back to article If tsoHost is lecturing us on sleep hygiene, Brit outfit really does have hosting back to front

UK hosting outfit tsoHost (the artist formerly known as TSO Host) continues to suffer the blacklist blues as email woes have continued to beset the company. "Unbelievably, it's even worse!" remarked one Register reader as Microsoft blacklisted some of the company's addresses, making it somewhat tricky for affected customers to …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

    hmm

    At least one ip (95.142.156.174) is listed on UCEPROTECT

    I wonder if they are getting hit because all their shared clients send emails via only a few ip addresses?

    A few people sending what people consider spam could be screwing them up, if their mail volume is that big it might be difficult to track down.

    Microsoft Office 365 has an option to report spam/phising, I assume lots of people have just reported emails from those ip addresses as spam.

    Edit: Scrap that their Status page shows what appears to be hosts themselves being blacklisted rather than a central server.

  3. AbortRetryFail

    Yet another nail in the coffin for TSO

    I have several websites hosted with them, mostly WordPress sites, and they all run sluggishly and sometimes I get Jetpack reports that the site is down. I also use TSO as my primary mailserver on the domains.

    They've been going downhill for years. If they don't sort this out I may have to shift my lazy arse and switch hosts.

    In fairness to them, though, they are fairly responsive on Support Tickets and do genuinely try to help.

    1. Adam JC

      Re: Yet another nail in the coffin for TSO

      Without sounding like a shill, take a look at 20i - We switched from 123-Reg, to Heart Internet and then onto 20i and have settled on them for years now. Same folk who started 123-reg & Heart Internet started it up and we're shifting people across from TSOhost to them for free. They have a cPanel/WHM migration tool which sucks everything across, which unfortunately i don't think works on TSOhost but does work for IMAP mailboxes which is the most painful bit usually.

      1. jnewco81

        Re: Yet another nail in the coffin for TSO

        Just in the process of moving to 20i. I jumped from Fasthosts to TSO and initially felt i'd made a great decision - their support team are brilliant usually. My site is down far too often with these though, something which they wouldn't give me much help with. Fingers crossed 20i is better!

  4. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    So are tsoHost hosting spammers?

    So, are tsoHost hosting spammers? That's the usual cause of a hosting provider's E-Mail providers being blacklisted; they might keep their E-Mail system secure so outside spammers aren't stealing services from them. But they'll get complacent and either decide it's probably fine if there is "some" spamming going on by their customers, or decide to quit looking at all. Well, that's their right but their E-Mail system WILL be blacklisted then.

    1. MatthewSt

      Re: So are tsoHost hosting spammers?

      DigitalOcean are currently hosting most of the spammers that are bothering me! These "I'm trying to get in touch with your directors because I have an offer that is the best thing since sliced bread for your office space / cars / website" nonsense

  5. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Nope.

    "I wonder if they are getting hit because all their shared clients send emails via only a few ip addresses?"

    Nope, it (at least used to be) absolutely routine among some internet providers here in the US to completely block port 25 (except to their own mail servers), forcing all outgoing mail to go through their mail servers. ISP with 100,000s of customers, all mail coming out of a handful of IPs. The online time I heard of one getting blocked was when one of these ISPs decided they could make extra money by not enforcing their spam policies; when the whole E-Mail system dropped dead (combination of overload from the spammer's piles of spam plus being blacklisted), they did quickly decide maybe they should enforce that policy and booted the spammers back off.

    1. MatthewSt

      Re: Nope.

      Used to have something similar in the UK too, but thankfully they didn't block 465 so you could still use it for SMTPS

  6. Blitheringeejit
    FAIL

    Too often for too long...

    There have been blacklisting problems with TSO ever since I was sold to them a few years ago - but the last six months, things have become chronic with Microsoft. If you keep an eye on TSO's Status page (https://help.tsohost.com/status) you see a pretty continuous stream of blacklist incidents, which seem to be triggered by their mail servers failing to implement the security requirements which Microsoft set as the minimum for outlook.com and Hotmail to accept incoming connections. I have no idea whether there's any actual spamming going on, but I don't think the blacklisting results from customer complaints to MS - I think it's to do with sender policy and security implementation at the server level.

    I'm not sure of the technical specifics, but I know that my own TSO server was blacklisted for over a week before it was even listed as such on their status page, and it took another week for TSO to get it delisted. So that was a fortnight during which some of my customers couldn't send messages to some of their customers - and that was by no means the first time, with incidents like this dating back to July.

    So I've decided to move on, and am currently biting the extremely sour bullet of moving everything to another provider. It's a de-crufting opportunity, and I should probably do it more often - but as a purveyor of budget hosting services to SMEs, it's a bunch of unpaid work I could really do without.

    1. Paul Herber Silver badge

      Re: Too often for too long...

      I've moved most of my domains away now, just one to go ...

      1. slimer23
        Thumb Up

        Re: Too often for too long...

        Same here, I was with Tsohost for years and used them for multiple agencies I worked for. I moved everything away to hosts that care about their customers. Suffice to say, my life is now much more stress free as I have no need to use Tsohost's "support".

  7. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    auto-opt-in

    I don't see them on shared blacklists so I'm guessing it's merchant abuse rather than random spam floods. I have MailChimp, SendGrid, and a few others completely blocked because they think it's OK for their customers to continuously create new mailing lists that need new unsubscriptions. There's a little bit of legitimate mail blocked but I remind those companies that they're never going to reach me using a spamming service.

    1. MatthewSt

      Re: auto-opt-in

      You're on to something with MailChimp. The number of "newsletters" that seem to have been hijacked recently is on the up. These are emails being sent out by someone's account that most likely has nothing to do with them, and that I never signed up for.

  8. OliP

    Managed to move my last inherited customer away from tso before this started affecting things seriously.

    I rate them about as high as Heart Internet, both seem completely out of their depths.

    I moved two sites onto SiteGround as a test last year and had zero problems, support staff are technically capable and respond quickly.

    Also free SSL with Lets Encrypt. Only a wordpress site but handles a decent amount of traffic and the dashboard is always snappy.

    Compared to tso where load times for the same code were +10s

  9. Bendacious

    SJW partypooper

    As an IT guy I was always happy to use terms like Blacklist and Whitelist and my hard drives run in a Master / Slave configuration. What a straightforward and clear way of describing things. A few years ago my desk neighbour was a mixed-race lady who used to visibly wince every time I used the term 'blacklist' within range of her hearing. That puzzled me for a while because I was describing bad things as being black and good things as being white but not in terms of people, that would be wrong and illogical. I live in a world of logic where words do not have connotations beyond unfeeling bits and bytes and hardware configuration. Sadly my wildly emotionally colleague (technical authors live out loud) used to be visibly upset by my language, reading things into words that I never intended. I never got up the courage to actually talk to her about it. What I did do though was to stop using those terms and instead said stupid things like "blocklist" and "allowlist", much to the amusement of the head of operations who used to repeat back to me "awowist, what's an awowist? Is that a buddhist that is very happy?" But Stuart is an idiot (all Stuarts are idiots, sue me). I don't have a desk next to that lady any more but I'm happy to report that I didn't make her wince for a little over 18 months, if we ignore fast-food-Friday, which is a weekly moratorium on food smells and highly recommended for the morale of any office. I know I am on thin ice here and 'blacklist' is not in any way a reference to black people but if there are people who's lives make them sensitive to such a use of the word 'black', then surely 'blocklist' or something better is not that much effort. Although, some of my favourite people are 'block'ed from facebook, so I'd suggest "Stuartlist".

    1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Re: SJW partypooper

      And then there's simple narcissism dressed up as desperately-redefining-things-as-Xism-in-order-to-get-attention/-control.

      To put it another way, there is such a thing as genuine racism, and there is such a thing as gamesmanship: people seeking to be offended/upset in order to benefit from people's genuine distaste/outrage re genuine racism (Xism). I'm afraid I've seen wa-aaaaaaaayy too much of the latter, and acceleratingly so over the last few decades, with increasingly damaging effects in the larger societal sense.

      Classic example:

      Nothing says racism quite like a region of space in which the gravitational field is so powerful that nothing, not even light, can escape its pull after having fallen past its event horizon [1:01, youtube]

      .

      Having said that, I quite like "blocklist" -- it is more accurate.

    2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      You're still using PATA?

      Just to make a political point?

      That's dedication for you.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It gets better....

    Unfortunate enough to have domains and hosting with them. Tied myself in for a few years before things got really bad (for me), regretting it now. I'll be migrating away at the next renewal...

    I've noticed they seem to either be rebooting their nameservers during the middle of the day, or they are overloaded...or both. At least, that's been their explanation for the downtime...

    My (small) home ISP also do hosting under a different brand that used to also supply my broadband until they separated things. Plan is to shift across to them, based on a pretty reasonable support experience over 5 years or so...

  11. Mark192

    How does this happen?

    Are they incompetent or don't care? I guess both.

  12. slimer23

    Something is seriously wrong at Tsohost, the ongoing blacklist issues are only the tip of the iceberg unfortunately. Tsohost frankly still shock me to this very day, they're clearly in freefall.

    I created a tiny Wordpress site for a family member about 8 years ago. At the time I recommended Tsohost (as they were good then before the Godaddy buyout, out sourching support etc.). This site has been hosted with Tsohost ever since. Literally just got an email from the site owner to say their info@ email is broken and wonlt work in Outlook.

    I subconsciously lol'd to myself and assumed they'd done something silly their end. After checking the settings and verifying there is in fact an issue I cam across

    https://help.tsohost.com/status/report/9988, titled "Info@ mailbox issue on our cloud platform". It appears people with emails starting with "info@" currently cannot send emails.

    Completely insane. I also note their last update to the ticket was 4 days ago, no updates since - it appears some things at Tsohost never change. I'm 100% glad to be away from them.

    I've told the site owner to move to a better host.

  13. GazCBG

    They don't seem to care either from what I heard from a family member who has a franchise with a company that use TSO, use to be Daily till TSO bought them out.

    They contact them and was told, it will take as long as it takes etc... and was looking after Christmas I was told.

    The family member has now asked me to set him up an email address with I did with Google Mail and custom domain to be able to send to hotmail addresses, which I have just done.

    It not the first time he has been affected by this.

  14. Hants

    still not working

    It is unbelievable that emails are still being blocked.

    Like GazCBG, I was originally with Daily. I do not know what the Daily help desk was like, as had very little reason to use it.

    tsoHost seem uninterested in their 'legacy' customers. They keep suggesting that I could change to one of their other non-legacy packages. Problem - they do not offer email only hosting. I will look at Zoho. Already moved one domain to another register a while ago when tso couldn't sort out a problem with email forwarding because it was on the legacy Daily system (I forget the details now).

    With hindsight, I should have move all domains immediately on the take over (or at first renewal).

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