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First off apologies, I'm from a medical background not a networking one, but I've got roped into setting up a windows 2008 server.

So far web server running, fixed IP address assigned (within a large private network of the National Health Service in the UK if that makes any difference) and the network team have assigned a DNS entry for me which works, so the server can be addressed as

I've only got ports open on the router for 80 and 443 (http and https) at the moment, so presume I need a different port to enable email services.

My need is to be able to accept an email to the domain name like in order to pick up a confirmation mail from an SSL issuer (Comodo) I guess to confirm that I control the domain.

After that I don't actually need mail services on the server.

I see lots of stuff about setting up SMTP services but thought that was about mail out and re-routing, but how do you get the server to "listen" for mail to the domain (assuming I open port xyz or whatever it is) ?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Sounds like you need to set up SMTP on the server. I had some issues getting everything working on 2008 so I changed direction and went with hMailServer as my server of choice. It's failry flexable and is free. It's also dead simple to get in and configure. Not to mention lots of documentation to help guide you through the porcess.

Once you have it installed you would need to open, and forward, the needed ports from your router to the mail server. Normally they are 25 (SMTP) and 110 (POP3) unless your using SSL then you would need to congifure the ports accordingly. You can also configure it to forward your out bound mail to a relay if desired/needed based on your ISP and their restrictions, if any.

You of course also need to set up the proper MX record(s) in DNS and have it pointing to your domain/IP.

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Great! Very simple and efficient. – Eduardo Mar 12 '12 at 20:27

ask your friendly sysadmin at to accept the email for you (this should be allowed by the issuer), or get an MX record in DNS for to point to another mail server that is setup & configure it to accept mail for your domain.

If you do want to go down the path of setting up email on your server, then you'll need to open up port 25 at the router, create an MX record to point to your server. You'll need to get a 3rd party program to setup windows server 2008 for email & as you only need it to setup an SSL certificate, Exchange would be overkill! This serverfault question has answers on recommended mail server software.

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