Compared Digital Ocean $6 1GB-25GB droplet vs Hetzner €4.75 cpx11 2GB-40GB read why I decided to move from Digital Ocean to Hetzner.

If you read this, you already know that Hetzner cloud hosting is blocking emails for incoming and outgoing connections on Port 25 and also port 465 but the port 587 is still open and you can configure Postfix to receive email on port 587.

Postfix can use the port 587 for SSL connections by modifying the master config submissions section. Instead of using the old smtp port 25 or 465 for SSL connections, you can use the newer SSL/TLS or Starttls / star tls port 587.

Ports 25, 465 are blocked on Hetzner but port 587 is allowed.

There still seem to be issues with the mail server and any decent smtp server should listen on the established ports for backwards compatibility.

Will update if there is anything to add.


Email can work for receiving and sending between local mailboxes but as soon as you send an email from your domain to gmail, the mta will try to use the standard server to server port 25 for smtp including encrypted email.

Ports 465 and 587 are client to server ports.

Hetzner doen’t seem to offer an alternative smtp server for outgoing emails.

This is super weird and shows lack of controls taking the block everything measure.

Alerts can be configured in WordPress to send to a local email@domain and then the mailboxes can be read thru imap.

If for any reason you need to reply or forward any of those or just send an email, you can’t do it on Hezner unless you jump thru their loops and hoops.

Only to see their replies to your support tickets saying no or online going further than no but saying no, see how good x and y is and we talk is a strange way.

Maybe the user was a spammer or a genuine use but Hetzner’s official reddit account was going to passive-agressive land when replying to the reddit user complaining the emails don’t work.

Support Tickets

I submitted another ticked asking if there is a smtp server for clients. Aka use that in the Gmail app since my server is in quarantine.

Since sending emails is not allowed from the server.
Do you have a hezner smtp server for clients?

Emails mailboxes on the server, receiving emails works thru imap.
Only sending emails to gmail fails.
Is there a smtp server????

Reply comes almost instant with the same template response.

Dear client,

Thank you for your message.

By default the Mailserver Ports 25 and 465 are blocked by us. Only Port 587 is still open.

Once you have been with us for a month and paid your first invoice, you can create a limit request to unblock these ports for a valid use case. In your request, you can tell us details about your use case. We make decisions on a case-by-case basis.

You can find it in your project overview in the upper menu under "Limits" or under the following Link:

If you need further assistance, please feel free to contact us.

I reply back

You did not answer my question.
Please read my message.

This is what you should expect from Hetzner support if you need any email functionality even to send alerts to your own gmail address.

Their final reply

Dear Client,

thanks for your message.

No SMPT server is offered for our Cloud-Sever package. If you wish to have a package which includes mail, you may have a look at our webhosting packages:

In case of further questions we are of course at your disposal

What to do

Looks like I’ll really have to wait and home they dont find me sus. Really if it works and they don’t have another way, I’ll have to try and live with it for now.

Alerts going to local mailboxes, checked with Gmail app thru imap. My temporary solution.


2 responses to “Make emails work on Hetzner”

  1. I’d like to know the update on this issue, as I’d like to switch from AWS. I had used DigitalOcean, Linode in the past, but nothing could make me stick yet. Now I am eyeing Hetzner for my VPS solution. My blog traffics are not that high, but I just want to have some reliability, including on sending and receiving emails on my blogs.

    1. Everything is now on Digital Ocean.
      Price difference was not that big.
      The migrtion process is not entirely shareable for privacy but the key I learned doing this moving exercise is to have everything documented in a step-by-step process / script.

      Now it would be much easier to move because of the scripted setup.

      I don’t really believe now it’s a big problem with Htzner other than them being over zealous about blocking outbound emails and being a bit rigid in their support for my setup at least.

      Try them and see how it is for you. They are cheaper so if the speed is ok for you, use them.
      I tried AWS, Azure, Google Cloud in the past too.

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