Posted on 2004-08-25
Last Modified: 2010-03-18


I have an exchange server at client


Boss has laptop.


He want to be 100% mobile when he is out of office and 100% connected when in the office


Do you guys know what the best way of configurating this laptop, so that when he is at home he gets all his mail and can surf on a dial up and when he is at work connect to the exchange box....


I'm struggling here with this stuff - need fresh ideas!



Question by:SimonQureshi
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Author Comment

ID: 11890757
Exchange 2000 and XP Pro
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 11891468
Hi SimonQureshi,

You can use Outlook syncronisation that will allow him to access his emails offline.  That'll be useful for him when it's not plugged into the network.

As the laptop is XP Pro, it'll cache his domain details - so he'll have no problem logging on to the laptop when not in the office.
You can use folder synchronisation to let him have copies of the files.

Does that sound about right, or am I missing the point somewhere?

Right - the other thing he wants to do is dial-up to the Internet and surf from the laptop.

Do you have a dial-in service that will allow him to dial-in to your LAN and then connect to the Internet from there?

It's an exceptionally bad idea to allow him to connect directly to the Internet with his laptop.  His laptop could easily get infected with viruses, spyware or other exploits - which he'll bring into your network as soon as he's back in the office.

There are ways around this - but you'll have to very carefully configure your AV software and firewalls.

Author Comment

ID: 11891713
is RAS maybe a better option Scampgb?
LVL 15

Accepted Solution

adamdrayer earned 150 total points
ID: 11892007
I would setup OWA (Outlook for Web Access).  This will give him the ability to check his email from any internet-enabled computer.  It doesn't do calendars though.  Only mailboxes.

Another option is  This will allow him to take control of his computer at work from any web browser.  It's really fast on slow connections and allows him total access to his work machine.

These solutions however are totally independent of internet access.  You can setup OWA if you have exchange, but you will have to pay for  I think that paying the fee for it is worth it.  Then he'll need internet access for his laptop.  He will gain more speed by using his own internet access, then tunneling through your company's system anyway.

I would recommend the above solutions as a great mix of ease/cost/speed.
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 11892023
>>He will gain more speed by using his own internet access, then tunneling through your company's system anyway.

should have been

He will gain more speed by using his own internet access THAN tunneling through your company's system anyway.

big difference, sorry.

Author Comment

ID: 11892034
Thanks Adam,

i am totally aware of GoToMyPc i use it at work, for other reasons tho. i have handed the info over and am awaiting what the client would prefer.
LVL 15

Assisted Solution

scampgb earned 150 total points
ID: 11894850
Adam: OWA allows you to access your email, calendar, tasks and contacts.
I didn't mention it as I understood from the question that the user wanted to be able to use his laptop to access his email in the same way as he does when in the office.

If the end-user would be happy to use a different system for accessing the network when away from the office, then I think OWA or remote-control software is the way to go.  However for simplicity, the guy probably wants to use his laptop :-)

Simon: you mentioned RAS.  If you are in a position to implement a RAS solution for this guy, it would probably be the better option.
It depends on what he wants to achieve though :-)

If he mainly wants to use his email and network resources when not in the office, and do some occasional web surfing, it'll work fine.
Dependant on your office's Internet connection and access system, his access to the Internet should be much the same as dialling his ISP.

However, that all assumes modem dial-in (he could use ISDN I suppose!).

Now, if he needs faster access to the Internet and the network when at home then I'd suggest he gets a broadband connection of some sort (ADSL/cable) and you implement a VPN.  Once again, be careful with this.  If the laptop gets infected with something, then establishes a VPN, the network will easily become infected.

I get around this with one of my users by using to network ports in the laptop.  He uses one in the office, and the other one at home to connect to a broadband service.  ZoneAlarm is installed on the machine and bound to the "home" port.  This is seriously locked down, to only allow VPN traffic.
The machine is also configured so that it won't connect if he uses them the wrong way round :-)

So - the office connection is straightforward with no hassle, the home connection allows him to establish a VPN but protects the laptop.

Does that help?
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 11895190
Thanks for the correction about OWA

>>If the end-user would be happy to use a different system for accessing the network when away from the office, then I
>>think OWA or remote-control software is the way to go.  However for simplicity, the guy probably wants to use his laptop :-)

I'm not sure I follow.  I think OWA and remote control is much simplier.  and how do you mean he 'probably wants to use his laptop'?
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 11900520
Hi Adam.  I meant that he probably wants to use his laptop in the same way that he does in the office.

He'll be used to using Outlook, and it would make more sense for him to continue using that - but with offline synchronisation.

Also, the disadvantage of OWA is that you need to be online to use it.  With offline synchronisation, he can read, write and respond to emails - then upload/download the lot in one go.  Saves phone bills :-)

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