SMTP-friendly VPS provider where I can also get a BGP feed

Hey all,

I apologize if this isn't the right place to post this; however, I thought maybe the NANOG community would be able to point me in the right direction.

I'm looking for a place that I can host a mailer. My primary use case is a Mailman-style technical discussion list; much like NANOG but software related instead of network related: READ: non-commercial in nature.

I'm currently a vultr customer, but they're refusing to unblock port 25 on my account. I've tried explaining my use case but no matter who I talk to over there they just keep pointing me to their spam policy.


I've been a happy customer of now TornadoVPS. They will definitely allow port 25 outbound. It was unblocked by default when I signed up years ago and I think still is even on new accounts.

I don't know if they will do BGP. In the past, they had said they would by request provided you had your own AS and IP space. I think they also had offered to do one under a private ASN for route collection. also lets you send and receive on port 25, provided your MTA isn’t configured as an open relay.


Pretty much every popular provider blocks port 25 out by default, and they’ll instead try to steer customers to use a smart host. However, some, including Linode, will unblock port 25 by request:

I run an MTA in Hetzner. Once you’ve paid a bill, you can raise a request to unblock port 25

You can try from xTom, we can provide BGP sessions in some locations as well as port 25 unblock.

I've run a mail server on Linode for 6 or 7 years now; no technical problems.

End-node, Zimbra, postfix.

-- jra

Not sure if this helps, but they only appear to block 25 for IPv4.

IPv6 works fine.

Supposedly you can open a support-ticket to have this block removed, but I'm assuming you've already done that?

    - bryan

Yes, that is the case (read the original post, this is addressed).

Once upon a time, Jay R. Ashworth <> said:

I've run a mail server on Linode for 6 or 7 years now; no technical problems.

Same, although for about 15 years now. One suggestion I'd make is to
use IPv6 and get a dedicated /64 (free on request) - it can help a
little with "unclean neighborhood" reputation (an issue with any VPS as
they can't police everything).

I've been using Linode, also; works fine on the Linode end, but I still see occasional rejections based on my Linode IP address (most recently from It's nothing my specific IP is doing, but appears to be blacklisting of an address range. And gmail randomly puts some outgoing mail into recipients' spam folders. Trying to get an address unblocked by a major provider works almost as well as howling into the wind.

Maybe I'm being stubborn to insist on continuing to run what's basically a family mail server, but it does seem like there's a matter of principle there: it should be possible to have an email account without having all the emails stored by a third party. If the answer ends up being, "Oh, just use gmail, everybody else does!" ... well, so be it, I guess, but we should be clear that something got lost in that transition.

Jim Shankland

True, but only for IPv4; IPv6 outbound port 25 is summarily blocked:


Mel Beckman schreef op 26 september 2023 10:43:51 EDT:

+1 for the dedicated /64.

This is relatively simple and avoids unsavory neighbors in a shared /64.

N.B. you will need to tweak IPv6 routing to favor the new dedicated /64 over the shared /64.

One thing you should consider about running a “family” mail server (or any other IT services for friends and family): that you have a clearly documented path of management succession. A dear friend of mine passed away last year and was running just such an email server. Nobody really knew how to get into it for maintenance, and a couple weeks after he passed. it crashed, and none of us knew precisely where it was physically located (on the end of a VPN tunnel, it tuns out). This took down email for 100 of his closest friends and family members for several weeks. We couldn’t even unlock the domain,

Personally, this has spurred me to create much better documentation of my own client services, and to involve a successor unlikely to be traveling with me :slightly_smiling_face:


Once upon a time, Grant Taylor <> said:

N.B. you will need to tweak IPv6 routing to favor the new dedicated
/64 over the shared /64.

Yeah, it appears Linode implements the dedicated /64 by routing it to
the shared /64 address, so you can't just remove the shared /64.

And unfortunately, for Linux distributions that use NetworkManager
(which is probably most current releases), NM changed which v6 address
is "preferred" at one point; in old versions, it was the last specified
address, but then it changed to the first specified address (which
probably makes more sense but was still an annoying change).

That is extremely good and important advice! It seemed much less pertinent back when I was in my 30’s, but planning for the unexpected is, or should be, a key part of all our jobs.

Jim Shankland

I can't speak to the bgp feed as this seems like unnecessary complication to me, but I use for personal email/web hosting KVM VM's and have found them to be excellent. They have yearly black Friday specials (last years - RackNerd Black Friday DEALS! ) that are very attractive. They don't block any ports on their US/Europe VM's. I use a primary pair in one city and rsync everything to a backup pair in another city (as well as home just to make sure). Not all cities can get V6 but most do.


BGP is helpful for email servers if you own your own clean IP space, because much cloud IP space is black listed.

-mel via cell

I’ve had great luck with Netactuate. Their pricing is decent, but not super cheap, but they provide
excellent customer service and are very friendly and responsive. Their network is also top notch
and trouble free.


Oh, well that's fair enough then. Most engineers I know have sold off the goldmine that is historic IP blocks at this point. I'd doubt there is much advantage in using your own at this point though with Google moving to their highly annoying reputation based blocking. So having no email coming from an IP is almost as bad as having spam coming from other IP's in the block. They will "spam folder" email from fresh IP's until enough users "mark as not spam". I've taken to spending an hour or two replying to my own emails and "marking as not spam" if I change IP on an email host and it clears up eventually. Microsoft can randomly block at any time but reporting it here - generally gets a human in a day or two that manually whitelists the IP. Google and V6 has been a total nightmare as they just randomly hard block for no reason and there is no way to ever have any human fix it (after ensuring all their guidelines are followed) so I've given up trying to use V6 to send email to google.