This guide answers many frequently asked email questions. See the support page for more information such as client configuration guides.


  1. Who Can Have an MSLN E-mail address?
  2. What is the difference between IMAP and POP3?
  3. What types of attachments are stripped by the MSLN mail servers?
  4. What is the email size limit?
  5. How do I add email accounts if MSLN hosts my email?
  6. Can I host my own mail server? Do I have to?
  7. What configuration changes will my mail server need?
  8. What is "Acceptable Use"?
  9. What if I don't like my domain name?
  10. What is an MX record?
  11. How do I check/create my MX record
  12. How do I stop these {SPAM?} emails from coming in?
  13. What is Greylisting?
  14. What are the SMTP SSL Ports for MSLN?

Who Can Have an MSLN E-mail address?

Students, faculty, and staff may have email accounts created. The decision on who may have an email account is up to the TC and administration at the site, but it should not be given to the general public.

What is the difference between IMAP and POP3?

IMAP and POP3 are the two ways that you can access your MSLN email. You can choose to use either one of them as the way your mail client checks your email, however they vary in what they do with your messages upon retreval.

IMAP:  Using this protocol, all your mail stays on the server when you check it, and is organized in folders, some of which you have created. This enables you to connect to any computer and see all your mail and mail folders. In general, IMAP is great if you have a dedicated connection to the Internet or you like to check your mail from various locations, like a work computer and a home computer.

POP3:  With this type of email account, when you check your mail it gets removed from the server and saved in your email client on your computer. From that point on you can only access those email messages on that one computer. With this type of account you do not have to stay logged on to the Internet. You can log on when you want to receive and send new messages. Once your new messages have been downloaded to your computer you can log off to read them. This option is good when you connect with your modem to Dial-Up and are charged for your connection or you have an older computer.

Which you should use:  Due to its portability and accessability, we reccommend using IMAP to check your email unless you use Dial-Up to access the internet and don't check your email from other locations. In that case you should use POP3.

What types of attachments are stripped by the MSLN mail servers?

The following attachments are stripped from emails crossing the MSLN servers, incoming and outgoing, however the message will still be delivered with a note indicating what was stripped.

  • Executables (.exe, .dll, .reg)
  • Known HTML exploits
  • External bodies (External bodies are when the attachment resides on a mail server somewhere. We strip those since we can not scan them for viruses.)
  • Multipart mail (Multipart mail is stripped for the same reason)
  • Password protected archives (also cannot be scanned)

What is the email size limit?

Including attachments, the size limit on email messages going through our mail servers is 16MB. Note this is after encoding and includes all headers and other data in a mail file. A file generally expands by more than 25% when it is encoded by a mail client as an attachment. This means that a file on your disk of 12MB will probably expand to nearly 16MB in the mail you send.

Have mercy on our mail servers and try to avoid sending large files, instead try one of the many free file hosting services. When you must send large attachments, please compress them (using 7zip, WinZip, WinRAR, or some similar archiving utility) but don't password protect them or they will get stripped by the mail scanner.

One final note, 16MB is much larger than most e-mail systems will accept. While our mail servers will now accept this size, most others won't. 16M is in fact larger than the total mailbox size allowed on many of these services, so keep that in mind if you are planning to send a large message outside of MSLN.

How do I add email accounts if MSLN hosts my email?

TCs get a logon for network management ( when they join MSLN, and once logged in and inside the Network Management page, you will find a button on the top-right of the page that says "Mail Accounts". In here you can create email accounts. For more information, see: The Email Admin Guide for Network Management.

Can I host my own mail server? Do I have to?

The University of Maine provides free email hosting to the MSLN project for all member sites. However, schools and libraries may set up and manage their own e-mail servers. The choice to maintain a local server allows schools and libraries to act on their preferences for a particular e-mail system. If an e-mail system is already in place, its use may be continued if the system can support Internet mail. Since the management of e-mail is local, decisions on who gets an id and when the account should be terminated are made and executed locally within MSLN guidelines. Schools and Libraries that opt to use their own mail server are responsible for mail issues behind their server, and must still route incoming/outgoing email through our filters for security reasons.

What configuration changes will my mail server need?

Your mail server must receive incoming email from We will set up our servers to accept mail for your domain and forward it to your server once it goes through our mail filter. You must also route outgoing email through by specifying it as a "smart host" on your mail server. Your mail server administrator should know how to do this, if not contact your vendor's technical support or consult their documentation. Users on the ACTEM or MSLN TC email lists may have more information on setting up various mail server programs.

What is "Acceptable Use"?

The technical coordinator should make sure users know, before using e-mail, how to conduct themselves in a manner considered appropriate. For information on what kinds of problems a technical coordinator might encounter in administering e-mail and how an "acceptable use policy" may help, see: Non-Technical Issues for Technical Coordinators.

What if I don't like my domain name?

If you do not like your MSLN supplied domain name, we may be able to change it within our guidelines, however we cannot provide a custom domain name. For that you must purchase a domain through a registrar and then host it through us. For more information see: Domain Registration and Hosting as well as the Domain Naming FAQ.

What is an MX record?

An MX record is a type of resource record in the Domain Name System (DNS) specifying how Internet e-mail should be routed using the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). Each MX record contains a priority and a host name, so that the collection of MX records for a given domain name point to the servers that should receive e-mail for that domain, and their priority relative to each other. The MX record must be present in Network Management to receive mail through the central mail servers.

How do I check/create my MX record?

To see if there is an MX record take the following steps:

  1. Log in to
  2. On the first page of NM, click on the "Domains" button.
  3. Click on the domain for which you wish to check the MX record.
  4. If there is an @ symbol in the first entry of the table, then an MX record has been established. To check the MX record, click on the @ symbol.
  5. If there isn't an @ symbol, you'll need to create an MX record.

If there isn't an MX record (no @ appears in the hosts for the domain you've selected), you'll need to take the following steps:

  1. Click on the New Host button at the top of the page.
  2. Click the More... button at the bottom of the page.
  3. Select the Domain for which you wish to make an MX record.
  4. Fill in the Name Box with an @.
  5. For mail going through the Central servers, the MX record should contain the following. Please note the the "1" is a number: 1

Please note that it will take up to half an hour for a newly edited MX record to become active.

How do I stop these {SPAM?} emails from coming in?

Any TC with access to their site's email info on Network Management (NM) has the ability to set the spam scoring disposition of the email server toward their incoming email. This can be found in NM under your mail accounts as the link "Tagged spam disposition:".

There are two rating levels of spam and then Virus filtering. High scoring spam are those that get a rating of 10 or above. Low scoring spam is mail that scores between 5 and 10. The third level is virus detection.

We pull the virus attachment off no matter what level of spam deletion you want and send the email on to you without attachment. You can choose to have none of the other two deleted but just tagged and passed on. Or you can choose to have just High scoring spam deleted and pass on the low level spam. Lastly and most aggressively, you can opt to have both levels of spam deleted.

We usually suggest a site start by pulling just the high scoring spam out and move the low scoring spam to a folder using a mail rule, then check that folder to see if it has captured any false positives (non spam). When they are reasonably sure that they are not going to be losing anything important, they can then boost the level of deletion to include low scoring spam as well. Spam tagging is not an exact science so there are some emails that will be tagged from time to time that were not spam. We use SpamAssassin and apply rules to tag the spam.

What is Greylisting?

Greylisting is an anti-spam/anti-virus technique. A mail server using greylisting will keep track of all the IP addresses/from addresses/to addresses passing through. The first time it sees a particular set, it will send back a temporary error that says, please try later.

Any standards compliant mailer will try again after a few minutes and this time the mail will go through. The point of this is that the mail engines used by many spammers and many viruses do not retry, so that mail is suppressed. For those that do retry, the extra time is sometimes enough for the source to be tagged as a spam source.

What are the SMTP SSL Ports for MSLN?

Our mail server accepts SSL connections on 3 ports: 25, 465, 587

Some ISP's do not allow outbound port 25 traffic. Verizon and & are ISP's that do not allow outbound port 25. In order to get around this, do the following:

In the "Advanced Tab" under email settings in Outlook, change the port from 25 to 465 or 587. You should be able to find the comparable page in other Mail Clients.

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