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I am facing frequent issues with Yahoo Business mail (Its a paid Yahoo Small Business account). Sometimes it works fast in Chrome, but slow in Firefox; and sometimes the other way round.

I can not use Outlook, as Yahoo mail does not officially support IMAP for desktop clients. (It does support IMAP for mobile clients though, and that is strange!) I need to maintain folder structure, so IMAP is a must. Moreover, Yahoo Mail search is full of bugs, and has increased their annual fees 4 times in last 5 years. So basically I do not want to host my mails on Yahoo any more.

So can I host the mail within my own premises, and then be able to access it on the move as well? Will I need a server which is on 24 by 7? What are the hardware and software requirements?

We are a small company with less than 10 email users. We want to reduce our time spent on searching, downloading and sending mails. I have a 10 Mbps broadband connection; so net speed is not an issue.

The key requirements are:

  1. Mail access both in office and on the move;

  2. Fast mail access when in office, may be relatively slow when outside;

  3. Folder hierarchy for both incoming and outgoing mails (hence IMAP);

  4. Smooth transition from Yahoo Web-based Mail;

  5. Transfer existing mails on Yahoo server to the new setup.

  6. Setup an incoming mail group, so that when a mail is received on a particular mail id, it automatically forwards the same mail to a set of people. The reason is we are into support services; so when client sends mail to a designated mail id, it should auto forward to all the support team members, who can then decide who is going to take it up and inform the rest. (Do not want auto allocation i.e. who is going to handle the support ticket; it will be manually decided.)

I am not looking for Thunderbird right now. An Outlook based solution (again whether Outlook Express or Microsoft Outlook?) will be great; but on the move mail access is very important.

How do I get started?


  1. I guess I will need a static IP (similary, please list all the pre-requisites, and do not assume I should already be knowing this).

  2. How do I update the DNS servers to point to my static IP for mails to my domain name? Can I only host mails for my domain, and let my website be hosted by a third party?

  3. Does mail server need to be on 24 by 7? What happens if it is not kept on? Do I lose messages or can I retrieve them the next time it is turned on?


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closed as not a real question by Dave, Canadian Luke, 8088, CharlieRB, KronoS Jan 7 '13 at 17:07

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Have you tried anything yourself as your question reads as if you want some one to do it all for you! – Dave Jan 7 '13 at 16:07
In order to try something, I need to know what hardware and software are required, and other pre-requisites, and what are the pros and cons. I am new to this. – AllSolutions Jan 7 '13 at 16:09
I would submit that if you are not sure if your email server should remain running 24/7 (it should) that you should talk to a consultant for a one-time solution and some training. My company just completed this exact transition, and it was non-trivial. Get some expertise from someone who's been there. – atroon Jan 7 '13 at 16:23
Thanks. I was actually assuming that email server should be on 24/7; but wanted to be doubly sure. But I do need to know the cost if for some reason there is a downtime. So what happens if it is not on due to UPS or power failure for a few hours. Do I lose my mails sent to me during this period? – AllSolutions Jan 7 '13 at 16:29
superuser FAQ: "Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much." – user142485 Jan 7 '13 at 17:13
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes you can do this to answer 1,2,3 and 6.

You can run your own server as well, but remember that by doing so means it's "Open" to the outside world's malicious attacks so a good firewall is in order.

Any way, my suggestion is

Buy a domain name if you haven't got one (although I suggest you buy a new one just for testing).
Point the MX record to your static IP address which you get from your ISP (which must be static if you want to host it locally).
Open your server up to accept incoming and outgoing on ports 25, 100 and 587 (and another others).
Install PHP.
Install hMailServer.

It's fairly simple to use and configure;

You will then also need to install SquirrelMail so people can use it though the web, but, it's design (UI) is quite crude IMO but, it get's the job done.

However, if you can use Outlook or Thunderbird, then this works great and I used it for our company with ~50 employees!

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I already have a domain (purchased from Yahoo Small Business). So how do I move that domain now and host mail server on my own? "Point the MX record to the IP of your building..." - How do I do that? I am new to this. – AllSolutions Jan 7 '13 at 15:53
How do I update the DNS servers? Also need answers to 4 and 5. And how long does it take for DNS servers around the world to get updated? (Not sure if this question is framed properly) – AllSolutions Jan 7 '13 at 15:55
Well, I don't know 4 and 5, hence why I didn't answer. I think you need to ask separate questions for the other 2, but, log into where you bought the domain name and edit the records. I assume your buiding has a static IP given to you by your ISP? Well, this is also your MX record! – Dave Jan 7 '13 at 16:04
Although, if it were me, I would just download the mails and save them as a .pst file... The issue is timing, as when moving the MX record over it takes up to 72 hours where mails could get lost. – Dave Jan 7 '13 at 16:11
I believe downloading mail from Yahoo as .pst file will not preserve the folder structure, as Yahoo does not support IMAP. As regards timing, this issue will come for migrating from any 1 server to another server; so how do other companies handle this? – AllSolutions Jan 7 '13 at 16:17

There are plenty of great tutorials out there on how to set up an Exchange server if you are looking to do that. One such tutorial can be found here:

It will walk you step by step on how to install and configure your Exchange server.

There are also great tutorials on how to set up distribution groups, such as the one on TechNet:

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