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Help hosting my own email server

By Karmashock
Jan 10, 2009
  1. Ok, what do I need to make this work? This is mostly for fun but I'd really like to know how to do this?

    I have a version of "hmailserver" which is supposed to be a free email server that works on XP... which is perfect for my purposes.

    Anyway, it seems to install just fine but I'm having problems sending and receiving emails through it.

    I have an account at DynDNS and thought I could use DynDNS to get emails to route to this server?

    Apparently, I've read some stuff about MX records which I don't understand.


    Anyone got any pointers? The idea of hosting my own email server sounds like a great idea. Sure, if my server goes down or the power dies the email won't go anywhere. But I can also set all kinds of cool server side features so I'm really interested in this idea.


    Ideally, I don't want to pay anyone money to host a name... but if I do, I want it to be as cheap as possible. I want as much as possible on my home server.
     
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,449   +324

    Looks like you understand the DNS, MX issues, but did you forward port 25 from your router to your lan server ip address?
     
  3. Karmashock

    Karmashock TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 237

    I don't think I do understand them. I have a dyndns account but I don't know if I have an MX record set up. I don't even really know what that means...

    As to port 25, yeah... I did that. Though, does that block other people on my network from getting email?

    I mean, if I'm sending and receiving email from my laptop IN my network, will that interfere with the email server if port 25 is forwarded to the server?


    Anyway, an explanation of MX records and how to set one of up for free or very cheaply would be appreciated.
     
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,449   +324

    Basics:

    Your email server receives email for ALL your lan users on port 25, giving that
    you have a domain name (or DyDNS) and the proper MX record pointing to that name
    (eg mail.mylocalDomain.com)

    Your email users configure to access the email server by
    sending to mail.mylocalDomain.com on port 25 and
    reading from mail.mylocalDomain.com on port 110

    the path looks like
    Code:
    Email arrives at your ISP for User A
    isp-->sends email ---(port 25)--router-->fwd-->mail.mylocalDomain.com (using the IP address, not the name)
    
    When User A logs on and connects to your server
           mail.mylocalDomain.com 
                |
                V
             read from mail.mylocalDomain.com on port 110
                |
                V
           Lan User A
    
    When a reply is send
           mail.mylocalDomain.com 
                ^
                |
             Send to mail.mylocalDomain.com on port 25
                ^
                |
           Lan User A
    
    and then
    isp<--sends email <-----router<-- (port 25) --mail.mylocalDomain.com
    
           
    
     
  5. Karmashock

    Karmashock TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 237

    Hmmm... Well, that at least explains one thing I did wrong. I didn't open port 110 on the router.


    Ok, well how about MX records?


    I need these explained a bit better. Do you know of a way I can register one for free such as with DynDNS? It seems to have a feature that lets you do this, but I can't for the life of me figure it out. It keeps saying that address should resolve to an "A" or "AAAA" address.

    "A" supposedly means a typical address and "AAAA" has something to do with IPv6 . Well, it was my understanding that dyndns effectively gave you "A" listings with their site.

    I have an address there that is USERNAME.dnsdojo.net ... Isn't that good enough? Or do they need something as direct as "mail.PRIVATEDOMAINNAME.SUFFIX"?

    Any help is appreciated.
     
  6. gbalkam

    gbalkam TS Rookie Posts: 24

    You might be interested in this as well. Purchase a domain. a .info domain costs $1.99 per year a .com roughly 7.99 per year. You don't need to pay for hosting, just go to a hosting service, set up a FREE PARKING account and get the domain. Then log into the domain control panel (probably tucows) manage.opensrs.net (I think from memory) The log in will be your domain name and parking account password. Point the mx to your own IP address and play around with it. You will need a static ip (DyDNS) which I take it you have set up already. DyDNS will give you the nameserver and mx server settings, just enter those in manage.opensrs.net (or which ever domain registrar you happen to use) I happen to like powweb because of the goodies included at no charge. But I have a hosting account there as well for my web site, blog, forum, gallery, etc etc etc....
     
  7. Karmashock

    Karmashock TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 237

    thank you :D
     
  8. gbalkam

    gbalkam TS Rookie Posts: 24

    *grin* the techies will like this.. one of my domains is id10-t.info (ID ten T error) also known as organic keyboard interface error. Also known as BOFH errors. LOL. (google it)
     
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