Email is a communication method used by millions by people, but only a small proportion of users might be aware that it is possible to host an email server on your own computer. There is plenty of free software available to download that makes this possible, although it is a somewhat long-winded and complicated process.
How to Make your Own Email Server
In order to turn your computer into an email server, you will need web server software, so that you can access your computer from any device with a web connection. You will need email server software to create a structured email database and also a program that creates a webmail interface on which you can log in and view emails. These can be found easily enough through a search engine, although it might be best to choose the software that has been recommended by users.
There are plenty of options for all three of these types of software and each of them will work differently. Essentially, it is key to download all of them to your computer and utilize the options to link them all together. The email server software should allow you to set your domain name, email addresses and preferences such as mailbox size, spam filters etc. The webmail interface software will appear on a URL featuring your IP address (something like 10.111.111.01/mail/index.php). There are loads of step-by-step guides online which show you how each piece of software works.
Is Self Hosting Email a Good Idea?
Those who self host their email like the idea of being in complete control. They want to be the ones who fix things if anything breaks. They want to be the ones responsible for whether or not the mailbox stays online. They don’t want to conform to any terms or conditions. They don’t want to rely on anyone else.
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Of course, it’s worth bearing in mind that you will need the space in your computer to store all these emails. Certainly one PC won’t be enough to handle more than a few regularly used email addresses. Corporations tend to use huge servers to send, receive and store company emails.
Yet, for many of the individuals who have the expertise to maintain an email server, that’s absolutely fine. There are plenty of users who have computers with enough space to store the emails they receive and are completely happy self-hosting it. However, for others, this is a step which is too risky, complicated and small-scale for what they want to achieve.
Outsourced Email Hosting
Even some big businesses which have the funds and personnel to be able to maintain huge email servers choose to outsource their email hosting to a separate provider instead of self hosting.
The main reasons they do this is because they don’t want the hassle and expense of maintaining their own servers. They would rather rely on experienced professionals to handle issues like downtime or malicious messages. They trust in these companies to deliver the latest technology for data back-up, spam filters or virus protection.
So, it’s worth bearing in mind that whilst self-storage is certainly an option, it’s not always the most suitable route to go down.
Author Bio: Cobweb is Europe’s leading provider of Hosted Microsoft Exchange services, supplying secure and uninterrupted access to applications, email and the internet for more than 5,000 business customers. Find us at www.cobweb.com
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