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Creating Secure Tunnels for Email - using PuTTY

Creating a Tunnel for Email Delivery and Receipt is an easy way (once you know how to do it), to secure your Email and Passwords. One thing that you will need to remember is that once you make this change, you will need to have the PuTTY connection running in order to send or receive your Email. The benefit is the increased level of Security you will receive, as you are now encrypting your Personal information, instead of transmitting it as clear text.


Get PuTTY here
Configuring Putty
Using Netscape with PuTTY tunnels
Using OutLook with PuTTY tunnels

This guide was developed to assist you in creating a Secure Tunnel from your PC to to our Email Servers, please verify that you have SSH Access to the server before attempting this procedure (BTWs, we can help with that as well). Using this procedure will encrypt the Username and Password which you traditionally send as plain text characters over the Internet. This technique will provide an encrypted tunnel to the remote server from your PC.

The First thing that you'll need is the PuTTY Tool for Windows, you can find it here.

After installing the Putty Tool, and launching the program, you will be greeted with the following screen.

Configuring PuTTY

Putty Opening Screen 

This example depicts the use of Putty for Multiple Servers. The Configuration well will be using is for 'Mail - ABS', our Primary Email Source for SPAM Filtered Email.

With the number of configurations listed you can see that this is the tool we use for communicating to servers. In fact, we no longer use or accept simple ASCII connections, such as Telnet. However, if you have not been told whether you have SSH Access to our servers, please contact our as we will update your service configuration.

As you can see in this example, we use the SSH protocol to create our connections in Putty.

Some important information you will need to configure your connection. Our Mail Servers:

POP3 - - port 110
IMAP - - port 143
SMTP - - port 25

We connect to our servers via, this is what you should use for your settings as well. Your hostname should be filled out as

Putty Session Info 

Putty SSH-Auth Info 

There are not too many changes on this screen. Please verify that you information is similar in nature. 

It is our Experience that SSH v2 has less problems than SSH v1. In fact, our servers are configured to only answer to SSH v2 connections. The encryptions Ciphers are the next item that you need to be concerned about.

Depending on your location, you may or may not have access to these protocols. You should configure your tools to be similar in nature.
Putty SSH-Config Info 

Putty SSH-Tunnel Info 

Creating the Tunnel required for the Email Connection is a simple process. As we indicated before, we have separate Entries for POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3), IMAP (Internet Mail Access Protocol - Revised POP3), and SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol).

The design for creating the Tunnel is simple, define a port Locally which PuTTY can Encrypt and Forward to the Remote Server. In this case, we are using the Actual Port (POP3-110, IMAP-143, and SMTP-25) Plus 3000, to map a local port number to the actual port number.

Using the template illustrated, you define the Local Port Number, and the Server Name : Actual Port number to create the defined Tunnel for use.

Simply add the three port definitions for the Tunnels. When you have created the three definitions, you will need to select the Session Category and then click the Save Button to save the definitions for use.  

When you have added the three port definitions, your configuration should look like this. 

Putty SSH-Tunnel Info 

Putty Session Info 

Click on the Save button to save your Changes.

Then click Open to start the SSH Connection. You will be prompted for your Username and Password. When you have successfully Authenticated to the Remote server your Local Tunnels will become Active.

You can now minimize the PuTTY Session, unless you want to work on the remote server with your SSH Connection. 

Using Netscape with PuTTY tunnels

POP3 or IMAP - Before continuing, you need to determine which configuration you wish to use.

POP3 Settings

This image depicts three different accounts for retrieving Email with Netscape. Two of these are POP3 Accounts, and one is defined as an IMAP account. Since we already have these accounts defined, we are only interested in changing the Server Name, and the Port defined for the communications.

The server name is now defined as the Localhost. This is a Unique way of pointing directly to the your PC. It's the Local Server, remember defining the PuTTY Tunnel? Now you PC is 'Serving' Network communications.

Once you have changed the Server Name to Localhost, and the Port to the number in PuTTY, you are done.

Netscape POP3 Info 

IMAP Settings

Netscape IMAP Info  Again, as with the POP3 Settings, we are only interested in changing the Server Name and Port Definitions.

The server name is now defined as the Localhost. This is a Unique way of pointing directly to the your PC. It's the Local Server, remember defining the PuTTY Tunnel? Now you PC is 'Serving' Network communications.

Once you have changed the Server Name to Localhost, and the Port to the number you defined in the PuTTY configuration, you are done. 

SMTP Settings

Do you remember creating a Tunnel for SMTP? Well we did. This is the Final Component to creating the Encrypted Tunnels for Email, the sending of Email, SMTP.

Just as POP3 and IMAP retrieve Email, SMTP sends Email. Change the Server Name to localhost and the Port to the one defined in PuTTY's Definitions, and you are done.

Now that you have PuTTy and Netscape configured for Tunneling to the Mail Server, You should be able to Roam From ANY location, so that you can Send and Receive Email from anywhere. If you can Authenticate using SSH, your Email Connections will appear to all originate locally (on the server).  
Netscape SMTP Info 

Using Outlook with PuTTY tunnels

Editing Account information for Outlook is relatively simple. Remember, we are primarily interested in changing two fields, the Server Name and the Port information.

Netscape SMTP Info  Find your Account information. Here I am editing a setting for my Company's Email Server, Select Change to begin editing the settings already in place. 

The First change you need to make is to set the Server Names for POP3 and SMTP to the localhost. Localhost is the reference for the Local PC.

Select more settings to map the new Port numbers for this account. 
Netscape SMTP Info 

Netscape SMTP Info  Remember those definitions we created in the PuTTY Configuration? Fill them in here. 

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