Simister Family Networks Mail Access

A Simister Family Networks Guide

Thank you for using Simister Family Networks for your personal email account! We hope you enjoy this service. This document should help you get started using your SFN mail account. Please feel free to contact the management if you have additional quesitons or comments about the service here.

Your simister.net mail account is available through the web, via SquirrelMail, from any standard web browser by going to https://simister.net/squirrelmail. The server uses standard SSL (Secure Socket Layer) to maintain the security of your mail account. You may need to install the Simister Family Networks Root Certificate Authority (see our related guide) to avoid a security warning when accessing this site.

Your simister.net mail account is also available through standard mail agents, such as Thunderbird, Outlook, and Outlook Express. To set this up in your favorite mail application, you should create a new IMAP account with hostname "mail.simister.net", and using IMAPS (secure IMAP) on port 993 (the default). If you don't see IMAPS, check any options such as "Use secure connection (SSL)" and "Use secure authentication". Also enter your email account name. For your outgoing SMTP server, again enter "mail.simister.net" as the hostname, and make sure any options such as "SSL" or "Use secure connection" are checked. The port for secure SMTP is 465 (the default). Enter your email account name here as well.

Outlook Express: Many of the security settings are only available after you create your account. Therefore, create the account as you normally would, then go into the account's properties, and you should see a tab for Servers. Make sure "Log on using Secure Password Authentication" and "My server requires authentication" are BOTH checked. Then go to the Advanced tab. Check BOTH boxes labeled "This server requires a secure connection (SSL)", under SMTP and IMAP. If it doesn't change the ports automatically, they should be 465 for SMTP and 993 for IMAP. Finally, go to the IMAP tab and change the Sent Items Path to "Sent" (this matches what already exists on the server); if you don't do this, you'll end up with both "Sent" AND "Sent Items" folders). At this point, you should be able to download the folder list and see your mail.

Thunderbird: Setting up a new mail account only involves the IMAP settings (for reading your mail). You must also setup the outgoing SMTP server to be able to send mail. If simister.net is your only mail provider, setup the outgoing SMTP as described above. If you have another mail provider, you will need to create a new outgoing SMTP server account. In your Account Settings window, select Outgoing Server, and click on Advanced. Then click Add. Enter the mail host information and your username, and make sure SSL is checked. Click OK to save it, and OK again to get back to the Account Settings window. Finally, go to your new account's Server Settings pane, click Advanced, and choose your new Outgoing Server (mail.simister.net) for the account. This will force mail composed and sent within this account to go through your simister.net mail account. Click OK a couple times to return to Thunderbird.

SSL Security Certificates

You will need to install the Simister Family Networks Root Certificate Authority. Please refer to our guide for doing so. Note that your mail agent may require its own certificate installation.

Subfolder Filtering

If you use a mail client that allows you to create folders in your mail account (such as Thunderbird or the web-based SquirrelMail), you can have mail automatically filtered into those folders when the mail arrives.

The trick is to add a '+' and the folder name to your email address, so that it becomes <name>+<folder>_at_simister.net. For example, if I create a "news" folder in my mail account (under INBOX), then address an email message to <user>+news_at_simister.net, the message will be delivered directly into the "news" folder instead of into INBOX.

In order for your mail client to see new mail in the subfolders, you may need to specify that it checks the subfolders for new mail. Each mail client differs on how this is set, so check your mail client's documentation or online help for more information.

Changing Your Password

You can change your mail account password by logging into the web-based SquirrelMail. Once you have authenticated, click on Options, then Change Password. New passwords must be at least 8 characters long, but not longer than 32 characters. It is strongly recommended that you have at least one capital and at least one digit and/or punctuation character in any password, but this is not strictly enforced. Please note this changes not only your login for SquirrelMail, but also the password used to get/send mail via IMAP/SMTP.