BITNETS Technical FAQ

Can I administer (add/remove users, change passwords etc.) the 60 users in our domain?

Yes, you can change passwords over an SSL connection. The service is fully managed, so we make all other changes such as adding/deleting users, aliases and mail forwarding. Self-administration compromises security for all users by enabling extraneous and insecure services, allowing access to privileged system tools and lowering the level of server lockdown. Of course, there's also the high possibility of user error causing inconvenience to other users. We do not think anyone signing up for secure e-mail would want to compromise security, yet the password change functionality might be considered essential, so that is the only form of self-administration permitted.

There are no charges for minor modifications/updates within any account and we can usually complete changes within minutes of your request during business hours, so time lag or cost should not be a concern. On the other hand, you would be charged a minimum C$25 to reset any account lockout or other errors introduced through self-administration that we would need to fix.

 

Can we use our existing domain name with the service?

Yes, you can use your existing domain name and in fact we will pay for your .com, .net, .org or .ca domain name on a minimum one year mail hosting contract if you choose to have us take care of routine administration (included at no charge for your one-stop convenience). This is a freebie, you don't have to list us as the administrative contact if you don't want to. We would still need access to your domain's DNS records to make changes as necessary.

 

Why can't we download mail from the backup mail server?

You do not have a mailbox on the backup server to which you can connect and download mail. The backup mail server receives mail for you when the primary server is unreachable, and delivers it to your mailbox on the primary server. This is a failover mechanism that prevents mail from bouncing or being lost, it is not a mirror server.

 

How does the virus scanning service work?

All inbound mail is automatically scanned for possible malicious content. Depending on the prcoessing stage at which a message is rejected, one of three things would happen:
1. If detected at the initial mail delivery stage, our mail server would not accept the message, and as such the sender's mail server should inform the sender of the delivery failure with the reason as given by our mail server, or
2. If the message makes it past initial checks, our mail server would return the original message to the sender with the reason for the return and additionally deliver an alert to you with the technical details, or
3. If in the rare case that an accurate assessment of the content is not technically possible, the message would either be tagged as *** UNCHECKED *** in the subject and delivered to you or, in case of undecipherable encrypted archives, bounced as in 2. above

 

How do you identify spam?

We have implemented a very extensive, but not overly aggressive approach to spam blocking. We use a combination of verification, blacklists and pattern matching all based on ongoing spam analysis and various common sense measures to reject most spam. The trickle of messages that make it past these checks are further subject to a highly effective anti-spam system with filter rulesets and Bayesian technology, a self-learning system that identifies spam with great precision. Such identified spam is tagged as *** SPAM *** in the subject and delivered to your mailbox to avoid the blocking of legitimate mail, even though in our experience the false positive rate is 0%.