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Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is an Internet standard for electronic mail (email) transmission. First defined by RFC 821 in 1982, it was last updated in 2008 with the Extended SMTP additions by RFC 5321—which is the protocol in widespread use today.
SMTP by default uses TCP port 25. The protocol for mail submission is the same, but uses port 587. SMTP connections secured by SSL, known as SMTPS, default to port 465 (nonstandard, but sometimes used for legacy reasons).
Although electronic mail servers and other mail transfer agents use SMTP to send and receive mail messages, user-level client mail applications typically use SMTP only for sending messages to a mail server for relaying. For retrieving messages, client applications usually use either POP3 or IMAP.
Although proprietary systems (such as Microsoft Exchange and IBM Notes) and webmail systems (such as Outlook.com, Gmail and Yahoo! Mail) use their own non-standard protocols to access mail box accounts on their own mail servers, all use SMTP when sending or receiving email from outside their own systems.
DNS-based Blackhole List (DNSBL) or Real-time Blackhole List (RBL) is an effort to stop email spamming. It is a "blacklist" of locations on the Internet reputed to send email spam. The locations consist of IP addresses which are most often used to publish the addresses of computers or networks linked to spamming; most mail server software can be configured to reject or flag messages which have been sent from a site listed on one or more such lists. The term "Blackhole List" is sometimes interchanged with the term "blacklist" and "blocklist".
A DNSBL is a software mechanism, rather than a specific list or policy. There are dozens of DNSBLs in existence, which use a wide array of criteria for listing and delisting of addresses. These may include listing the addresses of zombie computers or other machines being used to send spam, ISPs who willingly host spammers, or those which have sent spam to a honeypot system.
Since the creation of the first DNSBL in 1997, the operation and policies of these lists have been frequently controversial, both in Internet advocacy and occasionally in lawsuits. Many email systems operators and users consider DNSBLs a valuable tool to share information about sources of spam, but others including some prominent Internet activists have objected to them as a form of censorship. In addition, a small number of DNSBL operators have been the target of lawsuits filed by spammers seeking to have the lists shut down.