I know there are SMTP services out there which you can pay to send e-mails with but surely it's not that difficult to set up one of your own.

How can I set up an SMTP server on Windows Server 2008 R2 that is: - Secure; only authorized users/hostnames/etc can send mail - Reliable; e-mails don't get lost - Not treated as spam; when e-mails are received from say gmail/outlook/hotmail they don't go straight to junk **

** I understand this depends both on the server+e-mail headers AND e-mail content - I'm looking to safeguard the server part.


  • It's called Microsoft Exchange Server. – gravyface Feb 3 '11 at 13:28

Please see my question here. It's for Exchange, but what you mainly want to make sure of is your MX record, SPF record and reverse DNS to be identified as legit mail. Most of it still fits, as those are steps any mail server needs to take.

Is this SMTP server going to be used for internal or external sending?

  • These are good suggestions for outgoing mail but don't address the incoming mail issues the OP is referring to. – joeqwerty Feb 3 '11 at 13:32
  • @Joeqwerty, yes, but we don't know anymore that what he has told us. For all we know, Outlook's junk filter is on high... – DanBig Feb 3 '11 at 13:38
  • And see my question here for general tips on not looking like a spammer: serverfault.com/questions/41693/… – gravyface Feb 3 '11 at 14:53
  • Thanks for the answers. Not sure what it is you're saying is missing from my post. I have some web apps on the server that need to send e-mail and I don't want these e-mails to get caught in spam because SMTP is not set up correctly. I use hMailServer to do SMTP. – georgiosd Feb 5 '11 at 14:11
  • OK so I did what @DanBig suggested - MX, SPF and PTR entries are in place - now I have to wait for DNS to propagate and see what happens right? – georgiosd Feb 5 '11 at 17:33

You are looking for the functionality of a Mail Transfer Agent. An SMTP server provides only some of the functionality - transferring messages from one server to another. Exchange is the obvious choice, but there are a number of free ones too.

I am sure it is possible to construct an MTA of sorts with what Windows provides, but why reinvent the wheel?

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