Is a self-hosted mail server right for me?

If you want greater autonomy when storing and sending emails and also want to ensure your data stays secure, setting up your own mail server could be a good idea. Discover the requirements for hosting your own email server and the benefits that come with self-hosting a mail server.

Why should I host my own email server?

Typically, emails reside on a provider’s server until a user decides to remove them. With this arrangement, however, the provider or administrator can access your data. With your own mail server, you don’t have to worry about an email provider having access to your data.

If you set up your own mail server – and it’s reliably maintained – you can protect mails from unwanted access. Despite being hosted on a standard computer, you can use your login credentials to retrieve your emails from any device that is able to access the internet.

What are the benefits of hosting your own mail server?

The advantages of hosting your own mail server are many. Firewalls and filters safeguard your data, granting you full command over your personal or business emails. Beyond security, not relying on a provider means fewer worries about changes to fees or server downtimes. Having your own system allows unmatched flexibility regarding storage capacity, email addresses and limits on email attachments. With the right configurations and technology, you can define your own boundaries.

Tip

Having your own email address not only enhances your professionalism but also streamlines business and personal communications. IONOS provides a sizable mailbox with the option to expand as needed, ensuring your account remains clear of unwanted ads and spam.

When does it make sense to have self-hosted email?

Opting for your own mail server is practical if you want greater control over your emails and would like to keep others from accessing them. This approach is particularly advantageous, because it offers unparalleled flexibility if you need multiple mailboxes for yourself or your team.

A hybrid approach involves using a personal mail server as well as an account with a provider. This strategy allows you to store emails on your own server and send them through an external service. It’s crucial to consistently update your security measures to ensure your data remains protected.

What are the requirements for a self-hosted mail server?

The first requirement for hosting your own email server is a suitable computer. While various configurations are possible, a compact and low-energy computer, like the Raspberry Pi, is highly recommended. Additionally, a steady and uninterrupted internet connection, a dependable power source and ample storage capacity are essential.

It’s best to set up a fixed IP address for your server device. Doing so not only simplifies your tasks but also helps prevent your emails from being marked as spam. It’s also a good idea to implement an SPF record and DKIM signatures . For added security, you can use professional email archiving to ensure that all your emails are safely stored.

Tip

Securely store your emails with email archiving from IONOS. This solution can be used for an unlimited number of mailboxes, so you can rest assured that all your emails are stored safely.

Do I need my own domain for self-hosted email?

Setting up a self-hosted mail server with your own domain is recommended for business purposes, as it appears more professional and enhances brand awareness. Having your own email domain also creates more clarity when handling multiple mailboxes and simplifies communication with customers and business partners. While not as important for personal use, you can also use a mail server with a custom domain for private email accounts as well.

Tip

Increase your online presence and benefit from a range of security features by registering a domain with IONOS today.

What else do I need to consider when hosting a mail server?

Though hosting your own email server offers many advantages, there are some other aspects to consider. The most important is the security of your server. Protect your server from spam or unauthorised access with the following:

  • thorough monitoring measures
  • secure passwords
  • an up to date firewall
  • consistent backups
  • regular updates

These measures don’t take long to perform and carrying them out ensures your mail server is accepted and your emails don’t regularly end up in spam folders.

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