Personalities allow you to specify a bunch of options for how you send mail through your FastMail account. To manage personalities:
Each personality has a number of options associated with it:
Full Name and Email address — The name and email address that the email will appear to come from. This is what appears in the
From header of emails you send.
If you specify
*@domain.tld for a personality, then you will be able to specify something different to replace the
* with for each individual message that you send.
Reply-Toheader on emails you send. When a recipient replies to the email, it should go to this address rather than the
Fromaddress. Leave this blank unless you explicitly want replies to go to a different address.
Fromaddress to match this personality whenever you send via SMTP, no matter what the email client sets.
Bcccopy of every email you send from this personality will be sent to the email addresses you specify here.
Bcccopy of every email you send via SMTP with a
Fromemail address matching this personality will also be sent to the BCC address(es).
Sent Items on SMTP — If ticked, a copy will also be saved to the Sent Items folder when you send an email via SMTP with a
From email address matching this personality. Attachments will always be included with the message in this case, regardless of the Save sent files option.
Most IMAP email clients support uploading messages to a Sent folder, but because SMTP and IMAP are separate, this means uploading the exact same message twice, once to send via SMTP, and once to upload to the Sent folder. With this option, the email will only be uploaded once, saving time and bandwidth (make sure you turn off the saving of sent messages in your client of course, otherwise you will end up two copies).
Some clients are buggy with regard to uploading to the Sent folder, Thunderbird being known to have intermittent problems. Using the personality approach should be more reliable.
If you use POP instead of IMAP, then there is generally no way to upload the email to the Sent folder on the server.
Send via external SMTP server — Normally when you send email, the email will be sent via the FastMail server. From there, we find the appropriate server for each recipient of the email, and forward it on to that server directly.
However, if the domain of the email address is not hosted with FastMail, you probably want to send via that domain's SMTP server if possible to ensure your messages are delivered reliably (see the note below on SPF issues).
465if using "SSL/TLS encrypted" security.
If you just want to use a personality for BCC on SMTP or Sent Items on SMTP, you can put a
* in the email address on either side of the
@ to make it match anything. For instance,
*@fastmail.com will match any
@fastmail.com email address you send with. If you have a personality with a specific email address that matches a
From address, that will take precedence;
* matches will only occur as a fallback.
For use within the web interface, it's not meaningful to use personalities which have a
* in the domain part: you'll probably just end up with a bounced email.
SPF was an attempt to reduce spam by stopping people forging the domain in the SMTP MAIL FROM envelope of sent email.
Unfortunately SPF has not reduced spam at all because: a) no user ever sees the SMTP MAIL FROM envelope, so it doesn't stop spammers forging the
From header users see in emails, and b) anyone can setup SPF on any domain they own, and SPF doesn't tell you which domains to actually trust.
Whether the SPF checks pass or fail has little correlation with whether a message is spam or not. We can see this in the SpamAssassin scores, which show that SPF failures have quite a low score.
score SPF_PASS -0.001 score SPF_FAIL 0 0.919 0 0.001 # n=0 n=2 score SPF_NEUTRAL 0 0.652 0 0.779 # n=0 n=2 score SPF_SOFTFAIL 0 0.972 0 0.665 # n=0 n=2
Additionally, SPF breaks the simple forwarding of emails between systems, and requires a separate system called SRS to rewrite the SMTP MAIL FROM envelope and to forward bounces back through the forwarding system.
Despite that, some systems treat SPF failures as a sign of spaminess, so you may want to make sure your sent emails pass SPF tests. If you are sending email with a
From address from a domain that's not hosted with FastMail and doesn't have specific SPF records authorising our servers, you should send via that domain's SMTP server instead, using the External SMTP server option.