Setting Up a Dedicated Mail Server - Skill Over Money
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Note that once you avoid using Windows you get a wider range of choice (plus you are not compelled to upgrade). Once your OS of choice is Windows, you get automatic updates foisted upon you. If you have a skilled website admin, you get open source software, so the only thing you are paying for is renting the server and the support on the server itself. Hopefully you have a 24 hour site admin once you get to the stage of having to send several thousand emails a day (you can either learn how to monetize your site by selling products or just put AdSense on it; you should at least cover your hosting bills).
The Day After
Immediately after you have installed your software of choice, you must change some default settings for the sake of security and so as to lift the email sending cap. These settings are optional but any web host will strongly advise you upgrade to these services. For Windows these services include:
- Upgrade to a dedicated firewall.
- Upgrade to automated backup and restoration services.
- Upgrade to Exchange-aware per-mailbox antivirus protection and advanced antispam.
The firewall will protect you from malicious users committing denial of service attacks, and will also stop malicious programs from hacking your site with ease (if a real hacker decides to penetrate your site you are pretty much done for). A firewall will prevent HTTP requests from getting answered, and will also enable your server IP not to answer pings, protecting you from the "ping of death" which can occur on the off chance that some person(s) deliberately starts pinging you millions of times.
Also you should change your default settings to unlimited, or set them to the level you want to set your email sending options (that's the whole point of this exercise). With a dedicated mail server you can send a hundred thousand emails a day without much bother and very little technical knowledge if you get the enterprise editions.
You can also set up your configuration to cancel certain operations such as the Linux "Finger" monitoring command. This is not a must but it is an added security advantage, since it will prevent third parties from seeing who is logged on and who is not. There are certain other operations which will help as you start sending your emails.
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