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Authenticated SMTP

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Background

As an anti-spam measure, the Informatics mail servers do not allow normal mail connections from outside ed.ac.uk. Unfortunately, this also stops legitimate Informatics staff and students from sending mail from their home machines (or laptops while travelling) via our mail relays. One solution was to use the EUCS VPN service or the user's local ISP mailrelay, but this required the user to reconfigure machines/email clients just to send mail.

A Better Solution - Authenticated SMTP

Most modern email clients now support authenticated SMTP. This allows the user to authenticate to the mail server to say who they are, and once confirmed as a valid user, the mail server will allow the user to send mail, even though they may not be within the local network.

IS provide details of how to setup authenticated SMTP for staffmail users.

We also provide an authenticated SMTP server for mail clients to connect to. The basic details are as follows (note that the "Server Name" is sometimes referred to as the Outgoing Server or SMTP Server):

Server name: smtp.inf.ed.ac.uk
Port: 587 (sometimes known as submission port) - use STARTTLS setting
or Port: 465 - use SSL setting

The reason we don't use port 25 is that this is firewalled and cannot be accessed from outside of ed.ac.uk.

Email clients supporting SSL should use port 465 (this includes Outlook Express), those supporting STARTTLS should use port 587 (eg Thunderbird).

If your client supports Kerberos then this is supported too (eg Thunderbird with MIT Kerberos for Windows, or alpine on Linux).

Last reviewed: 
27/02/2015

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