How to Create an SMTP Connector to Route Mail to a Specific Host


When Microsoft® Exchange Server cannot find a matching address in Active Directory® directory service, it attempts to locate an external path to this domain. To find this path, Exchange Server first searches for a connector and then checks the Domain Name System (DNS). Unless the mail exchanger (MX) record for that domain already points to the server on which the other mail system resides, you must create an SMTP connector to route the mail to a specific host.

Before You Begin

Before you perform the procedure in this topic, read Deployment Scenarios for Internet Connectivity.

The following permissions are required to perform this procedure:

  • Member of the local administrators group and a member of a group that has had the Exchange Administrators role applied at the administrative group level


To create an SMTP connector to route mail to a specific host

  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Exchange, and then click System Manager.

  2. In the console tree, right-click Connectors, point to New, and then click SMTP Connector.

  3. On the General tab, type an appropriate name, and then click Forward all mail through this connector to the following smart hosts. In square brackets ([ ]), type the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) or the IP address of the server to which e-mail messages for the shared SMTP address space are to be routed.

  4. Click Add to configure your bridgehead servers, and then select your Exchange gateway servers that accept Internet mail for this domain.

  5. Click the Address Space tab, click Add, click SMTP, and then click OK.

  6. In E-mail domain, type the SMTP address space without the "at" symbol (@), for example,, and then click OK.


    It is important to enter the specific SMTP mail domain. Do not type * (asterisk) on the SMTP connector. Setting * causes Exchange Server to accept mail for all external domains and then relay it externally. This configuration allows open relaying for anyone on the Internet and is extremely insecure.

  7. Because Exchange Server 2003 must also receive messages for this domain, on the Address Space tab, click Allow messages to be relayed to these domains , and then click OK. This setting makes it possible for all SMTP virtual servers that are listed under Local Bridgeheads to accept messages for this domain.