LuxSci Outbound Email: 5 Sending Options Compared!

Published: March 6th, 2014

It used to be that to send an email, you had very few choices and even less control over what happened once the message was sent, how many emails you could send, or how you connected to the Internet to send email.  Well, times have changed, the Internet has evolved, users are more savvy, and expectations are much higher.

Today, LuxSci offers (more than) five different ways to send outbound email, each geared to particular uses and needs.  In this article, we will describe each method, examine the pros and cons, and end with a  feature chart.  Our goal is to make your outbound email shopping experience straightforward and to provide you with an email service appropriate for your needs.

Standard Business SMTP Services

This is the oldest, most flexible, and most widely used service that LuxSci offers — it has been around since 1999.  If you order an regular email hosting account that contains an “Email Program Access,” then you can use our Standard business-class SMTP service to send outbound email from your email program (i.e. Outlook, Thunderbird, Mac Mail, iPhone, etc.).  SMTP is very powerful and flexible, and offers:

  1. Support for sending email using your choice TLS or SSL for transmission security; this can be forced to only send messages using transport encryption.
  2. Support for sending email over a variety of alternate SMTP ports to get around firewall and ISPs blocks.
  3. Support for sending messages up to 200MB of total encoded size.
  4. Support for sending messages to up to 1000 recipients per message.
  5. Support for email anonymization, which hides your sending IP address, location, and computer/email program information.
  6. Support for all ofLuxSci’s “standard outbound email processing tools”:
    1. Capturing: Captures copies of all sent email to an auditor, backup, or archival email address on a per-user and/or per-domain basis.
    2. Size Limits: Controls the maximum sizes of sent email messages (to change default settings).
    3. Archival: Integrates with premium email message archival.
    4. Taglines: Adds personal or domain-wide taglines or disclaimers to the end of all outbound messages.
    5. Encryption: Automatically encrypts all or some outbound email using SecureLine end-to-end email encryption.
    6. Content Monitoring: Scans the content of sent email messages for words, phrases, or regular expressions.  Matching messages can be blocked, sent to an auditor, or auto-encrypted.
    7. Recipient ControlRestricts your users from sending email to specific addresses or domains.
    8. Sender Control: Restricts your users from receiving email from specific addresses or domains, or from all but specific addresses/domains.
    9. Save Sent Copies: Sends copies of all messages sent from an email client to your server-side sent email folder (no IMAP needed).
  7. An audit trail of all messages sent, including subjects, recipients, sizes, and message ID codes that can be downloaded and viewed in Excel.
  8. Tracking of sent messages for you in cases where there is a question as to delivery.
  9. Flexibility to send using any “From” address that you like.  Our acceptable use policy requires that this be an address that belongs to the sender.
  10. Connection to these services from any IP address in the world.
  11. HIPAA Compliance

The limitations of the Standard SMTP service include:

  • No support for bulk mailing of any kind, including email marketing, as per our acceptable use policy.
  • No more than 300 messages per user per day
  • No more than 3000 recipients per user per day
  • Authentication with a username and password is required for sending any messages.

LuxSci Business SMTP with a “SmartHost User”

Sometimes you need to use LuxSci as a smarthost — e.g. you need your server to connect to ours, authenticate as one particular user, and forward all outbound messages sent by those using your server though our server — and you need to use some of LuxSci’s “standard outbound email processing tools”.   Using Business SMTP, you will quickly hit the limit on the maximum number of messages one user is allowed to send per day if you are smart hosting.

Solution

LuxSci’s Business SMTP and Premium High Volume services come with the option of specifying that a user is being used as a “smarthost”.  In this case, the “From Address” of each message sent through that one smarthost user is taken to be the login of the actual user sending the message. Our system treats the message as if it were sent from that person, instead of the smarthost user.

Advantages:

  1. All standard outbound email tools work and behave as if the user denoted in the message “From” address actually sent the message him/herself via Standard SMTP.
  2. Each user’s sending is monitored and limited as per the regular SMTP Limits.  If one user hits his/her message per day limit, then it will not affect any other users — even though all the messages are coming in through the same smarthost.
  3. Each user’s sending is logged in each user’s account — so you can easily get per-user audit trails and sending histories, just as if each user were sending through our servers directly using Standard SMTP.
  4. Users can send arbitrary amounts of email and/or marketing email as well, if  Premium High Volume  is used.
  5. HIPAA Compliance

Limitations of Smarthost:

  • Each “From Address” must correspond to a user in your LuxSci account that has SMTP permissions.  If you have 1000 users on your server, you need to have these 1000 users mirrored in LuxSci so that the system can make the correspondence.
  • Authentication with a username and password is required by the smarthost user for sending any messages.

LuxSci WebMail Services

If you have email hosting with LuxSci and prefer to use a web browser to login to our web site, then you can send outbound email using our fast WebMail interface.  This service is very powerful and flexible.  WebMail includes:

  1. Logging in over SSL for transmission security; this can be forced, so that you cannot send without transport encryption.
  2. No need for alternate ports — if you can reach our web site, then you can send.
  3. Alternate web-based interface, the Mobile Site, that works well on mobile devices.
  4. No limit on the number of messages that you can send in a day.
  5. No limit on the number of recipients to whom you can send messages in a day.
  6. All email is anonymized — there is no record of your IP address, location, or computer/email program information in your outbound email messages.
  7. Support for all of LuxSci’s “standard outbound email processing tools”.
  8. An audit trail of all messages sent, including subjects.
  9. Tracking sent messages for you in cases where there is a question as to delivery.
  10. WebMail can be Private Labeled to look like your company and/or have your Logo and Colors.  In this case, you can also specify a custom “tagline” to all messages sent from WebMail.
  11. Sending with any “From” address that you like.  Our acceptable use policy just requires that this be an address you should be using
  12. Connecting to these services from any IP address in the world
  13. HIPAA Compliance

Limitations of WebMail:

  • Support for sending messages up to only 70MB is total raw size.
  • Support for sending messages to up to only 90 recipients at once (30 each in the To, Cc, and Bcc fields).
  • No support for bulk mailing or email marketing of any kind, as per our acceptable use policy (though you can use our Spotlight Mailer service for web-based bulk emailing though any kind of High Volume account).

LuxSci High Volume Outbound Email Service

High Volume is specifically designed for email marketing, newsletters, transactional email, and other legitimate bulk email sending tasks.  The advantages of High Volume email include:

  1. Choosing your own sending limit based on recipients per month
  2. Support for sending using your choice TLS or SSL for transmission security; this can be forced, so that you cannot send without transport encryption.
  3. Support for sending over a variety of alternate SMTP ports to get around firewall and ISPs blocks.
  4. Support for sending messages up to 200MB is total encoded size.
  5. Support for sending messages to up to 1000 recipients at once.
  6. Support for email anonymization, which hides your sending IP address, location, and computer/email program information.
  7. Audit trail of all messages sent, including subjects, recipients, sizes, and message ID codes.  This can be downloaded and viewed in Excel.
  8. Tracking of sent messages in cases where there is a question as to delivery.
  9. Automatic processing of Spam repots via Feed Back loops.
  10. Due due this being an SMTP-only service, it is very simple and easy to use and set up.
  11. Connecting to these services from any IP address in the world

Limitations of regular High Volume Email:

  • The messages sent must meet our High Volume acceptable use policy.
  • Each “From” address that you wish to use must be approved by LuxSci support; we will also approve entire domains.
  • We will not approve the sending of any email that is “From” any free email address, i.e. like “gmail”, “hotmail”, “mail.ru”, “AOL”, etc.

Additionally, with Premium High Volume:

  1. SMTP smarthosting is allowed
  2. You do not have to have the “From Address” of your messages approved
  3. The “standard outbound email processing tools” are all supported: Including encryption and archival.
  4. HIPAA Compliance

LuxSci Outbound Message Filtering SMTP

Some of LuxSci’s Premium Email Filtering services come with “Outbound Message Filtering“.  This can be used by customers using LuxSci SMTP and WebMail services or who wish to connect directly to the outbound filtering server instead of LuxSci’s normal SMTP servers which provide the Standard and High Volume SMTP services.  Customers can also choose to have messages sent from LuxSci SMTP or WebMail routed through these additional outbound filters on their way out.

This Outbound Message Filtering service is the particularly useful:

  1. Authentication with username and password is not required.
  2. Anti-virus scanning of outbound email is required.
  3. Controlling the types and sizes of attachments that your users are allowed to send is required.

Significant limits to Outbound Message Filtering SMTP:

  • (*)You can only send messages from IP addresses that your administrator has added to an “allow list”.  If you travel regularly or your address changes frequently, this solution will probably not work well.
  • (*)There is no support for sending through alternate SMTP ports.  If you can’t use port 25, you are out of luck.
  • (*)There is no way to enforce use of TLS when sending to be sure that transport encryption is always in effect.
  • (*)No support for IP address/location anonymization.
  • (*)No support for any of LuxSci’s “standard outbound email processing tools”.
  • You can only send to up to 100 recipients per message.
  • No tolerance for bulk mailing or email marketing — you can can be shut down without notice if bulk mailing is detected.
  • (*)No audit trail of sent messages accessible to users or account administrators.
  • (*)Tracking sent messages for you in cases where there is a question as to delivery may take some time.
  • You can only send from addresses in your domain.
  • (*) No HIPAA Compliance

(*) True only if your are correcting directly to this outbound service for sending, instead of sending through LuxSci SMTP or WebMail services and having messages filtered subsequently.

Time To Compare!

To help you digest all of the information presented, we have assembled the most significant points in tabular format.  If you have any questions, please contact LuxSci Sales.

Feature Business SMTP Business + Smarthost WebMail High Volume Outbound Filter
How to Connect? SMTP SMTP Web Browser SMTP SMTP
Security? SSL/TLS SSL/TLS SSL SSL/TLS TLS
Enforceable Security? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
HIPAA Compliance? Yes Yes Yes Yes, with Premium High Volume No
Alternate SMTP Ports? Yes Yes Not needed Yes No
Max. Msg. Size 200MB 200MB 70MB 200MB 100MB
Messages/Day 300/user 300/from address Unlimited Unlimited* Not specifically limited
Recipients/Day 3000/user 3000/from address Unlimited Unlimited* Not specifically limited
Recipients/Message 1000 1000 90 1000 100
From Addresses Any Any valid user Any Approved ones Only, except with Premium High Volume Only addresses in your domain
Bulk Mailing? No No No Yes No
Good for a Smarthost? No Yes No Yes, with Premium High Volume Yes
Location/IP Anonymization Yes Yes Yes Yes No
LuxSci Outbound Tools Yes Yes Yes Yes, with Premium High Volume No
Auditing/Reports Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Connect from any IP? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Authentication Required? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Outbound Virus Filtering? No No No No Yes
Outbound Content Monitoring Yes Yes Yes Yes, with Premium High Volume Yes
Outbound Taglines/Disclaimers Yes Yes Yes Yes, with Premium High Volume Yes

* With High Volume and Premium High Volume, you choose and pay for a specific limit on recipients/month — sending is otherwise unlimited.

One Response to “LuxSci Outbound Email: 5 Sending Options Compared!”

  1. New! Premium High Volume Outbound Email Service | LuxSci FYI Says:

    […] LuxSci’s High Volume Outbound Email Sending Service, released earlier this year, has been a notable success.  Our service permits the sending of legitimate bulk email messages and also provides reliable “smarthost” services.  However, the offering is restricted to SMTP services and does not include the many outbound email processing tools present in LuxSci’s Premium Email service.  I.e. see  LuxSci Outbound Email: 5 Sending Options Compared! […]

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