setting up a mail server??

mwdanielsjr used Ask the Experts™
I need some help setting up a in house email server. My bose wants us to host our own email and I am not experienced in this area. If someone knows of a book or something that would be great. Thanks

 Michael Daniels Jr
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You will need the to do the following for a basic mail server setup:

1. at least 1 server to be used as the mail server.  MS Exchange is a full featured mail server software.  you should get a book about MS Exchange 5.5 or 2000 (2000 only can be used if your domain is Win2k AD) and lear how to set it up.  There are other mail server software (ie: Domino server, Sendmail, etc.) also, but I think MS Exchange is the simplest to configure and you can get it up and running quickly.
2.  I assume that your company has a registered domain name (ie:  You will need to edit/add an MX record in your domain to point to your mail server.  This is done in order for Internet mails to reach your company's mail server.

There are many more procedures and best practices to configure a secure and high performance messaging systems.  Examples are:  mail and security design, fault tolerant, and performance design.  You will need to read up on those topics also in order to have a secure and highly available mail platform.

Good luck.

How large is your company. MSExchange might be a little overkill for some smaller companies. (i.e less than 75 employees).

I would recommend imail from IPSWITCH.

Hope this helps

Matt Defore


There is about 20 employees here. What books should I get? I can't seem to find any. Thanks

OWASP: Forgery and Phishing

Learn the techniques to avoid forgery and phishing attacks and the types of attacks an application or network may face.

20 Employees? hmmm  I think you would be better off having an ISP host your mails and retrieve them with POP. Exchange can´t retreive POP (except for Small Business Edition) and using Exchange (IMHO) to host your mails is not cost effective for 20 accounts. First you would need to purchase a router and get a dedicated line. I don´t know where you are, but here in Europe dedicated lines cost at least $250 a month. Then Exchange is not cheap and you can only purchase the 2000 edition, which means you need to have a Windows 2000 server. Then you need to get enough client licenses. Your looking at about $2,000 - $4,000 depending on what hardware you have on hand.

I would look into something like Tobit Mailware. It offers a package similar to Exchange (ie. the collaboration functionality, Calender, etc.) The difference being it can use a dialup account. Your mails land at an ISP and wait there until your server dials up (configurable from every minute to every 3 hours) and gets them. You can use a DSL connection or even a 56KB modem! You can install it on Windows NT and the clients are FREE.
If you got the cash and the know-how go with Exchange ( I´m an MCSE and install it all the time), if not, go for Tobit.

For books on Exchange go here:

For INFO on Tobit Mailware go here:
click on products and then Mailware.

Hope this helps....ciao!
I would definatly recommend Mdaemon (we have both exchange and mdaemon running in our network)....

VERY configuratble!!


Install linux and send mail on a small machine and you will have all you need from a mail server for 20 users. For free as well. (RedHat Linux doesnt cost more than $80 along with the email and web mail modules)

OH yeah, forgot about MDaemon... but then you can do without the Exchange if all clients have Outlook. MDaemon grabs the mail from the ISP and holds it in a container. Then you can set up Outlook so it picks up mail from the PC where Mdaemon is installed....not as elegant, but it works!

Mdaemon is actaully a mail server in itself. You can setup multiple domains in mdaemon - handling all the mail itself.

i have a 3.5.7 server running 135 accounts, about 20 differnet domains, users can pull mail via http. Works Great!

Users across town set their incoming and outgoing servers in their outlook or express or whatever to the name of this server.  When users send mail it goes to this server then this server sends it off to the correct smtp server.

There really is no other servers required to have this working - ISP doenst even have to know!


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