Author: Szofia Jakobsson

This year, wish lists will be sent to Santa via email

Ever got an email from Santa Claus? Me neither, but in this day and age I’m assuming it’s just a matter of time. And when I do, I want to see his face in the ”From”-field. Yes, I said face, not name.

When writing an email in Gmail, my quickly typed 😉 easily transforms into a graphic smiley. Reinforcing my attempt to create a feeling with the reader. If I’m typing on my smartphone I might also include some other emojis like the ❤️. And then I send it to, for example, [email protected]. Until now, when I actually can send it to, or from, 🎅

The character encoding known as UTF-8 makes it possible to include emojis in email addresses, and all possible characters, such as for example the Swedish å, ä, ö. The latter is certainly more useful than the first, but to any marketer (or jokester) it will most definitely be a fun detail to include when sending someone an email. In the upcoming Halon 4.0 we will include support for SMTPUTF-8 (RFC6531). But what about…

Typing an emoji on your smartphone is obviously easy but what if you are on desktop? A Mac-user will press ctrl+cmd+space, but a simple Chrome plugin or even copy/paste from an emoji library website will also do!

Conversion to letters?
Regular email addresses are almost always converted to lower case, to make filtering and routing work. For Halon 4.0 we will convert UTF-8 to upper- and lowercase alternatives. Because there is no guarantee that a next-hop SMTP server will support the SMTPUTF8 extension, use of the SMTPUTF8 extension always carries a risk of transmission failure.

Halon 4.0 will be keeping the team busy during the holidays, until the release, sign up for the newsletter (in the website footer) and make sure you don’t miss the release or any interesting articles on the world of email. And from all of us, to all of you, merry Christmas and a Happy New year!

DuoCircle reduced time to manage the network by 90%

DuoCircle is an entity that was established for the migration of Dyn’s legacy email receiving products customers to a more powerful and feature rich email handling platform. They were challenged with migrating Dyn’s legacy email infrastructure to provide simpler and easy to use configuration files, reducing hardware hosting costs and ensuring better customer satisfaction.

Headquartered in San Diego, California, DuoCircle provides over 17,000 customers located globally with a next generation software platform with a robust account management and service management interface for high level of control over settings, customer care and a scalable architecture designed for high level messaging and spam filtering.

Read full DuoCircle customer case >

How reduced email costs by up to 70%

Anders Saaby, CTO, explains, “Due to’s high growth rate, we needed to upgrade our existing email delivery and security infrastructure to a newer solution that scaled better in terms of performance and maintenance. typically develop their own software and systems as this enables them to offer truly differentiated services with many unique features, at very competitive prices. This usually rules out many commercial products, as they cannot properly support and integrate into’s sophisticated and highly customized platforms.

“We researched and evaluated many email security and delivery platforms against our requirements,” Saaby continued. “We finally settled on Halon email platform based on price, performance, ease of use, flexibility, multitenancy support with security and its ability to scale on demand.”

Halon’s highly integrated and comprehensive platform now comprises’s entire email delivery infrastructure; except for email storage and web mail.

It’s a flexible and scriptable email engine, designed to be run as part of a fault tolerant and linearly scalable cluster that integrates with surrounding modules and infrastructure. This highly differentiated platform enables demanding organizations like hosting providers and MSPs to implement ideal solutions for their specific needs.

On the inbound side, clusters of Halon nodes have replaced several layers of’s email gateways. The clusters perform;

  • IP reputation
  • recipient verification
  • anti-spam and antivirus
  • filtering
  • both aliases and external forwards with SRS
  • auto replies
  • backup/replay
  • routing to the email storage servers over LMTP

all according to a REST API that wrote. The outbound cluster integrates with the same API for SASL authorization, relay permissions and rate metrics, and ensures excellent deliverability.

Read full case study

Why you need to demand high deliverability and security of email

Trends come and go but fashion is always in style. 20 years of emails shows that it is a consistent way of communication, despite a relatively standstill in development. While the world sings their praise for new and sexy messaging services like Slack, gets rid of stationary phones, and transfer customer communication to Facebook chat bots, the B2B world still rely steadily on email. After three days of WebSummit in Lisbon, Portugal, I am even more convinced than before.

Email is still an effective marketing channel.

Nobody likes newsletters that doesn’t contain news neither relevant information. But the stuff in your inbox that makes you stop, look and click is still a golden ticket for the companies that send them. First and foremost because you have asked of them, and also because you can measure everything that happens with the email from the moment you hit the send-button. Email is also the most universal carrier of B2B communications, such as partnership discussions and sales letters.

Email is however taken for granted.

Both sender and receiver believes firmly in that what leaves one end will reach the other. But that is unfortunately not always the case. And service providers should go to greater lengths to assure their customers that they actually can trust the deliverability of their precious emails.

Email is what we do when all else fail.

What happens when you haven’t logged on to your message service in a week? When an event organiser want to make sure that you get the info they already sent out by push notifications? You get an email, because that is the worlds most decentralised form of communication and a universal fall-back. What if it doesn’t work, and even worse, what if you never find out? You can put demands on your email service provider. Whether it is a telco, an ISP, a hosting company or an email marketing platform, you can demand;

  • Never delete or quarantine a message silently, always inform the sender if a message isn’t delivered to your inbox.
  • Use DMARC so that the sender address can be trusted.
  • Use DANE to make sure that email is encrypted.

You have the right to high deliverability and security, and together we are responsible for not holding back the development of email.

I can haz secure email?

Halon CTO Anders Berggren at Netnod Autumn meeting 2016, speaking about DANE and secure email.

What to remember when you hate on spam

Did you open your mailbox this morning, only to find a few more of those obnoxious spam emails? Did you react with an irritated frown and a thought about that you are paying for some service to keep this shit out? Don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal. In fact, so did I.

The fact of the matter is that however much we, or any of our colleagues in the email security business, claim that we do keep the spam out – nobody’s perfect. This is a constant game of hunting down the spammers and blocking them, and for each attack we stop, someone finds another way around and then we go after that. It never stops.

But the thing to consider when you see those two, or maybe even five spam emails, is that those are just the tip of the iceberg. In 2015 we sent about 205 billion emails per day, according to the Radicati Groups Email Statistics Report, and almost half of it was spam. The average business user protected by spam filters received 88 emails per day, out of which 12 were spam. That would mean an average catch rate of 86 %, while the anti-spam that Halon uses blocks significantly more.

So the spam you see is nowhere near the real amount of spam actually sent to you. And yes, sometimes a few of them break through the fences you have put up, and drives the industry to constantly improve. But we just want you to know that as long as you keep your hands off them spams, trash them without clicking any links, you are still safe. The war is ongoing, but we will keep you out of harms way. Get in touch if you need a hand!

It’s all about freedom and trust at #OXS16 in Frankfurt

Open-Xchange Summit, OXS16, in Frankfurt brings together the service provider industry for keynotes, workshops and technology exchanges that is driving value and growth. October 13-14 will be nothing short of amazing.

As a proud partner of Open-Xchange, we are happy to be back at this great event. We bring insights from the world of email security and tons of ideas on how you as a hosting provider, ISP, telco or cloud company can benefit from Halons software. Please tell us all about what problems you need solving when it comes to SMTP.

Our team members on-site is Peter, Jonas and Szofia. Feel free to contact us as [email protected] to book a meeting. See you there!