How to Set Up Your Own Secure Email Server

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How to Set Up Your Own Secure Email Server
How to Set Up Your Own Secure Email Server

Google and Microsoft, for example, examine your emails on occasion to give tailored adverts and other services. This may cause you anxiety since it violates your privacy. Setting up your own secure email server is one of the simplest methods to avoid this invasion of privacy.

Setting up a private email server is quite simple, and once completed, you can further modify it to your needs.

What Is a Private Email Secure Server?

Every email you receive is kept on an email server before being downloaded to your email client or browser. These email servers are often operated by the same firms that supply email addresses to you, such as Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft.

While these services are useful, they may easily analyze sensitive and routine communications to give targeted adverts and enhance services like Google Assistant. Furthermore, government groups and law enforcement agencies may request that your email provider divulge your inbox.

When you utilize a private email server, on the other hand, you have total control over your emails. This is due to the fact that the server is hosted at your home on a computer that you own.

The obvious benefit of having your own secure email server is privacy. Your emails are entirely yours. You may also use one to send emails that are fully anonymous.

Your internet service provider and employers have no access to your emails. This gives a level of security that no other email service can match. A private email server enables you to create filters that are just not feasible with a standard email provider.

All of this, though, comes at a cost. Your email server’s security is entirely your responsibility. While organizations can no longer spy on your emails, a determined hacker may still breach the system.

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Email companies have teams devoted to looking for security holes in their systems. In the case of a private email server, however, you are entirely responsible for ensuring that the server is safe.

How to Set Up Your Own Secure Email Server

Setting up your private email server should be a breeze if you carefully follow the procedures outlined below.

However, before you begin, make sure you have everything you need to set up the server. These are some examples:

  • A separate PC with sufficient hard disk space. This will operate as your email server, storing all of your emails.
  • Your private email server’s domain name.
  • A reliable and consistent internet connection.
  • A service that routes your emails via an email server. It should ideally also include features such as a spam filter and antivirus protection.

Download and Install an Email Server

The first thing you’ll need is email server software to get started. There are several programs available. However, the majority of them are compensated.

Let’s utilize hMailServer, an open-source and free email server, for this lesson. To get the program, go to the hMailServer download page and choose the file under “Latest Release.”

hMailServer setup welcome screen.

Simply follow these instructions to install the app after downloading it:

  1. Run the downloaded file.
  2. Click Next on the Setup welcome screen.
  3. On the next screen, choose the “I accept the agreement” radio option. Make sure you read the licensing agreement first.
  4. Choose where you want to install the hMailServer program on the following page. It is preferable to put it on the C: disk.
  5. Select Full Installation from the drop-down option on the components selection page and click Next.
  6. Select the database you want to use in the following window. Choose the first option, which is to use the built-in database engine. Next, click.
  7. Select whether or not to create a start menu shortcut, then click Next.
  8. The page that follows will ask you to establish a password for your email server. Enter a strong password and click Next.
  9. Now, choose Install. Wait for the installation to finish.
  10. After the installation is complete, select the Run hMailServer Administrator option and click Finish.
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How to Set Up hMailServer

The actual setup of your private email server is also quite simple. The steps below should help you understand how to set up your email server and some best practices to follow:

  1. hMailServer Administrator should be launched. If you followed step 10 in the preceding section, the app should already be running.
  2. In the box that appears, click Connect and, when requested, enter the password you set up in step 8 above.
  3. Click Add domain on the welcome page, under Getting started.
  4. Under “Domain” on the General tab, enter a domain name. Make sure the Enabled option is selected, then click Save.
  5. Now, using the left-hand navigation bar, go to Domains and then click on the domain name you just entered. Select the Accounts directory.
  6. Click Add in the Accounts window.
  7. Fill in the Address text box in the following window. This serves as your email address.
  8. In the Password area, enter a good password. Save the file.
  9. Navigate to Settings > Protocols using the menu bar.
  10. Check the SMTP box, then uncheck the POP3 and IMAP boxes. Remember to save your work.
  11. Following that, under the “Settings” section, click on Advanced. Enter localhost in the “Default domain” field, then click Save.
  12. To extend the Advanced options tree, click the + button.
  13. Navigate to TCP/IP ports and confirm that SMTP, POP3, and IMAP are enabled on ports 25, 110, and 143, respectively.
  14. Now, go to Utilities > Diagnostics and test your email server. To begin the test, choose the domain you established previously and click Start.
  15. This will test if you can connect to the newly built mail server.
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After completing the preceding procedures, your private email server is ready to use.

hMailServer Administrator console home screen.

To receive and send emails, all you need is a client like Thunderbird or Outlook. Log in using the domain credentials you generated previously.

By executing the hMailServer Administrator tool, you may additionally activate and adjust features like antivirus and spam protection. These features may be found in the navigation bar.

Your Private Email Server Is Ready

As you can see, setting up your own email server is not difficult. In fact, assuming you don’t run into any unforeseen problems, it should take you less than an hour to have everything up and running. However, if you want more complex capabilities, you need engage an IT specialist to set it up for you.

If you are unable to set up your own email server, the next best choice is to use alternative, secure email providers.

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