View Poll Results: Do you host your own mail server?

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  • yes

    4 22.22%
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Thread: Do you host your own mail server at home?

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  1. #1
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    Do you host your own mail server at home?

    As the title says, I am contemplating setting up my own mail server at home. For fun and to learn how it works.

    But, how safe is it? How credible is it that this could get hacked or compromised?

    For those who host their own mail server, what have your experiences been with security?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: Do you host your own mail server at home?

    I have a mail server running on my VPS, but it's mostly to provide mail about updates and from my contact form on my website.

    As long as you are keeping your software up-to-date and don't have it set up as an open relay, you should be "OK"
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  3. #3
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    Re: Do you host your own mail server at home?

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesA View Post
    I have a mail server running on my VPS, but it's mostly to provide mail about updates and from my contact form on my website.
    Same here, it's only there so the server can get in touch with me. I've got the mail server on my NAS at home set up for the same reason. All my personal mail goes through gmail.

  4. #4
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    Re: Do you host your own mail server at home?

    I used to have a mail server on my box as an experiment, basically a convoluted way to use my Gmail accounts via the command line - using programs like mail, mailx, mutt. Of course, I'm not doing that anymore - Gmail is used via browser easily. But it was an interesting thing to do, learned a lot by it.
    Last edited by t0p; June 9th, 2013 at 02:10 PM. Reason: correcting a mistake
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  5. #5
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    Re: Do you host your own mail server at home?

    I've been running my own email server from home for three years now. As others have said, make sure you don't set yourself up with an open relay.

    My setup started as a fairly "standard" postfix/amavis/clamav/spamassassin combination. Over the years I've also added monitoring with fail2ban and some custom policy and content filters.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Do you host your own mail server at home?

    Quote Originally Posted by lisati View Post
    Over the years I've also added monitoring with fail2ban and some custom policy and content filters.
    IMO running any kind of internet-facing server without fail2ban or denyhosts is mental. If nothing else it stops the script kiddies from spamming up your logs.

  7. #7
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    Re: Do you host your own mail server at home?

    I always install a local mail server on my ubuntu installation just so local backup/etc scripts can email me etc. Just "sudo apt-get install exim4-daemon-light" and answer the few configuration questions, mainly just to set your ISP mail server as the smart host. I do the same on all the raspberry pi's, sheevaplug, etc around my house. Although all these can send email to the internet, of course they can not be accessed externally.

  8. #8
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    Re: Do you host your own mail server at home?

    I've had a mailserver at home for nearly a year. I use it for testing website features before they go live on the hosting site, and for getting system notifications.

    It's set up to work only on the LAN, which is behind a NAT router. In addition, I've set up iptables on the relevant box, though I'm not sure it's actually doing anything that the router isn't. I've never seen any indication of unauthorised access.
    Please, people, remember to BACKUP before you install that new system. Same if you're upgrading.

  9. #9
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    Re: Do you host your own mail server at home?

    I have CentOS boxes running as mail servers at home, on my virtual server at Linode, and at clients' sites. They all run MailScanner with sendmail as the SMTP daemon. I've been running Internet mail servers since the mid-1990s. On a couple of occasions I accidentally configured things wrongly so my box became an open relay, but that was quite a few years ago now.

    From a security perspective, your number one task is to make sure the server only accepts mail for your domain(s) and rejects messages addressed elsewhere. The site http://mxtoolbox.com/ provides some useful tools to check whether your server has been blacklisted as a spam source, test for an open relay, and the like.
    Last edited by SeijiSensei; June 8th, 2013 at 02:23 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Do you host your own mail server at home?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
    I have CentOS boxes running as mail servers at home, on my virtual server at Linode, and at clients' sites. They all run MailScanner with sendmail as the SMTP daemon. I've been running Internet mail servers since the mid-1990s. On a couple of occasions I accidentally configured things wrongly so my box became an open relay, but that was quite a few years ago now.

    From a security perspective, your number one task is to make sure the server only accepts mail for your domain(s) and rejects messages addressed elsewhere. The site http://mxtoolbox.com/ provides some useful tools to check whether your server has been blacklisted as a spam source, test for an open relay, and the like.
    Thanks for the tip, completely forgot about Linode. Are you happy with them?

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