What Is Greylisting?

Basically, greylisting introduces a temporary and one-time delay in email delivery of messages we receive from originators who have never emailed you before. To be more precise it works at the server level. If it’s from a server that our servers haven’t seen before, it typically gets greylisted. It means we tell the sending mail server “please try again later”.

At that point, it’s up to the sending mail server when “later” is. Depending on their configuration and how busy their mail queue is, it could be anywhere from 15 minutes (common) to as much as 4 hours (rare). Once they retry the message, we accept it then we whitelist that mail server and we accept all future emails without delay as it arrives.

The reason this works so well is that most spambots, zombies, and other malware are not configured to store a message after a non-delivery and retry it later. Instead, they’ll discard the message and simply try the next address. It works great and it cuts down spam by a significant amount.

Enabling Greylisting

There is a common misconception that greylisting “delays all your mail”. It doesn’t. It delays the first email received from a server we’ve never seen before and then accepts everything as it comes in. This means that most of your email traffic isn’t being greylisted because it is coming from servers and organizations who email you frequently. Because of this we already have the originating IPs whitelisted here, and we accept all emails. Users should also note that IPs are subject to occasional recycling. So every few weeks, a Rogers, a Bell, or a Google email server may have to pass greylist. But then it’s business-as-usual for all the mail again.

To enable greylisting for a domain, please do the following:

1. Log into your easyDNS account.
2. Click on EMAIL for your domain.

3. Click on SETTINGS.

4. Enable greylisting by checking the box.
5. Click NEXT.

6. Confirm your changes.

Greylisting should now be enabled for your domain.

Leave a Reply