(OT) mail, web and DNS hosting

Well, sort of OT but from past experience there are people on these groups (uk.comp.os.linux, uk.d-i-y) who have more clue than most about these things. I did look at uk.net.providers but saw very little wrt what I'm looking for. ............................................................................ .....................
Can anyone recommend a host for my DNS, mail and web? I know there are zillions of organisations doing this - the sheer numbers are a bit daunting :-) I want something no-nonsense, reliable & cheap to host my domains, mail and web.
I have a personal .org.uk domain, currently hosted on a friend's NT box (which runs mail and web for a few charities) and I'm getting a .org version of the personal name and a .co.uk domain to hang my work hat on.
As email is too important to leave to grace and favour I'd like to be able (a) to redirect my MX to an alternative mail service (b) to have an alternative mail service I can redirect it to. With the new mail service I'd like to do things like set up addresses (natch) including throwaway addresses for temporary use on news groups (which would just silently drop mail) and catch all other mail.
To fetch mail I'd just want pop3, and perhaps webmail for testing. This should mean there'd never be much on the server but under no circumstances should the provider refuse mail. I currently do my own spam filtering (POPfile) and I'm on DSL so I don't think I'd want any server-side filtering.
For SMTP I currently use my ISP (NTLworld) so I can't see any reason I'd need to send mail via any other host. In any case I should be able to send mail directly via SMTP (if I run a suitable MTA on by home box - it'll be some *n*x, atm I'm playing with Debian).
For Web hosting I don't think I'd need any more than static web pages which may occasionally get a bit of heavy access from users (pictures of ballcocks and female glands ;-). 100Mb or so should do but I'd want the flexibility to buy more/less at reasonable prices.
I could live with standard ftp access to upload stuff, but it really would be nice to have an ssh shell account to firkle around and fine tune things. A server with .htaccess would be nice, too.
I can't see what I might use [my|postgre]sql, php, cgi, perl etc for, but no doubt if they were there I might find uses (or more likely, if they weren't :-)
tia
-- John Stumbles forename dot surname at ntlworld dot com -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+ -+ Things don't like being anthropomorphised.
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John Stumbles wrote:

As someone busy building such a system I should say wait 3 weeks* ;)
Meantime that Jason chap at ukfsn.org seems to know his stuff and better yet the profits go to free software.

Urm email won't come in if the DNS isn't working..... so make sure the DNS offering is solid as well.
Some of the big DNS hosting companies will give hosting of a few domains gratis to get you hooked, ideal if you just want to add some redundancy to the "grace and favour" service your friends are providing.
Simon
*I think the boss only plans to sell via channel partners, but I can ask if you are interested - especially if you have guinea pig tattooed on your forehead. -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org
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John Stumbles wrote:

Velvet
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On Tuesday 28 October 2003 12:20 am in uk.comp.os.linux John Stumbles wrote:

Gradwell.net specialise in this sort of stuff. Reasonable prices from people with the most important ingredient. CLUE.
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I will second that, had nothing but great service from www.gradwell.com
I have spoken with Peter Gradwell on numerous occasions, and always got what I needed!
One time I had a suggestion where they could provide something (To do with adding FTP accounts with quota's) and he implemented it immediately while I was talking to him!
Not something that would happen with other companies in my experience!
It has the personal touch
They also have a separate site www.gradnoc.net where you can see the status of their services at any time.
Sparks... (Not associated with Gradwell, apart from being a satisfied customer!)
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John Stumbles wrote:

WWW.clara.net
Look up hosting and Clarante lite.
Its teh Bees knees.

You will have to use ISP SMTP relay, or roll yer own

Not sure what clara offer. Its a unix host tho.

Buggroff. No self repsecting ISP will let you mess with that.

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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Is there a smilie missing there? What's the point of hosting if you can't do some server side?
--
Grunff


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After a lot of personal debating (ie arguing with myself) I finally opened an account with www.web-mania.com, a Durham-based host which offers 500Mb of web space for 20+VAT a year.
Their software is always bang up to date (PHP 3.3 etc) but they won't do much about installing new things (they said "we don't support python, but it appears to be installed anyway") and I was initially worried about security (they allow telnet access for their users) but as long as all your data is backed up somewhere else this shouldn't be too much of a problem.
They offer all the email bits and pieces you were talking about and these are configurable from their "account manager", but if you want some more tricky DNS stuff (I wanted a CNAME setting up for my home computer) then you can just send them an email and they'll do that for you.
As I say, it's the price that drew me in, and I'm impressed with the speed and service, but they aren't diehard linux geeks (they know quite a bit though) and the security worries me a bit.
HTH, ~ Rich
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You knew I meant 4.3.3, didn't you? ;)
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Rich Daley wrote:

I really didn't - the number of hosts still on 3.x is amazing.
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Rich Daley wrote:

Hardly up to date - we're on 4.3.3! 4.0 came out just over 4 years ago!!
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On Tue, 28 Oct 2003, John Stumbles wrote:

UK Free Software Network (which I run) offers all of the above.
We're fairly inexpensive and all of the profits go to fund Free Software projects in the UK (first such payment made earlier this month).

All as standard here. I will be introducing filtering however it will be off by default and only on for users who specifically turn it on for their own accounts.

If you are not connected via our dialup or ADSL lines you'll need to use SMTP AUTH to send via our servers. It's standard and simple.

We offer various options with different amounts of disk space.

We don't offer shell accounts - they are simply not needed for maintaining a web site and increase the security management overhead.
If you really want shell we'll be offering virtual servers (UML based) from next month.
.htaccess is no problem though.

MySQL, Perl, PHP, Python and SSI are all standard with our service.
Jason Clifford
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UKFSN.ORG Finance Free Software while you surf the 'net
http://www.ukfsn.org / 1Mb ADSL Broadband - just 27.50 / month
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Don't bother with an outgoing SMTP server. Much more reliable to run your own on your local machine. Then your own computer looks up the MX record and sends it direct to the recipient. No waiting around on "smart" servers at the ISP. Make sure you can't make incoming connections or support 3rd party relay, though, or the spammers will find it.
Christian.
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Christian McArdle wrote:

Although your SMTP host should properly resolve or certain hosts will reject mail if the originator cannot be correctly verified. Had this issue at work with sister company's mail when sent out via our gateway.
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Toby.

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Toby wrote:

You could possibly get around this by adding these "problematic" domains to a transport map pointing to your ISP's smtp servers if using Postfix.
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Yeah, I hadn't thought of that. That could a problem with ADSL. I had a fixed IP address when I was doing this.
Christian.
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mails due to some wide ranging IP blacklisting. (like, the whole of our ISP's IP range appears to be blacklisted). So we had to go back to using their somewhat unreliable SMTP server.
--
Tim Mitchell

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On Tue, 28 Oct 2003, Christian McArdle wrote:

If you are on a dialup, cable or ADSL connection it's likely that many ISPs will refuse to accept email directly from your own server - included in that are AOL (no great loss but...) and several other larger ISPs.
Jason Clifford
--
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http://www.ukfsn.org / 1Mb ADSL Broadband - just 27.50 / month
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