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pbisseggerFlag for Canada

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Change FROM mail delivery thru ISP (using POP3 and smarthost) to direct mail delivery to Exchange server

I am using DiscountASP.net for many of my web sites, and also are leverging their email service for one of my SMB customers. I really like developing with DiscountASP.net, but from an email point of view - possibly since I have an exchange server - the service seems to frequently have problems. So I want to make a change. I have Exchange 2003 installed on a Windows 2003 server.

Currently I have my domain name provider pointing to DiscountASP.net`s email servers which collect all the mail. And it is separated out into 20 POP mailboxes on DiscountASP. Then I have set up 20 POP connectors with my Exchange server to fetch mail on a 15 minute basis.

In the other direction, I am using the SMTP connector (configured as a smarthost) on my Exchange server to send all outgoing mail thru the DiscountASP`s mailserver to avoid as much as possible being greylisted or blacklisted.

However, like I said because of continual issues, I want to try bypassing DiscountASP and having the mail redirected directly by the DNS service to my Exchange server, and my exchange server senting email directly out using DNS to the end recipients.

Finally, I have a static IP address on my internet router, and my Exchange server is directly behing the internet router.

I have an idea on how this is done, but I want someone to validate it. Here`s what I think I need to do:

1. Create a port forward on my router to the NIC card where my Exchange server is installed, so that all email on the router is forwarded from the router to the right place. But I don`t know the details on how to do this.

2. Make a change with my DNS service to redirect all email to my internet static IP address. I don`t know the details of which records etc to point.

3. I need to disable all my POP3 connectors

4. In my email and internet connection wizard (in Windows 2003 Server Management) , I need to change email that is sent to use DNS instead of the smarthost

5. In the same email and internet connection wizard (in Windows 2003 Server Management) , I need to change the email retrieval method to use Exchange (Email is delivered directly to my server).

Is this correct ? And is there anything else I need to do or know ?

Thanks, Peter
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tigermatt
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Thanks guys, I understand and have prepared to do all the changes except for using Smarthost, where I have a couple further questions.

I am worried that the smarthost to DiscountASP is what is causing my problems today. And I am also worried about SPAM (receiving mailservers rejecting my mail because it seems to come from DiscountASP.net instead of my originating server). The problem I have today (mostly) is that nobody is getting the email we send out. And unfortunately DiscountASp are unwilling or unable to help me debug it.

Should (or can) I use something else which is not smarthost or DNS ? Or, should I change the smarthost to point to my ISP instead ? Or am I just not understanding something, or maybe a bit too paranoid ?

FYI I did just register an SPF record so I am hoping that will help too.

Finally Redwulf, in #4 above were you also aligned that smarthost is the best, or did you mean to use DNS. I have had big problems with DNS before (and I understand tigermatt's statement), but I would just like to get your opinion.

Thanks, Pete


The only methods of sending mail out to the internet is either by using DNS or a smart host. As you've had problems with DNS I think and would recommend you will be best by sending mail by smart host to the most reliable SMTP server you have permission to relay to. Normally this is the ISP's mail server and you should try this one.

There won't be any issues with mail coming from the ISP's mail server. I use this configuration all the time and don't have any problems. If you think about it the Exchange server is just acting as an SMTP client but on a larger scale, and therefore mail is going to flow out in a similar fashion to how it would with a POP/IMAP and SMTP configuration in Outlook.

Another possibility could be that the SMTP server requires authentication for you to relay mail through it. In this case you will need to follow the question "My ISP requires authentication to use their SMTP server" in the questions section at the bottom of this page: http://www.amset.info/exchange/smtp-connector.asp

Please let us know how you get on,
tigermatt
OK, changes are made, but I have a couple of final questions:

1. The POP mailboxes I had originally took incoming email and routed it to individual user mailboxes in Exchange. Now that I am routing email (i suppose its SMTP email) thru my router to the Exchange Server, how does the server know which user exchange mailbox to put it in ? Do i have to set up some new connectors, or is that just automatic ?

2. Above, tigermatt said "You need to register a sub-domain of your main domain which will probably be mail.<yourdomain>.com.". I assume this means I need to add an A record which says mail.<mydomain>.com, and then add an MX record to point to it ? I don't actually have to register a new domain name, do I ?

Besides this, everything seemed very straightforward and I have my fingers crossed.

Thanks, Peter