Smart Hosting

Smart Hosting

Smart hosting allows a mail server to route emails directly to another mail server. By smart hosting, KnowBe4 can bypass your spam filter and create a direct route from our mail server to yours. If your mail environment includes a spam filter that impacts the deliverability of your Phishing Security Tests (PSTs), you can bypass your spam filter through smart hosting.

Important:This feature is only available for paid accounts. If you have a free account and would like to set up a smart host connection, please contact our Support team for further assistance.

For more information about smart hosting, see the sections below.

Smart Host Setup

To begin smart hosting, you’ll first need to allow our IP addresses in your firewall or mail server. Instructions for setting up a connector to our mail server will depend on your organization’s mail flow. For more information, see the list below:

Microsoft 365Google WorkspaceExchange

Adding A Smart Host

Once you have allowed our IP addresses in your mail server, you can enable the smart host connection from your KnowBe4 Console account settings. For additional instructions regarding establishing the smart host connection, see below:

  1. Log in to your KnowBe4 Console and click your user name in the upper-right corner.
  2. Click Account Settings.
  3. In the list on the left, scroll down to Phishing and then click Smart Hosts.
  4. Click the Add New Smart Host button to view the smart host configuration window.
  5. You’ll enter your mail server information to establish the smart host in the Add New Smart Host window. For a description of the different configuration options in the window, see below: 
    1. Select the domain for this Smart Host: In this drop-down menu, you’ll select the domain for the smart host you would like to configure. This domain must be an allowed domain on your account.
    2. Public Hostname or IP Address: In this field, you’ll enter the public hostname or IP address of your mail server. You also have the option to specify a port number in the Port Number field if you are not using the default SMTP port.
    3. Priority: In this field, you can configure a priority number when setting up multiple smart hosts for the same domain. Lower numbers will receive a higher priority. If you are configuring only one smart host for the domain, this field can be left as zero. This field can also be used if you would prefer a particular smart host connection to be used first.
    4. Require TLS: This check box is an optional setting that can be used if you have configured your mail server connector to require a TLS connection. If your mail server connector requires TLS, you will need to enter your mail server admin credentials in order to establish the smart host connection. Additionally, you’ll need to enter your credentials any time you save changes to the smart host.
    5. Add Another Smart Host Connection: Clicking this button allows you to configure another smart host connection for the same domain. This will also allow you to specify other IP addresses or mail servers that may be in use for the domain.
  6. Once you have configured the smart host, click Save to save your changes.

We recommend testing your new smart host connection to ensure that emails are being delivered as expected. You can use the Send Me a Test Email button to send an email to the email address that you have specified. This button will appear only after you have saved changes to your smart host configuration.

Whitelisting After Smart Hosting

Once you have set up your smart host connection and verified that it is connected, you’ll need to configure your whitelisting. Whitelisting recommendations will vary depending on your mail server. For further information regarding whitelisting, see our Whitelisting Guide. Additionally, our Whitelisting Wizard allows you to answer a series of questions about your mail flow in order to provide you with our most up-to-date whitelisting recommendations for your environment.

Important:After smart hosting, post-delivery inbox filtering may still interfere with recorded email interactions, email delivery, or attachment functionality.

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