I'm currently speaking to a co-location host. They say they don't provide a mail gateway (SMTP or whatever) with their colo service. Perhaps this is a hole in my understanding, but I thought that some kind of email gateway was necessary to send mails from the collocated machine. Could someone please confirm this, or tell me how it is possible?


  • Colocation service on the hosting world can be defined by the client buying resources from a internet company to allow their server on the network. So basicly you have your own server with someone else services where you can install by yourself your own SMTP/MAIL service. – Prix Sep 1 '10 at 8:22
  • I think this stems from my own poor understanding of how mail delivery works.. – UpTheCreek Sep 1 '10 at 8:40

Dependson their network. Normally it is not necessary. Colocation means your own server. Set up an SMTP Server there. Finished. This is what I do.

  • Yeah, I was under the false impression that the host would still need to provide some kind of email gateway. – UpTheCreek Sep 1 '10 at 9:06

We have closed down our own mailservers as it was a hell to keep it updated with anti-spam and standards. Today we use Google Apps (gmail for business) as they provide a nice SMTP/IMAP and through any programming language you can use these when providing the correct account details.

So if you have a business domain, example: "ourcompany.com" you could create a Google Apps account and transfer the mail part of the domain to Google Apps.


  • we use Microsoft.NET and C# for language, but there is NO way we are going to get a Microsoft Exchange up and running for SMTP purposes.
  • Of course, Microsoft have other options besides Exchange if all you want are simple SMTP services, in much the same way that you hopefully wouldn't install Zimbra on your Linux server just to get basic SMTP. – Rob Moir Dec 4 '10 at 12:10
  • @Robert Moir, true there are alternatives from Microsoft too. The one included with the IIS I'm not trusting very much either. So better keep the SMTP services on a "real mail platform". But thats just me. – BerggreenDK Dec 5 '10 at 23:16

You just need an email client that can use port 25/tcp outgoing. There is no need for a gateway as long as you have a capable mail client. Even you could send mail with netcat or telnet if you needed to.


If you are just sending mail, a basic Sendmail or Postfix setup running on a very basic server would be sufficient.

If you are looking for a full blown mail server (SMTP,POP3,IMAP, Anti-spam, etc.) you are looking at a lot more work.

We run MS Exchange, but we also use Google Apps for some domains. It's quick to set up and pretty cheap for a small number of users. There are also hosted Exchange services.

There is a whole range of solutions in between Sendmail/Postfix and MS Exchange. It all depends on your requirements and expertise/willingness to learn.

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