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Local E-mail Server
Posted 07 September 2004 - 11:26 AM
If anyone knows how to do this it would make a great how-to.
Posted 07 September 2004 - 11:34 AM
Now there is software out there (and free too) that can download the mail from your pop accounts , and put it in mailboxes so you can download it from your local mail server, but not sure if the benefits are worth the hassle. Last but not least, you could also use a service such as zoneedit.com which can send all mail sent to a certain domain to an individual mailbox, and some other cool things, for free.
Posted 07 September 2004 - 01:00 PM
Posted 07 September 2004 - 01:21 PM
I myself run my own email server at home, though I use MS Exchange 2000. This is an expensive program but I am a consultant and Microsoft partner so I have a NFR version I use for testing and performance issues...anyway I digress.
Basic Run Down:
You will need your own unique domain or sub domain name: i.e. Domain= www.yourdomain.com sub-Domain= yourdomain.hostcompany.com
You will need to choose your platform flavor, Windows or Linux. Both platforms have good software developed for running an email server. Windows is generally easier to setup up but the hardware requirements are high and the software is expensive. Linux needs a bit of expertise to set up and maintain but the hardware requirements are minimal and the cost is low or free. A third choice is an appliance such as a Toshiba Magnia SG20.
I have one of these for use as my firewall and I think it’s pretty darn good. It runs Linux but has a web interface and is generally easy to configure. (Though I don’t run the Toshiba firewall software I choose another more robust Linux product) It also has a built in email server which I don't use. But if you don’t want to spend a few hundred bucks then I would stay away from the appliance option.
Once you have your platform choice you will need a PC with the basic hardware requirements that is needed to run whatever email server software you are going to use.
Then you are going to need to have the outside world 'see' your host server. Then you need to be able to send and receive traffic to that host server. Outgoing email usually is not a problem, with reference to DNS, because by design a DNS server has to answer all queries that it receives. So you can use just about any DNS servers (unless they are blocking traffic on that respective port) I use Cablevisions and AT&T’s for my outbound traffic. Incoming is a bit tricky because you need to have the host network (such as Comcast) forward traffic to your specific static IP pipe. And since Comcast isn't going to do that for free you will need to use a service called dynamic DNS. Once you have accomplished this you can now send and receive email on your own server.
Here is a link to a Google search for dynamic DNS services.
What they do is basically set up a dynamic IP address to a static hostname. In English that means they make your server's IP appear to the DNS Host servers to be static and hence will be able to forward traffic to your server. Since you are using Comcast as your ISP chances are they are blocking port 25. This basically stunts spammers and such but also keep people from running their own email servers. Fret not; you can use a MailHop Relay which allows you to relay incoming mail to a mail server on a non-standard port. This is also usually offered by the dynamic DNS providers.
These are the basics in a watered down form. This reply was meant to give you a quick overview of what you will need to do to accomplish your goal. It is by no means meant to be comprehensive or a step by step tutorial.
So here are your steps.
Registrar a unique domain name (or use a sub-domain from a dynamic DNS provider)
Find your email server software. ( or appliance: skip step 2 )
Install it on a PC that has at least the minimal hardware requirements.
Setup a dynamic DNS account.
Email your heart out.
Posted 08 September 2004 - 03:08 PM
Squintz, No matter what you do for a local email server, you may still run into problems if you wish to send through that server and not through your ISP's email server and you use cable or residential DSL or dialup services. That's because there are listings of the IP address pools associated with DSL, dialup, and cable ISPs that are registered in what's known as the RBLs - Realtime Black Lists. These RBLs were devised as a way to curb spam by having email servers onthe receiving end check at connection time to see if incoming email was being delivered by authorized and known mail servers. one of the RBLs is the DSL/dialup/cable IP pool. If you send from a local email server to a system that checks these sources, you'll get something like this:
Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.
Sent: 9/8/2004 12:12 PM
The following recipient(s) could not be reached:
Your Recipient (E-mail) on 9/8/2004 12:12 PM
There was a SMTP communication problem with the recipient's email server. Please contact your system administrator.
<mailserver.yourdomain.com #5.5.0 smtp;550 rejected because 18.104.22.168 is in a black list at rbl-plus.mail-abuse.org>
That makes it less practical to have your own email server if you want the reply addresses to look like they are coming from your domain. More and more ISPs are using the RBLs, and there are even non-commerical ones to use for hobbyists. The one good reason I see for using your own email server is to allow fine control over filtering of your domain email as the email connection is made from other mail servers. And believe me, administrating an email server in this day and age of spam is a pain in the butt if you have active accounts, but you do learn how poorly designed and implemented email can be.
Posted 13 September 2004 - 01:24 PM
Posted 13 September 2004 - 02:45 PM
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