Moving Exchange away from Sherweb, to ItSolutionsNow

July 19, 2008 – 03:07

I’ve had it with Sherweb. If you didn’t know, I had my 3GB hosted Exchange account hosted at http://www.sherweb.com for about 5 to 6 months now and overall the overall experience was great. However … there was one thing that was bothing me… I didn’t get all my email.

Let me explain.. I set up my account (…@martijnbrant.net) and made sure the DNS settings for my domain were properly set. They were and in no time the account was up and running using Microsoft Outlook 2007 and Windows Mobile 6.0 (Push email). All was great and all my email was being delivered to my inbox.

Half a day later .. I got a (what the server thought to be) spam message and I didn’t recieve it. At the end of the day, the server had send me a anti-spam reporting showing I had one message waiting for me at the webinterface for anti-spam. Turns out .. Sherweb was using a product called Barracuda Spam Firewall. It sat between my email and my inbox.. filtering emails and quarantining them in the webinterface. I found this annoying and I quickly turned it off (making it tag spam instead..).

All was fine again .. untill I was planning my trip to Florida. I had the hotel I was going to be staying in (which was great, Choicehotels are awesome value) on the phone and manager who booked my stay said he sended the confirmation of my hotel reservation to my mb.net email account. One hour later, I still hadn’t recieved it. I rang them up and had them send it to my Hotmail Windows Live Mail account. Sure .. 2 secs later I had recieved the email. “That’s strange huh?”

I dismissed the problem and went on my trip to Florida. After I got back .. I was curious as to how this could have happened. I tried to forward the stored email from my WLM account to my Sherweb account. Never recieved it. Surprised by this, I rang Sherweb. After going trough the usual Level-1-support stuff, I got through to Level 2. The guy was friendly enough and tracked down the email. “Ah I see .. blocked”. Ok sure, I replied .. why is it blocked and why can’t I see that?

“Well sir the Barracuda filtering system uses 3rd party blacklists in order to tag spam. Messages containing keywords from that list will be deleted”. Wait what? You deleted my email?!?! “Yes sir, for your protection”. Erhmm Ok .. On what word was it blocked? “Lemme just see here … ah .. choicehotels.com sir”. Wait what? As for as I understand it, Choicehotels is a pretty large organisation with 1000s of hotels all over the USA. “Yeah the word is blocked sir”.

It turned out I couldn’t see what emails were being blocked or for what reason. I had no idea on how much emails (read: business) I had lost over this. I asked Sherweb “What should I do with my important email? Just use my Windows Live Mail for all the important bits?”. He replied “Err yeah you could do that…”. “- Why am I paying you then?” … “Well sir, you could still use your Sherweb account for all personal stuff”. What?!?! Sure buddy .. I’ll just use my 100$ email account for personal stuff… I have WLM for that..

So .. as of today I’m migrating over to http://www.exchangemailhosting.com. I rang them up and told them/asked them about my Sherweb problems and if they had similar systems. They chuckled and replied “No sir, we believe in NOT trowing email away”. Hehe.

I hope exchangemailhosting.com will be better. We’ll see. Just about done with the DNS. Wait a couple of more days and then cancel my Sherweb service. They told me they’ll refund my pre-paid 3 month period. So have to hand it to them .. that’s great. Overall Sherweb is great if it wasn’t for their email-eating practice.

  1. 22 Responses to “Moving Exchange away from Sherweb, to ItSolutionsNow”

  2. How are you finding exchangemailhosting.com as a provider? They are on a list of possibles for our company mail migration, but my big reservation is that I can’t find out much about them – apart from the fact that they have flooded the internet with press releases. Any feedback would be gratefully received. 🙂

    By James Craig on Jul 31, 2008

  3. Hey James,

    So far so good! Setup and migration was easier then any other party (aside from the fact they don’t have a step-by-step setup guide for those who are new to hosted (exchange) email…

    Their control panel rocks .. really great and 10x faster then that P.O.S. panel Sherweb gives you. Very flexible!

    They are a little bit more expensive but still in the “dead-cheap” zone. I rang them up a couple of times and had great support over the phone!

    So far I’m giving this host a big fat 10 / A+!

    By Martijn Brant on Aug 2, 2008

  4. Martijn, thank you for taking the time to let me know your opinions – I think there is a good chance that they will come out on top of a list of possibles. I wanted to use Intermedia, but the cost is a little prohibitive. All the best, James.

    By James Craig on Aug 4, 2008

  5. Intermedia looks OK however it’s only worth looking at when hosting 3+ mailboxes. As I only needed one for my business, Sherweb and ITSolutionsNow were a better choice for me.

    Oh btw .. Their ROI calculator is way off as it uses retail prices to calculate your savings (compared to Volume Licensing)

    By Martijn Brant on Aug 4, 2008

  6. Martijn,

    You possible saved me from making a big mistake. I’ve been using mail2web.com for the last couple of weeks. Thinking of moving to Sherweb, they were one of the hosts that allowed me to forward my mail and not change DNS. But after hearing your woes with email filtering, I’m looking elsewhere.

    By Jordan on Aug 21, 2008

  7. You need trackbacks!

    By Jordan on Aug 21, 2008

  8. On my side I’ve been with Sherweb for close to a year now. No problem what-so-ever even with their spam filter. When the filter isn’t sure it send it in a quarantine report and I’m able to tell the system to let it go through or not.

    So, I haven’t lost 1 e-mail and almost no spam at all.

    very please with the service compared to what I had before

    By Stan Marx on Sep 15, 2008

  9. How r u getting on as I am thinking of moving too.

    By JB on Sep 26, 2008

  10. I started off using 1and1 exchange server a couple of years ago, the price was good. After a few months I started experiencing downtime so I moved to Mail2Web. The service there was pretty good, then they decided to raise the price. I then moved to Sherweb, the service was good but once again, downtime and spam problems. Then I moved to ITSolutionsNow towards the beginning of this year and they have been outstanding. You cannot beat the price and I have not found another service that offers unlimited exchange!

    By Donnie on Nov 18, 2008

  11. Hmm, just tried a message with choicehotels and it went very well.. I have no complaints with Sherweb to date. Fine service Excellent support, phone or email.

    By Phil on Apr 14, 2009

  12. Hello,

    Are you already happy with ITSolutionsNow ?
    I am interesting to go with ItsolutionsNow but can’t find any review except your blog.

    By Chris on Nov 23, 2009

  13. I am still very pleased with ITSolutionsNow and am still using their service every day. Hardly any downtime (as far as I notice) and speeds are OK (seeing I’m from Europe and the servers are in the US, I forgive the higher ping).

    By Martijn on Nov 23, 2009

  14. Thanks for your answer.

    I am in europe too and interesting by Itsolutionsnow because price is interesting for unlimeted mailbox size.
    I haven’t see any system status about service and this is very difficult to know if there is donwtime …

    Are you happy with forefront antispam ?
    Because my previous test with forefront with other provider has been not very good ?

    I have test by the past sherweb too but don’t like barracuda anti-spam.

    By Chris on Nov 23, 2009

  15. Thank you very much for your experience with Sherweb.

    I didn’t make the choise for ItSolutions yet, still have 3 company’s on my list… Atlas Networks, Rackspace and Itsolutions.

    I’m happy with your experience, otherwise i could have made a wrong decision by the choise of a good exchange host.


    Nogmaals hartelijk dank

    By Job vd Broek on May 22, 2010

  16. Hi there. Great to find that you use the service from Europe. I have been looking for a fair-priced exchange solution for weeks now, but can`t find anything around Europe.

    So IT Solutions Now is ok performance wise?

    By Franz on Aug 15, 2010

  17. Let me say that I used the 1und1 Exchange couple of year ago. In this times there were not able to tell when to go to Exchange 2007 so I moved to Sherweb.
    Whatever I say it would just copy the initial blog post from above. The Barracuda thing was horrible.
    Then i moved to ItSolutionsNow when they started the Exchange 2010 service. And: I am since then. The Support is really fast, the service has nearly no outages and the spam in my inbox is lets say 5 mails/month (maximum). However note that they are also blocking spam emails based on a blacklist (but this is quite normal and required for a good hosting service). The difference ist that hey are not accepting it and then delete (as Sherweb does) but they are blocking the entire connection (see the Support site).
    And to final say: I using the service in Europe and its speed is okay. I think one or 2 seconds for a longer routing distance is not a problem for a mail service. And the ActiveSync is still very quick.

    By John Ripper on Aug 20, 2010

  18. We have been a number of clients with Sherweb for many years and over the last 6 months the service has been awful. The customer service, tech support,and management were even worst. We have had a number of clients bail on the service as there are way too many problems with their servers now.

    The problems below are over a number of different clients at different locations

    – too many outages
    – too many scheduled maintenance which have caused even more problems
    – attempting to sending a file bigger than 5MB is next to impossible
    – always causing outlook to freeze to due exchange not being able to communicate
    – emails going into thin air
    – too many excuses from customer service.

    I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a hosted exchange solution to stay far far far away from these guys. This company has no accountability and has lost all credibility to us and many other users over the last few months.

    By SuperTech on Jul 10, 2011

  19. Hi Martijn, are you still with ITSolutionsNow? We’re looking to move over to them after issues with Office 365 and pricing increases with our previous Exchange host.

    Have they had any downtime in the last 2-3 years?

    Thanks.

    By SP on Sep 16, 2011

  20. Martijn, I also am researching hosted exchange providers and was wondering if your experience with ITSolutionsNow is still positive or if you’ve had any issues with them.

    By RB on Nov 11, 2011

  21. I think Appriver is the best in Hosted Exchange and Spam filtering industry! Support is second to none!

    By Dave on Jan 8, 2013

  22. DONT DO IT!!!

    I cannot say enough about how awful the experience has been with IT Solutions Now. We have hosted about 50+ domains and over 200 mailboxes with ITSN/GetCloudServices/Netplexity/etc. Their support initially started out ok, but has gone down hill rapidly. Their control panels rarely work, generating errors almost EVERY time we have to make the simplest of changes. It is weekly that a mailbox simply stops receiving email for no reason that they cannot explain. Just about nothing works as they say it should. Their support staff is even worse where everyone who answers the phone is less qualified than geek squad. They don’t have a Tier 2 or Tier 3 staff, but rather say “we will forward to our engineers” who never get back. Management is nonexistent. They advertise SLA but this too is false advertising as they have had entire domains down for a week without fixing and hardly responding to requests. They advertise 24/7 support but frequently forward calls to an answering service during US Eastern 9-5.

    By Jon B on Oct 31, 2013

  23. I COMPLETELY agree with Jon B. ITsolutionsnow.com has the WORST service, uptime, and customer service out of all service we’ve used. Good luck as I am sure by now you’ve experienced some of the referred experiences by now.

    By JJ Fadosh on Mar 31, 2014

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