Home-mail with OS X server, email address?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by ThePiratkapten, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. ThePiratkapten macrumors newbie


    Apr 13, 2013

    I am new to hosting email servers, which is what I want to do with Mac OS X server. I have some questions first.

    What will my email address be?
    If I use a DDNS with an address like "somethingichoose.provider.com", will my email address be "myname@somethingichoose.provider.com"?
    If I don't use an DDNS provider, will the address then be "myname@ipadress"?

    I'm sorry if it sounds incomplete or if I miss something, but I think you understand anyway. I very tired. Thanks on fore hand!
  2. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    If you don't already own the Mac server, you may want to consider a Synology NAS as it can do those things. They even offer their own free (but basic) Dynamic DNS service for their NAS's.
  3. 1911 macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2008

    First, to do email "right," I would suggest you register a domain name. With that in hand, then you can proceed to install OS X server and configure DNS. You will need to configure your router/firewall to allow the necessary ports for incoming and outgoing email. This info can be found in the OS X install document which can be found here:
    Server Docs
    Another link of well know ports can be found here: Common Port Numbers
    You will need to setup a DDNS account for your domain name and hope you do not violate the "Terms of Service" agreement with your ISP. If you have a business account this is a non-issue.
    One thing I would suggest is to use Snow Leopard Server, things pretty much went south with Lion Server and Mountain Lion Server. 10.6.8 seems to be the most stable of the OS X servers, but that is only my opinion, I am sure others would argue this point.
    On another note, Blueroom has a valid point, a Synology NAS device will do exactly what you want and much more, so much more.

    Re:I am new to hosting email servers, which is what I want to do with Mac OS X server. I have some questions first.
    What will my email address be?
    If I use a DDNS with an address like "somethingichoose.provider.com", will my email address be "myname@somethingichoose.provider.com"?
    If I don't use an DDNS provider, will the address then be "myname@ipadress"?
    I'm sorry if it sounds incomplete or if I miss something, but I think you understand anyway. I very tired. Thanks on fore hand!
  4. mire3212 macrumors newbie

    May 28, 2010
    Austin, TX
    Since no one on here can seem to provide a simple answer to your question, here you go:

    The email address is something you can decide. If you own the domain: somethingichoose.provider.com, then you can simply use provider.com.

    If you are using something like DynDNS for hostname services, then you're more than likely going to use somethingichoose.provider.com for your domain name.

    An example of the latter would be username@domain.dyndns.info.

    An example of a domain you own would be username@mydomain.com.

    Hope this helps.

    P.S. Mail is one of the most complicated systems to get up and running correctly and efficiently. If you're new to hosting online services I highly recommend using an existing email provider or hosting service to avoid breaking the T&Cs from your ISP and dealing with Spam/Blacklisting. It is doable; it is doable right; you just have to know how to do it.
  5. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I've been running a Mac server at home for nearly 4 years (the first three with SLS, now with ML + Server). About the only service I don't run is Mail. What is the appeal of running a home mail server?
  6. edjs macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2012

    - To learn how to setup and administer a mail server.
    - You don't want your email sitting on some remote company's servers, subject to their monitoring, analysis, subpoenas or (lack of) security.
    - Because you can.

    But if you are on a residential connection there may be problems if you want to exchange email with the outside world:
    - Your ISP may block outbound connections on port 25.
    - Remote mail servers may do a reverse lookup on your IP address and refuse the connection if it appears to be from a residential connection.
    - Remote mail servers may do a reverse lookup on your IP, and if that hostname does not match your mail server hostname, refuse the connection.
  7. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    It's pretty well understood that email is not secure. To put it another way, it offers the security of a postcard. I know that I'm not allowed to transmit grades to students via email even both I and the student are using the school's Outlook server. Mail sent between systems is always plaintext as far as I know and easily subject to snooping or man-in-the-middle attacks.
  8. alexrmc92 macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2013
    Yep, although there are encrypted mail protocols available. As fair as i know OS X Server doesn't support any.
  9. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Does your internet provider give you a static IP address, or do you get a new one assigned every time you connect?

    If you don't have a static IP then you have not choice but to subscribe to a Dynamic DNS service. I've never used one but I'd guess that they have options for setting up the MX entry (the address of the mail server to which all mail for your domain/subdomain gets sent). Lots of people will just want the DDNS for their website and not want to worry about mail.

    If you do have a static IP then you don't need a dynamic DNS server - just buy a domain name from a registry service that runs its own DNS servers and lets you manage your domains online. Then just point the 'MX' entry for your domain to your IP address.

    However, there's another way of doing it that usually makes more sense if you're using a domestic internet connection: get an email account with a service provider that lets you have multiple mailboxes, with POP/IMAP access and that provides a relay address for outgoing mail. You can probably get one with a personalised domain.

    Then setup fetchmail (Google it) to regularly fetch & delete the contents of your online mailboxes and pass the messages to your local mail server. You then configure the local mail server in "smarthost" mode to send outgoing mail to the service provider's relay.

    You still get much of the "running your own mailserver" experience, can use spam assassin etc. to delete spam before it gets to your users, can run a webmail service etc. on your local server. Meanwhile, you won't lose mail if your internet connection or mail server goes down, and there's less scope for inadvertently turning your machine into an open relay for spammers.

    One of the major failings in OS X server, IMHO, is that it doesn't come with a click&drool setup wizard for this mode of use.
  10. alain651 macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2011
    Halifax, Canada
    I have been running a MacMini server since SL 10.6, Lion 10.7, ML 10.8 for my Home Media Server, share music/video, hosting my personal websites, file sharing, VPN, and email with family.

    I recommend www.lynda.com, they have excellent tutorial on setup Apple Server, you need to learn about IP address static /dynamic, DNS, Port Forward, etc..

    1. Need to buy a Domain name.
    2. Your ISP use Dynamic IP address, so you need a program to update your server to point to the right IP address.

    i used - zoneedit.com
    - DNSUpdate 2.8
    - https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/6999/dnsupdate
    - this program update service from DynDns.org, easydns.com, or zoneEdit.com

    3. Check your ISP modern Router IP address. Example they may have, 192.168.x.x

    4. Change your server network IP address "Using DHCP with Manual address" like

    5. Set up the Server Apps, using your new domain name.com and your server IP address

    6. You need to have access to your ISP admin account and change your PORT FORWARD to have access to the services..


    7. Some ISP, you will need to Relay your outgoing mail throughout their ISP, so have email access...

    As all other commends, hosting your own Email service is more trouble and easier to use Gmail or others services... but it always fun to learn and have your own email....

  11. unplugme71 macrumors 68030

    May 20, 2011
    That's what a controlled or "secured" CMS is used for. You simply email the person a link to the schools or organizations web site which they have credentials to log into. Then they can view the "secure document".
  12. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    And, indeed, shortly after my post we started using a CMS which allowed me to give out grades electronically. Somewhat clumsy but otherwise worked well for the two years I continued teaching. (I just retired last week).
  13. edjrwinnt macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2008
    North Ridgeville, Ohio
    I have an email server setup with the latest version of Mac Server running on top of Yosemite. It ran fine for a long time, but now I cannot send email because my ISP Time Warner listed my ip address as a residential address with SpamHaus. See http://www.spamhaus.org/pbl/query/PBL1577074

    So now I have to not only setup no-ip.com for dynamic DNS, I have to use them as a email relay if I want to send emails. I can still receive emails okay. With the domain name, SSL, and two services from no-ip.com, you are talking well over $100 a year to host an email server. The one good thing about the No-Ip email relay server though is it will hold incoming email for up to 72 hours if your email server goes down.
  14. r2014, Jul 2, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2015

    r2014 macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2014
    You could probably get this for a bit less. For inbound email, you could filter through McAfee SaaS (email protection is $1.27 per month per user or $30.29 for 3 years per user). Another alternative might be DNSexit ($25/year per domain). I have only tested the McAfee (support raised the alias limit for me from 5 to 100 aliases per user). These services forward and spool to your SMTP server, even to a non-default port, and do a good job with spam and virus filtering.

    Another way to do this (for free) is to forgo SMTP and run getmail on your server to pull from your existing IMAP provider (it supports IMAP idle so no delay). If you configure getmail to auto-delete after a week you have inbound spooling and protection in case your server or network go down, and it comes with webmail which would be your fail safe if the server is out. I use this setup with Polarismail (it's $2/month and overall pretty good - doesn't mean I stop looking for an even better way to do this. McAfee is pretty close I think).

    Outbound emails could be done in any number of ways, including free, unless you send more than 10,000 a month. Check out turboSMTP, Postmark, Sendgrid, Mailjet, smtp2go, DNSexit, Elasticemail, TravelSMTP, and yes I'd be interested to hear which you picked. I use Polarismail's SMTP server since it's included with the account.

    I enjoy having my own email server, and push email on Yosemite server works great. Plus I can have all of my email on all my devices without running into mailbox size limitations or handing everything to Google.

    I would strongly recommend not having the server publicly accessible but to use either a spooling service or simply getmail because otherwise it's a full-time job to keep it secure.

    *** edited 7/3 to indicate more than 5 aliases per user are possible with McAfee ***

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13 September 5, 2013