connect email server to outside world

October 19, 2012 at 11:02:06
Specs: Windows server 2003, 1.73GHz /2Gb
I currently have my emails hosted and i want to bring it to my own mail server
I have installed windows server 2003 R2, got it up to date and it is on the internet
The server has its own fixed IP on the LAN The default gatewaty is also fixed on the LAN side The server is confgured as a mail server using 'configure your server wizard'. I have not installed Exchange server....i am trying to do without it. What i can't do is to fix the IP address on the WAN side and more to the point, the ISP will not permit a fixed IP as it is home broadband. I can log into the router and find out the WAN IP of the router but there will be no configuring of any mx records on the WAN or LAN side of the router. The server probably does have its mx record after making the server a mail server. The only thing i know i can do is to log into the DNS provider. I have had a quick look at it and i can see there is a section that talks about DNS A record, Mail exchange MX record and SRV records. The A record and mx record primary is set to, secondary and tertiary, 4th level is not set.
If i set the primary record to my WAN IP, is this enough?
Could someone give me good advice on how to divert the mail traffic from the hosted environment to my own mail server.

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October 19, 2012 at 12:15:50
Most ISP's offer "business" class highspeed packages that come with a static IP.

They tend to use DHCP for "home" class packages to keep people from running all manner of servers (game, P2P, email, web) at home.

I suspect you have two choices. Upgrade to a business class (static) grade of highspeed (if your ISP offers that), or, look into one of those 'dynamic dns' services offered on the internet.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

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October 19, 2012 at 12:34:29
This will most likely not work for a few reasons.

1) Most ISPs typically block port 25 to home users to specifically prevent home users from running servers as well as to prevent the flow of mass mailing worms. Most outgoing traffic using port 25 MUST connect to the ISP's own mail servers or the traffic will be blocked.

2) You do not need to configure any MX records on your router, you would only need to forward traffic on the mail related ports directly to your server.

3) If you still wish to proceed, would recommend signing up with a DDNS provider like dynDNS or They have a program that you can download and run on the server that will keep the A record that is created with the DDNS provider updated with the correct external IP address of your connection. This will enable to you get to your server using a regular host name instead of having to remember the IP.

4) If you can access the MX records, and you have set up the port forwarding, and you have tested that your ISP is not blocking the mail related ports, then you can try to ADD an MX record. I would suggest moving the tertiary record to the 4th MX entry, moving the secondary to the tertiary spot, moving the current primary to the secondary spot and creating your own MX record as the primary. If you did step 3 and signed up with a DDNS provider, then simply enter the FQDN of the DDNS host as the MX record. (Example: if you are using no-ip and have configured as your chosen DDNS domain and serverxyz as your server's DDNS host name, then you would enter into the MX record host name area.)

In addition to the above, I have not tried hosting email on a Windows server without using Exchange, so I cannot provide assistance as to what else you may need to configure on the server side of things to allow for the proper communication. You may also need to have RDNS and SPF records configured to allow mail to be sent to some remote domains. Also, you will most likely be blacklisted on the Spamhaus ZEN and PBL lists due to having a Dynamic IP address and also not being whitelisted to be sending un-authenticated mail from within your ISP's IP blocks. Be sure that you test your server and that you are locked down and are not an open mail relay or you will be blacklisted in short order. You also want to make sure that you are using good passwords and have a good firewall in place as mail servers are always targets for malicious hackers.

In short, if I would be extremely surprised if you were able to get this to work with your current setup.

IT Desktop & Network Consultant - MOS Master Certified, MCP, MCSA, MCITP - Windows 7, CCNA Certificate Pending, A+, Network +


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October 19, 2012 at 13:20:44
When having dynamic ip only, you need to use DDNS service like no-ip.
If I get you right, you have access to a public DNS server, where you can configure the MX record, which must be configured, to point to your, e.g. domain. The priority should be set to 5 or 10.
The lower the value, the higher the priority.

Further more, you need to update the dynamic ip address every time, it changes.
This can be configured in most routers setup configuration.

You also have to configure port forwarding in the routers configuration.

I hopfully didn't miss anything.

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December 18, 2012 at 10:12:35
Check the SMTP layer of your Exchange server and get it well configured because this is the layer to set for sending and receiving out and from outside network.


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