hMailServer – Free Open Source E-mail Server for Microsoft Windows

As a server administrator, I have to make sure that I use software that is both sound (security wise) and performs optimally for my users (doesn’t randomly crash, not slow to work, etc.)

Now I know many people have their own ideas of what software to use and what works for them, but in this blog post I am going to give a quick, brief overview of a e-mail server software that I have been using for a long time…called hMailServer.

Now hMailServer is not your “answer to everything” in regards to e-mail hosting, but it is a light-weight, secure (I have never known to be hacked; also, it has almost no security problems to speak of), and performs adequately.

Some of the features of hMailServer are as follows:

  •  1)  Easy Installation and Configuration

Installing hMailServer (with the SQL-Lite database option *) takes almost no time at all. Total install time for me is under one minute. Configuring hMailServer takes a little bit of time, but with a GUI (Graphical User Interface) available for server administrators to take advantage of, configuration is a snap! (think:  no manual editing of text files on a computer terminal!)

* If you are configuring hMailServer to use a MySQL or Microsoft SQL database, it will take a little bit more time to setup this configuration. However, the MySQL / Microsoft SQL database configuration is accomplished using a GUI for ease of setup.

  • 2) Great Security

hMailServer provides great security for the server administrator.

This includes:

  • A)  Virtual E-mail Addresses

This is good since the e-mail users don’t have actual user accounts on the server. They just have “pretend” (virtual) user accounts. This helps with keeping the server safe from intruders since the e-mail users don’t really have access to the server. They just have access to their own e-mail account(s).

  • B)  SMTP Relay Protection

Prevents people from using your server as a e-mail relay without prior authorization.

  • C)  Built-in “firewall”

You can control what the outside would can or cannot do with your e-mail server. This helps especially when you have backup mail servers that need direct access to your main e-mail server without having to bother authenticating first, or you have computers in your network or VPN that need direct access without first authenticating.

  • D)  Anti-Virus Scanner Integration

You can have hMailServer transfer received e-mails to an anti-virus scanner to check for viruses in the e-mail.

  • E)  Built-in Blacklist

You can access blacklist DNS servers to help with combating SPAM. This helps catch a lot of SPAM!

  • 3)  Integration with OS and other Software

hMailServer has a COM library which gives server administrators the ability to write scripts and integrate hMailServer into their current IT infrastructure.

  • 4)  Other Interesting Features
    • Includes a POP3, IMAP, and SMTP server all in the same program (saves time setting up by having all three servers in one software program)
    • Built-in backup and restore system
    • SSL  /  TLS  support
    • Integration support for SpamAssassin (a very popular anti-spam software program)
    • Built-in routing support
    • Built-in MX (mail server) backup support
    • Built-in Multi-homing support

As you can see, hMailServer is a very good e-mail software that has the potential to work for many people in many different environments.

Now am I saying that hMailServer is the best e-mail server to use, and that you should get rid of the software you are using in production and switch to hMailServer? Of course not! However, I would recommend for you to at least try out hMailServer (e.g. on a Windows virtual machine that is *not* being used for production) and see if it meets your needs.

hMailServer Homepage:

Posted in Internet and Servers, Software