How do I manage my email during a hosting transfer?

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When you transfer email service between another hosting company and Tiger Technologies, you'll want to make sure you don't miss any mail during the transition.

If you're transferring to us, the first and most important thing to do is to add the email addresses you use in our control panel. You can do this as soon as you sign up with us, before you "point" your domain name at our email servers.

The rest of this page explains how to make sure everything goes smoothly during the actual changeover.

What's the potential problem?

When you move your email service between another company and Tiger Technologies, most email starts arriving at the new servers as soon as you update the “DNS nameservers” to point at our servers (or add our MX records if you’re keeping your nameservers elsewhere, although that’s rare).

However, a small amount of incoming mail can still arrive at the original company for two or three days. This is caused by "DNS caching", which happens when another computer on the Internet "remembers" the address of the old mail server without checking it again.

If you stop viewing mail at the original company as soon as you start the transfer, you might miss a small amount of email that still arrives at the old company, or lose access to your old mail entirely. You don't want that to happen, obviously.

What's the solution?

Most mail programs (including Mozilla Thunderbird, Apple Mail and Outlook) let you create multiple "accounts" to read mail from different servers, allowing you to read email on two servers at once. (If you use Outlook and you see an error message saying “This email address has already been added”, we have a page explaining how to solve that.)

You can use this feature to read mail at the other hosting company and at Tiger Technologies during the changeover. If you do this, you won't miss or lose any mail: your email program will be reading messages that arrive at either server.

So when you start transferring your service to Tiger Technologies, you should add the email address in our control panel and then add a new "account" in your mail program that connects to our servers. Leave the previous "account" active in your mail program for a few days so that your mail program still checks for mail on the old servers, too. You won't miss any mail, and after a few days, it will be safe to delete the old "account" in your mail program (you’ll probably want to copy over the existing mail before deleting it).

This trick also works if you transfer your service from Tiger Technologies to another company.

What if the other hosting company doesn't allow me to read email after I start the transfer?

If you're transferring your email service to us, the other company hopefully will not close your account until you tell them to do so, so you should be able to continue to connect to their servers.

However, you might find that you can't connect to the old company's mail servers at all after you start transferring your service. This can happen if the company instructed you to set up your mail program to use an incoming (POP or IMAP) server name that ends with your domain name.

If this happens to you, you should still be able to read mail sent to the old hosting company by using their Webmail system during the changeover. Contact them for details.

What if my email program doesn't support multiple accounts at all?

Webmail can help here, too. Your email program can connect to just one of the companies, and you can use our Webmail, or the other company's Webmail, to read the mail arriving at the other.

After a few days, it will be safe to stop reading mail at the old hosting company and change your email program settings to read mail on the new servers.