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Should you own a dedicated email server?

Should you own a dedicated email server?

I’m seeing some of my customers are hosting a hundred or more email accounts using cPanel or Plesk onyx. There is nothing wrong using these control panels, email service is free using either Exim or Postfix. There are free and open source email server. Anti-Spam features are limited to free and open source solutions.

They are still ok for daily usages. However, if you are relying on the webmail, the choice is limited to the free and open source solutions. They are not amazing until you have seen better webmail like SmarterMail.

Administrative functions are also limited on these email server. Creating, deleting mailboxes and updating password are likely what you need. A lot of the other features are not available or modify them using SSH shell command.

In my opinion, administrating email server, receiving and sending emails are important for an organization. I’m seeing a lot have neglected this area.

A good email server can save you a lot of troubles and enhance your email deliveries. They are equal to money. Basically, the return is higher than investing in terms of financial values.

Today, we introduce SmartMail DE250Lite at #188 per month. Lower by more than $100 with smaller disk space. The Lite version will ft those with a lower budget if they do not need the large disk space.

Is SmarterMail a good email server software?

Is SmarterMail a good email server software?

Many asked me this question, Is SmarterMail good? How good is good? I have used many email server software for the last 25 years. SmarterMail gives me the reason to acquire partnership. NOT that I said good because I’m selling them but the other way round.

I can still remember it was version 2 when I know the existence of SmaterMail through Plesk. It works on Windows Server and it has given me the perception it was a heavy software and it does simple email function and full stop.

Since then I didn’t pay much attention until version 13 or 14. I have SmarterMail has very intuitive GUI especially the Webmail. Coincidentally, I was turned down by the free webmail offer in many control panels. I was looking for something better but unfortunately. it runs only on a Windows server.

So, this is when I have asked my client to split their website and emails, rather you are putting them int the same server. Yes, you can do that and in a way, you are reducing your risk by having these functions on 2 separated servers. Of course, now can easily use SmarterMail as your email server while you can run your website and Linux Apache web server.

I have noticed those on SmarterMail has high retention rate than others. That’s mean to say, customers are satisfied. And I have noticed many have used webmail and the population on mail client applications like outlook has dropped. I personally use them, the webmail has many good features and it is easy to use.

For those managing a SmarterMail email server will agree with me. If you have administrated other email servers, you will find SmarterMaill is a breeze, it is so much easy to understand and operate. Even you do have a technical background, probably some guidance may do the job.

SmarterMail is built with IDS. We have yet to find any email server software come with an IDS. Brute-force is one common problem for all and SmarterMail has this protection and automatically block unwanted access. Not forgetting the anti-spam, anti-virus, exchange sync add-ons available to enhance users’ experience.

I’m very happy with SmarterMail and proud to be their partner. I have servers are serving a few thousand mailboxes, they are hardly giving me problems. It saves me a tremendous amount of time and efforts in administrating these servers. I love SmarterMail.

 

Email Server administrators vs Users

An email server is a machine, the instructions, the rules, and the policies are implemented by a person. He or she is probably known as the server admin. The server admin manages the operation of a server includes the email service. To end users are about email, but it is not the case for a server admin. When an email is sent or receive it goes through a mechanism. This is a series of rules and policies implemented by the server admin to its email server.

There are a few types of server admin. I mean how they worked and behave, no offence to anyone. These are the peoples I have met, and spoken. I’d like you to understand everyone has their standpoints. Communication is still the key to resolve an issue.

This is what I have heard from both parties. I cannot send email, I cannot receive email, emails are missing. These are the common issues faced by end users. Thus, the server admin steps in. Server admin is not an easy role especially comes to emails. As emails involve the senders and receivers, and most times they are external bodies. So the problem can be anyone. At this point, you need an experienced server admin to narrow down or troubleshoot the issue. Firstly, he or she has to determine it is the sender or receiver’s issue. Then, he or she can drill down and pinpoint where is the issue. Because the email servers are more sophisticated than the last 5 years. Thanks to the spam emails. Most email servers have treated anti-sm as the top priority and feature in an email server. The feature like enable SPF, DKIM, RBL and the various anti-spam mechanisms. Receiving or sending an email is never like before. Before an email is delivered to the mailbox, it goes through a series of anti-spam policies, and some even you are sending an email.

Here come the problems. One day, an end user is walking to the server admin claimed that he has not been able to receive someone’s emails. Sound familiar? A good server admin would start checking on the logs if such emails were delivered. Yes, they were, but it was identified as Spam email, landed in the junk folder, unfortunately, the user has set up a POP3 email account, do not subscribe to this folder. He has missed these emails delivered to the junk folder. Another scenario, the email was bounced by the recipient’s email server. You asked why it was bounced? Then the server admin is trying to explain to you what is SPF. Of course, there are scenarios are not mentioned here. Nevertheless, you now see the differences, the server admin set up the anti-spam policies to combat spam emails but emails are not classified as spam emails by the users but they were spam email on the server.

So who is right? Apparently, no one s wrong. If the users can understand how an email is classified as spam and the remedy. Obviously, he or she does not administrate the server, but the end users should at least know how they work. If the server admin can share the details with the end users like setting up an IMAP email account, how to read email source or header. This knowledge reduces the misunderstandings, and reduce the workload on the server admin. The server admin must understand what he or she is doing, not simply left it as default or the more rule are better. Without a good understanding of how things work, might ruin other’s works.

Email servers are they different?

Today, I’m going to share a bit on the common type of email servers in the web hosting market and integrated into the web control panel. Most of us email and why should I know which type of email server is used. Aren’t they are the same. Actually, you are almost correct but how they have served and behaviour will affect the incoming and outgoing emails, and likely your mailbox too.

There are 4 common types of email servers; Exim in cPanel, Postfix in Plesk, Mailenable and Smartermail. All are free except SmarterMail if you are creating the No.11 mailbox you need to buy a license. Exim and Postfix are free and they are the popular choice in the Linux world. However, these known as MTA they are limited to SMTP, unlike Mailenable and SmarterMail, the email servers will take care of all protocols.

In fact, they all can rate limit the speed of connecting and sending emails. Exim is more flexible than Postfix, the more it is flexible, similarly, it will be more complex. To an end user, it will not make a difference unless you are administrating the mail server. These two MTA are Linux based, thus the commands are shell command line, while Mailenable and SmarterMail are Windows-based, you do not use the more complex PowerShell command, most things can be done from the server’s interface.

So far, only SmaterMail and Mailenable have their own webmail, Postfix is used by Plesk and Exim is used by cPanel, they use the free ones and opensource webmail like horde. The free webmails look boring. In your 1st glance, you are not likely to continue with webmail but maybe an Outlook or ThunderBird.

However, it is a big difference if you are using SmarterMail. The webmail is intuitive. The anti-spam and anti-virus come default can screen emails with the desired value of each RBL and many more. Even a non-technical savvy person will not take much time and set up those functions. In addition, the IDS protection is something you cannot find in any of those email servers.

I personally found the reports are useful in SmarterMail. There are usage statistic for mailboxes and domain, the type of traffic, the number of spam emails was received etc. These are especially good to pinpoint areas and downgrade or upgrade email server.

Despite that those MTA I have mentioned serve the purpose connecting people and send emails. If you drill down deeper, you can find actually email server by SmarterMail can do more and let you see better, Yes, SmarterMail is a paid software unless it is for 10 and below mailbox which is free, but I will opt or SmarterMail for the business collaboration tools, enhanced email functions and protections. In a way, it helps in email delivery, communication and administration, saved you a lot of money and time.

SmarterMail 17 is here soon

Version 17 of SmarterMail is launching a couple of weeks, but it’s beta and available to test now!

This is your chance to work directly with the Developers in
the community to finalize the release. Please take this opportunity to ensure the upgrade and conversion process works flawlessly for your environment. Smartertools have spent an enormous amount of time on this release and want it to be the best possible experience for all customers, and your feedback is critical for that success!

What new features are waiting for you?

The entire backend of SmarterTools has been re-built on the latest technologies allowing for significant speed and memory improvements.
For extremely large installations, SmarterMail will load 2 to 3 times faster.
Extensive redesigns for all protocols (EAS, EWS and WebDAV) will offer faster and more consistent results. The SmarterTools team spend a couple weeks working with Microsoft in Redmond and made some amazing improvements as a result.
Team Workspaces now includes native video and audio conferencing via WebRTC. No more need for third party integrations.
Group Chat now includes native video and audio conferencing, and the ability to preview shared files and more.
Two-Step Authentication, for more secure access to your most important resource: your email account.
Indexing optimizations to reduce memory and CPU but speed up the indexing process.
Significantly more logging in all areas of the product.
Improved calendar sharing, including sharing secondary calendars and the ability to sync shared calendars with the most popular email clients when using EAS or EWS.
On-demand content filters that can be run any time you want.
The ability to customize replies to calendar invitations.
And HUNDREDS of backend improvements throughout SmarterMail.

If you have active Upgrade Protection, your license was already upgraded to the next release so you can run the BETA in production by simply installing and activating the product. You can also download it and run it as the free version for testing. Regardless, Smartertools are standing by and more than willing to help! For more information on the latest SmarterMail BETA build, and to download the installer, check out this SmarterMail BETA topic.

Get started today as our Developers are standing by for your feedback in the SmarterTools Community!

SmarterMail 14.x is here

I urge all smartermail users to upgrade their current SmarterMail server to Version 14.0.5637. One of the significant improvement is the the newly compiled ClamAV 64bit which is more efficient and lower system overhead to replace the outdated and less efficient 32bit ClamAV.

 

Version 14.0.5637 (2015-06-08)

Key Features
  • A temporary address can now be generated by users with a short life span that operates as an alias to their account. This is to allow sign ups to external services without giving out the account’s real email address.
  • Message Sniffer is now available as an antispam add-on.
  • Multiple calendars can now be added to a single account.
  • Option to mark a domain as external and have messages to that domain sent either to the domain’s MX record or to a specified host address.
  • System administrators can now add customized HTML and change the login header text through settings on the General Settings page. They may also allow domain administrators to override these customizations.
  • Deleting email folders in either an email client or webmail will now have their associated folder on disk removed as well. Orphaned folders from earlier releases of SmarterMail will be cleaned up automatically.
Changes
  • IMPORTANT: SmarterMail 14 now requires Microsoft .NET 4.5. This prevents SmarterMail from running on Windows Server 2003.
  • Added: An instance of a recurring calendar event can now be deleted from the context menu.
  • Added: An option for external domains on whether messages should deliver locally or remotely if the user account exists locally.
  • Added: An option to toggle between overlaying multiple selected calendars, contacts, tasks or notes collections in a combined view versus displaying one at a time.
  • Added: CalDAV now supports syncing multiple calendars.
  • Added: Contacts, Tasks and Notes now allow multiple collections to be viewed at the same time.
  • Added: Domain conference rooms can now be selected to view on the calendar page.
  • Added: Dropbox is now available as a connected service allowing links to Dropbox files in email messages.
  • Added: Editing a recurring event now displays the series instance’s start and end dates.
  • Added: Exchange Web Services now supports syncing multiple calendars.
  • Added: Grids now support multi-selection on Apple Mac browsers by holding down the command key.
  • Added: IMAP authentication now supports Cram-MD5.
  • Added: Microsoft OneDrive is now available as a connected service allowing links to OneDrive files in email messages.
  • Added: Migrating Google calendars now migrates all calendars from a Google account.
  • Added: Multiple calendars can now be synced using Exchange ActiveSync.
  • Added: Multiple calendars can now be viewed together in a combined view, which color codes events from the different calendars.
  • Added: SMTP Accounts has been added to the Features tab in domain settings, allowing them to be enabled or disabled per domain.
  • Added: System administrators can now customize the messages sent for certain automated emails.
  • Added: Tasks can now be imported from Gmail.
  • Added: The My Today Page now displays appointments for all calendars in a user’s account.
  • Added: The reminders popup now displays items for all calendars in a user’s account.
  • Added: Unsubscribe links for mailing lists can now be given friendly text instead of just displaying the unsubscribe URL.
  • Changed: Blocked senders will now block on the From address in the header of the message, in addition to the Mail From address given in the SMTP session. Previously it only blocked on the Mail From address of the SMTP session.
  • Changed: Content filtering now decodes base64 and quoted-printable encoded text parts in email messages before applying filters.
  • Changed: Improved the ClamAV definitions update process, including 64 bit support and ClamSup.
  • Changed: Migrating the same Google calendar twice will now overwrite the previously migrated events instead of creating duplicates.
  • Changed: Time zone information now utilizes the built-in system registry time zone information instead of an external file.
  • Efficiency: Deleting a large number of items from the IP blacklist or whitelist is now much faster.
  • Efficiency: The load time of the monthly calendar view is now much faster.
  • Fixed: A recipient address formatted with a quoted username containing a certain sequence of characters will no longer cause high CPU during the SMTP session.
  • Fixed: Changed how recurring calendars with a recurrence count of zero are transmitted via Exchange Web Services to work around an error when syncing with emClient.
  • Fixed: Gmail email migration now functions correctly when one or more Gmail labels contain characters that are not allowed in Window’s folder names.
  • Fixed: IMAP search now handles search commands with multiple levels of parenthesized lists correctly.
  • Fixed: Messages displayed in the mobile interface now wrap text when the length of a line exceeds the width of the display.
  • Fixed: Migrating contacts from Gmail now functions correctly.
  • Fixed: The action “Send VCard(s)” now functions correctly for the Global Address List.
  • Fixed: The date and time input fields can no longer be edited when viewing a read-only appointment.
  • Fixed: Two scenarios within the mobile interface where downloading an attachment could fail.
  • Removed: All day appointments no longer display times in webmail.
  • Removed: The five-ten RBL check is no longer included as part of the default RBL checks for either spam filtering or server blacklist checks.