There are many advantages of email hosting, and setting up your company’s own email server is not as difficult as you might expect. While many companies find that free email services such as Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo Mail suit their needs, running an email server puts a business in control of the number of mailboxes it provides, attachment and email sizes, backups, and all email services. Business which find that these advantages appeal to them should consider maintaining their own email servers, and doing so does not necessarily require significant financial or IT resources.
✉✉✉ Understanding Email Hosting ✉✉✉
Business wishing to host their own email servers are best off having a basic understanding of how they work. Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP) is a set of guidelines which provide the framework for sending and receiving emails. Sent emails are placed in an email server’s queue for outgoing mail. The server then translates the email address of the recipient into the correct IP address. The protocol then communicates with the recipient’s server to deliver the message. If there is a connection problem, the email server will periodically attempt to resend the message for a predetermined length of time. If it doesn’t succeed, the email server returns the message to the sender. Recipients can use either use Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) to read messages directly from the server or use Post Office Protocol, version 3 (POP3) to download them for storage on a computer. Some web browsers also support sending mail through HTTP.
✉✉✉ Software and Set Up Procedures Required for Mail Servers ✉✉✉
Microsoft offers software called Exchange Server for organizations wishing to host their own email servers, but its price might put it beyond the reach of many small businesses. Fortunately, there are a number of free and open-source options, including Sendmail, Postfix, and Exim.
Once a business has chosen the right software for its needs, it will need a domain so that other Internet users will be able to send mail to your business. You can use third-party DNS server software to communicate with the rest of the Internet, and some servers will have this functionality included. A mail exchanger (MX) is also required. Both your domain name and MX records must refer to your public IP address.
If your router supports Network Address Translation (NAT), you’ll be able to use port 25 for your email server and port 53 for DNS traffic. Alternatively, you can obtain a second public IP address from your ISP for your mail server. Once your hardware is physically set up, you’ll be ready to send emails after you configure the server software so that it suits your needs.
✉✉✉ Conclusion ✉✉✉
Though some email server configurations can be quite costly, setting up an email server to suit the needs of your company doesn’t need to be an expensive, time-consuming undertaking. All that’s needed to get an email server up and running is some hardware and technological expertise. If your company needs to control of the number and type of mailboxes used as well as filtering and email management functions, setting up an email server here can be an excellent idea.