What are SMTP relays?

  • Applies to: VPS Hosting
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Time Needed: 10
    • Tools Required: N/A
  • Applies to: Shared Hosting
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Time Needed: 10
    • Tools Required: N/A
  • Applies to: Managed WordPress Hosting
    • Difficulty: Easy
    • Time Needed: 10
    • Tools Required: N/A

What is an SMTP relay?

SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. This is the system that allows your server to send, receive, and relay email messages. A simplified explanation of how this works is as follows:

  1. You send out an email message to user@example.com.
  2. A SMTP relay receives this message and looks for where user@example.com is located.
  3. The SMTP relay delivers the message to the user@example.com.

You can think of SMTP relays as the Post Office. They act as the in-between service that helps deliver your mail to its final destination.

Does Media Temple use SMTP relays?

Yes! Media Temple (along with the majority of reputable email providers) use SMTP relays in some capacity. SMTP relays are used for a few very important reasons, which we will discuss in the next section.

For reference, the SMTP relay for Shared Hosting is:

  • relay-hosting.secureserver.net

For reference, the SMTP relays for VPS Hosting Hosting is:

Data center SMTP Relay Server
U.S. (West) dedrelay.secureserver.net
U.S. (East) a2nlvphout-v01.shr.prod.iad2.secureserver.net
U.S. (East) n1smtpout.europe.secureserver.net
Asia sg2nlvphout-v01.shr.prod.sin2.secureserver.net

For reference, the SMTP relay for Managed WordPress Hosting is:

  • relay-hosting.secureserver.net

Why do we use SMTP relays?

Shortly after the introduction of SMTP in 1981, hackers found ways to take advantage of email systems to send out enormous amounts of spam. This resulted in legitimate users having their email sent to junk folders, or even getting their IP totally blocked. SMTP relays help mitigate these type of issues.

SMTP relays also help you identify other problems that may occur when sending email. For example, if you accidentally misspell a recipient, the relay will send a bounceback message to let you know that the email was not delivered.

Do I need to do anything with my SMTP relay?

SMTP relays tend to work silently in the background. So for the most part, you do not need to worry about your relay unless something isn't working, in which case we advise contacting Support for assistance.

Attempts to tamper or bypass Media Temple SMTP relays is a violation of your Terms of Service and can result in appropriate action from our administrators.

Does my SMTP relay have limits?

VPS Hosting has a server limit of 15,000 outgoing emails per day. If you find that your relay limit is being reached, feel free to contact Support, and we’d be happy to assist you in increasing your daily limit.

Shared Hosting has an outgoing server limit of 500 emails per hour.

Managed WordPress has an outgoing server limit of 1000 emails per day.

What ports are open for my SMTP relay?

Port 25 is open for outgoing mail.

How do I send form mail using an SMTP relay?

If you want to use your website to send form mail, like submissions to a contact us form, you'll need to connect to our mail relay server. For detailed information on how you can set this up, see the linke below: