MTA stands for either “message transfer agent” or “mail transfer agent”, most likely the latter. An MTA can be a full-blown mail server or a fake MTA that relays through a real mail server.
I’m here to write about some fake MTA packages, not mail servers.
Over the years, I’ve used three mail transfer agents on the same server that hosted my websites, one real and two fake. The first one was real, Postfix. The second was sSMTP and the one I’m using now is msmtp. A fake MTA is limited and it should be limited if it’s only going to be used for comments or contact form messages on a non-professional website.
When I asked if a professional e-mail domain was necessary, I was talking about an e-mail domain to match the website. I’m not running a business and it doesn’t matter if the e-mail address for my website ends with a Gmail or Yahoo domain name.
All of my contact form messages route through my Gmail account. Every so often, I’ll test it to make sure it still works. I don’t get many messages. My comments go through Disqus, so there’s no issue with those at all.
I do my web development on Windows 10 these days and I found a fake sendmail for Windows shortly after I installed the other software packages I needed. When testing, I found it worked as well as msmtp on Linux.
Of the three, only msmtp is being actively developed and updated. The fake MTA for Windows hasn’t been updated since 2011 but it still works. The sSMTP fake MTA hasn’t been updated in a while (I switched for that reason) but I can’t tell you when without installing it and I don’t want to do that.
I don’t want to use full-fledged mail server ever again. If the packages I’m familiar with stop working without anything to replace them with, I’ll go back to using a “mailto” hyperlink. After all, I get plenty of spam without it.