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KB06020901 Resolving inbound/outbound mail problems

There are two common reasons why Mailtraq, correctly installed on your computer, may not be handling email as expected.

  • A.) There is no path from your Router to the Mailtraq machine.
  • B.) There is no path from your domain to your Router.

Note:
This discussion is centered on the SMTP service, but the same principles apply to other services being offered by Mailtraq.

A.) There is no path from your Router to the Mailtraq machine.

The problem resolution starts at the Mailtraq machine and then works out towards the Internet.

Use Telnet* to test to make sure that Mailtraq is available on your machine.

1.) See if you can connect to Mailtraq - on the same machine.

For example, at a Command prompt on your Mailtraq machine entering: telnet 127.0.0.1 25
should give a response something like this:

220 mydomain.com Ready for action (Mailtraq 2.7.0.1936/ESMTP)

If you don't get this response, then Mailtraq is not offering a SMTP service on Port 25. This must be resolved before proceeding: check that the Active Connections in the Console view lists the SMTP service is accepting connections.

 

If Mailtraq is not offering an SMTP service it is most likely that another program is already using port 25.
The 220-response line may tell you which program it is.
The most common reason is that Windows is running a default service provided by IIS - which you need to turn-off.
This page explains how.
Having resolved the problem, shutdown and restart Mailtraq to give it a clean start.

If Mailtraq is offering the service but you still cannot get a response check that there is no local firewall blocking Port 25 (for example, Windows XP Firewall, ZoneAlarm or Kerio Firewall). It is also possible that aggressive anti-virus software may be blocking the connection. If there is - change the settings to allow traffic on Port 25, etc. 

2.) See if you can connect to your Mailtraq machine - which has, for example, a local IP address of 192.168.1.5 - from another machine on your LAN.

For example, at a Command prompt on your client machine entering: telnet 192.168.1.5 25
should give a response something like this:

220 mydomain.com Ready for action (Mailtraq 2.7.0.1936/ESMTP) 

If you don't get this response then check that there is no local firewall blocking Port 25 (for example, Windows XP Firewall, ZoneAlarm or Kerio Firewall). It is also possible that aggressive anti-virus software may be blocking the connection. If there is - change the settings to allow traffic on Port 25, etc.

3.) See if you can connect to your Mailtraq machine - which has, for example, a public facing IP address of 64.233.168.99 - from a machine outside your LAN.

For example, at a Command prompt on your client machine entering: telnet 64.233.168.99 25
should give a response something like this:

220 mydomain.com Ready for action (Mailtraq 2.7.0.1936/ESMTP) 

Tip:
Use a 'Telnet client' app on a smartphone to easily test from outside your LAN.

 

Correcting connection problems

Check your network
If you are not able to connect -  then make sure that your firewall and router are set to forward traffic on port 25, 110, 80, 143 and any other services you are using to the Mailtraq machine. This process is called 'Port Forwarding' or NAT (Network Address Translation).

Tip: Try using an online checker to see if you can connect. Like this online checker... or these.

Adjusting your router
The actual method varies between Routers - but the procedure is always similar.

 

 

In this example, the Router has been set to forward incoming traffic on Ports 25, 110, 80 and 143 to the machine on the Local IP Address 192.168.1.5

 

How do I do this?

This website provides advice on many different Router brands.

You should now be able to connect to Mailtraq from anywhere on the Internet.

If you can connect using Telnet*, then so can a remote mailserver or email client.

B.) There is no path from your domain to your Router.

In order for email to reach your router and be routed to Mailtraq for distribution you must set the Mail eXchange (MX) record for your domain. The MX-record is separate from the A-record which directs Internet traffic to your website. MX-records must point to a domain name (as IP addresses are not allowed in MX-records), which in turn points to the public facing IP address of your mailserver, in this case Mailtraq. You set the MXrecords with the Domain Name Registrar where you bought your domain name.

 

What is my Public Facing IP Address?
Use this link (or an equivalent) from the Mailtraq machine itself.

 

Here is an example:

The MXrecord for mailtraq.com is set to: mail.mailtraq.com
mail.mailtraq.com has an A-record of 204.92.85.2

So, mail for mailtraq.com will be routed to 204.92.85.2 which is the public facing IP address of the mail-server.

In order to check how the outside world sees your MX records and whether they can connect to your mail server you can use an external test service, there are a number available: see here

For example, try intoDNS, you enter your domain name (e.g. mailtraq.com) in a box and click the button. You will receive a DNS Report for your domain. You are primarily interested in the MX Record and Mail Server connection reports. The results should be returned with a straightforward Pass/Fail, together with the test result.
Check the MX record report - near the bottom - that must point to the same IP address that Mailtraq shows in the test above. 

 



*Using Telnet

Tip:
For Windows 7 and above you must first enable Telnet:  how to enable Telnet

To use Telnet, go to Windows | Start, Run and enter cmd in the box then [OK] - a black window will open with a flashing command prompt.  Type the following example: telnet<space>IP address<space>port number, like this:

telnet 127.0.0.1 25

and you should get a response like: 

220 example.com Ready for action (Mailtraq 2.15.4.3336/ESMTP)

which shows you have successfully connected. 

How to use Telnet

Here is a KB article on using Telnet including for Windows 7 to Windows 2012


Keywords: kb start
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