IMail Server 6.0: Gracious E-Mail Host

Another bonus for small companies on a budget: IMail Server has relatively modest system requirements. According to the company, if you have fewer than 250 active users, the software will function on a Pentium 100MHz system with just 64MB of RAM, although Ipswitch also says that those are only estimates, and "actual requirements and performance vary greatly with the amount and type of e-mail traffic...." So we think it wise to be cautious about adopting a minimalist configuration. We tested the software on a Dell 2400 Pentium III 533MHz Web server with 384MB of RAM and Windows 2000 Advanced Server. The program is designed for Windows NT 3.51 or later and Windows 2000, and does not currently run on UNIX.

Flick the Switch

Ipswitch pitches IMail Server as the "20-minute mail solution." And even though our setup took a little bit longer than 20 minutes, we can attest to the server's ease of installation. The process was straightforward and required little user input. What few queries we did have were answered by the helpful user manual. An intuitive dialog prompts you for an installation directory and asks whether you want to set up an e-mail user account as part of the initial installation process. The software automatically reads domain name system information from Windows NT and Windows 2000, so you don't need to set that up manually.

According to Ipswitch, IMail Server gives you the capability to host thousands of discrete domains - such as "," "," "" - on one server by using virtual hosts. You can opt to configure your virtual hosts with or without IP addresses. To set up a virtual host on Windows NT or 2000, you must assign the appropriate DNS record - and in Windows 2000, that can be tricky if you're new to the operating system. Nevertheless, in less than an hour we had successfully set up e-mail servers for two different domains.

Once past the initial setup, you can go back into the software to set up additional e-mail accounts; we were able to do so in less than ten minutes. IMail Server lets you create aliases, custom vacation messages, and mail-forwarding parameters. Users can read mail from IMail Server using any client that supports either POP3 or IMAP4. We tested IMail Server with both Qualcomm Eudora 3.0 and Microsoft Outlook Express 2000, both of which are easy to configure; you simply provide a user name, a password, and SMTP (outgoing) and POP (incoming) server names. The ability of users to remotely maintain their own e-mail accounts helps to take the burden off the e-mail administrator. The software's message-handling capacity depends somewhat on the host system's processing power.

Easy Admin

In our informal testing, we found IMail Server to be a user-friendly alternative to big groupware solutions such as Microsoft Exchange Server and Lotus Notes. The server was as easy to maintain and administrate as it was to set up: A single, intuitive user interface allows you to manage and adjust properties related to users, hosts, services, mail, messaging, aliases, and group distribution mailings.

Version 6.0 offers a host of new features, including support for SSL encryption security to protect e-mail content and passwords. This version also has an enhanced, fully customizable Web messaging interface that enables searching and filing of messages stored on the server, so your e-mail users can view and send their e-mail via any Web browser.

IMail Server 6.0 is a good choice for just about any small to medium-size organization, and it is particularly attractive for companies with limited budgets and IT resources. If you need solid e-mail server capabilities now, without the hassle of a complicated setup and a big bill, IMail Server is worth considering. You can download a free 45-day evaluation version from Ipswitch (

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Susan Perschke

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?