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MailGate Support Issues

Q. How do I use MailGate with ADSL (or any non-dialup Internet connection)?
A. MailGate is a TCP/IP application. For its communications it passes all requests to the TCP/IP software installed as part of the operating system (the IP stack) on the MailGate PC for processing and the stack will either complete the request or respond with an error code. These error codes are the 5 digit Winsock errors reported to the MailGate log file. MailGate itself has no direct control over this communications process.

In a dial-up system MailGate also has the capability to trigger a Dial-Up Networking (DUN) connection. MailGate passes a request to DUN to dial using the selected phonebook entry. MailGate supplies the Account name and Password but all the other connection parameters used are those stored in the phonebook. DUN reports back to MailGate when the connection has been established and is open for use or reports information on the error encountered in the case of a failed request.

In a 'routed' connection system (i.e. any environment where the connection is not under the direct control of the MailGate PC) set the MailGate dialup entry setting to <No Dialup>. MailGate will assume the IP connection is always available, bypassing the dial-up step above, and will simply pass any connection requests immediately to the IP stack to process.

Requirements for a Non-Dialup set-up
To use MailGate in a Non-Dialup environment there are two simple requirements:
  1. The MailGate PC must have a static IP address so that your client workstations know how to connect to it. Your client machines must be able to be configured to connect to this address. You may use a name lookup process (e.g. DNS) if you wish and therefore identify the MailGate machine by name, but in most smaller networks it is generally easier to just use the IP address.
  2. The MailGate PC must have a viable route to your ISP and the outside world. The TCP/IP configuration of the MailGate PC and your router must be correct to allow connections to be established on demand.
How to configure TCP/IP for a Non-Dialup system
How you decide to configure your network will depend on a number of factors, including the actual connection type and your router requirements, and it is not possible to determine a definitive configuration. If in doubt you should consult your networking supplier or study one of the many comprehensive books on the subject.
There are some general points to consider though:
  1. For security reasons it is often best to install a second LAN card in the MailGate PC and connect this directly to the router, provided direct access from client machines is not required.
  2. You will generally need to set the TCP/IP protocol Gateway Address to the IP address of your router.
  3. The TCP/IP protocol on the MailGate PC will need to be able to resolve IP names using DNS. You will probably have to set the DNS server addresses to use either your ISP's DNS servers or to the router address. (Some routers will automatically forward DNS requests).
  4. You should carefully consider the security issues associated with being permanently connected to the Internet.
How to confirm your configuration is operational
When setting up and testing your system you should leave MailGate turned off. There are some simple tests you can make to check the TCP/IP set-up. If these tests fail then MailGate will not work.
There are two TCP/IP tools, Ping and Telnet, which should be available as part of your operating system which can be used to perform these basic tests. Success with these tests will generally indicate a functional configuration

Testing with Ping
Ping is a tool that will confirm the availability of a link between two IP addresses. To run Ping, open an MS-DOS box and type
"Ping <Target Address>"
If the connection is available you will see timed replies reported back. If there is a problem with the connection then you will see a report of an error.

Using Ping you should perform the following tests.
  1. Check the availability of a connection between your client PC's and the MailGate server by using - Ping <MailGate PC Address>
  2. Check for a connection between the MailGate PC and the outside world by pinging a know external IP address - e.g. Ping 92.121.2.90
  3. 3. Provided this test passes, Check the correct operation of name lookup (DNS) by pinging a know IP address by name - e.g. Ping www.mailgate.com. With this test Ping will first report the resolved IP address (DNS lookup has worked) then report the reply times.
If any of these tests fail you should re-visit your TCP/IP configuration or consult your networking specialist to resolve the problem before continuing.

Testing with Telnet
Ping tests for the ability to link between two machines using IP. Telnet can be used to check that a TCP connection (port to port) can be established.

With the following tests you will check the ability to contact your ISP's mail servers. This will help confirm the correct configuration of your router and firewall settings.

On Windows NT and 9x systems, unlike Ping, Telnet has a user interface. To run the utility, click Start/Run and enter Telnet.

To check your ISP's POP server.
On the menu, select Connect/Remote System. In Host Name enter the name for your ISP's POP server. In Port enter 110. Click Connect. You should now see a reply from the POP server something like +OK pop server ready. Type QUIT and press enter.

To check your ISP's SMTP server.
On the menu, select Connect/Remote System. In Host Name enter the name for your ISP's SMTP server. In Port enter 25. Click Connect. You should now see a reply from the SMTP server something like 220 ServerName ready for SMTP... Type QUIT and press enter.

If both these tests pass then you can now start MailGate and make a test mail exchange. Check the connection history and MailGate log to confirm normal operation.

On Windows 2000 systems, Telnet is a command line utility. To run the utility, open an MS-DOS box and type "telnet <hostname> <port>

To check your ISP's POP server.
Type - telnet <your ISP's POP server> 110 - and you should now see a reply from the POP server something like +OK pop server ready. Type QUIT and press enter.

To check your ISP's SMTP server.
Type - telnet <your ISP's SMTP server> 25 - and you should now see a reply from the SMTP server something like 220 ServerName ready for SMTP.... Type QUIT and press enter.

Last of all
Provided both the Ping and Telnet tests pass, you can now start MailGate and make a test mail exchange. Check the connection history and MailGate log and you should see a successful POP session with your ISP. Next send a test mail from one of your client machines to an external address and confirm this is sent correctly.


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