1Feb/180

Our own tutorials section provides many helpful hints and tricks

Not only are we constantly improving and expanding our data centers, as reported recently. At the same time, we are publishing useful tutorials, which offer you solutions and short cuts for common issues and hopefully simplify the administration of your virtual or dedicated server.

Did you know that we have created a special section on our website for that? There you can find all the articles we have published so far - and in the future, many more tutorials will be added!

Just take a look at our own knowledge base, and please do not forget to bookmark it for future reference 😉

Is there anything missing, or do you have a special question in mind which we could deal with? Just let us know and our technical department will further check its feasibility.

As usual, we are available for all other inquiries every day of the year: Just contact our customer service department!

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , No Comments
19Jan/180

We create more space for your servers!

Over the last couple of weeks and due to the turn of the year, it has been a little bit quiet here in our blog. But this does not mean that we have been idle during that time. Quite the contrary: Thanks to you, our valued customers and the many new customers we convince from our services each day, we are growing at a rapid pace and consequently, we need more space for many new servers 🙂

As a result, our technical team has recently put another room for server racks into operation in our data center in Nuremberg. On the picture below, you can see the false floor. In a first step, the cable trays for the network and power supply connection of the server racks were installed. Following this, we have assembled many new server racks!

If you would like to find out more: We provide an overview of our two data centers on our website!

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , No Comments
21Dec/170

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The year 2017 is coming to an end and we would like to take the chance and say THANK YOU to all of you, our loyal customers and partners, for your trust in our services and the great cooperation this year.

We are looking forward to continue our successful journey together with you next year!

In case you need assistance with your server, our customer support department is available on the public holidays, just like on any other day of the year, from 8 am to 11 pm CET (UTC+1).

The entire Contabo-Team wishes you and your families Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , No Comments
19Dec/172

NEW feature: The Contabo Website Builder

Towards the end of the year 2017, we have some great news for you! Have you ever dreamed of creating your own website with just a few clicks? Well...then you might want to continue reading, because we have got a brand new feature:

The Contabo Website Builder.

From now on, it is available for existing customers as well as for new customers in every Contabo webspace plan - free of charge.

Thanks to our Website Builder, you can create and design your own website with just a few clicks within your webspace package:

  • It's easy and there is absolutely no background knowledge required
  • Choose from more than 200 templates
  • Responsive design: Your website is correctly displayed on mobile devices as well
  • In just a few minutes, your website is online
  • Add your own pictures, texts or other websites - wherever you think they fit best.
  • Of course: Available for all Contabo webspace plans free of charge

With additional tools, you can easily optimize your new website for search engines, add videos and maps as well as your social media accounts. Plus: If you are running an e-commerce site, adding a shopping cart and payment options is not just recommended, but completed with just a few clicks.

Find out more about the new Contabo Website Builder or place an order for your favourite webspace plan and publish your first, own website within minutes!

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , 2 Comments
15Dec/170

Basic information about our Webspace

Today we would like to give you some basic usage hints about our webspace packages. First of all, our webspace offers are based on cPanel which is well known and under active development. However, we would like to explain some points and present the most important features. In this post we will refer to the YouTube-playlist of the cPanelTV channel which contains many tutorials directly provided by the producer. You may also find it at the end of our explanations, so you do not have to search for the videos.

Concerning webspace packages there are few basic topics to be considered:

  • Make sure you use safe passwords. cPanel provides the option to generate a password according to chosen criteria and gives feedback of the security level of your password.
  • Installing updates: We maintain the hard- and software your webspace is based on, but do not have acess to your website. Therefore it is always important to keep the used CMS (content management system) up-to-date. Not only the visitors of your websites will thank you for not becoming a victim of possible attacks, but also us, as the risk of spamming via a hacked CMS can be minimized.
  • Commensurability: Our goal is to provide you with a lot of resources at a low price. Yet, you should consider whether a webspace is the best product for the intended purpose. A large online shop containing many products on a webspace is, for example, not recommendable. In case you are planning to host such a large online shop, kindly contact our customer support department and we will gladly assist you in finding the best hosting solution for your needs.

If you have other inquiries, our support will be at hand at the regular times as well. Just contact us!

But now we continue with the original topic of this tutorial, namely presenting some important and basic elements to operate cPanel.

Passwords

Earlier we mentioned safe passwords are important, unfortunately, even more will come with a webspace and add to your long list of already existing passwords. It is quite tempting to use the same password for all services, but this is absolutely not recommendable. An example: An attacker gets to know your administrator password using a security breach of your CMS. This password is also used for the login to cPanel, your email account, as database password and for ftp access. Therefore, the attacker will have access to all those services and will be able to send emails using your name, delete your data or upload illegal content. Unfortunately, this example is not hypothetical but rather common. Consequently our advice is: always use individual and secure passwords. Further examples are provided by cPanel in the video "cPanel Tutorials: How to change your password", where you will also find a tutorial how to change an existing password.

File manager

After your order has been completed, you receive an email with all required information and login details, including a URL to cPanel. After you logged into the system the question you probably ask yourself is "How can I upload my website?". We can inform you that there are multiple ways to proceed:

  1. The most common way is using FTP(S), which stands for "File Transfer Protocol (over SSL)" and is a standardized protocol to transfer files, the letter "S" for securing the connection by using SSL. We always recommend using FTPS, since this guarantees that the file transfer is encrypted, which is not the case if you use plain FTP. More details how you can create an FTP account can be found at the video tutorial "cPanel Tutorials: FTP".
  2. The file manager included in cPanel: This is the easiest way and should work from nearly all sources, in addition, the file manager provides the possibility to edit files or check out the content. A video guide is available, too. It is called "cPanel Tutorials: File Manager".
  3. Another option uses the so called "Web Disk" which uses WebDAV for file transfer and can mount the webspace as a drive within the local PC. Please check out the video "cPanel Tutorials: Web Disk" for more details.

MySQL and PHPMyAdmin

The two points MySQL and PHPMyAdmin need to be mentioned together, PHPMyAdmin is the software part which provides you with access to the databases with the login credentials you set. After you logged into PHPMyAdmin you are free to check the databases, delete records or perform any changes. In addition, you can upload or create a database backup using PHPMyAdmin, too. MySQL is the data base server installed by us. Nowadays nearly all content management systems require a database to save the information which should be shown on your website. A guide how you can create a database and a user ist shown within the video "cPanel Tutorials: MySQL Databases".

Domains

A webspace requires a default domain, which needs to be provided during the order process in order to create the account and provide you with the login details. But of course, additional domains can be added to your webspace. There are different ways to do so:

  1. You can always order new domains from us, for details please consult our website at https://contabo.com/?show=domains.
  2. You can transfer a domain from another provider to us using the auth code which needs to be provided by the current provider.
  3. You can register domains at another provider and use them together with the webspace, but please keep in mind, that this requires that the nameservers are changed to the ones shown within the customer control panel and a DNS zone needs to be created. A few more details:
    Under the menu item "DNS Zone Management" in your Contabo customer control panel at https://my.contabo.com you can create an unlimited number of DNS zones for your domains free of charge. Your domains can be registered by third party providers as well. The DNS zones are stored on our nameservers, and within these DNS zones you can define multiple DNS records such as the "A record", which makes a domain point to a certain IP address. You do not need to specify the DNS records individually when creating a DNS zone; just choose the correct target IP address, working DNS records will be set automatically. After the creation of a proper DNS zone and once our nameservers are assigned to your domain, you can use the domain on your webspace package in a very secure way. Please note that only the present domain provider is able to change the assigned nameservers, thus you will have to contact the domain provider directly, or optionally use an administration panel from your domain provider if there is any available. After all, you need to add the domain in your webspace package using cPanel. You can choose between adding it as an "Alias" (also known as "Parked Domain") or as an "Addon Domain".

An "Addon Domain" will have its own subfolder in your public_html directory. It will also have its own rights such as an independent FTP login and the option to administer email addresses for the new domain.

An "Alias", on the other hand, has no own subfolder, it is linked to the main folder. Creating redirections and email addresses is also possible with "Aliases", of course.

Email

Most likely a webspace is used for email purpose, too. Basically there is one major point which should always be kept in mind: Webspace plans are not designed to send masses of emails. The option "Email" offers quite a lot of different functions and we unfortunately cannot discuss them in detail, but most of them are explained within the cPanelTV videos linked below.

Please note, that the videos may include options which are not offered by us or are not available with all packages. In addition, it is unfortunately not possible to install additional PHP modules upon request. Should you require special modules, we recommend to check out our VPS and Dedicated Server offers.

Softaculous

In order to provide an easy way to use our webspace products, we have a feature included which offers you the possibility to install quite a lot of software packages without having to search for installers, uploading them and performing the manual installation. This feature is called "Softaculous" and you can check out more details by having a look at our homepage:

https://contabo.com/?show=webhosting
https://contabo.com/?show=webapplications

If you have any questions regarding the above mentioned points or other general requests we are available via email and telephone.

 

Update:

Brand new: The Contabo Website Builder - available free of charge in all of our webspace plans. Create your own website in just a couple of minutes!

Posted by: Paul | Tagged as: , , , , No Comments
30Nov/170

Comparison of administration panels: cPanel vs. Plesk vs. Webmin

We are often asked which panel we would recommend. Since there is a variety of different panels with different functions and focus, we cannot easily answer this question. Currently we offer cPanel, Plesk, LAMP und Webmin, which we will introduce here.

cPanel/WHM

cPanel is a webhosting panel which allows to administrate a great number of users in an easy way and configure the installed services. In order to avoid security breaches many settings are pretty restrictive, which may cause issues due to the demands of your software. In addition, without plugins from external developers, it would not be possible to use nginx as an example. The software cPanel is divided into two parts, the interface for users is called cPanel, the administration interface WHM (WebHostMananger).

The developers provide a really detailed documentation which explains nearly all functions cPanel/WHM provides:

https://documentation.cpanel.net/

If errors occur or special questions appear which are not answered within the documentation, it is always a good possibility to ask for this within the official forum:

https://forums.cpanel.net/

And for those who do not know cPanel/WHM or want to check out what was changed before updating the own installation, a demo and the changelog are available:

https://cpanel.com/demo/
https://documentation.cpanel.net/display/CL/Change+Logs

If you are a new user, you may check out their YouTube channel, too:

https://www.youtube.com/user/cpaneltv

Plesk Onyx

Plesk understands itself as a platform for developers, thus it has a lot of software already installed and software like Docker, Ruby, etc. can be installed with a few clicks. In addition to this, a lot of features can be installed, using free or paid addons, which can be installed with a few clicks, too. Nevertheless, it is even an alternative to start a webhosting. At the moment, three different versions are offered, all details regarding the differences and the official addons can be found within the following document provided by Plesk:

https://www.plesk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/plesk-onyx-licensing-guide.pdf

Plesk provides a detailed documentation, too:

https://docs.plesk.com/en-US/onyx/

In addition, a knowledge base with the most common problems and errors - and corresponding solutions - is provided:

https://support.plesk.com/hc/en-us

Moreover, the developers and community are active within the forum and provide assistance in case of problems:

https://talk.plesk.com/

Webmin

Webmin is no classic interface for webhosting, it is a server administration panel which provides a graphical interface to configure the installed services with the goal making server administration easier. An overview of the supported services can be found within the official documentation:

http://doxfer.webmin.com/Webmin/Webmin_Modules

In addition to the supported modules it is no problem to add additional software via SSH or develop more addons for Webmin to extend the list of services, this is possible due to the fact, that the source code is provided via GitHub:

https://github.com/webmin/webmin

As already mentioned, Webmin is by default no webhosting interface like cPanel or SSH but there was an additional software stack developed which provides the functionality required for webhosting:

https://www.virtualmin.com/

If you only want to use the server as a mail server, cPanel, Plesk and even Virtualmin may be a little bit to heavy, you can think about Webmin, too, since there is an additional addon which provides the basic mail server software:

http://www.usermin.com/usermin.html

LAMP

LAMP has already been offered since a few years and is not a panel like the other ones already mentioned, it is a software stack which contains (Linux,) Apache, MySQL and PHP; this is the basic software to start with your own web presentation. We already published a tutorial about this called "LAMP made easy".

Webmin + LAMP

After we had started offering LAMP, we were often asked why it is not possible to select both Webmin and LAMP. Since we always note down your feedback, we started offering both solutions as one package, so that you can start directly with your webpage after we have sent out the login details to you.

 

Conclusion

As you can see, there are different Panels on offer and the decision, which one to choose, also depends on the chosen operating system: cPanel can only be combined with CentOS, whereas Plesk can also be used with Windows Server. By the way: You can test Plesk one month for free (available for our VPS) and get used to the many functions this panel offers!

7Nov/170

CHIP Hotline-Test 2018: First place for Contabo!

Great news from inside Contabo: The German IT magazine „CHIP“ has thoroughly tested the hotlines of several providers. Among companies from other industries, 14 hosting providers were part of that study, which was conducted in cooperation with the market research experts from the well-known institution “Statista”.

Calling every provider at least 50 times at different points of time, the research team raised different questions and reported several problems. Every call was evaluated based on the following criteria: waiting time, reachability, transparency and especially the general service – on a range of 0 to 100. Our support team fully convinced the researchers, consequently leading to the following result:

Contabo is the overall winner among hosting providers and the only hosting provider in Germany with the top rating “very good”.

CHIP.de reports: “Contabo excels with a record-breaking low waiting time. After an average of 12 seconds, the research team spoke to a member of the customer service. This number can hardly be topped, even across other industries. In addition to that, everything worked smoothly. Hardly any other provider handled their inquiries in such a hassle-free manner, the researchers agreed.”

Overall, we achieved 92.8 out of 100 possible points (second best: 88.9) and CHIP especially praised the short waiting time and the great overall service experience at Contabo.

The complete test report with all details can be found in the CHIP edition 12/2017.

Receiving the award for the first place among 14 big hosting providers is a huge honor for us. In addition to that, we will continue to work hard every day in order to provide each and every one of you, our valued customers, the best possible support in every situation.

You can contact us by phone directly via landline number, without any hotline fees, queues and complex menu selection – on 365 days per year.

26Oct/170

How to manage your websites in Plesk: The WordPress Toolkit

In Plesk Onyx, which we offer for our VPS and dedicated servers, you can comfortably manage your WordPress sites with the extension "WordPress Toolkit". The software enables you to set up a new WordPress site by only a few clicks, it can find already existing WordPress installations on its own and it will show them all in a list. There you can do administrative tasks like updating, installing plugins and much more on all installed WordPress instances at once. Therefore, the extension is very interesting for resellers but also for end users. The WordPress Toolkit is available for all three Plesk Onyx versions at no additional charges, but the range of functions in the Web Admin Edition got reduced in some points. For more information about the differences between the full version and the special Web Admin edition, please take a look on this site: https://www.plesk.com/extensions/wordpress-toolkit.

You can easily check if the extension has already been installed in your Plesk by changing to the following oversight: Server Management > Tools & Settings > Updates and Upgrades > Add/Remove components > Plesk extensions. You should see a green tick next to the extension "WordPress Toolkit". If there is still a red X shown, please use the "Install" function in the drop-down menu. With continue, you will proceed with the installation. You will find the extension afterwards below the menu item "Server Management" in the main menu of Plesk. It is called "Wordpress" there. In case you can not find those menus, you can also use the Plesk search bar. Maybe you are not using the Service Provider view then.

Here you can see a screenshot of the available options. You can increase the size of every image in this tutorial by clicking on it.

You can use those options selectively or on all WordPress instances at once. We will now explain those options from the left to the right.

  • Scan
    There you can search for existing WordPress installations. They will be added to the list below automatically.
  • Check Security
    There you can check your WordPress instances for elementary security problems. You will get a list with points that got checked and possible automatic improvements you can confirm.
  • Plugins
    You will get a collection of the installed plugins and also an update check for those plugins will be performed. You can install and remove plugins for your sites there as well.
  • Themes
    There you can manage your themes and exchange them for multiple WordPress sites at once.
  • Update
    You can update your WordPress installations to the newest version here. Plugins are not touched.
  • Check for Updates
    Here you can check if there are WordPress updates for your sites.
  • Auto-Update
    There you can decide if your WordPress sites should get automatic updates in future.

Additionally to those features, you have the functions Clone and Sync available in every line with an existing WordPress installation.

With Clone you can save a lot of time, if you want to use a fully configured WordPress site as Template. You can also easily change the URL of a WordPress installation this way by deleting the original site afterwards. After clicking on this function, you can do the few required settings and create the target subdomain or select one of the existing domains.

With Sync, you can copy changes to other WordPress installations. This is useful, if you want to test for example new plug-ins on a subdomain before you use them in your public blog. You have the choice between the files, the database or both.

If you want to install a new WordPress for one of your domains, you have to change the menu. Please go to "Hosting Services" and there to "Domains". If it does not exist yet, please add your domain now and open it in the list with all the available domains by clicking on the name of the domain. Next to the usual options, you can see the new one called "Install WordPress", as shown in the image below:

After the installation, you can directly log into the WordPress administration panel from Plesk. If you need the login data or want to change them, you can find this and further options in a dedicated management menu. To open this menu, please click on the name of the WordPress instance left to the direct log in button. We marked this in the picture below:

Sounds great, doesn't it? Give Plesk Onyx a try at Contabo and benefit from our one month for free promotion:

Simply order one of our VPS in combination with Plesk and you will get the edition of your choice one month for free!

18Oct/172

E-mail server in Windows Server, part 2: Security

This is a follow-up to the tutorial How to install an e-mail server in Windows, directed to those who already have an hMailserver and want to increase the security.

Spam protection

To activate the spam protection, please go to Settings >> Anti-spam in the hMailserver Administrator.

In the tab "General" you can leave the settings the way they are, as shown in the image. Of course you can adjust them later according to your needs.

In the second tab "Spam tests" you should select all four spam detection parameters:

- Use SPF (3)
- Check host in the HELO command (2)
- Check that sender has DNS-MX records (2)
- Verify DKIM-Signature header (5)

Malware protection

As already mentioned in the previous tutorial, you have the possibility to use different anti malware software in hMailServer. The most easy solution is to use the free ClamWin anti virus scanner. You can download it there:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/clamwin/

Please follow the installation wizard. Installing the browser extension is not required for your e-mail server. Normally ClamWin will now appear in the Windows system tray and start to update its database once a day. It will also protect your system from malware. You are of course free to change those settings individually in the ClamWin menu. The integration in the hMailServer is easy. Please go to Settings >> Anti-Virus >> ClamWin. The button "autodetect" will find the correct path to your ClamWin anti virus installation and you can finish the setup with "Save".

TLS encryption

To enable your clients to start an encrypted connection to your server, so nobody can steal your data, you have to enable this in your settings first. You will need an SSL certificate to achieve this. If you do not have already one for the host name of your server, you can create a self signed one on your own. Self signed certificates are free. But you will have to add an exception manually each time you set up a new client for your server. Most clients like Thunderbird or Outlook will ask you for that after the credentials got entered and they start the first connection. You can use XCA to create such a certificate:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/xca/

After the software got installed and opened, you have to create a new database on the upper left side. You can choose any name, you do not even have to remember the password. We will need this tool only once to create the new certificate. You can remove it again afterwards.

After the new database got created you can choose the tab "Certificates". In the following menu please choose "New Certificate" on the right side. A new window will open. In this new window please choose the tab "Subject" and add your host name next to "commonName". In our example screenshot this is mail.yourdomain.com. Now please create a key for the certificate by pressing the button "Generate a new key". The options in the window normally will be  inserted correctly per default as shown in the image. You can finish the creation with "create".

The next step is to switch to the tab "Extensions". Enter a date until the certificate will be valid. You can be generous at this point. In our example we set a date in the year 2030 for "Validity not after". With the "OK" button in the bottom right corner you will finally create the certificate.

Now you have to export the certificate and the according key. Please choose in the tab "Certificates" the certificate and click on "Export" on the right side. You can let the path the way it is. In our case it is:

C:\Program Files (x86)\xca\mail.yourdomain.com.crt

In the tab "Private Keys" please do the same for the previously created key. The path should be:

C:\Program Files(x86)\xca\mail.yourdomain.com.pem

Please open the hMailServer Administrator and navigate to Settings >> Advanved >> SSL certificates and click on "Add". Now you have to add the previously exported certificate and key as shown in the image below and save the settings.

For the last step please go to Settings >> Advanced >> TCP/IP ports. There you have to modify the three entries below "0.0.0.0 / 25 / SMTP" as shown in the following images. At "SSL Certificate", please choose your recently created certificate. "0.0.0.0 / 25 / SMTP" has to stay in its original state as the only one. If you change it, your e-mail server will not work properly!

Now you have to open the new ports in your firewall. For that you can edit the rule from the previous tutorial. We called it "Ports for hMailServer" there. Please change the "local ports" from 25, 110, 143, 587 to 25, 465, 993, 995. (Windows Firewall with Advanced Security on Local computer >> Inbound Rules >> Ports for hMailServer >> Protocols and Ports)

The settings for your clients have changed too:

ingoing server:

protocol: IMAP; port: 143; security: SSL/TLS; server: the IP or hostname of your server

outgoing server:

protocol: SMTP; port: 587; security: SSL/TLS; server: the IP or hostname of your server

9Oct/176

How to install an e-mail server in Windows Server

You want to send and receive e-mails with your Windows server and connect to it by using your clients on PC, smartphone or tablet? In this tutorial we will explain how you can setup your own e-mail server on a Windows system with a static public IP. This tutorial will work for our VPS as well as for our dedicated servers. hMailServer is a free open source program, the setup is rather simple and can be done in just a few easy steps. Next to the default features like SMTP, POP3 and IMAP, the software is capable to detect spam and also a free virus protection like ClamWin can be added.

Installation

hMailServer needs NET Framework 3.5. to run correctly. Therefore you should add it to Windows before you install hMailServer. To do so, please open the Server Manager. The next steps will differ a little in the different versions of Windows Server. We will explain it by using the example of Windows Server 2012. Please click on "Manage" on the right upper side and choose "Add Features and Roles". In the window that opens you can click four times on "Next" and leave all the settings the way they are. Now you can choose the features you need to install. You just have to choose the NET Framework 3.5 like shown in the image. With "Next" again, you confirm this selection and "Install" will start the installation. As soon as the process is finished, you can close the window and proceed with the installation of your e-mail server.

Please download the latest version of the software from this site:

https://www.hmailserver.com/download

Please do not choose a version that is still in beta, since it might contain bugs and vulnerabilities. After you received the installation package, you can execute it and accept the terms of service.

You should leave the default installation directory as is and continue with "Next". Now you can choose the required products for installation. You will need the full installation, so please let "Server" and "Administrative Tools" checked and proceed with "Next". For an easy installation, we do recommend to choose "Use built-in database engine" in the next step. In the following window let the name be hMailServer and proceed. hMailServer will need a password for administrative tasks in the future. So please create a password you want to use to protect your service and write it down. The last step will be to start the installation. It should finish without error.

hMailServer Configuration

Please open the hMailServer Administrator. In the first window you have to activate "Automatically connect on Start-up" and click on "Connect".

In the next window, please go to "Domains", choose "Add..." and insert your domain you want to use for sending e-mails.

After the domain got saved, you can add new e-mail addresses in the menu "Accounts".

Now please go to Settings >> Protocols >> SMTP >> Delivery of e-mail. There, please add the local host name of your server that should be used for introducing your server to other e-mail servers. It has to be a valid domain and has to resolve to the IP of your server. So please add an A record to your DNS zone if necessary. You also should set an identical PTR for the IP address of your server. This can be done in the Contabo customer control panel. The host name should consist of three parts. That means it has to be an FQDN and it may not contain too many numbers, since it might seem to be generic. A good name for example might be: "mail.justanexample.com". When you are done, please save your new settings.

Firewall Configuration

The main configuration is done. But you still have to open all used e-mail ports in the firewall to make it work. Please open the Windows Firewall settings and choose "Inbound Rules". On the right side click on "New Rule". A window will open and you have to choose "Port" and click on "Next". In the next window please insert the ports 25, 110, 143 and 587, as shown in the image.

In the following window please choose "Allow The Connection" and after "Next", please check "Domain", "Private" and "Public".

In the last window you can enter a name for the new rule. For example "Ports for hMailServer". Please finish the setup and close the firewall settings.

Now you should add an SPF record to your DNS zone. Many e-mail servers will reject e-mails from your server if it does not exist. Therefore please add this TXT record to your zone:

justanexample.com 86400 in TXT "v=spf1 ip4:1.2.3.4 ~all"

"justanexample.com" has of course to be replaced with your domain and 1.2.3.4 with your IP.

You should also add an MX record to your DNS zone, if it does not exist already. The MX record should look like this:

justanexample.com 86400 in MX 10 "mail.justanexample.com"

The value "mail.justanexample.com" has to be replaced with the the host name you have chosen for your e-mail server.

The basic setup of your e-mail server is now complete. It should be able to send and receive e-mails as soon as the DNS changes are active and you can now connect with any e-mail client like Outlook, Thunderbird or Apple Mail.

Client Configuration

Please use the following settings for your e-mail client.

ingoing server:

protocol: IMAP; port: 143; security: none; server: the IP or host name of your server

outgoing server:

protocol: SMTP; port: 587; security: none; server: the IP or host name of your server

Security

If you want to do some optimizations to the server security like transport encryption, spam checks and malware protection, please take a look at our second tutorial: E-mail server in Windows Server, part 2: Security.