The Crowded Inbox

Nice article from deliverability.com explaining the Inbox priorities
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How to Configure Microsoft SMTP Service Setting

You need to configure Microsoft SMTP setting to enable incoming email feature. The SMTP protocol of Microsoft service routes the flow of emails to the next server. It delivers the emails to their specified recipients. It also supports relay services. Therefore, the emails move to the next server from the local SMTP until they reach the target destination. The Internet Information Service console is a great use to configure the Microsoft SMTP setting.

  • Access “Settings” by navigating from the Windows “Start”. Click the option “Control Panel” one of the features in “Settings”.
  • Click the icon “Administrative Tools” two times. Then, make double clicks on the icon “Internet Information Services”. It opens the console to configure the SMTP setting.
  • Make a right click on the icon “Default SMTP Virtual Server” on the left bar of the console panel. Access the menu and select “Properties”.
  • Click the tab “General” and select “All Unassigned” to route all SMTP packets through the server. Set the properties by clicking the button “OK”.
  • Click the bat “Access”. These settings restrict unauthorized computers to relay. It restricts people’s access to your SMTP server in order to relay inappropriate mails.
  • Go to the section labeled “Relay Restrictions” and click the button “Relay”.
  • Click the tab “Only the List Below” and then, the button “Add”. Select the local users group using the internal domain. Then, press “OK”.
  • Press “OK” in the list of general window properties and then, close the Internet Information Service console.

Why Using SMTP Relay Service and How

If your email account is connected with an ISP or Internet Service Provider, the outgoing messages from your email account are delivered to their recipients through an SMTP server. The SMTP server functions as a medium to send the outgoing mails across the Internet. The process runs smoothly when your computer has direct connection to the ISP with SMTP server.

However, many misuse the SMTP server for different purposes. To prevent the users from accessing the SMTP servers and from spamming as well, most Internet service providers do not let them connect their computers to the SMTP servers. Here comes the usability of an SMTP relay into effect. It functions like an SMTP server. To send emails through an SMTP relay, your computer is not required to have connection with a particular network.

  • To use the SMTP relay server for making outgoing messages, you need to register an account with a provider of SMTP relay service. The provider will give you SMTP settings. Record the settings. Your email programs must be configured in order to use them.
  • Access your email program. Make way to the settings or options page to configure the email accounts. For example, in Outlook 2007, click “Tools” and then, “Account Settings” that leads to the dialog box.
  • Select the option “Modify” to change your email account if it demands remote access. In Outlook 2007, click the tab “E-mail”, go to the account and then, click the button “Change” to access the dialog box “ Change E-mail Account”.
  • Note down the SMTP settings that are in use now. You may need the SMTP settings if you ever feel no need of using the service of the SMTP relay.
  • Use the settings from the SMTP relay service to replace the present SMTP settings. The email account will begin to send outgoing mails through the SMTP relay server, instead of the ISP’s SMTP server.

Giant email service providers like Gmail and Hotmail have their own SMTP servers which you can access no matter where you are. So, you email accounts with them need neither be modified nor use the SMTP relay.

How to Install SMTP Server on Your Desktop

SMTP is Simple Mail Transport Protocol. An SMTP server relays email from a local network or the Internet to a desktop machine. If you want to set up this Windows server on your Windows machine, you need to install an optional component on desktop by accessing Control Panel. Only the machines that have Internet Information Services or server software installed can support it. On completion of installation, the machine can provide relay service to help you do emailing.

  • Click the Start Button at extreme below on the left side of the Windows screen and make your way to “Control Panel”.

  • Make double clicks on the icon “Add or Remove Programs” in the “Control Panel”. It leads to a new window giving you access to edit the programs which are installed on the machine.

  • Click the label “Add or remove Windows components”. It shows a list of all Windows specific components. You can remove from or add to the machine any component including SMTP server software.

  • Scroll down the bar of Windows components. Access “Application Server” and click the button “Details” on the right to the icon.

  • Click the icon “Internet Information Services”. Then, click the button “Details” again. It leads to a list of components, controlled with the help of the IIS service controls.

  • Check the “SMTP Service” box and then, press “OK”. Click on the button “OK” will install the SMTP service. Installing the service will take a few seconds. Once it is installed, the computer is ready to work as an SMTP relay server.

SMTP Commands and Their Definitions

Here is a list of SMTP commands and their definitions for the benefit of the SMTP mail server users:

  • HELO – A client sends this SMTP command with domain name to identify itself.
  • EHLO – This SMTP command makes the server identify the support for ESMTP commands.
  • MAIL FROM – This SMTP command helps identify the sender of a message.
  • RCPT TO – This SMTP command identifies the recipients of the message.
  • TURN – This SMTP command lets the client and his server to sift roles. It lets them to send mail in the opposite direction establishing no new connection.
  • ATRN – This SMTP command uses one or more than one domain as a parameter. This command has to be rejected, if the session is not authentic.
  • SIZE – This SMTP command gives an index to the maximum size of the message that the SMTP server can support. Compliant servers provide size extensions to show the maximum size of a message that is acceptable. Messages, larger than the maximum size that is acceptable to the server, should not be sent by the clients.
  • ETERN – It is an SMTP extension. An SMTP server sends this command to request that the other server can send any email message.
  • PIPELINING – It indicates the ability to send a series of commands and no need to wait for a response after each of the commands.
  • DATA – A client sends this SMTP command to transfer the message content.
  • DNS – This ESMTP command enables notifications for delivery status.
  • RSET – This command nullifies transaction of the entire message as well as resets the buffer.
  • HELP – This command marks the return of a list of commands which the SMTP service supports.
  • QUIT – This SMTP command terminates the session.
  • VRFY – This command verifies the availability of a mailbox for message delivery.

Discussion on the Benefits of Using SMTP Connectors – Part 2

Setting up an independent route to communicate with other domains is one of the utilities of an SMTP connector. This approach to communicating with other domains is useful and safe in order to secure your communication with the server of a particular company. It is possible to configure settings for domain of each email. This option may not be available in some servers. You can use multiple SMTP connectors for those email domains setting address spaces and specifying the settings for them. For instance, you want to secure your email messages to the military, using SSL. If you don’t want to make the use of the same for other email communications, you need to use two SMTP connectors.

Multiple Bridgehead Servers for Load Balancing

If you use a single SMTP connector that multiple bridgehead servers host, the servers use the connector randomly to load balance requests across the servers. If there are multiple connectors, each for a single bridgehead server but with the same address space, the scenario is different. The servers using these connectors determine which connectors they can use , on the basis of a particular method. However, using a single connector with multiple bridgehead servers is recommended.

The Use of Specific SMTP Commands or ESMTP Commands

Using a connector, you can control the use of SMTP by your Exchange servers for communicating with other servers. You can choose between SMTP commands and ESMTP commands to begin SMTP sessions. You can monitor the type of commands that your server issues.

Customize and Schedule Outbound Connections

You can specify times and open an outbound connection using a connector. It comes handy, only when you use a particular network service provider for outbound mail delivery or if the bandwidth is limited and you want to monitor the time to send out external mail.

A connector can also be configured to do the following –

  • To allow low, normal or high message settings for a domain

  • To allow system as well as non-system messages

  • To Set different times for the delivery of oversized messages

  • To queue mail for distant triggered delivery

  • To set specific restrictions for mail delivery

Discussion on the Benefits of Using SMTP Connectors – Part 1

The use of an SMTP connector for Internet mail delivery ensures the following benefits -

  • It ensures simplified administration
  • It limits exposure to the Internet
  • It establishes a separate route to communicate with another mail system or domain
  • It relays mail to the the domain or mail system
  • It allows several bridgehead servers to facilitate load balancing
  • It allows you to monitor the use of SMTP for communicating with other servers
  • It allows scheduled connection times to go with various customized settings

Here is a brief discussion on each of the above-mentioned benefits that the use of SMTP connectors assures of -

Simplified Administration for Mail Flow

An SMTP connector gives the user control over administration of Internet mail flow from his organisation’s server. By using one or more SMTP connectors, you can limit the number of available routes that are for outgoing Internet mail delivery. You need to check SMTP queues as well as other configurations of a single server that you can use as a bridgehead server to simplify troubleshooting.

Limited Internet Exposure

You can use a set of bridgehead servers or a particular server to route all outbound or inbound SMTP mail. It is one of the fundamental benefits of using an SMTP connector. To limit the exposure of your Exchange organisation to the Internet, you need to designate a separate route to let Internet mail flow through a connector. Specifying one or more than one server as your exposure to the Internet is essential for using an SMTP connector in order to route Internet mail. First, have an SMTP connector. Then, you need to designate the servers as the connector’s bridgehead servers.

Use of SMTP Connectors for Several Purposes

Besides the settings using SMTP connectors as described in the previous blog in this series, there are other uses of SMTP connectors. This blog is an attempt focusing on them -

Scope – You can select any of the two – a routing group and a entire organisation for the connector’s scope. There is Address tab among the SMTP connector’s properties and you can define the scope on this tab.

Delivery restrictions – You can set restrictions for who can send emails through a particular SMTP connector. Mail is received from everyone by default. You can configure settings for mail delivery restrictions on the Delivery tab in the connector’s properties.

Content restrictions – It is possible to specify the types of messages that you want to be delivered via a SMTP connector. You can easily configure the settings for this purpose on the Content Restrictions tab in the properties of the SMTP connector.

Delivery options – If you want to retrieve mail by connecting to a network service provider, a SMTP connector can be configured to be running on a specified schedule. You can implement advanced queuing as well as dequeuing features. The Delivery Options tab in the connector’s properties is where the settings for this purpose can be configured.

SMTP communication – You can monitor the connector that uses SMTP in order to communicate to the other SMTP servers. You can set instructions for the connector to use either SMTP or ESMTP commands in order to communicate with the other server. You can also monitor the use of TURN and ERTN commands. The Advanced tab in the connector’s properties is the place to configure settings for efficient SMTP communication.

Outbound security – You can ensure authenticity of mails flowing through a SMTP connector. It helps when you need to set up a secure route in order to communicate with a partner company. Configuring settings for mail authenticity using ‘Outbound Security’ button of the Advanced tab in the connector’s properties.

Follow the next blog in this series on functions and uses of SMTP connector…

Ins and Outs of SMTP Connectors

The primary use of SMTP connectors is to establish connection with other mail systems or defining additional options associated with an SMTP internet gateway. One routing group can be internally connected to the other as well by SMTP connectors. But, using a SMTP connector for doing so is not recommended generally. Designating an isolated route to let messages flow to a specific domain is another use of SMTP connectors.

SMTP connectors allow specifying additional configuration settings for mail delivery. It is of the advantages that an SMTP connector provides. The settings are the following -

  • Outbound mail delivery

Two ways are there to route mail at the time of configuring a connector. The use of DNS for routing al outgoing mail through the configured SMTP connector is one way. The connector will resolve the remove SMTP server’s IP address, using DNS and deliver the mail. Specifying a smart host is the other way. It serves as another server which all mails are routed to by the connector. The smart host monitors DNS resolution as well as delivers the mail.

  • Local bridgehead server

SMTP virtual servers host SMTP connectors. When you configure a connector, you need to designate a SMTP virtual server and an Exchange server as bridgehead servers. The connector follows size restrictions of the SMTP virtual server and inherit other settings. It is possible to designate several bridgehead servers for performance, redundancy and load balancing.

  • Address Space

The address space functions to define the domains or mail addresses for the emails that you want to flow through a SMTP connector. For example, the address space of * encompasses external domains and routes external email through an SMTP connector. If a second connector is created with address space of *.net, the Exchange would use the second connector to route all mails to a domain having .net extension. It happens because the Excahnge does it through the connector with the almost similar address space.

Follow the blogs in this series to get more information on SMTP connectors…

Common Factors Responsible for Causing SMTP Error – Part 2

When SMTP server requires you to authenticate your Internet service provider, an SMTP server occurs. In case the SMTP ports like 25 and 26 are disabled by the ISP causing the SMTP error, contact the ISP and ask them for the port that can be permitted and an alternative to the SMTP address. You may be required to use a different set of username and password to log in by the net SMTP setting.

If the username and password of the outgoing email server address are different from those of the incoming POP server address, it cause an SMTP error to occur. On the other hand, you may be required by the email service to use an SMTP login, different from the incoming Post Office Protocol server. However, this sort of SMTP error seldom occurs.

It is common to encounter an SMTP error, even though the outgoing address, login and port are absolutely correct. Make sure if you have skipped the option of checking the secure password authentication. You can get it in the properties of your email account in the email client that you use.

Sometimes an SMTP error occurs to your utter amazement, even if nothing seems to be wrong with the email address of the recipient. In such cases, the email delivery fails and the email comes back to the sender. You had better double check the recipient’s email address to ensure its accuracy.

The most common of the factors causing an SMTP error is disruption of the Internet connection. SMTP error occurs when the service from the Internet connection provider halts. Check if the connection is disrupted by opening a website in any browser.