A mail or email server is simply a virtual mailman or post office, through which your emails are sent on their way to the intended single or multiple recipients.
The process starts with a single click, then one or more emails are sent through different points across the world in a matter of seconds.
While we may see it as a simple and easy process, we may not usually understand how the process works from the back end, but this is where the mail server comes in – to fulfil the email delivery role.
Email servers can be incoming such as POP3 (common with mobile device users) or Post Office Protocol, or outgoing mail servers such as SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) servers.
The difference between IMAP and POP3, is the former stores copies of messages, while the latter stores sent and received messages on your hard drive, but also stores on servers as well.
We let you in on the best free mail server for Windows 10 you can use in 2019.
What is the best free mail server for Windows 10?
1. hMail Server
This is an open source, free mail server for Windows 10 operating system, used by ISPs, companies, governments, and schools among others across the globe.
It supports common protocols such as IMAP, SMTP and POP3, with easy integration to many webmail systems, and a flexible score-based spam protection, plus works with your antivirus to scan incoming and outgoing emails.
Features include an available source code for anyone to read or extend, built-in antispam features such as SPF and SURBL, integration with third party antispam systems like SpamAssassin and ASSP, and it can be used with any webmail system that supports IMAP and SMTP like RoundCube and SquirrelMail.
2. Mail Enable
In order to use this free mail server for Windows 10, you need to get the Standard Edition, which you can use on unlimited domains and users.
It provides robust IMAP, POP3, Webmail and SMTP services. It is simple and easy to install with a powerful administration software to get your mail server up and running quickly.
The Standard edition may be free, but it contains no spyware or adware and you can use it for personal or commercial uses, free of time or user restrictions.
Features include advanced AJAX webmail client for flexibility and more features like personal calendaring, contacts, tasks, folders, auto signatures and more.
You also get stable and functional support for unlimited users and domains on POP and SMTP mail services.
Popular features such as scheduling of tasks and meetings, sending invitations, managing projects, out-of-office start/end autoresponder, security measures to protect unauthorized access, and control panel integration are also available.
What’s more, if you send YouTube video links, your recipients can click and play the video within the message body. Webmail also allows interactive inline streaming of audio MP3 fiels.
This is a pretty cool name for a mail server. Zimbra is a solution built for the cloud – public and private – providing enterprise-class email, calendar and collaboration services.
It offers the most innovative messaging experience by connecting end users to the information and activity in their personal clouds.
Features include messaging and collaboration which you can do anywhere on a connected device with IMAP/POP, integration with external directories for authentication, simplified administration, antispam and antivirus functionality, synchronization to any device with a rich browser-based experience, and flexible deployment.
Zimbra is available for desktop and desktop clients on Windows 10 and other operating system. It aggregates Gmail, Yahoo!, Mail, Hotmail and other POP/IMAP accounts, while syncing with your address book and calendar.
4. Apache James
James is an abbreviation for Java Apache Mail Enterprise Server.
This free mail server for Windows 10 comes with a modular architecture based on a rich set of modern and efficient components for a complete, stable, secure and extendable server running on JVM.
You can create your own personal solution of emails treatment by assembling the components you need, then custom filter them using the James Mailet container. It is completely portable running on 100 percent pure Java (6 upwards) on the JVM.
Features include email protocols such as SMTP, POP3, IMAP and others, Mailet container that is independent, extensible and pluggable, a storage API (Mailbox, Search and User), and storage implementations.
It can also be used as a Mail Transfer Agent when you enable only SMTP or as an IMAP mail delivery agent.
It is a living open source project, meaning that any function not already available can be developed.
5. Axigen Free Email Server
Axigen is an email and calendar server that you can for free for up to 5 users.
The platform supports fast and secure email transfer and many useful features such as address book integration, contacts import and export, customizable rules and filters, and so on.
If you want to use this platform for business purposes, you can do that too.
There are plenty of business and collaboration features that allow you to efficiently manage your calendar, tasks, and notes, share files and folders or give your personal assistant the right to send emails in your name.
So, which free mail server for Windows 10 are you ready to try? Let us know your favorite pick among these five by leaving a comment in the section below.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2017 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.Editor's Note: This article was originally published in December 2017 and was revamped and updated in September 2019 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.