IP block is due to trying to connect to the mail server too often?

Hello,

I’m very very very angry with my hosting company asmallorange. These guys blocked my IP because they say my Mail program checks too often emails and server thinks it’s flooded! I cant work at all, I needed to finish website for the client today, and it’s impossible because I’m loosing time and my site is down, I cant test anything live (no, I dont want localhost) and I have my Mail checking my emails every 5min only!

When I ask them to unblock my site, it lasts 5 sec, and it’s blocked again! Nightmare!

Anybody had this ans solved this???

If you need to get something sorted quick I would change your email check time to every 30min and confirm it is 30min and not 30sec or even better turn off completely. You can then sort the email flooding problem out later once you have the website finished.

As I am the one who recommended that host to you, I am sorry you are experiencing this. I agree that 5 minute email checking intervals is not “flooding”. (If it was every 5 seconds that would be different.)

Jen is the director of customer service over there. Perhaps you could register on the customer forum there and and ask for her assistance?

http://forums.asmallorange.com/user/11400-aso-jen/

She is very helpful at straightening out problems. As of this point I would assume some over restrictive setting is causing this. But I don’t know. Regardless, getting an IP block for 5 minute email checking intervals is far too restrictive.

By the way, what email client program are you using to check for emails?

Thank you, I followed your advice (once again), and registered there. Let’s see how it will be sorted out.
I have Mail (Apple) client program and no malware software. I dont understand why it happens just now while I was using asmallorange already for a while and didnt change anything in my email settings?

The Apple mail client is your problem. This is a known problem many others have complained about which Apple has failed to address going back many years.

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2547839?start=0&tstart=0

Aug 17, 2010 9:59 PM

My host is complaining that Mail’s IMAP opens too many connections (and keeps them open too long)… which is causing some issues on the hosting end.

Another poster jumps in:

I am facing exactly the same issue. I have set up 6 accounts with my hosting provider for my whole family, and because of Mail.app behavior it creates 20+ connections and causes my hosting site to refuse new connections and takes out my personal website.

And another jumps in:

I am also having this issue. IMAP IDLE is checked in advanced settings, but it is greyed out. I need to be able to limit the number of connections, or some way to make it close the connection when it’s done getting new messages. I have dialed back the check-mail interval to 30 mins from 5 mins, but that hasn’t helped any.

And another:

This problem has been going on for over 6-7 years from what i can see. It’s appauling that Apple hasnt done a thing to fix this. I cant find a solution.

And another changed web hosts and had the same problem:

I thought the problem was a change at the web host, but they said “no.” Not believing them, I switched my site and my wife’s to a different host and the problem continued. Actually, it got worse, because my personal website (running Drupal) would go down. The new host identified the problem as being too many connections (processes) open to the server.

The simplest solution would be to not have your Apple email client auto check if you can disable that in the configuration or stop using it altogether (may not be possible if you are away from your desk). There is a known history of problems going back many years and it is not the web host’s fault that Apple’s mail client opens a bunch of connections and never closes them.

Apple has known about the problem for many years and has not done anything to solve it. I cannot imagine why any company would design something to open a bunch of connections and never close them, but it is obvious that Apple is unconcerned.

In your cPanel there are web-based email client programs such as SquirrelMail that you can use to check your email. I like SquirrelMail. It is nowhere near as nice as Gmail’s web-based interface (which is the best around), but it is good enough and you won’t have problems like your Apple client causes so you can check your email on the road. From your desktop or laptop at your home or office, there are plenty of other email clients to choose from.

As for why you didn’t have problems earlier, it may be that the longer you have your email client active the more connections it opens (and does not close). There may be other factors at play as well. It would be impossible to say without knowing how many connections it had open before compared to now.

I am not sure that Mail app is the issue. I have used Mac nearly 10 years, I have around 250 - 300 emails everyday, and I set it check every minute. My mail server is not overload at all. Mind you, in my Mail app, I have 4 different accounts in the same server. IMAP connections can open, but almost use nothing, if no data actually is transferred. On our shared hosting servers, we have no complain from customers either, none, and I know a lot of them using Mail app.

Might be the host having too restricted rules? Have you checked with them about their rules yet? How much is too much?

Since Apple email client users are having the same problem with Gmail and other web hosts cutting them off for using too many simultaneous connections, I don’t seem to think so. The hosting company is running a production shared web server, not a “hammer our server with as many connections as you possibly can because we don’t care about performance” operation such as the original poster was using previously.

How many simultaneous connections would there be if everyone were using Apple email clients? As far as why the original poster had no problems before, perhaps the host determined as other hosts have in the past that they had to do something about all the wasteful open connections or maybe Apple released a “new and improved” version of their email client that uses more connections than before.

If an infinite number of connections to the server is acceptable, then why does Gmail and other web hosts limit the number?

Gmail

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3780892?start=0&tstart=0

05.03.2012 00:01

apple mail on the IMAP configured reports: too many simultaneous connections. How to reduce the number of connections to the server (cached connections max. Cached connections) in the program?
iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.3)

Same problem here, I encourage everyone who read this post and happen to have the same issue reply to it in order to make enough noise, so this gets fixed

I agree that this problem needs to be fixed. Apple – please pay attention to this one! We need a setting to limit the # of connections in IMAP, like other mail programs have.

I collected about half a dozen past threads in this forum about this problem going back from 2013 to 2006 (!!) at the following thread, and that was just scratching the surface – there are tons of past threads about this on this forum, not to mention on every other forum on the Internet that discusses Apple Mail:

This woman wrote back in 2011 how Apple email clients can bring down shared hosting due to its large amount of open connections:

http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/warning-your-iphone-or-mac-mail-may-be-killing-your-website/

The iPhone and Mac Mail are notorious for keeping processes open when checking the server for mail.

The article above links to HostGator’s suggestions for setting up Apple mail client to reduce the number of active connections.

http://support.hostgator.com/articles/specialized-help/email/mac-mail-setup
http://support.hostgator.com/articles/specialized-help/email/setting-up-email-for-the-apple-iphone

Shared web hosting is not intended for one account to consume dozens of connections simultaneously. Quick searching finds that complaints about Apple mail programs using too many connections goes back to at least 2003.

I contacted asmallorange and what they proposed as solution in my case is to upgrade my plan to cloud (starting $25/month) and whitelist my IP.
Hmm…

If you are insistent on using an Apple email client that is going to keep open a large number of connections, that may be the only solution. Otherwise, you could stay on your shared plan and use a web-based email like SquirrelMail (provided in your cPanel) or a different email client that does not abuse connections like Apple’s does.

A lot of people have complained about Apple’s connection crazy email client over the years as you can see. (Even Gmail users run into problems using the Apple email client and Gmail is the biggest email provider in the world!). A lot of hosts clamp down on excessive use of open connections. A shared server cannot allow one account to have dozens of simultaneous open connections if they want to maintain a quality hosting experience for everyone else sharing the server.

There is a learning curve to running a VPS. That learning curve is flattened considerably if you use WHM/cPanel which can manage a VPS and do all the software and OS updates, but that insulates you from the power and flexibility of having a VPS in some ways. If you are a basic user, that will not matter much. If I was in your situation, I would dump the Apple email client and find another email program and stay with the shared plan. That seems like a simple solution to me. You may have other ideas. But if there is any assistance I can provide to you, I will try to do so.

It’s applied to the case when an account was hacked. Then thousand of connections from different IP addresses will take server resources by sending out spam. A number of limited connections will help a bit in that case.

And if you read more details, you might find that the problem was happening with cheap or free hosts. They offer you large space and bandwidth, or even unlimited, do you think they really offer unlimited things. No, they don’t. They limit many other things such as CPU, RAM, number of concurrent connections, etc. at tiny values. And when customers have trouble, they are advised to upgrade to bigger plan :slight_smile:

It’s still debating that the issue is because of the hosts, or Apple Mail. But at least from my side, I don’t have trouble with my Mail. That’s why I suggested the OP checked with his host to find out their rules. Cannot just guess.

The original poster got blocked for having 75 IMAP connections. I would say that is a bit much for a shared hosting plan.

My IP was never blocked with an unlimited hosting company. Actually, it was working like charm. I went to more expensive hosting company because of the website speed. I was going mad with it.

Now, my emails and emails of my business partner are constantly blocked in our Mail. It’s even more frustrating.

I would agree that an IP block and refusing to lift it without an upgrade is a bit heavy-handed. However, there was once mass connection offense quickly followed by another one. They probably figured it would happen over and over again.

There is no such thing as “unlimited” server resources, not on a shared server, and not even on a dedicated server. (If you notice hosts never promise “unlimited” resources on VPS or dedicated plans.) The difference is on a dedicated or VPS your actions do not negatively impact anyone else but yourself. Even “unlimited” hosts like HostGator have been blocking because of Apple’s crazy connection usage. No decent shared web host is going to allow customers to use 75 concurrent connections. Shared web hosting was never intended for such heavy resource consumption. Shared hosting is a relatively cheap, cost-effective way to host small websites and email.

On another board there was a back and forth between an angry customer and an “unlimited” web hosting company owner (or manager) due to the issue of the customer consuming too much CPU resources. It turns out that the hosting company tries to keep CPU utilization around 30% so there is still capacity for other customers to use and even though they offer “unlimited” disk space and data transfer, they very much limit resource usage so there never is the opportunity to get “unlimited” use. Most “unlimited” hosts do not keep CPU utilization low like that. That’s why you were experiencing sustained server loads over 50 in the middle of the night peaking to over 160 during the day at your old host. They didn’t care.

Some people are willing to tolerate crappy hosting in exchange for “unlimited” disk space or data transfer because they are unwilling to pay for anything decent. Good hosting is worth paying for. It costs money for the server, for the data center, for support, and the way most of those “unlimited” hosts eek out a profit is by putting as many accounts on the shared server as possible with little regard to performance. Time and time again I read complaints about slow load performance with “unlimited” web hosts. In my 7 years with ASO, I have not had a problem with that a single time. While there may have been bumps in the road, the quality of service I have received has always been very good and well worth the monthly fee. As I make revenue from my websites (not much, a few hundred a month in a good month), I am willing to pay for something good because I know that page views and other factors that generate revenue for me are dependent on fast loading pages, good uptime, and a quality experience for my visitors.

I assumed that as a professional you might be interested in something similar. There are lots of other hosting companies to choose from. I have a list of 150 or so hosting companies. Almost all of them are the “unlimited” variety. The web hosting business is cut throat, highly competitive, with competition based mainly on price and not on performance. (You don’t find out the server is overloaded until after you sign up or a few weeks afterward as more customers are loaded onto the “unlimited” server.) Many shared hosting customers tend to be frugal, looking for as much resources as possible for as little as possible. Why would someone who uses 10 GB of data transfer a month and 500 MB of disk space be enticed by an “unlimited” web hosting plan that costs the same amount of money or even a dollar or two more a month? Someone like that wouldn’t be. The people who will be interested in such a thing are those who either intend to use as much disk space or data transfer as possible or think that one day they might get to that point. And those are the types of people you will share a server with: those who want to use as much resources as they can get away with. While some of those “unlimited” hosts will clamp down on excessive resource usage and suspend accounts that try to take advantage of the “unlimited” promise, many will not as the profit margin on shared hosting is low and they need every paying customer they can get.

Go Daddy has an “unlimited” disk space and data transfer shared hosting plan for $4.49 per month. Maybe they will allow 75 concurrent connections.

Go Daddy is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, shared web host on the planet. Go Daddy is notorious for bad web hosting. Slow, overloaded servers, especially. Search for “go daddy slow” and see how many complaints you read. But hey, it’s “unlimited”, right?

GoDaddy puts thousands of websites on a single server. All those websites compete for server processing time and bandwidth. This causes the sites to run slow, especially if any of them are popular.

I think what I liked most about hosting with Go Daddy was how they made the slow loading sound like it was my fault. Their support is highly adept at making problems with their hosting sound like the fault of the customer. Customers waste hours of time with unmeasurable frustration trying to fix problems for which they are not to blame, but are due to overloaded servers. Go Daddy should win an award of some type for that.

http://wordpress.org/support/topic/godaddy-hosting-super-slow-is-it-me-or-them

I have four WordPress sites on a GoDaddy grid hosting plan. I had slow/performance issues from day one so they switched me to the grid hosting plan. It worked well for a few months… Now, my sites intermittently do not load or take minutes to load.

I’ve spent hours on the phone with GoDaddy but they tell me it’s a WordPress issue (shocker).

They say it is a “scripting issue” that I will have no matter where I move my site. Error logs say that the scripts are timing out.

I’ve got all the performance plugins installed on all 4 sites (super-cache, offload) and even disabled all my plugins to no avail.

How many hours did that person spend trying to solve a problem that was no fault of theirs?

http://wordpress.org/support/topic/godaddy-slow-hosting

I have one WordPress sites hosting on a GoDaddy linux web hosting plan. i have buy on 13 th july I had slow/performance issues from day one It worked well only 10 days … Now, my site intermittently do not load or take minutes to load.

i contact godaddy support team, but it’s really the best worst experience and they are not be able to help me.

But hey, it’s “unlimited”! What a deal!

The incentive for a person choosing an “unlimited” host is to use as much as they can. Otherwise, there would be no appeal to those types of plans.

I am not going to say that all “unlimited” web hosts are bad (my use of them has been). But read the terms of service and you will find out they really are not “unlimited”. If an “unlimited” web host watches their servers like a hawk and immediately suspends customers consuming too much resources, then they could maintain a quality hosting experience for everyone on the server. But most do not do this for fear of angering or losing a paying customer. Customers get very angry when they discover the “unlimited” resources they were promised are not real.