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Reference: Notices-Postfix

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Get Started |Calendar |Locations

18 March 2020

Background

For many years now (since just after the turn of the century), RidgeStar has operated a licensed Mail Server identified as CommuniGate Pro-> with a fair bit of success. But, the ongoing wars with Hacker types (the never ending SPAM, Phishing, and login attacks) as well as gradually increasing licensing costs has caused a review of the entire Mail Server software combination we use.

The objective was to find a combination of Email related "Open Source" software components providing a foundation that was more configurable to the specific combination required by the RidgeStar clients. In particular, we were seeking a Mail Server that could assist in leveling out Broadcast Email delivery so as to avoid (we hope) the "rate limiting" problems that have plagued us for years.

Postfix, Dovecot, SpamAssassin

We arrived at a combination of software products available from the Open Source community named Postfix-> (Mail Transfer Agent), Dovecot-> (IMAP+POP3 interface), SpamAssassin-> (SPAM filtering), and RoundCube-> (providing a Web based IMAP client). This combination of software products (we identify them as the "Mail Server") have been installed, configured, and are in operation as email.ridgestar.com for IMAP, POP3, and SMTP operations.

It is our intent to migrate all RidgeStar Email usage to this new Platform, as a gradual migration. Along with this, we've spent a fair bit of time attempting to make the Email environment more secure and operationally efficient, as well as effective. For this reason, certain aspects of email.ridgestar.com's operations will require that Email Client usage also be more secure.

ALL access to RidgeStar Mail Services will require SSL/TLS (secured) encrypted sessions and protocols, which means all IMAP or POP3 usage will need to be reconfigured appropriately. Broadcast (or Bulk Mail) from individual websites can accomplish this via Setting=BulkMail configuration (RidgeStar will help with this).

RoundCube

Web based access to the new Mail Server is provided via RoundCube->, which is available at https://email.ridgestar.com->. The web server will respond to non-HTTPS communications, but only to warn you that HTTPS is required, it should then pause, and redirect the user to HTTPS mode after that.

RoundCube IS capable of "Responsive" mode operations, which is the RidgeStar term for identifying a website that will respond to the size of the Browser accessing it (very handy for cellular phone access).

In the event that you need to change your email.ridgestar.com Password (e.g. your desktop Email client doesn't permit it), you can logon via RoundCube and click to Settings->Password to set the desired new Password. Note that the password is stored in a database as a one-way Hash (meaning, it's encrypted and cannot be reverse engineered to produce a legible version of your password).

Administrator: Email

Previously, RidgeStar clients could manage most of the CommuniGate definitions for their Email Domain via their website at Administrator: RidgeStar-Email (except for defining/deleting new Accounts).

Feature=Postfix (when active on your site) provides you with a new set of pages operating as the Area identified as Administrator: Email in the Table of Contents. SubAreas include functions to add, update, or delete Postfix Accounts, Aliases, and/or Forwarders, whenever the Webmaster desires.

This is particularly handy if one of your Accounts "forgets" their Password (for whatever reason). You (the Webmaster) cannot see the current Password, but you can set their Account Password to a new value (thus providing them access to their Email Account again).

An example of how this works is available at the RidgeStar demonstration site at Referees.biz->.

IMAP Access via Email Clients

The Mail Server requires Email Clients utilize a very specific set of Ports and protocols to successfully contact it. The general guidelines are:

Incoming Mail Server
  • Email Address/Account/User Name = your-email@your-domain.org (the complete email address)
  • Server Name = email.ridgestar.com, Port=993
  • Connection security = SSL/TLS
  • Authentication method = Normal Password
Outgoing Mail Server
  • Email Address/Account/User Name = YourEmail@referees.biz (the complete email address)
  • Server Name = email.ridgestar.com, Port=587
  • Connection security = STARTTLS
  • Authentication method = Normal Password

Unless otherwise notified, RidgeStar Client sites will be migrated to the new Mail Server when their Website is upgraded to Version 6.0 of the system (upgrades are underway, as of the date of this Notice).