101-Email Services

While Rainbow Digital Media is a web hosting provider, we also end up supporting clients email requirements and the various problems that creates. For most clients we manage the DNS records for their domains, and so also identify the email service that the domain is also connected to. This is the MX record and can be as simple as an IP address or sub domain, to a set of records identifying a third party provider such as Microsoft or Google. Most people will have an email service provided by their internet provider, and normally the email address provided by that is used to log in to your internet account. Some will even provide a 'free' web domain which can then be used as an alternative to third party hosting such as RDM, but support for that service can be somewhat lacking. In addition the internet provider may well not even host the email service themselves, as is the case with BT who have farmed much of the support to other providers. Retail customers will have a yahoo email account and a separate login to that service, while business customers have been moved around over recent years with initially a transfer to gmail, and currently a 'free subscription' to Office365 and it's email service provide by Microsoft. Some of our clients were not even aware that they had an Office365 account and were even paying for Office365 via their computer services. So the starting point is simple to establish just what is bundled with your internet contract.

While gmail has up until now been free, they are introducing a paid for service along the same lines as Office365 and where customers are already running on gmail free accounts they will be receiving requests to upgrade which basically tie one in to using Google Documents and it's cloud storage system over Office365 and theirs. This is a slight fork from simple emails, but on both of these services emails are integrated into the web experience. However the key problem with that approach is that it is geared around a single users account! Both services now expect to have a mobile phone number associated with the account and use that for security. No phone number and often one can not even close the account. For businesses where a number of people handle incoming emails it can be difficult to keep access open, and of cause when the internet is down ( not uncommon in our neck of the woods ) one can often not get into any on-line material.

While RDM has to pay for independent email services we bundle that into the hosting package simply because it is necessary to make live easy for many of our clients. Having an email service associated with the web domain makes managing multiple users easier than with gmail or Office 365. We can at least have several mobile devices accessing the same mailbox while still maintaining a backup of email traffic on the clients base computer, although even that can be problematic since the IMAP process to sync messages is again geared to a single user per email box. None of the currently available services are designed to support multiple users of a single mailbox, but we can at least make things function from a private email service.

DNS records

MX Record

SPF Record is used to restrict the IP addresses that can be used to send emails. This prevents third party forgery of our email addresses.