Taking Advantage of Pair.com’s New Antispam System

If you are a pair.com customer and you use the e-mail provided with their web hosting accounts, you should make sure you are taking advantage of their new antispam/junkmail filtering. My experience is that it really works. If it isn’t working for you then either they haven’t convereted your server yet, or something is wrong.

If your server has been converted but your junk mail hasn’t fallen off dramatically, here are a few tips:
# First off, you might need to wait a couple of days after they upgrade your server. They use DNS changes to make sure your mail goes to one of their “mailwash” servers before it arrives at the server that hosts your mailbox. This DNS change can take a couple of days to propagate. Until it does, Greylisting, which cuts down a lot of spam, won’t work.
# If the number of spam mails you receive doesn’t taper off login and make sure Greylisting is enabled.
# Also make sure that you have junkmail filtering enabled for your mailbox and any mail recipies that end up in your mailbox.
# Check the headers of some of the spaml to see if your mail is being delivered to a mailwash server before it gets to the server with your mailbox. If it isn’t you’ll probably see a line like this in the headers: "X-Greylisting: is whitelisted." which probably means that the MX records for your domain are still pointing to the server hosting your mailbox. This can happen if you have custom DNS enabled on pair, or if you are using someone else to host DNS for your domain, like pairnic, godaddy, or network solutions. The solution is to figure out your mailwash server. It should be obvious from looking over the headers, the name will be “mailwashXX.pair.com” where XX is a one or two digit number (thanks for clarifying, Luke). Once you’ve figured out your mailwash server you should update your DNS so that it is the highest priority mail exchanger.

Please post other tips in the comments.

In my experience, greylisting has cut spam off dead. The only spam I’ve received in the past few days looks like it was sent using my old MX record that hasn’t expired from cache. As a result, I haven’t even bothered exploring the other antispam features.

6 thoughts on “Taking Advantage of Pair.com’s New Antispam System

  1. Luke

    For one of my pair accounts, I had no custom DNS setup, but the MX record still wasn’t pointing to the mailwash server. An email to support at pair.com was all it took for them to confirm the problem and fix it manually.

  2. eas Post author


    Have you noticed a big difference now that everything is switched over? I had all these plans to make better use of the spam scoring and then realized I wasn’t really going to need it because the spam wasn’t ever making it far enough to be scored.

  3. Luke

    I think I need to give it a day to play out. I’d set up a pretty aggressive program of bayesian analysis and whitelist/blacklisting, so I already had a significant reduction in spam from a month ago.

    Your writeups will help people a lot. Thanks. One little note, in mailwashXX.pair.com, XX can be a single digit number, too, as it is in my case…

  4. eas Post author

    Well, a half dozen or so spams have come through in the past month. The first few all came through in the same day and I was worried that the good times were already over, but it seems pretty good.

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