account control center

Roller Network Help - Mail Forwarding

Roller Network Mail Forwarding can be used to forward messages to other addresses, mail box accounts, create aliases, and basic distribution lists. Forwarding is applied to incoming messages in real time. It can operate in one of several modes:

Normal Delivery

Setting the mode to Normal Delivery is functionally equivalent to disabling mail forwarding. Existing settings, if any, are not removed.

Forward All to Email Address

Forwards all messages to the specified email address. Valid user table rules apply. Setting this mode here is identical to changing the mail domain mode to Forward All to Email Address.

This mode is not available on domains in "Hosted Mail Domain" mode. Email forwards are counted for resource usage.

Forward All to Mail Box

Forwards all messages to the selected mail box account. Valid user table rules apply. Setting this mode here is identical to changing the mail domain mode to Forward All to Mail Box.

This mode is not available on domains in "Hosted Mail Domain" mode. To create a catch-all on a hosted mail domain, add a new mail box with the "Any-User Account" type. Mail box forwards are not counted for resource usage.

Maps with Forward All to Email Address

This mode adds the forwarding map table to the Forward All to Email Address mode. You may specify individual maps/aliases and destinations. Anything not matching a forwarding map will be forwarded to the specified "Forward All" email address.

This mode is not available on domains in "Hosted Mail Domain" mode. Email forwards are counted for resource usage.

Maps with Forward All to Mail Box

This mode adds the forwarding map table to the Forward All to Mail Box mode. You may specify individual maps/aliases and destinations. Anything not matching a forwarding map will be forwarded to the selected mail box account.

This mode is not available on domains in "Hosted Mail Domain" mode. To create a catch-all on a hosted mail domain, add a new mail box with the "Any-User Account" type. Mail box forwards are not counted for resource usage.

Maps with Normal Delivery

This mode adds the forwarding map table to the mail domain. You may specify individual maps/aliases and destinations. Anything not matching a forwarding map will be handled according to its mail service mode. This is available for all service modes.

Forwarding Maps

Forwarding maps are the core of our mail forwarding service. To add new forwarding maps, click on the "Add New Forwarding Entry" button. You will be presented with a new page asking for individual entries or bulk entries.

Forwarding maps are automaically included in the valid user table.

Normal Entry Mode

Normal entry mode is the default entry mode. There are two types of forwarding entries: email address destination and mail box destination. Select the type of forward you wish to create and click "Add". Multiple entries may be added simultaneously.

An Email Address Destination will ask for a source address and a destination email address. Destination addresses may be any valid email address. The current domain name you're configuring is automatically appended to the source. Email forwards are counted for resource usage, so don't use this type to forward to hosted mail boxes.

A Mail Box Destination forward also requires a source address, but the destination is a selected mail box account. (You will need to create mail boxes first.) The current domain name you're configuring is automatically appended to the source. Mail box forwards are not counted for resource usage.

Forwarding destinations can be another map, however, watch out for forwarding loops. There is no limit to the number of forwarding entries you can create. Single-to-multiple configurations are supported (same source for different destinations) which makes it possible to use mail forwarding for basic distribution lists.

Bulk Entry Mode

Bulk entry mode provides an input text box for forwarding maps. Each line should contain a forwarding map with a source and destination separated by whitespace. The destinations will be scanned for matching mail box accounts; if a match is found, it is converted into a mail box forward. Otherwise, it is assumed that the destination is an email address forward.

Example bulk entry:

a   dest@example.com
b   other@example.net
c   mailbox@example.org
d   mailbox@exmaple.org

SPF

Mail forwared to email addresses is handed off to a special set of mail servers that handle forwarding to email address destinations. These servers are contained in "include:m._spf.rollernet.us".

Searching Forwarding Entries

You can search large lists of forwarding maps by entering a search term in the "Search..." box in the table header. This will limit the display of forwarding maps to those whose source matches the search term. Wildcard searches may be performed by entering * at the end of a search term; for example, the search term s* will display all maps that start with the letter s.

Common Mail Forwarding Questions

Queued Messages and Forwarding

Messages in the mail queue will not be affected by these rules. This means it is not possible to forward messages in queue to an external email address or other forwarding rules. For emergency access and delivery of messages in queue we recommend creating hosted mail boxes and changing the mode to hosted mail domain, or viewing the queue contents in the account control center. You can also create preemptive mail mirrors to store messages for emergency access purposes.

Roller Network processes messages in real time with the queue being the last stage. Mail forwarding rules are applied before the queue but after filtering, so it is impossible to retroactively forward queued messages.

Hosted Mail Domains and Forwarding

Why are most forwarding modes unavailable on hosted mail domains? It's simple: the delivery method conflicts with the intent of a hosted mail domain. When a domain is hosted, it is expected that user accounts will be created as mail boxes. (If you're not using our mail box accounts, then hosted mode isn't what you want.) Mail box accounts come in single-user and any-user types. If you need a "forward all" to an email address, you're effectively disabling hosted mail. Likewise, since there is already an any-user mail box account type, it would conflict with a "forward all to mail box" rule.

With a hosted mail domain the only effective forwarding path is the forwarding maps table. If you have questions, contact technical support and let us know what you're trying to accomplish with forwarding and we can recommend a solution.

Forwarding Loops

There is no forwarding loop detection in the account control center. Forwarding is resolved at the most immediate step, so a multi-stage forwarded message will loop through the forwarding pool and back to the mail servers. The fail-safe cutoff is 50 "received" headers, after which Postfix will error out with a "too many hops" message.

Roller Network maintains strict separation between incoming, outgoing, customer-aware, and forwarding pool servers. The forwarding pool is not aware of the configuration in the control center. Because of this, each step is not aware of the previous step or any possible future steps. Loops would be broken by the "too many hops" condition.

If you do end up with a forwarding loop, check the headers of the looping message. Each forwarding rule will add a "X-Rollernet-FwdBox" (mail box destination) or "X-Rollernet-FwdTo" (email address destination) header to help you trace how the forwarding was handled.

Forwarding Usage Calculations

Only email address destinations are counted for usage on your account. Mail box destinations are delivered internally and thus do not utilize any additional mail processing resources.

Why can't forwarded email be reported as spam?

When an email forwarded to an external address (such as Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc.) is reported as spam you aren't actually reporting the true source: you're reporting our forwarding servers as spam sources. In order to protect other customers who use forwarding and understand not to report forwarded messages as spam, we will automatically block or disable forwarders that break this rule.

While mail forwarding is still popular, it is generally impractical today due to problems with spam, automated spam reporting, and "chain of trust" validation methods. We strongly recommend against relying on external forwarding alone.

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