Do you need another alternative to Hmail?

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Zoho mail offeres 5 mailboxes free with 5GB of storage. This may be a good alternative to your Hmail service.

To get started go to https://www.zoho.com/mail/

1. Click "Get Started"
2. Click the "Signup" link under the "Lite" option.



3. Enter your domain in the field as shown below.



4. Continue the signup process by following the on screen prompts.

After the account is created you will need to add the Zoho MX records to the domain manager screen in your Homestead account.


Need help adding your MX records to homestead? Click here.
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Mike F., Alum

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Posted 6 years ago

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Stephen4624

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Mike, I know you are just trying to help homestead clients, but what if this was a hosting issue? Would you guys be referring us to another hosting provider as well? I've been with homestead since the beginning and it's very discouraging that there is no transparency between homestead and their clients. It seems that homestead is just trying to smokescreen what is really going on instead of saying "here is the exact problem and here is how long we think it will take to get the issue resolved."
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Mike F., Alum

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We are trying to be as transparent as possible. The reality is that when replacing an enterprise email system, there are far more complexities than people understand. The installation, configuration, testing, and licensing processes require a significant amount of time. Therefor we can not honestly give you a specific ETA. If everything goes perfect, it may only take a few days, but in reality it will probably take longer than that.
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Paul4861

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Homestead have also refuse to give me a time frame when their problem will be fixed, and I've requested that several times. This morning I asked them the following.... "when is your team saying it will be fixed? If my team couldnt give me that answer, I would be looking for replacements. Its too serious!"
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Mike F., Alum

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I Paul4861, I understand your concern and how frustrating this is for you and the others. Unfortunately replacing the email servers and reconfiguring everything is a pretty major undertaking. The reality is, is that there are numerous complexities when it comes to setting up, configuring and testing all the systems and spam filter. If we had an exact time, we would gladly share it with you. Unfortunately there are so many variables the best I can tell you is that it could take several more days. This why we have suggested that if your email is critical to your business, you may wish to switch it to another provider. We want you to do what is best for your business. We don't want to lose your business, but we understand that you need to do what is right for your business.
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Paul4861

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If this is not resolved by Monday I'm jumping ship. I cant leave my business future in the control of others! Sorry to say :(
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Mike F., Alum

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We respect that decision.
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Kristen5978

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Mike, I've no intention of switching my email because a service I pay for won't fix said service. If my phone stopped taking calls, if my electric stopped working, or if my internet wasn't going, I'd expect all those services that run said utilities to fix the problem if it was on their end, as it is with email and you guys. If I choose an alternate email, I'm choosing an alternate hosting company entirely.

Please give us an ETA on the problem. While I can respect that you understand the email issues can and do effect businesses hugely, if anyone here switches to another email provider, you can expect they're going to change their hosting service too. I paid for the month right before you guys started sending me massive levels of spam and messing up my email. No way are you getting my payment for free, and since I've lost well-over a year of hosting's worth of business cost-wise, perhaps it would be better to put an ETA on the problem, and fix the problem. I'm sorry you got chosen to be thrown under the bus here repeatedly, but tell whoever made the changes that started this to roll them back. I'm pretty sure if you keep trying to send people to other companies, you'll lose most of your customers.
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Mike F., Alum

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Hi Kristen5978, I understand your frustration with this. Unfortunately the problems is far more complex than just rolling them back. Out engineers and management team are all in agreement that the best solution to assure that we can provide reliable service over the long term is to replace the email servers and implement an entirely new system. This is a major enterprise upgrade and unfortunately it will take more than a few days to fully implement. You are welcome (and encouraged) to contact a live support agent to discuss a credit or refund.

Mike
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Raymond1374

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Dear Kristen5978

It has become worse for me over the last few days. So, this morning in less than 30 minutes I switched to GOOGLE - NO cost 30 day trial - Cheap after that.

1. Sign up with Google, create admin account
2. Create users with aliases
3. Use CNAME verification method to get verified - minutes not days!
4. Change MX record - add 5 for Google , delete old record(s)
5. Change CNAME records for smtp and mail

I was up an running so fast its unbelievable.

Don't lose business or credibility.
Ray
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MaryEllen9150

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Thank you for the instructions. I am doing this today.
a. Once i change the mx records, how long before it works on the other provider?
b. Can my old emails still be viewed with Homestead?
c. Do I delete the additional boxes I am paying for and not using?
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Mike F., Alum

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Hi MaryEllen9150,

A. Once you add the MX records on the Homestead site, the new email might start working in as little as a few minutes but can sometimes take a couple hours for the new DNS records to propagate. It rarely takes more than a few hours.

B. You can still view your existing emails but once the mx records are changed, there will be no new emails that come into the system. If you have any emails currently in the system that are important, we highly recommend you save them, print them or back them up some how.

C. You can delete the email boxes if you not long need them. Again, you'll want to save or backup anything that is critical before you delete the email box.
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MaryEllen9150

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ok thank you. This wasn't as complicated as I thought. I hopefully should be live in a few hours. I nervous but I have no choice. One more question. I'd prefer to keep both email and website on one hosting site; do you anticipate in the future that ALL of these problems will be resolved? An honest answer would be great, along with details and changes that will be coming.

I'm sure it will be months out since u were discussing changes in the future in past posts. Informing customers would really help. These more detailed answers really help us to understand what is being done and the potentials for future email service if we switch back to homestead down the road.
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Mike F., Alum

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We will indeed get the issues resolved. We are in the process right now of replacing the servers. This is a very complex and time consuming task so it will take several days (hopefully not weeks) to configure and test all the systems. When we are done we will have a far superior system in place.
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twiggy

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How is it that a company of your size and reputation let this happen? I have been with you for over 10 years and this is a first. HOWEVER, I have staff that can not even book appointments with clients since they can not see their calendars! So who is going to pay back all the costs I have incurred due to your non back up plan? So I have staff that are pretty much unable to do very much which means down time, I can not respond and my rates are $150 per hour. So based on the facts that I have been on the phone and chat, etc I have spend well over 8 hours on this BS, do you want MY invoice? Thinking this through you should have changed servers with a back up just in case, this is UNACCEPTABLE!! I hope I will be getting at the very least 4 months free since I am loosing a lot of time and clients, as this looks like we are non responsive!
I am expecting either a call or email from your credit department regarding this....
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Roger9587

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well said. I'f I am going to this much trouble, I'm switching to gmail.
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MaryEllen9150

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One more question on the advanced DNS changes I just made.

I changed
A RECORD
MX RECORDS.
But i noticed CNAME has a field for mail that reads: mail.homestead.com

Do I need to change the mail field in CNAME?
Also I was told 2 different things to put in MX records by bluehost tech support; I'm not sure which is correct.

Mike, could you look at my account and see if i did this correct?
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Mike F., Alum

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I'll be happy to take a look. Which domain name are you changing? And to confirm, are you just changing email? You are not pointing the domain do a different website are you?
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MaryEllen9150

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I am just changing email only. No I am keeping my domain with homestead. bluehost is my new email host. But they told me I needed a dedicated ip, which I put into A records. But I had 2 different answers from then on MX records but 2 different tech supports.
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Mike F., Alum

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What is the domain name you are working on?
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Mike F., Alum

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You wouldn't normally need to change the A record. Perhaps the Cname might need changed though. What other information did they give you and I'll try to sort it out. If you inquire with them, make sure they know you don't want to change the pointing for the website and that it's just the email you need to change.
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MaryEllen9150

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oh my this is hard...they have me back online again. They are telling me to keep my old A record plus ADD my new dedicated IP to a record.
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MaryEllen9150

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They told me to delete the mail field in cname also.
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MaryEllen9150

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They aid: The a-records point your subdomains/domain of your site, so that one with the @ it points just meshbelt.com the one you are setting up mail will point mail.meshbelt.com to your server.
Same with those cnames, they just point to a site rather than an IP
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Mike F., Alum

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Ok.. that makes sense. I see the changes you made and they should work. The best thing is to just wait for a while and give the changes time to update. Periodically you may try to send yourself an email to see if it works.
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MaryEllen9150

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MaryEllen9150

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I liked zimbra alot better due to familiarity. I think i'll wait till all the kinks are worked out on your end and switch back.

I seem to be having difficult importing my address book as they use vcard format.
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Lynne2551

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Oh My Goodness! I am definitely trying to be as understanding and as reasonable as possible.

But now, to hear that NO ONE actually knows how long this will take and it could possibly be WEEKS before this is resolved. This is very concerning. Why on earth, would this company not be better prepared for something like this and have a better back up strategy?

This has been happening since Monday. So, what if on Friday, we find out it will be two more weeks before it's resolved. Should I just closed my business until then? I find it very hard to believe that NO ONE knows how long this will take. Please don't give us the run around Homestead...this company needs to be honest with its customers.

Please don't misunderstand Mike F., my comments are not directed at you as an employee...they are directed at Homestead, the company that takes our money every month to provide a service. We don't want refunds or credits, or another email provider...We just need the service we pay for to work, effectively!

I will wait a few more days, but my patience is running thin just as my accounts receivable is running thin because I can't send or receive emails.

At the very least, I'm very thankful to Mike F. for being so great in responding to our comments.
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Mike F., Alum

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Hello Lynne,

Thanks for your patience and understanding. Many of the employees here at Homestead including myself run online businesses so we are very understanding of the impact and frustration that issues like this can cause.

To make a long story short. Intuit sold Homestead with little warning. When any sort of IT company is sold, and acquired by another, there is an extra ordinary amount of technical and legal issues that must be worked out on the back end. In this particular case Homestead was switching to a new spam filter service which had negative repercussions, putting extraordinary strain on the servers and causing some IP addresses to get blacklisted etc. We have decided that it is the best interest of all parties to actually upgrade to completely new servers, and utilize a much better spam filter and get things off on the right foot, rather than trying to repair a system that would inevitably go down again.

With that in mind, it takes several days to install and configure the new system, migrate email accounts and work out the legal licensing issues. So, the reality is, is that we really don't have a definite ETA. I can say that it will take a few days minimum and we all hope it doesn't drag out for weeks. Therefore we are suggesting that anyone who is dependent on their email to utilize a different service, even if it's not ours. Zoho provides a free service for up to 5 emails which might be a good alternative. https://community.homestead.com/homes...

I hope this helps.

Mike
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Lynne2551

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Thank you very much, Mike. I appreciate your response.
Just please us updated on the System Status Blog.

Thanks so much!
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Mike F., Alum

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We'll do our best. Thanks!
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Mike

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Mike maybe a daily update would help. It would be a nice to see a log of what's happening. Some of us are technical and understand servers some are not. In either case it would at least be comforting to see the progress that's happen and it would at least show that homestead isn't sitting on their hands.
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Mike F., Alum

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Hi DJ Mike, I understand how you feel. I am working on them to provide me with some of the technical stuff as I think most people would understand at least a little bit. Even if people don't understand it they could see that something is happening. There's a good chance I may have some better information tomorrow. I know they've been testing the spam filters on some new proxy servers and understand the tests went well but, I don't know when all the email will be routed through them. I think they are getting very close. I hope to have more info tomorrow.
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MaryEllen9150

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Well i'm at the new email host (bluehost) and getting emails.

Mike I want to thank you for really actually informing users of the details of what is really going on. Sometimes a reasonable explanation is all that is needed for customers to understand and make logical choices until the problems are resolved.

I think the frustration in the past was that we were receiving very vague answers which gave the impression no one has any clue what they are doing over there. To the layman it's not easy to switch emails to a new host; as it's beyond our comprehension. We are small business owners without IT departments. We are or in my case 'were' stuck with non working email service.

Keep us informed of when the kinks are finally worked out. I'll keep an eye on the boards. I'd like to move back once you have a fine running email machine.
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Mike F., Alum

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We'll do our beat to keep you updated. We made some significant progress last night with the outgoing mail. Most people will notice much improvement in sending emails.
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Mike F., Alum

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Official Response
Below are more detailed steps for setting up Zoho mail.

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David6196

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Problem moving email from Zimbra to Zoho.


I am trying to convert my email from Zimbra to Zoho as recommended by homestead. One of the steps is 'Create a folder zohoverify under root'. What root ? root of my email server ? root of my hard drive ? root of my carrot garden ? Please advise.
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Mike F., Alum

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See steps above. That folder is created in the File Manager within SiteBuilder.
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Marcia3684

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I am trying to create this ridiculous alternative email (whoever heard of an email provider telling you to create an alternative to the email you're paying for?). But when I created the zohoverify folder and tried to publish the verification, it says I've reached my five-page limit of my account and it's asking me to upgrade. So I need to pay more money to open an alternative email account because the current email account I'm paying for won't work? Really??
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Marcia3684

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OK, I thought I would share the conversation I tried to have with the "helpful" Live Chat representative.

[Marcia] I am trying to create this alternative email with Zoho, but when I created the zohoverify folder and tried to publish the verification, it says I've reached my five-page limit of my account and it's asking me to upgrade. So I need to pay more money to open an alternative email account because the current email account I'm paying for won't work? Really??
[Sampath K]
Hello and welcome to Homestead Websites chat support! Give me just a moment to take a look at that for you.

[Sampath K] Marcia, in Zoho mail you can create 5 email accounts for free. If you create more emails then it ask you for upgrade
[Sampath K] Marcia, We have already added an outbound spam filtering system and redirected our newly filtered email so that it would no longer be blackilsted. The second part which should fix receiving problems is scheduled to be implemented over Monday Oct. 7 to Tuesday Oct. 8. This will give us more reliable hardware and fully configured software so that email will be able to run effectively. We appreciate your continued patience as we complete this process.

[Marcia] I only have one email account. This said I have too many PAGES.
[Sampath K] Your website is here with us right?
[Sampath K] Did you created site there in Zoho?
[Marcia] Yes, my website is with you. Your second question does not make sense.
[Sampath K] Marcia, then where you get such message that "you have too many pages"?
[Marcia] Read my message above. When I created the folder in SiteBuilder as instructed.
[Sampath K] Give me a moment
[Sampath K] Thanks for your patience Marcia
[Sampath K] I ave checked your account, currently you are in Starter package
[Marcia] Yes, I know that.
[Sampath K] In which you get 1 site and 5 pages for free
[Sampath K] Currently in www.marciacassidycommunications.com site you have published 5 pages
about.html
Clients.html
contact.html
index.html
services.html
[Marcia] Oh my God, I already know what my website is. Why are you wasting my time telling me this?
[Marcia] And what does this have to do with why it won't allow me to create this alternative email that you are telling me to create?
[Sampath K] Marcia, you are wanting to use alternative Zoho email service sor which no need of creating folder in your site. You just need to update your domain MX records to Zoho and there in Zoho sign up for an email account and add your pointed domain there.
[Sampath K]
If you are looking for immediately resolution for this email and I thin you are looking for the same, then I suggest that you use Zoho email provider email. Zoho mail offeres 5 mailboxes free with 5GB of storage. This may be a good alternative to your Hmail service.

For more information on configuring email with Zoho, please refer to the following link:

https://community.homestead.com/homes...

[Marcia] Oh my God, you really have no idea what you're talking about, do you? You're just typing a bunch of answers they gave you that you don't even understand.
[Marcia] I have to share this on the Homestead Community. It would be funny if it weren't so pathetic.
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Mike F., Alum

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Hi Marcia, I am very sorry for the miscommunication.

I fixed your account so it will accommodate the verification file. If you try and upload it again, you will not longer get that error message.

Mike
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Paula7683

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Can we have an email provider that is not Homestead while still having Homestead host our web sites? Recommendations??.


After this disaster, I need to find a more reliable email provider, but do not want to go through the hassle of also moving my web site (at least not now)...If we can separate the two, does anyone have any good reliable providers they can recommend as a permanent solution?
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kira1847

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This is absolutely ridiculous! There is no way an IT issue (especially a HUGE IT issue like this) should take weeks to be resolved. If your team does not know what they are doing, you need to contract out to a team who does know what they are doing. This makes absolutely no sense. I love how your "helpful" team points us in the direction to find another host. HOW ABOUT YOU TRANSFER US TO ANOTHER HOST!??! Why should we be inconvenienced/waste our time because your staff is incompetent? Either fix this issue or transfer/refund us... This is a quite simple decision if there is any form of management over there...
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Mike F., Alum

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This is a great conversation that's separate from the main topic, so I created a new topic to continue the discussion. Please reference the new topic here: This is absolutely ridiculous!
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Mike F., Alum

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Official Response
If you are setting up a 3rd party email client such as Outlook, or Thunderbird, etc. then you will be prompted to choose either an IMAP, or POP configuration.

IMAP works best if you check your email from multiple devices (more than one computer, smart phone etc.).

POP may work better if you always check your email from the same device.

IMAP keeps all the emails on the server so when you log into your email client it syncs with what is on the server so you can always access all of your emails and folders from any device. POP will typically download all of the email off the server onto the computer, which is why it's not recommended if you check email from multiple devices.

The email client settings fore each are shown below.

POP Configuration

Incoming Server Settings:

Incoming Server Name: pop.zoho.com
Port: 995
Require SSL: Yes

Outgoing Server Settings:

Outgoing Server Name: smtp.zoho.com
Port: 465
Require SSL: Yes
Require Authentication: Yes

IMAP Server Details

Incoming Server Settings:

Incoming Server Name: imap.zoho.com
Port: 993
Require SSL: Yes

Outgoing Server Settings:

Outgoing Server Name: smtp.zoho.com
Port: 465
Require SSL: Yes
Require Authentication: Yes
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Vernon0640

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This is NOT a solution and if I do this...what happens to my current email and all the emails that are sitting out there that haven't been delivered! Do I lose them as well forever.

I have lost a potential NEW client because of this and my clients are angry because they can't get anything to me! WHY not get rid of this awful Zimbra system in the first place? It is the worst email system EVER. I have been hearing for 2 years now that it was changing and what do you do...upgrade servers...How about getting us a decent email system with decent storage! That would be a great solution.

I expect several months refund over this absolute debacle!
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Mike F., Alum

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You are welcome to contact us to discuss this. We have to handle these cases one at a time as every customer is affected differently. You'll find the contact info here: https://community.homestead.com/homes...
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Jacquie6139

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Is the MX record shown above the same for everyone or is this just an example? Can't find anything on zoho. I know where to put in in my account, just don't know what I'm typing there.
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Mike F., Alum

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The ones shown in the example above are correct. You can use those.
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masa5369

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Mike,
I get that a lot of people are pissed... i am too... however I need your help and I know you didn't cause this mess and the company you work for did. I signed up with ZoHo and it will not verify my account... can you please help me? I made a file in the root and I inserted the file and it said "publish" so I did and it said "ok"... then I went to ZOHO and it says I can't or it didn't and that I should try Cname... help me please... my clients are starting to question how legit my company is that we can't figure out 1998 style email...
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Mike F., Alum

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Sometimes you have to wait a few minutes and click the verify button several times. You uploaded the file correctly so if it does not work, then yes, do the DNS records instead.

If you need help adding the Cname and MX records, just post the information here and we'll add them for you.
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JJ Ning4257

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Changing Email hosting.


Hi Homestead,

The email system has been a big disappointment.
Is there a way i can change my email hosting from Homestead to another hosting company without changing my domain?

Cheers
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Mike F., Alum

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You can use any email provider you wish, but we've had a lot of people happy with Zoho.
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paul3086

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Setting up my email with Zoho.


I would like to move my email to zoho. Do you have some guidance on how to set up the redirection with Hmail? and the settings required at the Zoho side of things to receive mail redirected from my domain?

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