Email is still the primary means of communication for businesses and professionals.
However, despite the flexibility of Gmail and other web-based email clients, more and more companies and individuals are desiring more freedom, improved security, and different methods of managing their mail that’s tailored specifically to their needs.
iRedMail is a full-featured, open source, free-to-use mail server that’s been standing in that gap and helping people host their mail servers at no cost while boosting security.
Although it’s one of the most prominent and widely-used open source mail servers in the industry, iRedMail is hardly the best solution for everyone.
You might want a service that offers better security and protections, more features, or faster processes than what iRedMail provides. Hence, it’s important to consider other options out there that can competently replace iRedMail.
In this post, we’ll walk you through some of the best iRedMail alternatives that you can use without any hassles.
Let’s dive in.
Modoboa is an open source email management and hosting service designed for Linux platforms. It is written in Python programming language and makes use of other frameworks such as Bootstrap, jQuery, and Django.
Like iRedMail, you do not have to pay to enjoy all that Modoboa has to offer and it provides support for PostgreSQL, MariaDB, and MySQL, allowing you to store your email accounts in your preferred backend databases.
You don’t have to worry about data security because Modoboa routes your mail services through secure server connections and certificates like POP3, SMTP, IMAP, TLS, and SSL. With Modoboa’s easy-to-use administration dashboard, you can manage all your mail accounts, aliases, and domains.
Modoboa also has a filter function that’s similar to the one iRedMail offers in that you can use it to sort and organize your messages into different folders.
With an intuitive Amavis frontend for defining domain settings and managing content, you can detect viruses and block annoying spam messages.
Additionally, Modoboa offers other compelling features like webmail, built-in server monitoring, autoreply messages for Postfix, email blacklist monitoring, calendar management, and extensive technical support.
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With a strong presence in 140 countries and hundreds of millions of mailboxes under its platform, Zimbra is one of the most popular and widely used open source email services in the world.
Depending on your specific needs, Zimbra can be deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or as a hybrid service.
Zimbra has a calendar feature like iRedMail with a simple web and mobile UI that lets you manage your calendars and address books. Similarly, it also supports POP, IMAP, CardDAV, and CalDAV protocols.
You can also create lists of pending tasks with due dates and orders of priority. The Zimbra platform comes with integrated antivirus and antispam, pluggable extensions, and seamless integrations with third-party apps including Dropbox, Slack, and Zoom.
Zimbra also offers file sharing, video conferencing, document management systems, and cloud storage services, so if you’re in the market for an all-in-one solution, consider checking out the platform.
Postfix is another great iRedMail alternative that offers wonderful email service capabilities for free. The open source mail transfer agent is the brainchild of Wietse Venema that was created to serve as a replacement for the Sendmail mail server.
Since Postfix is developed from source code, it can run fruitlessly on UNIX-like systems such as Linux, Solaris, AIX, MacOS X, HP-UX, BSD, and more. It can also be distributed as a ready-to-run platform by appliance vendors, system vendors, and other service providers.
Postfix is very emphatic when it comes to security. Like iRedMail, it is able to encrypt your sessions and perform certificate-based authentication to keep your mail services secure, private, and protected. Postfix also offers stress adaptive features and various content inspection methods to choose from.
Postfix has a higher queuing operation speed compared to iRedMail so it’s able to manage queues faster and better than its counterpart. It’s also very easy to configure for both novices and experts alike.
Axigen is a free high-performing email server that enables you to securely and quickly transfer, process, and deliver emails. It’s a flexible and adaptive platform that can be tailored to your specific needs, preferences, and workflow.
You can use Axigen to manage your address book, conduct index-based searches, import or export contacts, create filters and rules, and set up out-of-office messages. In addition, Axigen lets you bring all your email accounts together so you can access them directly from your inbox.
Similar to iRedMail, Axigen offers calendaring and collaboration features so you can better manage your time by assigning tasks, scheduling meetings, and creating notes. You can share folders, define workflows, collaborate efficiently with teammates, and even empower other people to send emails on your behalf.
With Axigen’s CardDAV and CalDAV built-in function, you can access your calendars, contacts, and messages from right on your smartphone, tablet, or Mac device. It also offers customized webmail with a user-friendly interface that can be localized in over 23 native languages.
Other features that Axigen provides that make it a more suitable alternative to iRedMail include antispam and antivirus integration, multi-layer security, blacklist/whitelist/greylist monitoring, password expiration policies, and an identification confirmation system.
MailCow has been around for over five years and has established itself as a veritable and reliable alternative to iRedMail for hosting your own mail server for free. MailCow supports the separation of mailbox user access and domain administration.
This means that you can create domain admins and give them the freedom to manage their own mailboxes without hiccups even if they don’t have any technical experience.
Mailcow features an intuitive user interface and all the functions you need to run a webmail server and email accounts with different clients.
In terms of efficiency, MailCow leaves iRedMail in the dust because it’s completely dockerized. As a result, the setup process for MailCow is extremely simple and easy to use so you can have a server up and running in about 10 minutes.
It also offers contact and calendar sync using SoGo for high-resource servers and Roundcube for low-resource servers.
MailCow’s preconfigured antivirus and antispam feature perform more efficiently than iRedMail while eating up fewer system resources because it uses Rspamd rather than the more popular SpamAssassin that iRedMail uses.
Roundcube is a powerful open source webmail client with a location-based user interface. It provides the full range of functionalities that you can expect from a mail server, including complete support for HTML messages and MIME.
This modern webmail software supports multiple languages and is completely free to use. Roundcube can be easily installed on a standard Linux, Apache, MYSQL, and PHP stack.
It comes with a drag and drop interface and a bundle of useful features like spell checking, a templating system, canned responses, address book integration, pluggable API for building extensions, and translation into over 80 languages.
Roundcube also offers many of the functions you can find on iRedMail including message searching, folder manipulation, multiple sender identities, support for the external SMTP server, import/export, and unlimited messages and users.
Additionally, the platform offers comprehensive privacy protection to prevent XXS and brute force login attacks.
Next on our list of best iRedMail alternatives is hMailServer, a free, open source mail server developed for Windows. hMailServer is compatible with all kinds of webmail client servers that support common email protocols like POP3, SMTP, and IMAP.
One of the similarities that hMailServer shares with iRedMail is a built-in antispam feature that keeps unwanted, suspicious, and harmful messages out of your inbox.
hMailServer can be integrated with third-party spam systems like ASSP and SpamAssassin or attached to your virus scanner to screen all your outgoing and incoming emails.
Also, hMailServer has its own administration tools that allow you to add accounts and domains, configure all parts of the server, specify settings, and more. In terms of authentication and relaying, hMailServer is designed with high security in mind to prevent anyone from using your server to send spam messages.
With hMailServer, you don’t have to manually edit text files to set up your server. It only takes a few minutes to install and configure the mail server.
Rainloop is a modern email server with an easy installation process and support for SMTP and IMAP protocols like STARTTLS and SSL. It delivers a seamless performance and OTA upgrades without the need for a database.
With Rainloop, you can create and host as many user profiles as you like and get simultaneous access to all of them via different browsers, which is similar to iRedMail’s offerings.
You also get an intuitive administration panel that enables you to easily configure menu options and manage your mail accounts.
In addition, it boasts of a flexible multi-level cache system that can be leveraged to extend the functionality of your server with the help of plugins.
Zentyal is an Ubuntu-based mail server that’s compatible with established protocols and technologies like SMTP, IMAP, and POP3. It offers full-featured network management and is available in two versions: community and commercial.
The Zentyal server is very simple to use and furnishes you with all the necessary resources you need to get started.
Zentyal’s Domain & Direction server offers native compatibility with Mail Server with Active Sync and webmail, Microsoft Active Directory, Infrastructure Server with DNS/ DHCP server, and Gateway with proxy and firewall.
Zentyal supports CardDAV and CalDAV protocols which enable calendar and contact synchronization in a similar manner as iRedMail. Like its counterpart, Zentyal also provides built-in antispam and antivirus filters, as well as integrated TSL/SSL support.
Want to take back control of your email by becoming your own mail service provider? Mail-in-a-Box is designed to help you do exactly that at zero cost.
The platform provides webmail and email servers that you can use with desktop and mobile device mail software. The great thing about Mail-in-a-Box is that you don’t need to be a tech expert to use the service.
Mail-in-the-Box’s setup guide will walk you through all the steps required to get a fully operational system up and running so you can begin hosting email for multiple domain names and multiple users.
Like iRedMail, your Mail-in-a-Box server features calendar and contact synchronization so you can manage your address book and calendar across all your devices.
It also includes spam protection, email client autoconfiguration, mail filter rules, automated backups, and other standard mail functionalities.
Mail-in-a-Box gives you a web-based admin control panel for adding mail aliases, mail accounts, custom DNS records, and setting up backups.
You can also use the admin panel to check the status of your system activity and DNS records or activate TOTP-based two-factor authentication for login.
Poste.io is an easy to use open source Docker-based email server that can be easily deployed in five minutes, this makes it a faster alternative to iRedMail. It stores user data in a file-based SQLite database.
This means that you can use Poste.io with external storage. It’s very easy to manipulate files for migrations, updates, and backups with this robust mail server.
Poste.io supports all the popular email protocols including POP3, IMAP, and SMTP. Just like with iRedMail, you get web administration tools to help you manage domains, email accounts, and assign different rights for system administrators with Poste.io.
In addition, Poste.io furnishes you with TLS certificates so that your logins, emails, and personal data are encrypted on the internet. Poste.io uses its built-in RSPAMD technology to filter spam messages more efficiently than iRedMail.
It also uses the ClamAV antivirus engine to detect, malware, viruses, and trojans in incoming and outgoing messages.
Citadel is an open source groupware platform that’s powered by Ajax. It features a simple-to-use interface with support for POP3, SMTP, and IMAP email protocols.
This mail server is written in the C programming language and furnishes its own interpretations of ManageSieve, SMTP, IMAP, XMPP, and POP3 server protocols. Citadel works on Debian and other free Linux/GNU distributions.
Citadel has many of the amazing features that people typically flock to iRedMail for such as scheduling/calendaring support, note-taking, file storage, and integrated antispam filtering & server-side mail sorting. It also offers multi-domain support, server-to-server replication, TLS/SSL protocol encryption, and Microsoft Active Directory.
This robust mail server boasts good documentation and is relatively easy to set up. In addition, you can use Citadel to send and receive instant messages, manage your address books, and aggregate RSS feeds.
This iRedMail alternative is available in two editions: premium and standard. The standard edition is a mail server that’s open source, free to use, and easy to install because it doesn’t require any commands.
MailEnable is an AJAX-based mail client that offers comprehensive POP3, IMAP, SMTP, and webmail services for Windows servers. It provides all the core features you’d expect to see in a good mail server such as monitoring, importing/exporting, indexing, international domain support, multi-family upload, and PTR record checking.
Although MailEnable and iRedMail have no user restrictions and both offer calendaring and contact management functions, MailEnable is much faster in terms of speed.
It also boasts of other capabilities including multilingual support, DNS blacklisting, auto banning of IP addresses, task management, out-of-office autoresponder, antispam filter, and extensive security protection.
Horde is a full-featured mail client and browser-based enterprise-ready groupware that you can use for sending & organizing email, reading, sharing & managing calendars, taking notes, and managing contacts.
The Horde platform offers a PHP framework with applications and libraries for creating a customized environment that suits your workflow. Your Horde webmail supports POP3 and IMAP protocols and HTML message composition.
Like iRedMail, Horde webmail comes with spell checking, signing and encryption of messages, email account management, and message searching, and message filtering.
It also features built-in attachment viewers, shared IMAP folders, and the full character set support for email messages and folder names.
Last on our list of best alternatives to iRedMail is the powerful mail client known as Scalix. If you wish for the good old days when Outlook was the default mail client, you can ride the Scalix train back to that experience and relive it again.
Scalix is packed with lots of amazing features that are similar to what iRedMail offers. This includes scheduling capabilities, calendar and contact synchronization, and permission-based folders for email messages.
With Scalix, you can receive or send emails in rich text format. You can even drag and drop items from your inbox to any folder of your choosing or create an out-of-office assistant to respond to messages when you’re not going to be checking your emails for a while.
Like any mail server worth its salt including iRedMail, Scalix provides virus and antispam protection to keep your server and emails safe and secure.
Whether you don’t want to pay for hosting your mail server, you just want total control over your emails, or you want to be able to customize your mail system to your liking, the iRedMail alternatives we’ve examined above are more than equal.
Since they’re all free to use, you can take them all for a spin and figure out which works best for you. But if you don’t want to go through that trouble, you can never go wrong with MailCow.
It’s our personal favorite email hosting and management service mainly because it’s incredibly fast, easy to set up, and it places a strong emphasis on security.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.