Engmail -- the Engineering Faculty e-mail server


About engmail

Configuring Clients
Spam rejection
Quota restrictions
Mail Options
Statement on Use

Maintained by
Engineering Computing

Configuring Clients

In order to get, send, and organize your email, you need to communicate with the systems that send, receive, and store it. To do this, you need to know a few critical pieces of information.

Identification, Authentication, Authorization

You need to have a userid to identify yourself to the systems involved, a password to prove that you're the legitimate user of that userid, and you've got to be talking to the right machine, the right way, for the right purpose.

Userid and Password

You've been assigned a UWuserid -- a combination of letters and numbers based on your initials and surname, designed to be unique in its first eight characters. It'll be something like jq2public, and is commonly called your login name or userid.

You likely have at least two passwords for use on campus with your UWuserid:

  • your UWdir password for use with Quest and UWdir, and
  • your Nexus password to log into those systems.
To read and send mail with engmail, you'll need your UWuserid, and your Nexus password.

The simplest way to read and send mail is with mywaterloo where you can also access your files, send mail to the consultants, and much, much more. It's accessible through any web browser, anywhere in the world.

Instead, you may want to use a mail client such as Thunderbird, Eudora, or Outlook Express. To do this, you'll need to configure your client.

Configuring your Client -- Outbox, Inbox, and MailFolders

As with physical mail, more than one mailbox is used to handle your mail:
  • an OutBox -- someplace to drop off mail that you're sending out,
  • an InBox -- someplace for the postman to deliver what's sent to you, and
  • MailFolders -- someplace to store mail once you've read it and decided what to keep.
  • OutBox Settings

    • Personal Information -- who sent this mail

      Use your real name here. That way you'll never be embarrassed by having returned a message to a potential employer -- apparently from Fluffy, the Wonder Bunny.

      It's poor form (and we'll have a word with you personally if we have to) to use false information in your email address. Don't lump yourself in with spammers, pornographers and scam artists. Just be yourself.

    • Return Address -- the sender's address

      If your userid is jq2public, then your UW return address is jq2public@engmail.uwaterloo.ca

      You may choose to specify your return address as jq2public@uwaterloo.ca If you do, incoming mail must pass through an central machine, to determine your UWdir email delivery address. Mail sent to jq2public@uwaterloo.ca will be forwarded to this address.

    • SMTP server (Outgoing) -- where to drop off mail

      Your Simple Mail Transfer Protocol server is the post box where you electronically drop mail you want to send to someone else.

      If you're configuring a client on a machine within the Faculty of Engineering, your SMTP server is engmail.uwaterloo.ca.

      If you're configuring your home machine machine, you'll either need to use the appropriate SMTP server for your Internet Service Provider, or set up your mail client to use Authenticated SMTP.

      As is the case with most mail servers in this spam-happy world, we do not relay mail from off-site to off-site. That's inconvenient for legitimate off-campus people looking for an easy hookup, but an easy hookup is what spammers are interested in too. Engmail will handle mail for anyone from on-campus to anywhere, from off-campus to on-campus, but not from off-campus to off-campus.

      But you're not just anyone; you're an engmail user with a userid and password. You can use that special power to enable AUTH SMTP on your mail client. Then you can send mail from anywhere to anywhere through engmail. You'll need to find the options page that deals with your Outgoing (SMTP) server, and select the option that sounds like "use my userid and password when I send mail". You can also elect to use the SMTPS (Secure) port to connect rather than regular SMTP. If you're asked for port numbers instead of protocols, you can specify port 465 (smtps) rather than 25 (smtp).

      If you use AUTH SMTP, you'll probably be asked to enter your engmail password the first (or possibly every) time you send mail.

      Of course, you can also just choose to use mywaterloo from any web browser.

    • Signature File -- a little more personal info

      Your mail client may be able to append a "signature file" to every mail message you send. A signature file usually includes your full name, the URL of your website, additional contact information, or perhaps an interesting quotation. Keep them short and useful; you don't want to send a novella with every brief message.

  • InBox Settings

    • Mail Server (Incoming) -- where to pick up mail

      If you want to read your Engineering mail, set your incoming Mail Server as engmail.uwaterloo.ca, and select the protocol you will use. (If you want to read mail from a different campus server, use its name as your incoming Mail Server.)

      • POP protocol -- By default, POP wants to download your mail to the machine where you're reading it. This isn't good if you login to many machines. You can set your mail client to "leave mail on server," but POP reads through the entire mailbox every time you check for mail. It can be slow as a result.
      • IMAP protocol -- IMAP is a better choice if you read mail using a variety of machines. IMAP lists the mail messages you've received, but leaves them on the mail server. As well, IMAP understands how to access folders in your engmail Mail subdirectory, so you can review saved messages while using your home machine.

      "Secure" forms of these protocols (POPs and IMAPs) are also supported. We strongly suggest that you use one of the secure protocols as your only method of connecting.

    • Attachments

      Attachments are computer files sent as part of a mail message. Some mail systems have limited capacity for handling large messages, so sending and receiving attachments is not always possible. Computer Viruses and Worms are often sent as attachments, so if you receive an unexpected attachment, treat it with caution. It's a courtesy to send a brief message before sending an attachment, to alert the recipient to expect something.

  • MailFolder Settings

    If you use IMAP, you can specify in which subdirectory on the mail server you want to store mail messages after you've read them; in Engineering we use the mail subdirectory.

    Remember that stored mail counts towards your disk quota, so don't save unnecessary messages.