Pre-Installation Guide

A list of tasks you need to complete before EVO Mail Server software  installation

  1. Server environment

  2. Choose an ISP

  3. Pick a domain name

  4. IP reverse resolution

  5. DNS hosting

  6. NAT configuration

  7. Windows Firewall configuration

  8. Antivirus

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Server environment

  1. Hardware and software configuration chart:

  2. Reminder:

    • Hardware Note: The bottle neck of a mail server mainly lies on its hard disk performance. It is recommended to utilize SSD (Solid State Disk) for the best performance gain.
    • Software Note: EVO Mail Server runs on 32-bit and 64-bit Windows environments on XP with SP3 or above. Due to OS structure limitation, Windows XP with SP3 is only compatible with EVO Mail Server v3.0.41 and earlier.
    • Constantly use Windows Update to keep your Windows environment in shape, especially IE8, IE9, IE10 and IE11. In some occasion, outdated environment causes Windows MSI installation errors.

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Choose an ISP

Tips on choosing an ISP that fits your needs:

  1. Internet services usually come with your phone company or ISP vendors on your local yellow page.
  2. Your ISP must provide stable Internet connections. In most cases, a mail server with no Internet access is most likely useless.
  3. Subscribe to an Internet service plan that provides static-IP from your ISP.
  4. Inquire your ISP if they support IP reverse resolution. This service enables you to define your own IP reverse resolution value. Hence, the resolution value does not contain common spam keywords such as pppoe, dynamic, dialup and dial-up because spammers usually use dynamic IP to avoid being traced.
  5. Do not choose cable broadband services for which static IP and IP reverse resolution features are not available.

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Pick a domain name

A domain name is easier for people to remember rather than an IP.address:

  1. Before domain name registration, know what type of domain name do you need, such as: com for company; net for internet organization; org for non-profit organization.
  2. Choose a reliable vendor that has good offers, stably running servers and providing free domain hosting service.
  3. Domain name type of your choice reflect its price. Please refer to the service provider for special offers. For example, you can always bargain with GoDaddy sales rep if you tell them you want a long term domain registration.
  4. Once you choose a vendor, pick your domain name, domain type and length of domain registration. Then make a payment.

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IP reverse resolution

The IP reverse resolution is like the caller ID that reveals caller identity off an incoming call.

  1. How to take the first step to get my IP reverse resolution?
    Contact your ISP
     and submit a request to reversely resolve your static IP address into your domain name. Therefore, the DNS PTR record matches your domain name and does not contain strings randomly given by ISP, such as pppoe, dynamic, dialup and dial-up. Those keywords may cause major recipient mail servers think your server being a spam source and thus reject email messages from your end.
  2. Why people often skip this step?
    Once ISP receives your IP reverse resolution request, it takes 2 to 3 days or even longer for this DNS records to be effective throughout Internet. Some people do not bother to wait so may as well skip it. Some ISP requires you to present your company’s information that may not be available at the time or they will not take request from non-business account.
  3. When do I apply for IP reverse resolution?
    Once your registered domain name is ready for use, submit the resolution request to your ISP. While waiting, you can go ahead to manage your DNS hosting records.
  4. What do I need to apply for IP reverse resolution?
    You may need the following material:

    • Your ADSL account information.
    • Your registered domain name.
    • Your contact information such as phone number, email address and company business license number.
    • Proof that shows you are owner of the Internet subscription.
  5. A List of commonly-used ISPs. You may be able to find IP reverse resolution information in it: http://www.dslreports.com/faqnew

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DNS hosting

DNS records act like street address and phone number of your mail server on yellow page so people can find you on Internet.

  1. Here is a list of DNS records responsible to address your mail server on Internet:
    • A record, resolving domain name to your server’s static IP address. (Required)
    • MX record, keeping track your mail server’s host name followed by your domain name. (Required)
    • TXT record, holding SPF values for anti-spam purposes. (Recommended)
    • SRV record, providing information for SMTP, POP3 and IMAP protocol auto detection services. (Optional)
  2. Once records are defined, make sure name server (NS) records on your domain name registration service provider is pointing to name server hosts assigned by your DNS hosting service provider unless both Internet and DNS hosting service providers are the same.
  3. Last step, we test if all the settings are working with the following tools:
  4. Both tools on MXToolBox website and nslookup command:
  5. EVO Mail Server will automatically detect all settings for you and results will show on Network setting status in Status tab:

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NAT configuration

This device conducts inbound and outbound data traffic between Internet and local network according to configuration.

  1. There is usually an Internet router before data within LAN reaches Internet. It is functioning as a gateway preventing sensitive information leaking out or malware/virus penetrating in. However, the way to configure your Internet router varies from one brand to another. Please refer to the manual looking for keyword such as virtual server. Typical wireless access point & router may look like these:
  2. It is recommended to choose a NAT-Loopback capable Internet router. With a non-NAT Loopback Internet router, users within the same network segment in office cannot access server resource through the public IP address or domain name. To resolve this issue, there are a few alternatives below:
    • Simply purchase a NAT-Loopback capable Internet router and worry nothing.
    • Configure separate internal DNS servers internally and externally for name resolution. It requires certain amount of maintenance efforts.
    • Place a line of 192.168.1.2 mail.example.com in c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts file in every LAN computer. However, colleagues have to add this line while in office and exclude it while stepping out since this name resolution works only inside office LAN.
    • Change mail server name within mail client software to mail server internal IP when stepping in office. Change mail server name within mail client software back to mail server public IP or domain name when out of office.
  3. Your mail server must stay with a static internal IP address. There are two ways to do it. One is using DHCP Reservation and another is manually assign an IP address within Windows’ TCP/IP property. The reason is to avoid IP conflict with other computer hosts and to ensure the mail server IP stays static even after a server reboot or an Internet router reboot.
  4. About a dozen of mail-related TCP ports have to be kept opened between your mail server host and the outside world. On Internet routers, it is often referred as Virtual Server or Port Forwarding. Ports are listed as below:
    • SMTP / SMTP STARTTLSTCP 25 – For sending mails. SMTP & SMTP STARTTLS share the same port.
    • SMTP Submission – TCP 587 – An more commonly used sending port replacing port 25.
    • SMTP SSL – TCP 465 – For SMTP SSL encrypted mail sending.
    • POP3 – TCP 110 – For receiving mails in POP3 mode.
    • POP3 SSL – TCP 995 – For POP3 SSL encrypted mail receiving.
    • IMAP v4rev1 – TCP 143 – For receiving mails in IMAP4 mode.
    • IMAP v4rev1 SSL – TCP 993 – For IMAP4 SSL encrypted mail receiving.
    • HTTP (WebMail) – TCP 80 – For logging in mail server through web browser. (optional)
    • HTTP SSL (WebMail) – TCP 443 – For logging in mail server through web browser with SSL. (optional)
    • CalDAV & CardDAV – TCP 8008 – For CalDAV & CardDAV protocol in non-SSL mode.
    • CalDAV – TCP 8443 – For CalDAV protocol in SSL mode.
    • CardDAV – TCP 8843 – For CardDAV protocol in SSL mode.
    • RDP – TCP 3389 – For Remote Desktop Protocol to remotely control your mail server. (optional)
  5. In EVO Mail Server GUI,  NAT (Internet Sharing) in Computer Host section on Status tab is able to gives you an overview on whether ports are being properly opened on the Internet router.

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Windows Firewall configuration

The Windows Firewall conducts inbound and outbound data traffic between mail server and incoming/outgoing e-mail messages

  1. Other than Internet router, your mail server itself has a built-in firewall called Windows Firewall. It is functioning similarly as Internet routers. Browse to Windows Firewall in Control Panel and configure all necessary ports.
  2. Several mail-related ports must be opened between your mail server host and the outside world. In Windows Firewall, you need to open the following ports:
    • SMTP / SMTP STARTTLSTCP 25 – For sending mails. SMTP & SMTP STARTTLS share the same port.
    • SMTP Submission – TCP 587 – An more commonly used sending port replacing port 25.
    • SMTP SSL – TCP 465 – For SMTP SSL encrypted mail sending.
    • POP3 – TCP 110 – For receiving mails in POP3 mode.
    • POP3 SSL – TCP 995 – For POP3 SSL encrypted mail receiving.
    • IMAP v4rev1 – TCP 143 – For receiving mails in IMAP4 mode.
    • IMAP v4rev1 SSL – TCP 993 – For IMAP4 SSL encrypted mail receiving.
    • HTTP (WebMail) – TCP 80 – For logging in mail server through web browser. (optional)
    • HTTP SSL (WebMail) – TCP 443 – For logging in mail server through web browser with SSL. (optional)
    • CalDAV & CardDAV – TCP 8008 – For CalDAV & CardDAV protocol in non-SSL mode.
    • CalDAV – TCP 8443 – For CalDAV protocol in SSL mode.
    • CardDAV – TCP 8843 – For CardDAV protocol in SSL mode.
    • RDP – TCP 3389 – For Remote Desktop Protocol to remotely control your mail server. (optional)
  3. From Windows XP to Windows 10, the steps to open each port are essentially the same. Open Windows Firewall within Control Panel and define each rule with TCP and corresponding port number. Do this one by one and do not skip.
  4. However, if you have EVO Mail Server installed, Windows Firewall  in Computer Host section on Status tab can auto-check and configure ports for you..

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Antivirus

Compatible antivirus software applications for EVO Mail Server: ESET NOD32 Antivirus

  1. EVO seamlessly works with cost-effective antivirus client software or server-graded antivirus software:
  2. Here are a few steps to integrate ESET’s antivirus software:
    • Once ESET’s antivirus software installation, open EVO Mail Server GUI and click on Setting tab.
    • Scroll down to 8. Antivirus Integration Setting.
    • Click on space next to Enabled and select NOD32 radial.
  3. Modify a few configuration settings within NOD32 Antivirus:
    • Disable antivirus real-time scanning
    • Disable mail scanning and mail-related ports monitoring
    • Place C \<default EVO folder> in the excluded list
  4. Why do I have to make such configuration settings in step 3?
    • Most antivirus software applications are not specifically written for mail servers. They may lock up e-mail messages if the scanning result smells like spam or virus.
    • Also, there comes occasions that antivirus software applications stand in the way if TLS protocol is used along with encrypted passwords between mail servers and mail clients. To remedy this incorrect-password issue, please simply turn off TLS protocol or encrypted password.