List of inbound SMTP redirection services (some for free!)

(I’m bringing over some of the better posts from my old blog. This one has recently been updated for grammar, formatting and the inclusion of the services from

I’m working on setting up an email server on my home network, however my ISP blocks port 25 inbound (SMTP). Fortunately, the port blocking is the only restriction and they do not seem to have a problem with me hosting my own mail server.

I need some kind of SMTP redirection service to point my MX record to which will accept mail on port 25 but then send the received mail to my own mail server over a non-standard port.

My server itself is more of a testing ground than a production mail server and thus won’t have heavy email traffic. Probably only a few dozen messages a day at the most. I started searching for services that were as cheap as possible.

I’ve compiled a list of Inbound SMTP Redirection services here. If anyone knows of more, please let me know and I’ll list them:

  • (Added July 2013) GhettoSMTP. Free SMTP redirection. Up to 4,999 emails per month. $5 per month for 5,000 or more emails. GhettoSMTP is the free service portion of UptownSMTP. Disclaimer: This is a service that I created with my consulting company.
  •’s “Mail Reflector” for $39.95 a year
  •’s “MailHop Relay” for $49.95 a year
  •’s Mail Redirection Service for as low as $19.98 per year
  •’s Mail Server Forwarding $18.95 per year for one domain
  • (Added Jan 2011) MX GuardDog: They offer free inbound spam and antivirus cleansing for your email as long as you put a link to their site on a site of yours. In essence it’s a link exchange. It’s hidden in their FAQ, but they will redirect mail down on an alternate port for you. Personally, I’m a bit suspicious. It seems too good to be true. Perhaps they’re analyzing the spam and viruses for other purposes which make it worth their while. Oct 2011 Update: Check out the comments below, specifically the commentor seemebreakthis and his negative experience with MX GuardDog.

IMO, this entire service sector is overpriced and awaits some good competition to drop it to more reasonable rates. On top of my displeasure with the general price structure of this service, I’m broke and don’t want to pay any money at all.

I started looking for free services. Seems like an impossible thing to expect, right? Almost… but not quite. I found two services that were willing to give free limited accounts out. – This site advertises a free account that will forward all of your emails over a nonstandard port, never delete mails and hold mail if your server is offline. However, there are limitations on the number and size of emails per day that you can receive.

Confusingly, the limits on the free account are listed on the home page, but conflicts with the limits listed on the accounts page. The home page says that you can receive 50 emails or 50 MBs per day, with a 1 hour delay for each email over that limit. The accounts page shows a limit of 10 immediately delivered emails per month (!) with a one hour delay per email over that limit.

I would have signed up and trialed the service, however the registration page says that they are currently in a private beta. They allow you to sign up for notification when the public beta goes live. I encourage everyone that reads this to sign up in the hopes that it may encourage the creators to complete the project. I have no idea when that site was created. There’s a conspicuous lack of a date anywhere, which makes me slightly suspicious.

I should also note that the pricing for the paid accounts doesn’t seem to be competitive especially when you realize that the prices are in Euros which are valued higher than many of the world’s dollars (Canadian, USA, Australian). [Update: Roller Network has changed their account features and this is no longer applicable] RollerNetwork offers a free redirection service that is not time limited. However, they explicitly state that they reserve the right to limit, reconfigure, discontinue and otherwise kick any and all free accounts to the curb at Roller Network’s discretion.

The free account offers secondary MX records, SMTP redirection and secondary DNS. The limit on messages seems generous: 200 messages or 10MB can be relayed per “cycle”. I still can’t understand exactly what a “cycle” is even after reading the definition on the site. I’ll reproduce it here and maybe someone can enlighten me:

A cycle is currently defined as the previous week’s worth of mail traffic (7 calendar days) with a 72-hour resting period after any of the limits are exceeded. During this rest period, mail domains are deactivated and will refuse new messages. After the rest preiod [sic] has expired, the mail domains are reactivated. However, if after a 72-hour rest the 7 day total still exceeds the limits, another 72-hour rest will be applied.

I think that means the message count is reset every 7 days plus 72 hours for every time you go over the limit until you’re out of the 7 day cycle and into the next one.

A commentor named “Sam Allen” on my old blog had this to say about the scheme:

From reading the description, I’d suggest that ‘cycle’ means a combined total of the previous 7 days at any given time. The total wouldn’t be ‘reset’, merely recalculated every day to drop the ‘last’ day and add the most recent one.

The 72 hr thing means that if your total in the previous 7 days goes over the limit, your account is effectively closed for 3 days. If after those three days, the previous 7 day total (including 3 down days and 4 ‘up’ days) is STILL over the limit, you get another 3 days down.

Either way, it would be helpful to have examples or diagrams drawn out. Then again, if an account structure tempts me to pull out a UML tool to help figure it out, maybe it’s time to rethink the account structure.

Nonetheless, that will fit my test requirements. Thanks Roller Network! They also have some decent looking for-pay services that seem to compete nicely with similar services. Oh, and their IPv6 support roxors!

Do you have any experience with inbound SMTP redirection services? I’d love to hear your experiences and suggestions.


  1. hevnbnd

    January 2, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Another paid option is AuthSMTP. Another free option is to setup a relay on another exchange server or configure IIS to be a smart host on a server where the port is not blocked. IE office


  2. tylerrobbins

    April 25, 2011 at 9:30 am

    ZoneEdit used to have a great feature (even on their free service) where your MX record could specify an alternate port, e.g.

    I say used to because they just migrated my domain to their new interface and it’s now blocking 50% of my emails for unknown reason. (which is why I found this page as I’m looking for alternatives).

    But the service is free and worth a shot.


    • Wesley David

      April 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm

      Thanks for the tip, Tyler! I jut checked out ZoneEdit’s website. They look good on paper, but if their service is spotty then I think I’ll refrain from mentioning them directly in the post until I have a chance to evaluate them.


    • GeorgeH

      February 25, 2012 at 2:06 am

      Hi! Thanks for the ZoneEdit tip, I’m going to try them out because they seem more legit than MXGuardDog. Their interface is tripping me up a bit though – I haven’t yet figured out where to enter my server’s alternate SMTP port.


      • Wesley David

        February 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm

        Sadly, I can’t offer much help since I haven’t personally used ZoneEdit. =|


  3. [email protected]

    October 12, 2011 at 5:18 am

    Great stuff!! Thanks so much for the info. I tried MXGuarddog after reading this blog and I now finally have a functional e-mail server at home. And it does not cost a cent!

    (using port 9925 by the way, and my e-mail server runs on a Synology NAS for those who are interested)

    Thank you once again!


    • Wesley David

      October 12, 2011 at 10:34 am

      Glad you found something that works and you don’t have to pay! =)


      • seemebreakthis

        October 14, 2011 at 9:37 pm

        Took a couple of days to figure out that their service is not really rock solid.

        Had e-mails arriving one hour late. A few e-mails never even arrived. And nothing shows up in their spam filtered list. I also started worrying about what they will do with my e-mails besides just forwarding.

        So I ended up paying $18.95 to subscribe to dns made easy….


        • Wesley David

          October 15, 2011 at 12:03 am

          Thanks for the update! Wow, that sounds sketchy. I too worried about what they were doing with the emails, but figured the lack of transparency might be acceptable for home usage.


        • lookingforanmx

          February 26, 2013 at 12:39 pm

          has anyone tried mx guarddog again lately?


          • Wesley David

            February 26, 2013 at 1:01 pm

            I haven’t, no. What exactly are you looking to do? Just plain SMTP redirection? I might be able to help.

  4. pakistanray

    November 17, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    The no longer supports the Outbound Mail Account service for free accounts.
    “Send mail using our servers! Outbound mail (also known as “smarthost”) is included on all accounts except Basic.” Basic Account == free account


    • Wesley David

      November 17, 2011 at 5:23 pm

      Thanks for the update! I edited the post accordingly. =)


  5. tyytrb

    March 12, 2013 at 6:01 am

    My plug for DNS Made Easy: Comcast blocked port 25 on me unannounced, killing my mail server. After reviewing the rerouting options, I chose DNS Made Easy. (EasyDNS in Canada, DNSExit raised prices, DYN ridiculously expensive). DNS Made Easy had me back up in under 10 minutes, and that’s with manual MX Record entries. They also responded very promptly to a silly question I had because I was rushed and didn’t hit the little blue “i” info button.


    • Wesley David

      March 12, 2013 at 9:54 am

      Thanks for the tip man! I’m actually mapping out how to make my own SMTP redirection service. It’s simple enough and really shouldn’t cost much more than pennies – I think places that charge too much are just ridiculous. In fact, redirection should be free, IMO. It’s anti-spam and anti-virus checking that is intensive and costs.


      • Jon

        March 12, 2013 at 1:07 pm

        If you start your own SMTP redirection service, I’d be interested. I was going to use the folks, and while they’re not on any blacklists or listed on any threat websites, there’s just something not quite comfortable about them…


      • Mike Eckman

        April 13, 2013 at 6:08 pm

        Wesley, have you made any progress on making your own SMTP redirection? I have a mail server that I use very minimally, but I want to get it back online after Comcast blocked port 25 for me.


  6. Robert Totsuka

    April 26, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I have been using MX Guarddog for years, with multiple domains. Never had any issues with them, but I do not use the port redirect feature (I block access to my server by IP address). They publish a list of their delivery servers online:

    I have never paid them anything, just have a link from my site back to them.


  7. Richard Thomas

    June 26, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Good list. I’ve been searching for options for this since I decided to move to Comcast. I already knew about but I’m wanting to host two low-volume domains and $40 apiece is a little high. I ran across easyDNS last night which seem more reasonable and it looks like they are the same company as DNS made easy. I didn’t really understand their price structure but it looked reasonable.

    It’s still kinda too high though. I’m considering running something simple on Amazon’s web services using Exim (which has some easily configurable forwarding rules). That would be free (+bandwidth) for the first year on a micro instance but I’m concerned it might work out quite expensive once the free tier option disappears. It might be worth a try though if I could find a few people willing to help shoulder the costs and who were willing to accept that the project might be abandoned at short notice. Email me on [email protected] if you might be interested.


    • Wesley David

      June 26, 2013 at 8:41 am

      Believe it or not, I’m working on something right now. I’m expecting a shipment today that will get things rolling later this week and next. I’ll email you when I’m ready. =)


      • Jeremy

        July 18, 2013 at 9:32 pm

        This is exactly what I am looking for also.

        Please let me know on this one!


    • Richard Thomas

      February 9, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      Well, having decided that Wesley’s solution probably was not suitable for my needs, I decided on EasyDNS based on this page here:

      But having initiated the transfer and having started to mess with their interface, I see nowhere that actually allows this setting to be made. I can add an MX or set it to use their LOCAL servers but if I do that, the only options appear to be to set up SPF, greylisting or mailmaps. Nothing else.

      I have contacted support but I suspect this will turn out to be a discontinued service. I will be very annoyed if so.


      • Wesley David

        February 9, 2014 at 4:13 pm

        Why wasn’t GhettoSMTP suitable for your needs? Also, let me know how it goes with EasyDNS.


        • Richard Thomas

          February 10, 2014 at 7:11 pm

          I believe when we talked, the quantity of email I receive was more than you were thinking of.

          EasyDNS is proving to be a bit of a pain. Their docs sound like it’s available on their cheapest plan but the page I saw that actually mentions a plan that only sounds like their cheapest plan. I’m currently waiting to see if it will be available on the one that’s $20 more than their cheapest plan or $40 more. If it’s the $40 one, that’s no cheaper than

          Also considering trying out the AWS thing just to see what that costs like. However, if Amazon’s 1-year free micro plan *is* only for 1 year, that rapidly becomes a lot more expensive.


          • Wesley David

            February 10, 2014 at 8:38 pm

            Ah yes, I remember now. I put an arbitrary soft limit of 5,000 processed emails on the free accounts before I bump people up to the paid UptownSMTP account which starts at $5 a month for up to 50,000 emails including Anti-Spam or Anti-Virus. I had to draw a line somewhere, and so far very few of the 200+ domains I handle at the moment have gone above 5,000 emails, which surprises me.

        • Richard Thomas

          February 21, 2014 at 6:46 pm

          So, I am all set up now. A definitive answer from EasyDNS is that it is available on all of their plans except the cheapest so that’s $35/year and up which includes being the domain registrar. It is fairly easy to set up but the only documentation I could find was the old one for the somewhat different interface. It’s still the same setup though. For the MX, you enter hostname:port and set the priority to 5.

          Still tempted to try the AWS option but truthfully, I’ll probably stick with the EasyDNS. If I were to try the AWS, I’d probably try to resell some to recoup my loss but I really don’t have the time to mess with all that right now.


          • Wesley David

            February 21, 2014 at 8:04 pm

            Thanks for the update!

  8. MailShark Corporation

    June 16, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Hi Wesley,

    You might be interested in reviewing MailShark:

    MailShark also offers a Mail / SMTP redirection service to any port, store and forward.

    MailShark launched 20 May 2014 and to the best of our knowledge, MailShark is the only FREE FOREVER Anti-Spam and Cloud based Email Filter service available.

    We welcome your visit to view the feature sets available.


  9. Curtis M

    November 2, 2015 at 10:38 am

    FYI, it seems that mailshark no longer has a free option (as of Sept 2015) ;-(


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