Why do Digital Ocean Block SMTP?

June 2, 2018 668 views
Email CentOS

I've been trouble-shooting sending email from my application using Zoho. It works locally, and on another (non-DO) VPS, but after trying with Digital Ocean for a looooong time, I have found that they block SMTP connections in an attempt to stop spammers. The ability to send email is an absolutely crucial part of my web app (like any web app), so having this functionality disabled for 60 days in unacceptable.

Why don't Digital Ocean tell people about this when they're signing up?! It would have saved me many many wasted hours' work.

3 Answers

Are you sure you don't have an firewall that blocks the port?
I have succefully implemented an mail server (postfix-dovecot) on DO and never noticed that DO blocks ports (would be strange).

Thanks for the reply. Yep, I'm sure. I tried several things including making sure the firewall is open. So I contacted support and they replied with:

*"Stopping spam is a constant fight, so we have implemented some restrictions on newer accounts. To qualify for the ability to send out email, we do require accounts to wait 60 days before we can look into removing the restriction. Once your account has reached 60 days of stable use, please do reach back out to us so we can look into this for you.

We appreciate your understanding on this matter."*

I hate it when companies say "We appreciate your understanding" - You're assuming that I'm understanding and I'm not! I'm frustrated! It's a terrible user experience, and surely all it means is that legitimate users and spammers have to wait 60 days.

I understand your frustration.

If SMTP is not mandatory for your web app and all you want is sending emails from DO via Zoho, you can try Zoho mail API.

I don't think DO blocks this. API is usually more performant than SMTP.

Reference:
https://www.zoho.com/mail/help/api/post-send-an-email.html

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