Advice please from any free email (eg gmail) users ?

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by John S, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. John S

    John S Guest

    Got a problem which I wonder could be solved by using gmail or some other
    free email server.

    I'm a volunteer at SeniorNet and have been running a course teaching
    elderly people how to use Outlook Express (and now Windows Mail in Vista).

    We have seven computers, each with its own free yahoo email address. Last
    year the course ran well with people sending emails to one another in class
    via their individual computer yahoo addresses. Message receipt was pretty
    quick - usually not more than a few seconds between one computer sending,
    and the other receiving.

    Now the yahoo server is unsuitable for this exercise, as it can take a long
    time for emails sent to the server to actually reach the target mailbox -
    sometimes half an our or more. With delays like this it is impractical to
    run the course as it is designed.

    I think I could set up Outlook Express to use gmail for the same purpose if
    I can obtain some free accounts, but I wonder if any users out there can
    tell me how fast the gmail server is at delivering messages - ie would I
    end up in the same bind as with Yahoo?

    I wondered about setting up a local server on the network, but we don't
    have a domain name and I think it would be impracticable without one. I
    took a look at the documentation for the Mercury mail transport system and
    it looks more complicated than I could handle.

    Any advice would be most welcome.


    John S
    John S, Jan 30, 2008
    1. Advertisements

  2. John S

    EMB Guest

    Mercury is a bit of a pig to learn but is a great product. Something a
    bit lighter and more intuitive like hMailserver might be better for your needs.

    There is no problem running a local mailserver without a FQDN - just use
    a sub-domain of for your local mail (eg, set up your local server to only handle mail
    for that domain and point the mail client to it by IP address.
    EMB, Jan 30, 2008
    1. Advertisements

  3. John S

    frederick Guest

    Gmail is good /fast.
    Spam filter is also excellent.
    frederick, Jan 30, 2008
  4. John S

    Squiggle Guest

    You dont need to pay for a real domain.
    If you can set up a DNS server and mail server on the network you can
    make up your own domain name that is only visible to your network.
    so you could use seniornet.local (or anything you want) as a domain on
    your own network.

    By having both the mail server and your own "fake" domain name hosted on
    the network you should have completely reliable mail service even if
    your external connection goes down.

    If you state what area you are in perhaps one of the local users in here
    could offer to set it up for you.
    Squiggle, Jan 30, 2008
  5. John S

    Richard Guest

    Gmail to gmail has no perceivable delay at all when I tried it. Be aware
    that they use alternate ports to the old insecure 25 and 110 for email
    so make sure to read the howto when setting it up.
    Richard, Jan 30, 2008
  6. I would recommend another look at Mercury. Installing and using it is
    easier than reading the manual :S

    It doesn't have to be complicated if you only want to do simple things
    (as you do).

    It doesn't use registry entries or databases and installs everything in
    one folder, easy to backup, restore or remove if you don't like it.

    The best feature is the support forum at

    There are very helpful people answering any question you may have and
    offering advice on setup to suit.

    Plus its made in NZ :)
    dilberts_left_nut, Jan 31, 2008
  7. John S

    John S Guest

    On Wed, 30 Jan 2008 21:56:50 +1300, John S wrote:


    Many thanks to those who replied to help me locate either a free email
    service with a less sluggish server than yahoo, or a way of operating a
    network email server to run an email training course.

    It amazes me how helpful people can be to total strangers.

    I've had one person email me privately and offer help, plus an older
    surplus computer which we could use as an email server.

    Other people from two newsgroups have offered practical suggestions.

    For anyone interested the suggestions were:-

    a) Use gmail - their server is fast & reliable (thanks frederick and

    b) Use hmailserver - it's easier to set up than Mercury (and use a made-up
    domain name) (thanks EMB)

    c) Set up a DNS server and mail server on the network (thanks squiggle)

    d) Use Mercury (thanks David Lipman)

    e) Use Hamster Classic (Thanks P C Paul)

    Gives me plenty to work on.

    Again, my thanks to everyone who took the trouble to try and help.


    John S
    John S, Jan 31, 2008
  8. Make it "". The ".local" suffix is used by Zeroconf.
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Feb 3, 2008
  9. ... and well done to you for posting a summary of the helpful suggestions.
    Reckon that sort of thing should happen more than it does. Bonus points. :)
    Bruce Sinclair, Feb 4, 2008
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.