Saturday, August 20, 2005

How to use Gmail as your SMTP server

One of the little-known freebies Gmail offers is a portable SMTP server to send mail from any network for any email address.
Travellers who use their ISP's SMTP server to send mail with their email program (like Thunderbird or Outlook Express) can find themselves in a bind if they're on another network away from home, like at a coffee shop, airport or visiting relatives. But if you've got a free Gmail account (get one here) you can use Google's SMTP server to send mail through Thunderbird 
from [email protected]
 Update: Google rewrites the from address to your Gmail address.. Here's how to set it up:
  1. In your email client software, under Outgoing mail, set the SMTP server to
  2. Set the your username is [email protected] and make sure "Use username and password" is checked.
  3. Also check off "TLS" under "Use secure connection."
And voila! You can send mail for any email address from any network (that lets you connect to an outside SMTP server) using your Gmail account - be sure to enter your Gmail password when prompted.
Check out Gmail's help section on POP access for Gmail for specific instructions for setting this up with your email program. If you only want to use the SMTP server, skip the POP bits and only set up SMTP to work with your existing email account.
Update : I was remiss not to point out that Gmail will set the from address for messages sent through to [email protected] when using this method. Profuse apologies.