS feature this is automatic.
https://www.fastmail.fm/help/domain_...ustom_dns.html

Bill
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Old 21 Nov 2013, 07:18 PM   #9
Jacinto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n5bb View Post
As Lane said, you need to enable subdomains with a wildcard (or you could enable only specific subdomains). If you are using the Fastmail Custom DNS feature this is automatic.
https://www.fastmail.fm/help/domain_...ustom_dns.html

Bill
Thank you Bill (and Lane).

I took a look at the "Virtual Domains" page and saw the option to allow (or not) sub-domain addressing.

DNS for most of my domains is not hosted by Fastmail. This would mean that I would have to publish MX records for each sub-domain or a wild card record.

Although it piqued my curiosity when I first read Bill's explanation, now that I have thought about it, sub-domain addressing may not be such a good idea because it has one major drawback: you are exposing more possible Spam targets to the Internet. I think I'll pass.

Thank you all.

--
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Old 22 Nov 2013, 07:00 AM   #10
n5bb
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Originally Posted by Jacinto View Post
...Although it piqued my curiosity when I first read Bill's explanation, now that I have thought about it, sub-domain addressing may not be such a good idea because it has one major drawback: you are exposing more possible Spam targets to the Internet.
Jacinto, I only use subdomain addressing for business transactions, where I customize the local-part (left of the @) to that particular organization. It is extremely rare for me to get spam using the subdomain, and I can block a specific local-part address if needed.

Bill
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Old 23 Nov 2013, 07:28 AM   #11
Jacinto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n5bb View Post
Jacinto, I only use subdomain addressing for business transactions, where I customize the local-part (left of the @) to that particular organization. It is extremely rare for me to get spam using the subdomain, and I can block a specific local-part address if needed.

Bill
Hello Bill.

I guess you have been lucky with the spambots.

In my experience with business mail, I receive Spam daily. Part of the problem is legitimate ignorant businesses, including some very large ones who CC 500 or a 1,000 recipients on one message. Some mail hosts will not accept delivery of them with that many recipients, unfortunately, Fastmail does (at least the last time I received one of them). Once one of the infected recipients has my E-Mail address, I'm added to the Spam recipients list.

If I get the gist of what you've said about the use of sub-domain addressing, you use the local part temporarily until it becomes a Spam target or is no longer needed.

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Old 23 Nov 2013, 08:13 AM   #12
lane
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Bill should confirm, of course, but I suspect what he does is give a unique address to each business, maybe something of the form [email protected]. If that gets compromised, then it is only necessary to disable that one address, and change it at that company to something else. It would be very unusual to get spam sent to random addresses at a subdomain, though I have experienced it commonly at the main domain.
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Old 23 Nov 2013, 11:29 AM   #13
n5bb
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Arrow Details about use of subdomain addresses

Yes, lane correctly expressed my situation. Let's say that I want to give my bank an email address to contact me and I have a Fastmail domain alias such as [email protected] or a Virtual Alias at my own Virtual Domain at [email protected]
  • I make up new local-part which I recognize as belonging to that bank (such as boa for Bank Of America or firstbank for First Bank) at a subdomain. I can create these on the fly, since I don't have to add them to any alias or other setup screen.
  • So I get complete subdomain addresses such as [email protected] or [email protected] and use these at my banks.
  • Assuming the normal default delivery targets, messages sent to [email protected] are delivered to [email protected]
    • This means that if there is a folder named "boa" (or "BOA" or "Boa", since case is ignored), messages sent to that specific subdomain address are delivered to that folder.
    • If there is no "boa" folder, messages sent to that subdomain address are delivered to your Inbox.
    • The folder I'm describing is actually the default delivery folder, which is specified by the X-Resolved-to header. A Sieve script (created by the Rules screen) can overwrite the default delivery folder and deliver the message to any folder, an external address, or discard the message.
  • In addition to automatic delivery to the appropriate folder, these unique From addresses for each source allows some additional spam and fraud prevention techniques.
    • I only gave "[email protected]" to that one bank. So (unless that bank has a security breach), I know that all messages sent to me at that exact address come from that bank. So, unless caught by the spam filter as a false positive, every message from that bank is delivered to that single folder, and no messages from other sources (such as spam or phishing messages) will be delivered to that folder.
    • If a message is in the Spam (Junk Mail) folder, it might truly be spam or a phishing message, or it might be a false positive good message from the bank. So I use the Advanced settings Preferences screen Extra headers field X-Delivered-to,X-Resolved-to feature to allow me to see the delivery address (even if BCC was used) and default delivery folder (in X-Resolved-to).
      • If you use the current interface Classic theme, the extra headers are shown when reading a message, even in the reading pane.
      • If you use a different theme, you can use the Show details link to see the extra headers.
      • Or you can always view the full headers (raw message) to see the X-Resolved-to header.
      • All messages sent to me by my bank will be to the unique subdomain address. Any other To address (easily seen by examining the part left of @ in the X-Resolved-to address) is not from the bank! A spammer or phisher can easily spoof the From address, but they can't easily spoof your unique To subdomain address.
    • If you place the sources sending messages to these subdomain addresses in your online Address Book, then by default messages from those senders will bypass the spam filtering. So the only way that a phishing message can make into that specific folder (other than your manual action or a rule) is for the spammer to both spoof the From address of your bank and steal your unique subdomain address by cracking into that company's computer system. This is unlikely.
As lane suggests, if you only use that subdomain for banks and other trusted companies and organizations, it's unusual for a spammer to use your subdomain for random or dictionary attacks to various local-parts at that subdomain. That subdomain would be only stored on the computers of those organizations and your Fastmail account, and would probably never be seen by a human other than you. But if that subdomain is guessed or cracked from some company which uses it to send to you, it would be possible to send to random addresses at the johndoe.fastmail.fm subdomain (such as [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], etc.). If you use a long and unusual local-part (such as [email protected]), you would be assured that random spam wouldn't guess this address, but you would want to use an odd folder name (boa314159).

Sorry that description took so long! This system works well for me and has allowed me to discover that a service had a security breach which released my subdomain address to spammers. I informed the company (which did not know about the breach until my message) and told them to use a new unique subdomain address.

Bill

Last edited by n5bb : 23 Nov 2013 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 23 Nov 2013, 03:09 PM   #14
[email protected]
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Originally Posted by wildhorse5678 View Post
But when i tried to send a return email to yahoo from the plus address it gets bounced back. This doesnt happen with the default ie non plus address.
Unfortunately it seems that the vast majority of online organisations are ignorant of RFC2822 (the standard which defines, amongst other things, what constitutes a correct email address) and thus erroneously regard several characters (most commonly including plus and apostrophe) as being "invalid" in an email username. It's been reported here on EMD that there was (is?) at least one organisation which reckoned that an email address is "invalid" if the domain part has more than three fields! (Which of course is nonsense, and means that email from a domain such as joecitizen.fastmail.co.uk (four fields) would falsely be rejected; a valid domain could probably have as many as 32 fields, although they would have to be one character each to fit within the 64-character limit.)
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Old 23 Nov 2013, 08:21 PM   #15
Jacinto
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Unfortunately it seems that the vast majority of online organisations are ignorant of RFC2822 (the standard which defines, amongst other things, what constitutes a correct email address) and thus erroneously regard several characters (most commonly including plus and apostrophe) as being "invalid" in an email username.
American Express being one of them.

Because AE was replacing the plus character with whitespace and I wasn't receiving its mail, I had to change the '+' to a '.' to be able to receive it.

Considered complaining about it to AE but decided not to waste my time in what would end up being a quixotic exercise in futility.

--
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