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Blacklisted IP address, is your host at fault?

Sat, 15th November 2008, 18:16

It's astonishing how often people researching a shared hosting service do so without due diligence.

Shared hosting by its nature is similar to condominium living (might be better described as tenement buildings). You have your space to use as you like within the boundaries of the TOS. But you also have the common areas, used and shared by all the other residents of your complex.

Many people choose their shared hosting service based on price, services, uptime, and the reviews written on Hostjury by clients of various hosts. Many people overlook, or do not consider that their IP address may also be considered a common area. Until they are submitting a ticket for email errors and find out their IP has been blacklisted.

Before you sign up for a shared hosing account, find out how often the company was blacklisted in the last year. Discover if they're known to route hijacked network space, or if they have a history of spam/abuse support. If one of your 'neighbors' spams, you can end up listed. It stinks, but if you share the same IP with a spammer... you're banned also.

To determine a host's past record can be found using a handy tool like SenderScore. By entering the host's domain you can find:

MX record

SPF or Sender ID, is an email authentication protocol designed to verify that each email originates from the Internet domain from which it claims to come based on the sender's IP address

Related Sending Domains, are other domains ending in your-new-host dot whatever that are sending email.

SSL Certificate: owner, issuer, and expiration date

The Whois records.

I did a random search of a few hosts listed on Hostjury. I was surprised to find some with expired SSL certificates, and others with no SPF in place. Issues such as these are much better discovered prior to finalizing the short list. Clients uncovering this information after the fact always have a recourse...

Review your host on HostJury