This visual guide will explain to you how to set up your own Mail Server on your desktop.
A Visual Guide to Set up Your Own Mail Server
You may prefer to set up your Mail Server at home. You know, Google, Yahoo, and Hotmail are some of the email providers. Nowadays, almost every single one of us has an email account and has used it for work, communication, study, and much more. We can send an email to someone across the world that is a good option or have received the odd mail from Nigerian princes and the like!
Regardless of the final purpose and the distance that the email had to travel, the process works so fast and is so common that very few of us ever stop to think for a second of how it all works. In this article, we will try to find out the answer to the question of What is a mail server. More interestingly, we will discover how to set up your mail server!
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What is a Mail Server?
A mail server is a computer system that sends and receives emails. In many cases, web servers and mail servers will combine in a single machine. However, large ISPs and public email services (such as Gmail and Hotmail) may use dedicated hardware for sending and receiving emails. Every seent email passes through a series of mail servers along its way to its intended recipient.
Although it may seem like an instantly sent message, the reality is that a complex series of transfers take place. Without this series of mail servers, you would only be able to send emails to people whose email address domains matched your own (i.e. you could only send messages from one example.com account to another example.com account).
But how could you set up your e-mail server? There are several ways, and in this article, we will explain the simplest ways to do it on Windows.
How to Set up Your own Mail Server:
In this visual guide, to set up your own mail server, we will provide you two options as described below:
Option A: Set up Your Own Mail Server Using hMailServer
hMailServer is one of the best free and open-source email servers for Windows. It is commonly used by ISPs, governments, educational institutions, and more. The advantage is that it also comes with built-in spam control by SpamAssassin and supports a fast and easy download/Installation. To set up your own Mail Server using hMailServer, do the following steps:
Step 1: Download the hMailServer
The first step to set up your own Mail Server using hMailServer is downloading that. Go to hMailServer and go to “download” on top of the page.
Step 2: Download the latest version
Step 3: Run the Installer
When you’ve downloaded it, run the Installer. In the below screen, select “Server” only if you want your local computer to work as a server. If you set up a server elsewhere, only select “Administrative tools” to remotely manage that server.
Step 4: Set Up a Password
Now, you have to set up a password during installation.
Note: Since you will need it every time you launch the application, we would highly recommend writing it down somewhere safe.
Step 5: Configuration
Once the dashboard is open, enter a new website domain (with SMTP enabled from a hosting provider). After creating the domain, head towards “Protocols” followed by “SMTP.” Here, you must set up the Local hostname as “localhost.”
Step 6: Final Step
Finally, click the “Accounts” item. Here, you can create an email address for which you need prior access to a top-level domain name and its DNS settings. Basically, every time you send an email, the message first gets stored in hMailServer and is later relayed to the IP address of the DNS.
You can also enable options for auto-reply, forwarding, greylisting, DNS blacklists, and more in hMailServer. But, we will reserve these options for the below step. Once your email server has been successfully set up, you will need a client like Thunderbird or Outlook Express to read/write those emails.
Option B: Set up Your Own Mail Server Using Thunderbolt client:
Step 1: Downloading Step
Download and install Mozilla Thunderbolt client. Here, you have to set up an email account. Use the same email ID and password that you would normally use with the web-hosting provider.
Step 2: Configuration Step
In the next screen, you are going to fine-tune your Thunderbird client settings by clicking “Manual Config”.
At this stage, you must set up your existing email account. The server hostname should be “localhost,” as you previously enabled those settings with hMailServer. As per hMailServer guidelines, use “143” for IMAP port, “993” for IMAP via SSL/TSL, and either “465” or “587” for SMTP port.
Step 3: Changing the Server Setting
You can also change server settings from the Thunderbird account. Once the email address has been configured with the client, you can readily start using your new web host’s email service.
Step 4: Final Step
Use Thunderbird mail client to run as many private email instances on hMailServer as you want. The email server is up and running and configured with the original email. That’s it. You set up your own mail server using the Mozilla Thunderbolt client.