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The sys-admin at work has given me the address to the office smtp-server. At work I have to provide username/password to access it. No problems so far.

In addition, at home I must connect to the office-network via VPN in order to send mails. What reasons are there for a sys-admin to make a smtp-server private like this? I am thinking about the VPN-connection, specifically

closed as off topic by Sven, ceejayoz, James O'Gorman, mdpc, Ward - Reinstate Monica May 14 '13 at 1:58

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  • I was merely interested because it is the first time I am required to use VPN in order to access an SMTP.. doesn't seem reasonable that my post is thumbed down because I didn't provide a specific number of reasons (if that is why...). But 1-2 is fine – BillyJean May 13 '13 at 19:42
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    This question is off-topic. You are not a system admin and you don't face a technical problem you need to solve (or even could). Please read our FAQ. – Sven May 13 '13 at 19:46
  • Sorry, my comment sounded unintentionally snotty so I torched it. I didn't downvote so I can't answer to that. – squillman May 13 '13 at 19:47
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Short answer: SMTP is on its own unencrypted. But to me, that's just the lazy way out going the VPN route. SMTP authentication is perfectly understandable to prevent people from using it to relay spam (open relay) since it's not really feasible to whitelist home IP addresses that can vary.

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