by June 7, 2004 0 comments

The first thing you do after walking into your office is download e-mail. It’s a part of the routine for almost everyone these days. Unfortunately, as most people do it in the morning, it chokes up the Internet bandwidth during that time. One solution to this problem is to install a mail server within your local network. This would download all mail overnight, which users can download to their machines in the morning, instead of connecting to the Internet. Most medium to large organizations already have this kind of a setup, but a lot of smaller companies still prefer to download directly because the other setup can be too expensive for them. While a number of cheaper options are available, a couple of free local mail servers are also there, like the one we’ll talk about in this article. 

Applies to:
System administratorsin SMEs
USP: Saves bandwidth and downloads mail quickly
S/w on CD:

You can use a free product called Office Mail Server, which is a lightweight mail server that runs on any version of Windows. We’ve also given it on this month’s Essential CD. Install it from the CD, and to configure it, click the Office Mail icon in your system tray. Select Tools>Settings from its menu bar and create all your local user accounts from here. Go to the User tab and click on Add to create the accounts. You will need to give a username and password for every new user you create from here. After this you need to configure your Internet POP3 mail accounts, which the mail server will use to download your mail. For this go to the ‘Pop3 collection’ tab in the Settings window, click on Add and provide your POP3 mail account
information such as username, password and Internet mail server domain. Click on Ok to finish.

Office Mail Server has a single multi-tabbed setup window, from where you can change the settings 

After configuring, you need to map the local users to the Internet POP3 mail account, so that the mail server can distribute the downloaded mail of users among the local users. For this, select ‘Local distribution’ tab and click on Add. This will bring a dialog box. Here give the Internet POP3 user ID and then select the local users that you want to map from the list. 

Finally, configure the SMTP settings on the mail server, so that the office users can send mail outside as well. To do this, select the SMTP Delivery tab. This will open a dialog box in which you will find an SMTP Host text box. Here give the domain or IP of your ISP SMTP server and then click on Ok to complete. With this your Office Mail Server is ready. Now, you need to configure the clients to send and receive mail. At the clients end you need to configure their mail client such as Outlook Express. Set the mail client’s outgoing and incoming mail setting to the IP address of your mail server that you have configured. This solution should help you in saving Internet bandwidth as well as save you from the constant grumbling of your employees. 

Sanjay Majumder

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