- E-mail Setup

Table of Contents

Quick Settings

If you already know where these go in your mail program, here they are :)

Your username is your full e-mail address.

Important note: all users must use the SMTP server to send mail (see the SPF page for the reason).

Secure POP3 (SSL) port995
Secure SMTP (SSL) port465
Secure IMAP (SSL) port993
IMAP folder hierarchy prefix*INBOX.
* This should be automatically detected by most IMAP clients, but occasionally some older versions of Thunderbird seem to need it manually entered.

Non-secure access to POP3 and IMAP also works, but is discouraged. The server supports TLS connections over the standard ports; however, since many ISP's are now blocking port 25 you may not be able to use it for SMTP.

E-mail Programs

These instructions are intended as hints only. There are many different versions of each e-mail program, so the names of the various fields may not match these instructions perfectly.

A note about POP versus IMAP

POP and IMAP are two different ways of accessing your mail. In POP, your e-mail program downloads your mail and stores it on your computer. POP usually clears the mail off the server every time it downloads, so if you then use webmail, there will no mail there except what you've gotten since the last time you checked.

In IMAP, your e-mail program acts a bit like webmail — all the mail stays on the server side, even when you arrange it into folders. This can be a good thing if you frequently use different computers and webmail — if your e-mail program is set up to use IMAP, what you see there will always perfectly reflect what you see in webmail.

How safe is your mail when you leave it on the server? The server is located in a locked room with its own alarm system. The room also has its own power supply with a (very large and heavy) battery backup. The server has two hard drives mirroring each other, so if either drive fails nothing is lost. The server also does daily backups, which are rotated off-site more or less weekly. (So if there's an earthquake, you might lose up to a week's worth of mail — tsunamis are not likely to be a problem; the server is on reasonably high ground.)

Mozilla Thunderbird

  1. If you're starting Thunderbird for the first time, you'll get the new account screen automatically. If not, go to Edit (or possibly Tools) > Account Settings and click Add Account.
  2. Type of account is E-mail; click Next. Enter your name and your e-mail address, click Next.
  3. Decide whether you want to use POP or IMAP, and choose the appropriate option. Set the incoming server to
  4. Important step! You need to change the default "Incoming username" and "Outgoing username" to your full e-mail address. If you do not do this, you will get login errors.
  5. When you click Next and Finish, you'll be at the list of accounts. Go down to "Outgoing Server (SMTP)" at the very bottom of the list and look for (if you already had e-mail accounts in Thunderbird, it may not be there). If it's there, click it and then click Edit. If it isn't there, click Add.
  6. If you had to add, type into "Server name." Under "Use secure connection" click SSL. This should automatically change the port number from 25 to 465. Also make sure that the User Name is your full e-mail address.
  7. Click OK to get back to the main accounts window and click the first line of the account you made in steps 1 through 4 (it will probably be named after your e-mail address). Change the Outgoing Server (bottom of the right hand side of the window) to
  8. Optional step: to use secure mail checking (recommended), click Server Settings (immediately under the list entry you clicked in the last step). Under Security Settings, change the connection type to SSL. The port number should automatically change to 993 (for IMAP) or 995 (for POP).

Mac Mail

  1. In the Mail menu, click Preferences.
  2. Go to the Accounts section, and click Create Account.
  3. Decide whether you want to use POP or IMAP and set the Account Type appropriately.
  4. Enter your e-mail address, your name, and set the incoming mail server to Set your User Name to your full e-mail address.
  5. If it doesn't automatically fill in Outgoing Mail Server, make that
  6. Click the Server Settings button underneath Outgoing Mail Server. Check the Use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) box and make sure the Server Port is 465.
  7. Fill out the User Name and Password; your User Name is your full e-mail address.
  8. Click OK on the SMTP Server Options window and close the preferences window to save the settings.

Microsoft Outlook Express, Windows Vista's "Mail," Outlook 2000, 2002, 2003/XP, and 2007

Using these e-mail programs is strongly discouraged, and consequently, setup instructions are not provided. If you want to subject yourself to the following list of reasons NOT to use a Microsoft e-mail program, you're on your own. Please consider a free alternative, such as Mozilla Thunderbird.

Reasons NOT to use a Microsoft e-mail program:


Webmail is the easiest way to use your mail. All your mail gets stored on the server, so you can get to it from any computer.


The webmail URL for all mail hosted by is:
Note the https — it's always a secure server, so your password and mail are always secure when using webmail. If you forget to type the 's', don't worry — automatically redirects you.

About SquirrelMail uses SquirrelMail for webmail. SquirrelMail is actually an IMAP client, which means that if you also use IMAP to access your mail, SquirrelMail and your e-mail program will always show the same folders and mails.

Anti-Spam uses a few anti-spam tools and methods that you should know about, because they can sometimes make your mail behave strangely.


Greylisting is a very effective way to avoid most of spam, but it may delay mail. Learn more about it, and what to do if your mail gets delayed.

Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

Have you ever gotten mail that claimed to be from people you knew, but was spam or some virus that you know they didn't write? Or have you gotten "bounce" messages from Postmaster, informing you that spam you didn't send didn't go through? Has anyone ever impersonated you?

SPF prevents such e-mail forgeries, but it has a side-effect: you can't send mail through third-party mail servers; you have to use Learn why, and how to send mail when you're on the road.


If you have any problems with your mail, please contact Felix by one of the means listed at left.

Lost Mail

If you have accidentally deleted mail, or if something seems to have eaten it, we might be able to recover it from backups. The server automatically backs up everybody's mailboxes once per day, so there is a good chance of getting it back if it is at least that old. Unfortunately if a piece of mail is lost on the same day that it arrives, it probably won't have made it into a backup — but contact Felix anyway, and he'll do his best to get it back.

Forgotten Passwords

If you forget your password, we will need you to somehow prove your identity when we reset it. This usually involves creating a "chain of trust" to Felix — someone who trusts you will tell someone Felix trusts that you are who you say you are. The billing contact for your e-mail domain is often the best choice, as Felix knows the billing contacts. (Of course, if Felix knows you the "chain of trust" is easy.)

Note that before we do a password reset, we will do a backup of the account in question. This way, if the reset request was not legitimate and the perpetrator uses it to delete or alter mail, there is an untouched copy.

Service Advisories

From time to time (hopefully very rarely), something will happen that affects everyone's mail. If that happens, we will tell you about it through a service advisory mail. Service advisories will stand out from your normal mail:

It's unlikely that anyone will ever try to fake a service advisory (to get your password or some such thing), but it may happen. If you are ever suspicious of an advisory message, check the website — real advisories will always be posted to the URL above. You should be always be suspicious of an advisory if it asks you to log in somewhere; if an advisory asks you to do something, always check the website.