Outlook 2000 Expert Needed - POP3 accounts, different SMTP servers

Posted on 2006-04-28
Last Modified: 2010-04-08
This question gets a bit complicated, but I'll try and describe it as best as possible:

I have a user in my office that has a personal laptop that he brings to the office each day.  He has two POP3 email accounts, or services, setup for his single personal email account to send mail while he is in the office, and one account to send email when he is at home.  His home ISP requires that he uses their SMTP server, and in the office, our ISP requires that you use their SMTP for sending email.  The amazing thing is, he claims that he can send email from both locations without changing his default email account.  I have actually seen it work and I am wondering how Outlook does this.

Here is how he installed and setup his Outlook initially...  He first configured Outlook 2000 as Internet Only Mode, then proceeded to setup his two POP3 accounts, each with the same incoming mail settings, but both having different SMTP outgoing mail for home and one for the office.  Once he has his accounts setup, he does the "Reconfigure Mail Support" in Outlook and changes Outlook to Exchange Server mode.  He does not use an exchange server, but puts Outlook in that mode because he likes how exchange server mode allows him to sort his contacts by last name first when he is selecting contacts to send an email too (apparently in Internet Only Mode, you cannot sort the list of contacts by last name...only first name...again, I am referring to when you click on the "To" button in an email and it show you all the contacts to pick).  With Outlook in Exchange Mode, the "Accounts" changes to "Services", and where it shows his POP3 accounts, it no longer specifies which email account is the "default" account like it did when he had it in Internet Only Mode.  He claims that after he does this initial setup, and takes his laptop home at least one time (so it can apparently "see" his home SMTP server) that his Outlook somehow knows which location he is at and send emails accordingly.  I can't believe that Outlook "learns" anything, and I am baffled at how this works for him.  My contention is that if his HOME account is the default email address, all the emails he sends at work will simply sit in the outbox until he get's home and connects to the Internet.  Likewise, if his WORK account is set as the default, all the emails he sent at home would just sit in the outbox until he gets to work the next day and Outlook then will send them on the proper SMTP server.  This is NOT the case however.  He can actually send email from home or work, without changing anything, and the email sends immediatly.  He thinks that Outlook somehow tries one account first, then if it realizes that it will not send, it will try the other account.  The user claims that on the very first day that he configured his Outlook, the mail was stuck in his outbox until he got home, but he says that after the first day when the laptop had been physically attached to both the home and office network, Outlook somehow knew where he was at, and on which account to send his outgoing mail (or that it tried both accounts until it was successfully able to send on the proper SMTP server).

Does this make sense to anyone?  I can't believe Outlook "learns" anything, and I am amazed this works for him.  I'll be configuring ony of my laptops the same way to see if I can replicate what he is doing, but I thought I'd ask this question to see if anyone has heard of such a thing.

Question by:jbobst
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    In outlook tools>accounts properties>connections: may hold the key. I use three laptops on internet mode in a similar way. Home access through dial-up.
    LVL 1

    Author Comment


    I checked "connections" area, and there didn't seem to be anything there...  Still not sure how his computer is doing this, but it might be that when he goes between the office and his house, he doesn't shutdown the laptop...he leaves it turned on pretty much 24 hours a day.

    I am fine with this question being abandoned....

    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    If the user can send through your email server whilst connected through another IP (outside IP), It may mean that your email server allows to relay if the user authenticates properly. This is not bad provided that your server does do some authentication. Hence the office and personal accounts both can send without any change in settings.

    Do a test for your domain at and where Under Mail > Open Relay Test > here(is a link), click it and proceed with the open relay test, you will need to register free.

    Also since the user is connected to the Internet at office the personal emails will get sent through that SMTP. Unless of course your server actually relays for other domains, which is bad.

    Keep in mind that when a recieved email is replied to it uses the account settings of the recieved account to send out.

    I would also like to know how the configuration went with the other laptop. However I am also ok with closing the question.

    Accepted Solution

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