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What is a mail relay?

Last Updated: Thu, 10 Dec 2015 > Related Articles


Learn what mail relays are and how Cox uses mail relays.



Mail Relay Basics

An outbound mail relay represents a server that allows you to send mail while on a host residing on an ISP's network. Most ISPs relay mail for customers that have mail accounts with the ISPs, but may also allow relay for mail from customers that primarily use e-mail accounts hosted by other ISPs or business. For outbound mail relay, most ISPs or mail providers will not allow you to send mail through their servers unless you also connected to that ISP’s network (i.e. Your IP address must belong to the ISP in order to send mail).  For example: you have an account for Internet access along with an e-mail account through your home ISP but want to send mail from your office high speed connection using your home account, your home ISP may not allow you to do so from the IP address used at your office as they recognize it does not originate on one of their networks. This is typically done to prevent spammers from sending mail through a provider's mail servers without logging into the network. For this type of situation you need an outbound mail relay server.

Cox will supply you with an outbound mail relay server if necessary. This relay is only supplied to users that meet the following criteria:

  1. Your mail is not hosted by Cox Business.
  2. The company that hosts your mail does not allow you to send outbound email, unless you are connected to their network.
  3. You do not run your own mail server. (Customers who run and manage their own mail server must use that server to send and receive email.)

If you qualify for use of our relay server, please call your local Cox Business tech support to have your IP added to the allow list.

If your email is hosted by Cox Business, please use our regular outbound mail server. Cox mail pop, smtp and news group server settings


Common Questions about Mail Relays


Q: I run my own mail server here at my office. Can I use the Cox relay server to send mail?

A: No. If you run your own mail server at your office, you must use it to send your email as well as receive it.

Q: My email is hosted by another company, not Cox Business. Can I use the mail relay?

A: Maybe. If the company that hosts your email does not supply you with an outbound mail server, you may qualify. Call the company that hosts your email and inquire about using their outbound mail server from any network. If you can not, then you may request relay access from Cox.

Q: Cox Business hosts my email for my company. Can I use the relay server?

A: No. If your email is hosted by Cox Business, please use our regular outbound mail server. cox mail pop, smtp and news group server settings

Q: If I travel and use another ISP to connect to the internet, how do I send mail?

A: There are a couple of way you may send your mail:

  • If Cox Business hosts your email, you may use our outbound mail server at smtp.coxmail.com. When you log into your account using your username and password to retrieve your email, this will authorize you to send mail through our servers. You may also use our webmail interface to send and receive your mail located at: https://email.coxbusiness.com
  • If your company host you email mail for you (NOT hosted on Cox Business servers), then you should be able to send mail through your companies mail server. Consult with you IT professional before you travel to ensure this is possible.
  • You may be able to use a relay server provided by the ISP that you are connecting through. You may need to be authorized to use another ISP's relay server. Call the ISP you use when traveling to confirm this.




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