How to setup Hexamail Nexus on Windows

This is a guide to setting up your own email processing gateway on a Windows machine.

Let's break the guide into some easy steps:

Preparing

You will need:

  • - a computer with plenty of disk space (>2GB) for storing email queues, log files, statistics and
  • - a 64bit or 32bit Windows operating system (Anything over Windows 2k is still supported!)
  • - a permanent/reliable connection to the Internet

Prerequisites

You will need:

  • - Administrator access or access allowing installation of services and configuration of any local firewall

Installing

Next you need to download the required software and copy it to your chosen computer.

  • 1) Download Hexamail Nexus and save the installer exe file and license on the computer
  • 2) Run the hexamailnexussetupN.N.N.NNN.exe file by double clicking on it. if you are on a 64bit system you should download the 64bit version called hexamailnexussetupN.N.N.NNN_64.exe
  • The Installer copies files and sets up services
  • 3) If prompted (64bit) you should install both the Administration console and Windows service
  • 4) You can choose the installation folder at this point
  • 5) The installer copies the necessary files and creates the Windows service, and instructs it to automatically startup when Windows restarts
  • 6) Once it has finished installing files it will automatically open the configuration wizard and you can begin setting up Hexamail Nexus
  • The setup wizard shows the product logo

Configuring Using the Setup Wizard

Now you can begin configuring Hexamail Nexus. After some initial steps you can use the Windows admin to configure the rest of the settings

  • Specify the domains that need to be routed to your mailserver. For example if your mailboxes are user1@domain.com and user2@domain.com you need to specify domain.com as a domain. You may also need sub.domain.com if you also receive email to or from user1@sub.domain.com
  • Configuring internal domains
  • Specify the administrator email addresses. Alerts from Hexamail Nexus are sent to all addresses on this list and the first entry is used as the sender of the alerts.
  • Configuring Administrator Email Addresses
  • Specify how you wish to process email. If you want to process SMTP email as it arrives at your organization choose SMTP. If you wish to download email using POP3 and IMAP, process it and send it to your mailserver specify POP3/IMAP
  • Configuring Email Integration
  • Configure where your email server is and what type. Hexamail can automatically reconfigure Exchange if it is on the same machine as Hexamail or integrate with any SMTP server
  • Configuring Email Server Integration
  • Automatic reconfiguration of Exchange if it is on the same machine as Hexamail will try to create a new receive connector called "Hexamail Inbound" on port 2500. Hexamail will disable the existing Default and Internet receive connectors in order that email can flow to Hexamail on port 25 and then be processed/filtered and then sent on to the new receive connector on port 2500. In some configurations of Exchange this procedure may encounter difficulties, and Hexamail will alert you to this and save a powershell script required for the integration which you can run manually from an Exchange Powershell console. In any case the diagram shows the desired final setup configuration.
  • Inbound mailflow with Exchange Server Integration
  • An outbound send connector is also created in Exchange called "Hexamail Outbound" and this sends outbound email back to Hexamail for outbound processing such as automatic whitelisting, antivirus filtering and adding disclaimers
  • Outbound email flow with Hexamail integrated
  • If for any reason the default setup flow shown above is not desireable or does not work for you then you can also setup Hexamail as shown in the next diagram. This allows Hexamail to coexist on the Exchange server but does not change any existing connectors and wont disrupt any existing 3rd party apps that are trying to send email via Exchange. Simply install Hexamail, skip the Exchange integration and then change teh Hexamail SMTP Server/Network port to 2600 and press apply. Then change your firewall or router rule to route incoming SMTP (TCP port 25) traffic to the Hexamail machine on port 2600
  • Integrating on the same machine as Exchange using a firewall/router redirection
  • If Hexamail is on a machine other than your Exchange server or mailserver you can configure your email server settings. This is the IP address and port of your mailserver. Use the Test Connection button to verify the settings
  • Configuring SMTP Server Integration
    Configuring Mail server integration with Hexamail on a separate server
    Configuring Mail server integration with Hexamail on the same server
    Configuring Mail server outbound mail flow
  • Configure your outbound server settings. Hexamail needs to send email to recipients that do not have local mailboxes on your mailserver. For example it may need to send a notification or alert that there was a problem delivering email to a particular local mailbox. To send these email Hexamail needs to know the hostname or IP address and port of your smarthost. If your ISP requires you send email through their server then you need to specify that server here. If you wish to send directly to other mailservers of the external recipients then leave this blank or uncheck the checkbox. Use the Test Connection button to verify the settings
  • Configuring Smarthost Integration
  • Other settings such as authentication, rate limits etc can all be configured using the Administration console which will open when you click Finish on the setup wizard.

Configuring Hexamail Nexus

You can configure using a remote Windows administration GUI, using the Web Administration or by editing the configuration file directly.

The configuration settings are the same as in the Windows Administration and you can use the same help file to read about the various options in the Administration sections here: Hexamail Nexus Help

In the WebAdmin press the help button on the page you are using to see help relating to that specific page of settings.

Web Admin Spam Blocker Help Button

Alternatively you can configure Hexamail settings directly in the configuration file as per the instructions in the Configuration section here: Hexamail Nexus Help

Connecting to Hexamail Nexus

Hexamail Nexus is a full-featured smtpproxy and can offer various services to email clients

Here is a list of services and the ports that need to be opened on your firewall/router to access each service

ServiceProtocolPortModuleDescription
Send/Recv MailSMTP25SMTP ServerUsed to send email to your server by other servers and send outbound email from email clients. NOTE some ISPs will block this port so clients may need to send via the ISP provided smarthost/smtp server or use SSL or an alternative SMTP port
Send/Recv MailSMTP (SSL)465SMTP ServerUsed to send outbound email from email clients securely. Use the SSL setting in your mail client and specify port 465 if your ISP is blocking port 25
Remote Administration HTTP23002Used for remote administration using the Windows Administration console. DO NOT open this port to the Internet through your firewall without setting a remote admin password first or otherwise securing the connection by IP address
Web AdministrationHTTP880*Used for remote administration using the Web Administration
Developer AccessHTTP1880*DeveloperUsed for developer access via REST/json from languages such as Javascript, Python, .net etc.

In your firewall you should allow incoming TCP connections for each port listed that you require, and in your Router/NAT device setup a rule to forward TCP traffic on the listed ports to the computer running Hexamail

* As configured in your configuration file or administration interface, default settings are shown