Is there a way to send a test message after you turn on the email forwarding utility?
I assume you're referring to the ability to send email as an event alert?
Is there is easier way?
Probably, but not a more thorough way of making sure you'll get an actual email in the event of a failure and seeing what it reports.
Almost any changes to an interface will cause an alert thereby generating an email.
You can use a T1 loopback or plug the second Ethernet port into a switch,
If the ports are enabled both of these actions should generate an email.
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