In the early days I had mail servers – I mean I was using email on old days unix when it was NEW at university. I was using fidonet based on phone calls between modems – yes this is pre-internet at home. I ran all kinds of netware, compuserve, aol, microsoft exchange, postfix, sendmail … and eventually I outsourced it all to Gmail for a non-profit and had 1000 users and our domain pointed there.
Look at this image on top of this blog, its an old Mac SE someone is making connect to internet. That was a “newer” computer. As for email it hasn’t actually changed a huge amount since those days of the 80s. Recently I built the latest version of a very old mail server “postfix” – yes I’m back but I’m not going to sendmail (too old school but still used!). Its command line work, linux … reminds me of a colleague who said “command line is how computers really work” as if mice and windows aren’t. He was wrong, they are just different ways of doing the same thing – triggering something to run some code, script or macro. Clicking something or typing a command … not that big of a difference. Truth is that a good admin can do things fast with the command line, doesn’t have to search around as much as a window based user. However it depends how well set up the window user and how well designed his software tools are. I digress … so, you want a mail server
Option 1: You want your own domain email – you know what a “domain” and website is. So you go to a company like Godaddy that appears high on a google search. You will get a mail server … of sorts, but good luck getting service or control if it doesn’t give you what you want. It saves time at the outset but becomes more and more of a limitation or legacy problem if you grow to use it for a many accounts etc. Maybe it gets hacked because nobody maintains the server … seems to happen a lot to people who become my customers looking for the solution.
Option 2: Build it yourself. If you have the time and interest I can share what I know, freely – really – the community of users/admins understand. You can google, youtube and find many guides but its amazing how many of them don’t work or turn out to be very misguided. The person knows a lot but still .. they make a frankenserver and if you copy them you might be wishing you didn’t. So you have to resign to doing it a few times until you find a guide that is up to date and written by a real expert. I recently went through this one after looking around a while.
Option 3: Hire someone else to do it … like me or one of many admins you might find. Choose wisely.
Option 4: Collaborate with someone like me to use their server so that you get a best of both worlds – they built it, they maintain it for themselves and you get something almost the same as Option 3.
Option 5: Give up and discover you could have used your google account or other similar thing to get everything you needed and you just had not dug deep enough to see all the power you already had. Realize that you might even get a domain and use it with googles email but your own email@example.com web address. This full circle thing is not a bad place to arrive – it means you have re-evaluated.
More options – let me know … especially if you want to hire me 🙂