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Generic Query: Can I have POP and SMTP services on my home Apache server (Win XP)

Posted on 2004-08-04
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Last Modified: 2010-03-04
Hi

I am testing the water to see how practical it is to add mail server capabilities to my Apache web server PC. The web-site is www.cottontech.com running on a static IP.

Basically I have the domain www.cottontech.com registered and working OK. I now want to have email addresses like sales@cottontech.com and myname@cottontech.com without having to rely on my ISP to provide these services. I will ask more specific questions for more points if this is possible.

Alternatively I can use the services of register.com with whom I register the domain however there is (of course) a cost.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:nvms
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Expert Comment

by:andYetAnotherLoginName
ID: 11718544
> Can I have POP and SMTP services on my home Apache server
1. if "server" means "Apache HTTP server"
nope, unless you write your own module. Apache only understand HTTP (not SMTP or POP)

2. if "server" means computer hosting your site,
then, yep, you could, and probably should, have your mail server there.
However, WinXP doesn't offer any mail-server software, so you should get and install one (but let me also note that WinXP is not the best choise for server).

Then, you should contact owners of your domain nameservers to register changes. Generally, it is resonable to run at least primary nameserver on the same computer in question, so you can have total control over your domain and subdomains without any fees (you can get somebody to be your secondary DNS server for free by being yourself secondary nameserver to them).
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Accepted Solution

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humeniuk earned 50 total points
ID: 11718699
You can certainly install an email server alongside Apache on the same machine or a second machine if you prefer.  A good solution would be IMail Server (http://www.ipswitch.com/products/imail_server/index.html).  It is powerful, but not too complicated, has a number of good features, such as anti-spam & anti-virus features, and will run on WinXP.  Those are the pros, the cons are that it is not cheap ($695 small business edition) and it may be overkill if you want only a few addresses.

Another WinXP-compatible choice is Merak Mail Server (www.merakmailserver.com/Products/Merak_Mail_Server).  NB - I do not use this, personally, but know someone who does.  Prices start at $99 for the 'Lite' version (1 domain, 12 users - you can add users by purchasing User Packs - $29 for 10 users, $49 for 20 uers, $79 for 50 users)  The Standard edition ($280) is for unlimited domains and users.

Your alternative plan remains the simplest and cheapest plan, using your registrar's mail services.  If you go that route, consider looking at www.godaddy.com.  They are an ICANN accredited registrar who offer numerous services, including email services and their prices are excellent.  I have over 40 domains with GoDaddy and recommending them happily to anyone.

Good luck.
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Author Comment

by:nvms
ID: 11724019
Thankyou both for your comments. I have elected to go the 'easy way' and move my domain from register.com to enetica.com.au which is a top level domain registrar in my country which provides email forwarding.

Thanks again

Stewart
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