The SMTP method connects to a remote email server (usually supplied by your ISP) to forward messages to others on the Internet. This method is called a smart host. Your local workstation doesn't have to connect to each remote mail server for every destination email address you use. Instead, it connects to a single server that forwards messages to the proper destination server. This is most likely the method you'll use if you're using your ISP for your email service.
The sendmail method uses the internal mail server software running on the workstation to send messages directly from your workstation to remote email servers on the Internet. This method requires running an email server on your Ubuntu workstation, which is not a common practice. See Chapter 23 for more information on running an email server on an Ubuntu server.
Selecting the SMTP method produces the wizard dialog box shown in Figure 9-5.
The steps for configuring Evolution using SMTP with your ISP are as follows:
1. Enter the server hostname or IP address for your remote ISP server. Often an ISP will provide a separate hostname for outbound SMTP service, even if a single server provides both inbound and outbound mail service. This makes it easier for the ISP if it decides to switch to a two-server setup.
2. Select the check box if your ISP's server requires authentication. Because of spamming problems, most ISP servers now allow only their customers to send mail messages. Spammers often look for open relays that forward messages from any client to any destination. SMTP authentication requires that you use some type of authentication method to validate who you are before the server accepts your messages for forwarding.
3. Select the encryption method your ISP's email server uses. Encryption allows you to help keep your messages secure as they traverse the network between your workstation and your ISP. If your ISP supports encrypted sessions, select either TLS or SSL.
4. Select the authentication method supported by your ISP's email server, and enter your login information. If you've determined that your ISP requires authentication, Evolution prompts you for the authentication type and your login information.
5. Click the Forward button to continue with the configuration.
Novice users often confuse authentication and encryption. Authentication is the Secret process of identifying yourself to your ISP so that it allows you to forward out bound messages. It doesn't protect the email message or verify your identity to the remote mail recipient. Digital signatures authenticate your identity for the recipient.
The Encryption option doesn't encrypt the message itself. TLS and SSL encrypt only the communication link between your workstation and the ISP's server. Evolution still sends the message as plain text, so once the message gets to the ISP's server, it's sent to the remote destination as plain text. If you want to send an encrypted message that stays encrypted for the duration of the mail delivery process, you must manually encrypt the message itself using an encryption tool such as GnuPG. This option can be added using the Synaptic software installer, discussed in Chapter 13, "Software Installs and Updates."
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