Is there a better way to send email instead of ISP to recipients in the same office?


I am writing this because I sometime encounter as much as a 3 hour delay when sending (or recieving) email to someone who is only 20 feet away in the same office as me.  Is this (what I've described) something Exchange Servers would be useful for, or what?  I guess I am just trying to circumvent the ISP is possible, so I don't have to wait so long for email that is coming from inside our office environment.


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David LeeConnect With a Mentor Commented:

Point #1 - You could configure Outlook to check two accounts, one of those being an internal Exchange server, but you odn't have to.  To have all of your mail go through the Exchange server you'll have to talk to your ISP about setting up your own mail server.  An Exchange server facing the internet is more of a security issue than one used exclusively on an intranet.  

Point #2 - Your computers all have to be pointed to a DNS server, but that doesn't mean you have one of your own.  Your LAN administrator should be able to answer that question for you.  If you don't have an administrator, then go to your Windows 2000 server and launch the DNS administration tool.  It will tell you if you have your own DNS server.  Another way to check is to go to a command prompt and enter IPCONFIG /ALL.  Check teh DNS server address.  If it's an address on your network, then you have an internal DNS server.  If not, then you're pointed at your ISP's DNS server.  Windows SBS would replace your Windows 2000 server.  It would be both file server and mail server.
David LeeCommented:
Hi pelampe,

Yes, with Exchange Server sending to someone on the same network is virtually instantaneous.  Using it would not require messages to go to the ISP and come back.

pelampeAuthor Commented:

Some more quick questions:

1 - Is it hard to setup the Exchange Server?  Are there any good tutorials you'd recomend?

2 - Is any special software required to be purchased so it can be set up?

3 - Are there any security issues?


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David LeeCommented:
Hi, Phil.

1.  Not too hard, but Exchange does require a certain amount of care and feeding to keep it running and problem free.  If you're only planning to use it inside an office, then the support required is a lot lower than if you plan to hook it to the internet.  I took a couple of Exchange classes from a Microsoft certified training center.  I'm not an expert, and don't know as much I probably should, but with a little assistance I've managed to keep Exchange up and running and mostly trouble free for several years.  I don't have any tutorials to recommend.  

2.  You need to have Windows Server and DNS.  I'd recommend Windows Small-Business Server unless you have a large office.

3.  Yes, there are security issues, but I'd rate them as fairly minor unless you connect directly to the internet.
A simpler option might be to switch to an ISP who is more responsive. A 3-hour delay is pretty unacceptable these days (except in the case of rare downtime). Even my free Yahoo and Hotmail accounts get mail delivered within a minute or two.

While setting up your own server would certainly solve the problem, it can lead to significant time and resource commitment to keep it running smoothly, so I would not advise it unless you have the time and know-how.
Nick DennyCommented:
Does it have to be sent by email?

If you are sending large files to someone 20 feet away, you would be far better using the LAN - copy the file to a shared drive and have the recipient copy it onto their machine (assuming you are on a LAN!!!)
pelampeAuthor Commented:
Hi All,

I was swamped yesterday, and had no time to reply to your replies.  So here are my comments, in the order of the most recent to the oldest:

Comment from seriousnick:

I KNOW!  Ohh... if I could only convince my boss that all he needs to do is SAVE that file from his email to the server, but no... He wants to forward it to me instead.  So that is why I need a faster email system.  So now I have revealed the real crux of the problem, hate to say it, but he won't change his ways, so I have to come up with a better way to get around it.

Comment from r-k:

We have to use this ISP because they are providing ALL of our services, and we get a better rate as a result of using them.  And with regard to your second point, is it really that difficult to set an exchange server?

Comment from Blue-Devil fan:

On your #1 point:  "If you're only planning to use it inside an office, then the support required is a lot lower than if you plan to hook it to the internet".  I kind of confused here.  What do you mean "hook to the internet"?  Currently we have to access the POP server to get our email.  Are you saying that with Exchange, we would have to configure our Outlook to have 2 ways to get email: One being a local setup using Exchange, and the other the POP setup for the internet?

On your #2 point: When you say "You need to have Windows Server and DNS.  I'd recommend Windows Small-Business Server,  unless you have a large office."  We have Windows Server 2000.  I'm pretty sure we have DNS, but how can I check to see if we do indeed have it (GOD, I feel SO ignorant asking about this!).  And when you mention Windows Small-Business Server, is that something we'd need to have BESIDES Windows Server 2000?  And finnally, we have a small office of 5-6 people.

One other question for all of you reading this:

Let's say that we implement Exchange server. Say that my boss goes out of town on a business trip, and forgot to bring a file for his trip. He calls me and asks me to send him the file.  So I email him the file.  Would he have to login to our server to get it, or would he be able to retieve it using the ISP's online POP client?

Thanks for your replies on my questions, BTW!

David LeeCommented:
Any update, Phil?
pelampeAuthor Commented:
Sorry I didn't post back to this but got really busy trying to get the end of the month stuff done.  I can't belive how fast time flies!

With regard to your comments, we are evaluating the options you've listed above, and will make a decision by the middle of August, hopefully.

Thanks for your help!
David LeeCommented:
You're welcome.
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