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Mailtraq Mail Server Software

If you thought about running your email accounts inhouse but were stunned by MS Exchange costs then Mailtraq's fully featured mail software, could be your answer.

Mailtraq: 50 User cost: £349.00.

If you have less than 50 email accounts then Mailtraq will run on a dedicated Windows PC. Simply put, without the need for a server, the set up costs for 50 users could be as low as £349.00.

For 50+ users, Mailtraq can be run using an inhouse server. Using Mailtraq you will still save on the MS Exchange Cals costing $68 per user.

MS Exchange cost: £8,000?

Yes, using MS Exchange software to run your email accounts could easily cost £8,000 for the licenses, the software and to purchase the server needed to run it. Our article, right, explains the reasoning, or read Mailtraq own blurbs (opens in a new window). Incidently, we are not on commission neither are we associated with Mailtraq. These thoughts are our own.

Mailtraq is a serious contender

Mailtraq is a reliable, feature rich system which provides a completely affordable mail server, suitable for large corporations through to the smallest of new businesses. Simply put, it is not a toy. Having been around since 1997 they have put a lot of effort and thought into producing probably the best all round alternative to MS Exchange.

Another advantage Mailtraq has over MS Exchange is the flexibility of the many features included and the 1 to 1 support service mentioned above. Also, for a small extra fee, you can have upgrade protection which allows you access to future major upgrades, minor upgrades are usually free of charge.

A Quick pointer on MS Licenses

In the article the term CAL is used frequently. CAL's = MS Licenses. MS Server software requires licenses and so does MS Exchange which sits on the server. Yep, 2 lots, adding up to about £90 to £100 per user). If you then start to consider the CAL's per device which might be needed to allow personal laptops, ipads, smart phones etc to connect (in theory, each one needs a license) then we are wisked off into the realms of fantasy costs.

Mailtraq: Greatly reduced costs

Thankfully, much of the cost mentioned above can be averted by using Mailtraq software. Using Mailtraq, if you have less than say 50 company email accounts, ALL of those costs can be averted.

Server Savings

More than 50 accounts? There are still huge savings to be had by using Mailtraq but if you don't own a server, then be prepared for server costs which could be around £4,000. (Server, server software, MS server software licenses and installation).

Mailtraq: A good alternative

The potential savings mentioned above makes Mailtraq a dammed good alternative to MS Exchange even before looking at the software, which you ought to do.

From their site you can download a trial version and use it free for 30 days.

If you plonk the trial version onto a dedicated PC then all it is costing you is a little bit of your time. On that score, Mailtraq will help you set it up.

If that idea appeals to you then use the link to visit Mailtraq, or feel free to scan the article to the right. If you do go to Mailtraq from here, then glad to have been of service.

Introduction: Running In-house Email Accounts

A client wanted to bring Email control inhouse but MS Exchange was too expensive - installing MS Exchange was going to cost over £7,000 - we were asked to find an alternative solution.

Did we find an alternative to MS Exchange?

Yes. Mailtraq software, located at mailtraq.com. For the record, we are not receiving commission from, or are associated with, Mailtraq, which extends to both the content and or opinions expressed within this article.

Hopefully you will save money after reading this.

The quick view to the left is probably all you will need to see that Mailtraq Mail Server Software is worth investigating but three worthwhile points stand out:

1. If you have less than 50 email accounts, Mailtraq mail software can be run without a server. A dedicated windows PC will be adequate.

2. Potentially, Mailtraq could save you thousands in MS software plus associated Licensing fees, MS Server User license fees and Server costs.

3. Mailtraq is feature rich, mail software. It is not a toy but an afforable, serious, contender to MS Exchange.

View: some of Mailtraq's features (internal link)

 

IMAP

Mailtraq mail server provides a complete IMAP service providing a powerful solution for roaming users with public and shared folders...

SECURITY

A full suite of email server security features from SMTP Open-Relay control to SSL/TLS, Dictionary Attack prevention and much more...

SPAM & VIRUSES

Take control of your email server. No-cost multi-layer anti-spam and anti-virus: Powerful, Cost-effective, Risk-free, Easy set-up...

MOBILE CONNECTIONS

Mailtraq mail server connects smartphones and other mobile devices to MS Outlook™ without the expense and complexity of MS Exchange™...

CONTACTS

LDAP, Local Directory, plus multiple sharable Personal Address Books that can sync with Outlook to keep users up to date...

ARCHIVING

Full Archival storage, retrieval and export controls plus mailbox management to shadow, copy, forward and monitor mail...

BUSINESS TOOLS

Powerful mailing-list engine with custom CRM tools. Phrase Library for your own customer service response system.

REPORTING

Mailtraq email server with multiple reporting options from live connections thro' emailed alerts on barrier breaches...

Mailtraq.com

These are just some of the features mentioned on the Mailtraq site.
Mailtraq features page
(opens a new window).

Finish viewing the features

In the interest of fairness: MS Exchange Features - PDF Doc. link

Mailtraq License Costs - From the Mailtraq site - 10/10/2013

Mailtraq sells using $'s although they are based in the UK and the USA

  • UsersMailtraq CostMS Exchange License ($68*)
  • 10 $295versus$680
  • 25 $445versus$1,700
  • 50 $529versus$3,400
  • 100 $795versus$6,800
  • 150 $1,195versus$10,200
  • 200 $1,595versus$13,600
  • 250 $1,995versus$17,000
  • 500 $3,995versus$34,000
  • 1,000 $7,950versus$68,000
  • 2,000 $9,950versus$136,000
  • Unlimited$11,950versus?

*Could not find a consistant Exchange per user CAL price - $68 was based on what was seen here (opens in a new window). There is also the actual MS Exchange software cost to consider - costs seemed to vary.

MS Exchange requires a server plus server user CAL's @ $31 each - Mailtraq only needs a server if running 50+ email accounts.

To confirm the MS costs quoted above, view link to a UK site retailing MS Exchange (opens in a new window). The quoted cost for MS Exchange 2007 Software with 25 CAL's, ex VAT = £4,658.25 ($7438.29)

MS Licensing Costs - My Thoughts - My opinion

If you have never run a server and were expecting to set up a mail server for a few hundred, prepare for a shock.

MS Exchange license structure and costs are staggering. Also, you need to buy a server to run it which needs more licenses. Luckily, Maitraq Mail software doesn't necessarily need a server. Also, it is as good as MS Exchange, so potentially being thousands cheaper.

(I am not a CAL's expert, other opinions exist; official advice should always be sought)

Mailtraq versus MS Exchange. (a few pointers but excluding server costs)

One of Mailtraqs many advantages over MS Exchange is the cost:
Mailtraq Licensing: around £349 for 50 + users
Fee payable: one off fee
Multiple device use: Included
Email Client: Included (Browser version)
Support, premium included, 1 on 1 unlimited

Compare that to MS Exchange ext. fees
MS Exchange licensing: around £2600 for 50+ users
Fee payable: one off fee
Multiple device use: Not standard - purchase licenses per device
Email Client: Not Included
Support: from £30 per incident - call time limited

View more on licensing (CAL's)

Mailtraq versus MS Exchange - MS CAL thoughts.

Using Mailtraq you avoid MS Exchange CAL costs. Further, if under 50 email accounts, you do not need a server so you avoid Server CALs too.

General overview of the CAL system

I am not an expert on CAL's. These are my thoughts, other opinions do exist. Consider this as the start point to your research.

For those who are not aware, CAL's are MS User Licenses. MS Exchange requires Per User and or Per Device CALs. On top of that MS Exchange needs a server to run it on. MS server software also requires Per User, and or Per Device CAL's. MS Server CAL's are as well as, MS Exchange user and or device CAL's, not instead of.

MS Exchange per user CAL's are around $68 per user (Jan 2013).

MS Exchange per device CAL's might be cheaper but users could connect using 3 devices i.e. a laptop, a PC and a smart phone. Each device may need a license. Seek advice from several sources to avoid expensive mistakes. Or, keep EMail no's to -50, use Mailtraq so no server needed + no CAL worries.

The advice we received from agents when researching this was; it is wise to purchase extra CAL's to avoid issues. For a user base of 5, 15 CALs were considered a safe number of licenses to allow for multiple devices. So, extending that logic to 50 users, potentially, are you needing 150 CALs to be covered? RESEARCH THIS MORE via a reliable, MS CAL Agent.

As stated above, by using Mailtraq you can avoid a lot of CAL costs; if not all!

MS CAL thoughts part 2

Mailtraq versus MS Exchange - MS CAL thoughts part 2.

We already know that you can save a fortune on CALs if you have less than 50 email accounts because Mailtraq will not need a server.

If you have more than 50 email accounts Mailtraq still reduces the overall costs of setting up your own mail server as you will not have MS Exchange CALS to worry about. What you will have to do, is buy a server, and put up with Server CAL costs. If using MS Server software CAL's cannot be avoided.

With a bit of creativity, you might be able to reduce the MS license costs by thinking about how the PC's / devices will be used. Shift workers for example? For information, search the internet. The following link gives a few pointers on saving Server CAL costs for companies with a large user base. I cannot say what the official MS view on this is. link (new window)

From a Server CAL perspective, Outworkers seem not to count (advice via a MS CAL retailer) because they will connect via the Mailtraq software. Extending that logic, outreach offices might be exempt too. Saying that, only Microsoft can make definitive rulings but MS licensing is a minefield of ambiguity, deliberately so maybe? They are protecting their rights to income.

If your circumstances do not allow you to reduce the Server CAL's but you must have a server, then, with Mailtraq you could still save around 50% of the costs associated with running inhouse mails using MS Exchange.

Those thinking about a second hand server, sorry, but CALs are not transferrable. As a reminder here is Mailtraqs link (opens a new window).

return to licensing main section

Server Considerations

Mailtraq will only run on a server using MS Server software.

Buying a server: Purchase your server from a trusted supplier who understands your needs and who isn't just out to sell you some hardware. Understand what you want to do with it and consider your future needs. A server will become a vital piece of equipment. If you under specify what you need at the beginning it could cost you dearly later on.

Tower Servers

For many business who just need a server to run their mail a tower type server is probably the most familiar hardware configurations to choose and is quieter to run. In a small office the volume of noise kicked out by a server is an important consideration.

View More: An independant view: Extracted from: PCWorld.com Article

Another consideration is Virtualisation

That is the means to run a number of different server configurations using just one server. It is the modern way servers are being configured, in theory, you set up one server to run a number of tasks; it needs exploring and seriously considered before buying your server OS and licenses. You might not need it today, but next week? next year?

View More: An independant view: Extracted from: PCWorld.com Article

The next part: View a sample spec and example cost:

This is the recommended 'box' for small to medium sized business.

On Towers: Extracted From a PC World article

Tower servers (and their smaller cousins, micro towers) are the first step up from a NAS (device which connects to your inbound broadband such as BuffaloNAS.com might supply). You can easily mistake a tower server for a desktop PC--and in fact, you can press a desktop PC into service as a server. Tower servers cost more than NAS products, but they’re much less expensive than rack-mount systems. They can operate on the floor or on top of a desk, but you can also retrofit them to sit in a rack. Tower servers are generally quiet, because they don’t require a lot of cooling fans. A high-end tower server with a fast CPU, lots of RAM, and a plethora of hard drives can pack a punch, especially when you take virtualization* (*see below) into account (provided that the CPU and operating system support it).

The minor downside to using a tower is you’ll need a keyboard, monitor**, and mouse to manage each tower server

** A comment from Martrel Ltd suggests you are better off Not having a monitor, instead link to it via your PC as you would a NAS drive. It will help to discourage users from trying to use the tower as a PC, which should not happen.

complete article from PCWorld.com (opens a new window)

To return to last: hide the section after reading

Your server spec should allow for this.

Server virtualization: Extracted From a PC World article

The benefits of server virtualization are so significant at this point that implementing it is a no-brainer. First and foremost, server virtualization makes much better use of computing resources than physical servers do, since you can run many different virtual servers on a single physical host. In fact, you may be surprised at just how many general-purpose server instances a single modern server can handle simultaneously.

Another major benefit of server virtualization is the ability to shift running virtual servers between physical hosts to balance load and allow for maintenance windows. You can also use snapshots of virtual servers to keep a moment-in-time copy of a running server prior to making changes such as software updates. If something goes wrong, you can simply return to the snapshot, and the affected server will be running as if you had never touched anything. Clearly, this approach can save significant time and aggravation.

complete article from PCWorld.com (opens a new window)

To return to last: hide the section after reading

Server spec for 50 + email accounts: (a received quote Oct. 2013)

The site where the server is installed WILL need to have a static IP address for mail routing purposes. Server Tower could be HP, Lenovo, Dell or similar

  • Branded Quad core Xeon Server
  • 12GB RAM
  • 2* x 1TB HDs
  • Cost A: £1403.96 + VAT
  • Microsoft Windows Server Standard 2012
  • 15 user CALs**
  • Cost B: £965 + VAT

* RAID: actual gives 1TB: Drives can be added. ** 15 CALs because rest of users operate away from the installation, connecting via Mailtraq.

Other considerations: 1. Installation

  • Initial Setup of Server:   £300 + VAT
  • On-Site Setup of Server:£600 + VAT per day

Other considerations: 2. (not costed)

  • Server backups (2 external HDDs + using windows backup)
  • Server virus protection (we were recommend GFI Vipre)

Obviously, add the cost of the Mailtraq software as applicable to your needs.

return to Server main section or read: Home Server - Use

Using Mailtraq on a home server

This all requires confirmation and is placed here for those with, say, less that 10 email accounts?

Reading the blurbs and talking with a home server specialist, I believe you could possibly run a few email accounts using a MS home server.

You would still need to make sure that the spec is upto the task, but your storage needs could be less than the spec illustrated and you might get away with less RAM, say 4GB.

Home type servers can be purchased from around £200 to £350 and the license fee is about £40.00 to £50.00 all in. That does make it an attractive option for a small business. It reduces and simplifies the License fee, hence its consideration here.

Whether you could add virtulisation software is another consideration which was not explored. If you can, then you could probably use the home server still as a general repository / backup area and run your mail accounts as well.

The above does need checking, but the indications are, it should be possible.

Just be aware that the profit for many agents may not lay in the hardware but in the software, the license sales commission and installation charges. In other words they may try to talk you UP.

return to Server main section

N.B - stop press - July 2014 - Microsoft announced they are stopping home server software and support. One has to wonder why.

A basic run through of what will be involved

The following is a faithfull extract from the beginners section of the Mailtraq instructions.

Page links mentioned below are not wired up to work because this is meant to be a simple introduction to illustrate the attention to detail which Mailtraq applies; plus of course, to give you an idea of what will be involved.

From here on in Mailtraq's own words take over.

This short article will give you the basic knowledge you need to start running your own mail server for your business or organization. It won't make you an expert - but it will explain the basics in simple everyday terms.

If you are already an expert you'll know there are lots of exceptions to just about everything we say below - but that's not the point of this article: for most situations, most of the time what we say will do just fine. It is all pretty straightforward, but it helps to understand how email flows around the Internet.

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When you are through with this article - click here to move on to Features
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Email Server - Email Client

You read and write emails using an email client. Email clients send and receive emails to email servers. Email servers send and receive messages to and from other email servers. Mailtraq is an email server. Common email clients are Outlook™ , Outlook Express™ and Thunderbird™ - but there are lots of them available.

Email clients come in two main types: local or web-based Local email clients, like Outlook, Outlook Express and Thunderbird are programs that are installed onto each local machine that wants to send or receive email.

They can work in two ways - as POP3 clients or as IMAP clients:

In POP3, the client collects the email from Mailtraq and stores it on the local machine.

In IMAP the mail is left in Mailtraq and the client looks at the mail stored there.

The advantage of IMAP is that it is easy to look at your email from more than one location and it is also possible to share your email with colleagues. It is also easiest to Back-up. The IMAP-IDLE protocol means that you can get almost instant notification of new messages (push-email). Read more... The disadvantage is that it needs more machine resources, as it holds all your mail in one place so you need adequate storage capacity for your needs.

Web-based clients don't require special programs to be installed on your local machines, they use the ordinary Internet browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc) to present your email.

For most users, Mailtraq's webmail is a faster, more flexible solution than IMAP as it can be used from any computer, anywhere and still provide Users with access to Contacts and Shared folders. Mailtraq Enhanced Web Access provides an 'Outlook-like' interface when used with IE, as well as a lighter 'Standard' webmail interface for all browsers.

You are probably familiar with Hotmail and Yahoo-mail - these are web-based email clients, and Mailtraq Professional lets you provide your users with webmail.

Receiving email in Mailtraq

In order for Mailtraq to receive messages for your organization you will have to tell the Internet world 'who you are' and 'where you are'.

This is done using your domain DNS records. The domain is the part of the email address after the @ symbol - for example, ours is: mailtraq.com

If you are unfamiliar with DNS read our DNS Primer
Getting started

So, let's take a moment to recap:

You have got an Internet connection with a static IP address and you have set your MX records to point at that address.

You have a computer on that Internet connection and you have downloaded Mailtraq and installed it.

Configure Mailtraq

So - if you have not already done so during Installation, run the 'Getting Started' wizard from the Help menu in the Mailtraq Console.

That takes you through the basic requirements Mailtraq will need to work. You'll be asked answers to the following questions, with an explanation for each.

Domain name Your LAN definition How Mailtraq should send mail How Mailtraq will receive mail An initial User eg 'jsmith' Create 'Users'

You will then need to create a User in Mailtraq for each of the email addresses you want to use.

(Options | Users - Add, then follow the prompts)

Getting and Sending Emails

It helps to remember that email is transferred from mail server to mail server using SMTP - on Port 25.

Email clients collect mail from Mailtraq - the mail server - and present it to the user, by POP3, IMAP or WebMail.

Confusingly, email clients use SMTP to send email to Mailtraq.

So - Mailtraq receives email for your domain. Mailtraq will route the mail it receives from the Internet to the correct user-mailbox.

Any 'Undelivered mail' (that is, mail for your domain but for which there is not a User's mailbox) will be sent to the Postmaster mailbox in Mailtraq - you can change this at Options | Incoming Mail if you want to. The emails will then stay in those User mailboxes until called for.

Now, you have to get the mail from the mailbox in Mailtraq to the networked machines.

On each machine you need to have an email client - say Outlook Express.

You configure each Outlook Express to collect email from Mailtraq . At the same time you tell Outlook Express send email to Mailtraq for onward delivery. For each client, Mailtraq will be the POP3 server and the SMTP server: Mailtraq is responsible for sending, receiving and routing all your mail.

You should now be able to send and receive email from your email client to anyone else.

If you want to keep the mail on the server (i.e. inside Mailtraq) so that it is available from more than one location, then you either need to use Mailtraq's webmail client or use IMAP.

Stopping your outbound messages being rejected

In order to stop messages being rejected as spam you have to prove you are a good guy. This page explains how - http://info.mailtraq.com/aol

The key is having your rDNS set up correctly - that will put it right for most people without any further action.

How to do this is linked from the above page, which will take you here: http://info.mailtraq.com/rdns

Troubleshooting

Sometimes you come across problems and this page will help you sort things out: www.mailtraq.com/faq

If you need help configuring your email client - have a look at www.mailtraq.com/kb which has a section on Client Configuration.

Some links to further reading - remember, our staff are here to help answer your questions.

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A few live sites (use the link below to view more examples)

These examples open in a new browser window (or view more examples.)

Flooding in the Philippines:
Tip of the global warming iceberg?

Close to our heart: ray's web studio Lincolnshire gets involved - flooding in Manila 2012 what if this was London or Washington? The Philippine people need help and they need jobs

Can you provide jobs in the Philippines?

Or, can you give help to Oxfam?

Please read our short article. Thank you
Fili Jobs - product trials - canvasing -.IT

The Philippines - flooding

Annual floodings within the Philippines is on the increase but I have yet to read any article associating the change in weather patterns there with global warming. Even Asian news articles seem to ignore this possibility. One thing for certain is that the Philippines have contributed little to the build up effects causing global warming but yet they seem to be the nation continuously punished by its effect. Of course being situated on the edge of the world the rest of the world seems to be little bothered by their continuing plight and their problems rarely hit the news.

The Philippines - escaping Ondoy

rays web studio - focus on the philippine floods - image is of a family heads just above the waters trying to swim to safety

The Philippines one of the most diverse, beautiful but economically challenged countries in the world continues to be ravaged by floods. Recently we read about flooding in Manila but sadly the reports didn’t focus beyond the immediately sensational. The real story is that these floods are occuring across the Philippines on a regular basis. The peoples of this already struggling country are fighting for survival on so many levels. If we in the western world had to survive in the same difficult way then goverments would undoubtedly fall but poverty, sickness, floodings, contaminated water, lack of food and basic medical care take a toil on these wonderful people. People the world seems to ignore.

Short Term Help is being offered by: Oxfam but in the longer term the peoples here need to be able to generate income so they can build more suitable homes and better lives.

Creating Work in The Philippines

If you are a business then helping to create outsourced jobs in the Philippines could be the right step for you. Here's why you should and a couple of start off ideas ....

The Philippines - In the longer term: Making Jobs Available

To help solve these problems in the longer term the Philippines need foreign investment by way of job creation. China has emerged, India is also growing, so as a company who outsources, don’t be scared to look elsewhere for help with your business. The Philippine culture is a healthy mixture of Americanized ideals with Asian morals, work ethic and friendliness.

Looking to outsource? - try the Philippines

Maybe as a company if you outsource data entry or run IT processes that can be operated away from your base or have a production process that is simple to set up but is labour intensive then outsourcing within the Philippines or setting up production there will help your business grow while helping them?

Maybe you are marketing a new product and want unbiased and untainted consumer opinions? There is an army of eager people willing to walk your products around the towns and villages and to collect the responses you require. They use and enjoy many western type products and hold similar lifestyle aspirations. Small products can be flown and delivered within a few days.

Whatever legitimate work you can provide to the Philippine people they will welcome your interest and of course the financial help that will provide. Employee loyalty is an important part of a successful business venture. If we were to ever set up a call centre then that is where we would establish it, without reservation. British Philippines Outsourcing Council. It isn't just us who think the Philippines is great for business.

A little help?

In a small way Ray's web studio .co.uk provides a little employment by using Philippine personel to check a new websites functionality, the spelling (yep!) and to garner opinions from their friends and relatives. Culturally our contacts design ideas can differ from ours, mainly to do with the use of colour but we find their opinion on a sites functionality and navigation and ‘at a glance’ understanding of a websites message irreplaceable. If this idea appeals to you then why not contact us? We will be glad to put you in touch with our contacts regardless of whether you are in competition with us or not. We believe the wider issues to be more important than any perceived commercial advantage.

Could you find a more loyal and dedicated work force? Personally we doubt it.

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