Configure Exchange Send Connector

Exchange Send Connector

Outbound mail flow in Exchange 2013 is managed through the configuration of a send connector which is not created during server’s installation unless Exchange 2013 is installed in an infrastructure that already contains Exchange servers in which case send connectors are already configured.

An organization can have an arbitrary number of send connectors to cover the various communication scenarios like:

  • Direct Delivery from Exchange to the internet
  • Email delivery through a smart-host
  • Delivery through the Edge Transport Server
  • Direct delivery to a partner organization using TLS

In the post I will describe the configuration of a send connector for the first two scenarios which are most common and easier to configure.

Configure Send Connector for Direct Delivery of Messages

In this scenario an Exchange server is configured with a send connector that will directly connect to any mail server external to the organization, while is a real world scenario things would be slightly different below is the logical diagram of the scenario

Exchange Send Connector


To configure the send connector open Exchange 2013 Administration Center and go to Mail Flow → Send Connectors and click on the sign

Exchange send connector configuration


In the New Send Connector page assign a name and be sure to select Internet as per the send connector type as we will be using it to deliver messages to the internet

Exchange Send connector for internet mail

In the following page we will tell Exchange how the send connector will be sending messages to the internet for the direct delivery scenario Exchange will try to locate the MX record for the recipient’s domain and connect to the server so to the deliver message(s)

Exchange send connector network settingsNext we will have to choose for which domains the send connector will be used in our scenario this will be for all (*) domains to specify domains simply click the sign

Exchange Send connector Address Space configuration

Exchange Send Connector Cost configuration


Exchange new send connector


[su_note note_color=”#ffff96″ text_color=”#000000″ radius=”5″]Note: In the lab we will leave the “Scoped send connector” option unchecked[/su_note]

The final step will specifying which servers will be allowed to use the newly created send connector again click on the sign to access the selection page

Exchange new send connector server addition

Once the send connector has been created it will be visible in the Exchange Administration Center

Review of all configured Exchange send connectors

Configure Send Connector for Message Delivery via Smart-Host

In this scenario the Exchange server send connector is configured to deliver all email messages to a smart host, usually a third-party SMTP server or appliance, that will be in turn responsible for the delivery of the message again below the logical diagram of this

Exchange Send connector Smart host

The configuration is identical to what has been described above with some differences, in the Network Settings specify the option to use smart hosts and specify the IP address or hostname to be used

Configure Exchange send connector smart host


Specify the authentication settings to be used with Smart host, in the example below I am routing all my mail through a Linux machine which will work without authentication

Exchange send connector Smart host authentication


You can verify creation of the send connector either via Exchange Administrative Center or via PowerShell

[PS] C:>Get-SendConnector

Identity                                AddressSpaces                           Enabled
--------                                -------------                           -------
Internet Mail Delivery                  {SMTP:*;1}                              True
Smart Host Delivery                     {;1}                  True

Further Configuration

Once you have configured the necessary send connectors there are further configuration steps that can be taken to adapt them to your specific needs

  • Proxy all connections through the CAS Server (Front End)
  • Configure the FQDN that will issued for the HELO or EHLO answers
  • Configure outbound size limits
  • Change Protocol Logging for the Send connector




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