Custom DNS and URL redirection for your domain

The custom DNS and URL redirection features have now been released to production. Some of the things you can now do:

  1. Use your file storage area to publish files as a website, either in your own domain if configured through the Options -> Virtual Domains screen, or to http://yourusername.fastmail.fm (docs). Just login to your account and go to the Options -> Websites/Redirects screen
  2. Use your file storage area to publish a directory of photos as a photo gallery either in your own domain, or to http://yourusername.fastmail.fm (docs)
  3. Change the DNS for your domain to point to other servers. For instance, make http://blog.yourdomain.com point directly to a blogging service, or http://wiki.yourdomain.com point to a wiki service, or http://mail.yourdomain.com point straight to the FastMail login screen (actually this is already the default for all virtual domains who use the DNS at FastMail). Just login to your account and go to the Options -> Custom DNS screen
  4. Maybe the service you want doesn’t support domain mappings, so just use a redirect instead to redirect users who go to http://blog.yourdomain.com to http://yourblogname.yourbloggingservice.com. You can even “cloak” the redirect so people still see the URL http://blog.yourdomain.com rather than http://yourblogname.yourbloggingservice.com. Just login to your account and go to the Options -> Websites/Redirects screen and in the Create Website section at the bottom, make sure you choose Redirect to external site or Cloaked redirect in the Pushlish as section (docs). You can even do this for your FastMail username, so http://blog.yourusername.fastmail.fm can be redirected to your blogging service

These new features now provide enough DNS and URL management features that there should be no need to use a service like zoneedit anymore, it can all be controlled from within FastMail. For discussions on these features, please see this forum thread:

http://www.emaildiscussions.com/showthread.php?t=48363

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FDM client blocked

The “Free Download Manager” (http://www.freedownloadmanager.org/) is a tool designed to make multiple concurrent connections to a web server and hence bypass rate limiting controls by downloading parts of a file separately. From the site “It splits files into several sections and then downloads them simultaneously allowing you to increase your download speed up to 600%.”.

This would be abusive enough by itself, using more than your “fair share” of server resources. We don’t rate limit individual connections, but there is a limit to how many connections each of our servers can provide at once.

The problem is that our servers don’t support downloading separate fragments of an attachment to an email, because we fetch then entire email part from the IMAP server each time, decode it and start streaming it to your browser. FDM would make us fetch multiple copies…

UPDATE: I have been able to restrict the block to just the FDM manager itself rather than any broswer with it embedded. This should make regular FastMail use possible, so long as you don’t engage FDM to do your downloads — Bron

even that’s not the problem. The problem is that if there’s any error, FDM seems to just keep issuing hundreds of requests, which floods the IMAP server with requests and fills up the disk on our machines with decoded copies of the email. Sure, we could probably make our software safe against this condition, but doing that and testing it would take time. In the meanwhile, we must block the clients that are performing the equivalent of a denial of service attack on us.

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Custom DNS *and* URL redirection on beta server

We’ve been testing custom DNS setting on the beta server for a few weeks, and we’ve now added the ability to add redirects for your websites as well. These features are currently only available on the beta server which you can login at:

http://www.fastmail.fm/beta/

Some of the things you can now do:

  1. Use your file storage area to publish files as a website, either in your own domain, or to http://yourusername.fastmail.fm (docs). Just login to your account and go to the Options screen then the Websites/Redirects screen (beta only)
  2. Use your file storage area to publish a directory of photos as a photo gallery either in your own domain, or to http://yourusername.fastmail.fm (docs)
  3. Change the DNS for your domain to point to other servers. For instance, make http://blog.yourdomain.com point directly to a blogging service, or http://wiki.yourdomain.com point to a wiki service, or http://mail.yourdomain.com point straight to the FastMail login screen (actually this is already the default for all virtual domains who use the DNS at FastMail). Just login to your account and go to the Options screen then the Custom DNS screen (beta only)
  4. Maybe the service you want doesn’t support domain mappings, so just use a redirect instead to redirect users who go to http://blog.yourdomain.com to http://yourblogname.yourbloggingservice.com. You can even “cloak” the redirect so people still see the URL http://blog.yourdomain.com rather than http://yourblogname.yourbloggingservice.com. Just login to your account and go to the Options screen then the Websites/Redirects screen and switch to the Redirection Websites tab (beta only)

These new features now provide enough DNS and URL management features that there should be no need to use a service like zoneedit anymore, it can all be controlled from within FastMail. For discussions on these features, please see this forum thread:

http://www.emaildiscussions.com/showthread.php?t=48363

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Easily Access Your Files Using Windows XP

Did you know that you can store files directly in your FastMail.FM account, and either:

  • Keep them private
  • Share them with a group of people using a password
  • Publish them as a photo album, or
  • Publish them on a public web site

It’s as easy as using your own hard drive! If you are using Windows Vista, follow these instructions that we posted earlier. If you are using Windows XP, follow these steps:

Double-click My Network Places on your desktop.

Double-click Add Network Place.

Click Choose another network location…

…and click ‘Next’

Enter the address ‘https://dav.messagingengine.com/username.fastmail.fm’, replacing username.fastmail.fm with your actual username and domain (as you can see, you need to replace the ‘@’ with a ‘.’ here).

Enter your username and password, including the ‘@domain’ part.

 GIve it whatever name you like.

 Done! You only need to complete those steps once.

 Using your files

To access your files, after completing these steps, first double-click ‘My Network Places’.

 

Now, double-click the name you created earlier.

You will see the contents of your file storage space. 

You can drag files to and from these folders, on right-click to copy and paste.

There’s lots of information about using all the features of your file storage in the FastMail.FM FAQ.

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