Smartermail Email Server on Windows Home Server

Smartermail Email Server on Windows Home Server

This is a quick tutorial on setting up an email server using your Windows Home Server. There are a few free options out there but I decided to use this as I like some of the features.

There are some limitations to using the free version. You are limited to 1 domain and you are also limited to 10 accounts for that domain (fits nicely with the 10 accounts for WHS). You can find a full list of features on their site here:

http://www.smartertools.com/SmarterMail/Compare-Mail-Server-Editions.aspx

What you will need:

  • Smartermail Free Windows Mail Server. You can download it from here:

http://www.smartertools.com/SmarterMail/Free-Windows-Mail-Server.aspx

  • Remote Desktop Connection, Advanced Admin Console, or the To Desktop Add-in.

Before starting this you will want to see if your ISP is blocking port 25. To do this open a command prompt and type the following:

telnet XXXX.homeserver.com 25. (where XXXX is the name of your homeserver) If the test is successful you will get a 220 message. If this fails you may not be able to set this up. There may be alternate ports you can use but by no means do I claim to be an email administrator.

You will also need to forward a few ports to your home server. If you go with the default ports of 25,110, and 143 then all of those will need to be forwarded. The default web server is configured to listen on Port 9998 i.e.. mail.domain.com:9998.   You can reconfigure it to listen to another port if you wish.

You can also find the help file that is displayed after the initial setup in the following directory: C:\Program Files\SmarterTools\SmarterMail\help

What to do:

Download the setup. You may have to right click on the setup file and go to properties. In the lower left you will see unblock, this will be necessary if this was downloaded from another workstation/pc otherwise you will get a message that you don’t have permissions to run it.

Run the setup. After setup is finished you will be greeted with a webpage to start your configuration (this may take a minute or 2 to initialize).

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Once the initialization is done you are prompted to enter a host name, an administrator username and password.

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You are then asked to enter your DNS servers. Leaving them blank will use your current DNS settings of your server.

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After your DNS settings it will show you the default directories for your mail server. These can be changed later if you want.

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The next screen gives you the option to enable SpamAssassin. If you wish to enable just check the box and click next.

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After Spam Assassin you have the option to enable ClamAV. Again check it if you want this option and click finish.

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Now you should be looking at the configuration page with the domain options. Click new and enter your domain. This would be your XXXX.homeserver.com. This will also show you your IP and folder path. You will also want to enter the domain administrator username and password.

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The technical tab allows you to modify the ports that you will be using. For simplicity I am just using the standard ports. There are also some options on auto responding and forwarding as well SMTP authentication.

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You will also notice the tabs labeled features. You may want to go into the features tab to enable/disable what you want. Once done click save. I am not going to go through all of the options here for the sake of time but you will find a link to the manual at the beginning of the instructions.

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Now you will want to click on Settings and then Gateway servers. If you’re ISP doesn’t block port 25 you can use this to relay off their servers. Click on new and enter your ISP information. For example you would want to enter smtp.isp.com for the server address followed by your account info for that ISP.

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Now click on Manage and all domains. Hover on settings and then click users.

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Click new and enter the username, password, display name, etc. There are also tabs at the top for webmail options as well as options for how emails will be composed, a signature and a few other settings. Click save when done.

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All that is left to do is test your configuration. Click manage and then mass messaging>send email. Enter the user to send it to and enter a test message and click send.

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To check for message you will either need to setup your email client with your info or use the webmail feature. To setup your email client you will need to use your .homeserver.com address. For example it should be test.homeserver.com for both the incoming and outgoing mail servers.

To use the webmail you will need to login with you IP address. This would be your external IP address followed by the port # (I.E 10.10.10.10:9998). You will be greeted by a webmail startup page asking to select your time zone.

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Instructions on changing the default webserver port.

  1. Go to the Start menu
  2. Click on All Programs
  3. Click SmarterTools Inc.
  4. Click SmarterMail Web Server Config
  5. Edit the Port Number to 80
  6. Click Reload
  7. Click Close

That should be pretty much it. One thing that I did notice was that during the install it didn’t add exceptions to the firewall. You will need to add SMWebsvr.exe to your firewall exceptions. You can find this in the following folder:

C:\Program Files\SmarterTools\SmarterMail\Web Server\SMWebSvr.exe

I currently run my own consulting business with a day job as a Technical Support Rep for a software company. I am currently certified by Comptia A+, Network+ and hold a MCSA and MCSE certifications from Microsoft (working MCITP). I have been using WHS now for about a year and a half. The main reason I looked into it was because after dealing with IT all day I wanted something that was easy to use and setup. That coupled with the backup functions that are built in is another reason for using WHS and with the add ins that are available it is exactly what I was looking for.
  • Aaron

    I'm using Dyndns could this be my problem as into why i can't connect to my mail server? Other then that this is great.

  • dcoutrue

    What do you mean by can't connect? Are you able to send and receive mail? Or are you talking about connecting to the webmail or web admin page? I need a little more details on what isn't connecting.

  • Jeffs

    I am currently using SBS/Exchange at home and want to decommission it in favour of HomeServer. Does this email server support downloading from my ISP based POP3 mailboxes? or are ther POP3 addins that will enable this?

  • dcouture

    There are options in the for retrieval from POP or IMAP. Here is a link that references the setup of POP retrieval. Hope it helps.

    http://www.smartertools.com/Portal/KB/a88/how-to-

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  • DaveD

    Thanks for this guide, however the walk-through images need to be clearer, very difficult to follow this guide. Take a look at the wegotserved wiki guide for axigen and you will see what I mean.

  • T-Bone

    Any Chance for an update? They are currently on version 6.8.3750 and some of the screens are drastically diffrent.

  • dcouture

    I will get the latest version soon and update the screenshots.

  • T-Bone

    Dcouture, Thank you very very much!!!

  • tbone

    If you ever get some free time to update version 7 is out now. haha Im busy myself right now but would love to get this project going. thanks for the idea

  • tbone

    Any luck on getting version 7 setup? I can no longer find the version you have set up on this tutorial. Id be interested also to see how you liked it since youve been running Smartermail for quite a while now. any issue? Im still very interested and now that Im going to be staying with WHS v1 for the forseeable future (BAD MS BAD BAD!!) I dont see any reason I should be holding off on this any longer.

  • T-Bone

    Sorry to bug you again. I was just wondering how the update was going with this article?

    I cant find the file your referencing here since smartermail no longer hosts older versions. So I cant follow this article at all.

    • http://usingwindowshomeserver.com Andrew Edney

      I will see if I can find out any more for you.

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