Getting Started: Corporate E-mail
See other getting started topics
This guide to setting up corpate e-mail does not assume you already have an internet connection. Nor will it instruct you on how to get connected, whether it be dialup/intermittent, or fulltime (DSL, cable modem, ethernet, etc.) It does, however, describe what setups are available.
If all of your employees (or other users) have full time internet connections, or they all have intermittent dialup (or full-time LAN connection for last option):
- Mailbox/account: these terms will refer to where your mail resides
- Alias: this I use to refer to an address that does not store mail, but forwards mail to another address
- Server: a usually remote (even if just down the hall) machine that runs the show
- Client: an end user program usually on your desktop machine (but with a shell account, for example, you are running a client on a remote machine that you are logged into)
- See the account type page also.
If you have at least one computer with a full time internet connection on your LAN, and each user is connected to your LAN:
- Outsource to a company specializing in hosting e-mail
- Outsource to your web-host or ISP
- Run a mail server on your network.
Your network has intermittent dialup, but each user is connected to your LAN:
- Run a mail server on your network on one of the computers with a full time connection.
Some other important things to consider in running your own mail server:
- Run a mail server on your network. Your ISP or mail host collects all mail for your domain in a single POP box. Your mail server either supports such mail collection directly, or you use a gateway that does.
- Run a mail server on your network. Your ISP or mail host's mail server, as well as your mail server, support "ETRN", which allows the ISP to hold the mail on it's SMTP server until your server requests it deliver incoming queued messages.
Important features to consider in choosing a mail server or examining an ISP's mail features:
- Most important: is your mail server closed to "relaying" so that only your users can send mail through it? (spam prevention!)
- Also, do you have your MX records set properly?
- POP vs. IMAP? depends on your needs. see the account page.
- If you want your users to have access from the road, whether by POP/IMAP or webmail, you either need to be connected fulltime so they can access via the Internet or have a way they can dial into your LAN.
- Access via multiple methods (POP3/IMAP4/webmail)
- Vacation autoreplies (ability to tell account to automatically reply that you are out of office)
- Spam filtering: do you want your ISP to filter out likely spam? If so, what method (i.e. just block known spammers, or block messages that look like potential spam?)
- Forwarding: you may wish to forward messages to another address (either pure forwarding, or keeping a copy and forwarding a copy)
- Extra boxes: does your mail provider give you more than one mailbox?
- Aliases: does your mail provider give you multiple addresses per mailbox?
- mailbox+ format aliasing: simple alias method: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, etc. Point your ISP to faq that explains how to configure their server to allow this.
Picking a mail client for your users:
- Web-based administration?
- Virus checking?
- Spam prevention?
- Content security?
- Message archival?
After determining what type of server or outsourcing of mail hosting you use, you need to have your employees setup with mail clients.
Type of account:
- POP3/IMAP4: Check the client pages of this site for the operating system you use.
- Webmail: Pick a browser. Almost any web browser. (Some sites may indicate a req. for Netscape or MIE, but try any browser you want and see if it works).
Others types of accounts:
Above I list four standard types of accounts. There are also various proprietary account types:
- other proprietary
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