We all agree that email is crucial to modern life.
But what email should you use?
Everyone gets email when they sign up for high speed internet service … the problem is that you’re tied to that internet service for that email address. If you switch service providers, you could lose the address. Even worse, if your provider goes out of business, you could loose access entirely. Sometimes the email provider charges a fee for better service and/or removing advertising.
Yes, you could use Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, or AOL, but you’re still tired to the provider. Plus, you don’t often get to choose the best address (email@example.com just isn’t that sexy).
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get an email address that belongs to you forever?
As part of my migration to the cloud, I terminated the Comcast Business internet service and switched to Xfinity internet.
When I initially signed up for the Xfinity service, I got their cable modem / router / wifi appliance. My plan was to get my own cable modem eventually because Xfinity charges $13 / month to lease the appliance.
I was at Best Buy and saw that cable modems weren’t expensive, so I decided to purchase a mid-level model (Netgear CM600) so I could save the lease fee. The CM600 would pay for itself in about 8 months.
It took a while to get setup … and there were a few false starts, but eventually I got it working connected directly to my MacBook.
I ran into a problem when I switched the CM600 over to my ASUS RT-5300 wifi router.
I kept getting the message “Your ISP’s DHCP does not function properly” on the ASUS network map page.
Spammers quite often ‘spoof’, or fake, the from address of an email.
As a result of this, many unsuspecting domain owners are being ‘blamed’ for spam that appears to come from their domain.
Fortunately, there is a relatively easy way to protect your domain from this: Publish DMARC policies.
If you are publishing SPF records and signing your email with DKIM, you can publish DMARC policies that tell receiving mail servers what do with emails that don’t align with the SPF and DKIM information.
SPF policies are DNS records that indicate what mail servers your mail is sent from.
DKIM is a way to add digital signatures to your email so that receiving mail servers can verify it was sent from an authorized source and that it wasn’t modified in transit.
Now what if you have a domain that you NEVER send email from?
Protecting those domains from being used in spam is even easier.
Although not directly supported, it’s quite possible to use the LetsEncryptcertbot client on Amazon Lightsail Linux.
First of all … what is LetsEncrypt?
Let’s Encrypt is a free service that offers basic SSL certificates any web site. The certificates are good for 90 days but can be renewed indefinitely. With the proper software, the installation & renewal of the certificates can be fully automated.
There are a few things to be aware of and workarounds that need to be done.
Well, truth be told, it was pretty close … but you never know when inspiration will strike.
So a little while ago I had a hardware failure on one my servers. This incident has given me the incentive to try and move some of the servers I host to other machines … where I don’t have to worry about the hardware end of things.
To that end, I started looking at hosting providers. One of the providers I’m looking at is Amazon Lightsail.
Amazon Lightsail provides micro instances of their AWS compute service at very good prices.
A 512mb / 20gb Linux instance only costs $5 / month and the first month is free.
So I’ve been playing around with that and like it a lot.
I’ve currently got a handful of sites moved over to Lightsail.