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Does Exchange need a static IP address?

Posted on 2007-11-28
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Last Modified: 2010-08-05
I'm setting up Exchange Server 2003 in my office for no other purpose than to teach myself Exchange.  I have my own registered domain name but I do NOT have a static IP address from my ISP.  I've seen the SMTP settings in Exchange but nothing about POP3.  Is this because I can't receive external e-mails on my exchange server without a static WAN IP address?  If so then assume I get a static IP address... What is the next step to do?  Something about pointing my domain name to certain DNS servers???  I’m hoping I don't have to get a static IP address and that there is a setting in Exchange.
Thank You!
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Question by:PCGalOfCal
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9 Comments
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 20367757
In order to receive email on your Exchange server for your domain, you have to have either a static IP address or you have to use an outside service, like DynDNS.com, to provide a service that makes you look like you have a static IP address.  They take care of the DNS end of things and your mail gets routed through them to your dynamic IP address.  Here's a link to their website; there are others who offer the same service:

http://www.dyndns.com/services/dns/dyndns/
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Expert Comment

by:JimboEfx
ID: 20367783
In order to receive email via smtp directly you will need a mx record

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MX_record

This is a host name which resolves to an address, it is easier if this is static. If it is dynamic then you need a tool aka dyndns to keep the record up to date.

If you are using POP3 for retrieval then your exchange server does not "need" one, but you may find difficulties regarding email compliance if people do reverse lookups on your sending address. I'm not sure bear exchange 2003 has a pop3 connector (SBS does but I think it may be a special case).

If you have more questions ask away...
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Author Comment

by:PCGalOfCal
ID: 20368586
I went to Dyndns.com and I’ve read through the steps on how to set up Dynamic DNS  There are a few things I’m a little confused on in Step Two.  

First… My host name would be www.4pcfix.dyndns.org.  I don’t think I need any wildcards as I have no sub domains.  Does that make sense?

Second,… I don’t understand why I have to set TTL when I will be installing an update client.   If the update client software is keeping track of my IP, why does TTL matter?  I’m confused, obviously.  

My service type would be “A Record Pointing to an IP Address”, yes?

I feel like I’m almost there, lol.  Thank you both for your help!
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 20368664
<<First… My host name would be www.4pcfix.dyndns.org.  I don’t think I need any wildcards as I have no sub domains.  Does that make sense?>>

If 4pcfix is the host name you want to use, then just use that.  You don't need the "www" unless you are hosting a website, so you can leave that out.

<<I don’t understand why I have to set TTL when I will be installing an update client.   If the update client software is keeping track of my IP, why does TTL matter? >>

The TTL is the amount of time the DynDNS server will wait before updating the dynamic IP address that your Internet connection is actually using.  You should probably set it to a short time just in case your dynamic IP changes.

And yes to your last question about your service type.
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Author Comment

by:PCGalOfCal
ID: 20382224
It looks like I have opened a whole new can of worms for myself.  There is a lot of new info, new to me, at that website.  I have to find the time now and connect all the dots.  So if I may, let me ask a couple more questions and then I'll close this posting.

First question is at DynDNS website under  DNS Services do I choose Dynamic DNS or Custum DNS?  I thought I only needed dynamic DNS until I read under Custum DNS and then I got a little confussed on the difference between the two.

Last quesiton is in regards to my web hosting company which happens to be iPower.  I'm not even utilizing the web site features so that is not an issue but Im  using them for e-mails.  Are they able to help me with any of this.  If I had a static IP couldn't they redirect my incoming e-mails to my IP or no.

Thanks!
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 20382857
<<Dynamic DNS or Custum DNS?>>

You want Dynamic DNS.  The Custom DNS service is for sites that have a static IP address.

<<If I had a static IP couldn't they redirect my incoming e-mails to my IP or no.>>

Yes, if you change to a static IP address, you don't need the DynDNS service.  The company that is hosting your domain (which is probably, but not necessarily, your ISP) can take care of it.  Either they will do it themselves, or they will give you access to a web-based control panel where you can manage it yourself.

The reason I said "which is probably, but not necessarily, your ISP" is another new thing you need to understand.  The company that hosts your WEB SITE and the company that hosts your DOMAIN are not necessarily the same thing.  It just depends on what was done when your domain was registered.  If your ISP registered your domain for you, then they are definitely hosting your domain and your web site.  If someone else had previously registered the domain name and then you got Internet access or changed your ISP, your domain and your web site might not be hosted by the same company.  The easiest way to tell is to go to:

http://www.dnsstuff.com

At this web page, put in your domain name in the "WhoIS" lookup box.  This will tell you where your domain is registered and some other information about contacts for your domain.  At the bottom of this page you will see "DNS servers" and a list of the authoritative DNS servers for your domain.  If these are your ISP's DNS servers, then they are hosting your domain.  If they are not, you need to find out where these servers are located - just look up the domain name for those servers in the WhoIs.
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Author Comment

by:PCGalOfCal
ID: 20383246
The company that hosts my web site is the company that I registered my domain with.  I understand that but my ISP is completely different from both the above.  Time Warner is my ISP.  What does Time Warner (my ISP at home) have to do with iPower Web who hosts my Web Site and my Domain Name?
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LVL 38

Accepted Solution

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Hypercat (Deb) earned 500 total points
ID: 20383434
Nothing at all.  First of all, when you say "my ISP at home," is this where your office is and where you are going to set up your Exchange server?

What I am trying to explain to you is that there are a number of different parties involved, any of which might be hosting your DNS zone:  your ISP (TimeWarner), the company that registered your domain name (iPower Web), or the company where your domain name is registered.  These are all different companies that are involved.  If you will use the DNSStuff web site as I suggested and use the WhoIs query, this might become a bit clearer to you.  Or, if you want to post your domain name, I can look it up for you and tell you who is hosting your DNS zone.

Once you know who's hosting your zone, if you want to go the static IP address route, then you need to do two things:

1.  Contact your ISP and get a static IP address.
2.  Set up your server and router at home to use that static IP address.
3.  Contact the company that is hosting your domain and have them add the necessary DNS records to identify your home server and that it is an email server.

I strongly suggest that if you don't really understand any of this, and if you are not really serious about learning it, then you should stick with a dynamic IP address and use DynDNS.
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Author Comment

by:PCGalOfCal
ID: 20384156
I do understand what your talking about above and I will learn it in detail.  The exchange server is already set up and yes at my home office (internal e-mailing on Exchange is working), iPower Web is hosting my DNS zone.  Im going to start out by getting it setup with a dynamic IP since that is what I currently have and use DynDNS.  Maybe I'm wrong but it sure seems like it would be easier if I had a static IP.  Does not really matter because I need to fully understand both.  I have plenty of info for now.  Thanks for your help.
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