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Why is BlackBerry e-mail better than iPhone?

Posted on 2008-10-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
- Why are iPhones ports different than Blackberry?
- Which uses ssl and and which uses non-ssl? What's the significance of this
- Why is one better than the other?
- Can you help provide web links with e-mail flow diagrams for BlackBerry and iPhone?
I have exchange server 2003. We currently use iPhones and BlackBerry phones to receive and send e-mails on the move. We also use outlook for our e-mails. Our Phones sync with our exchange server for e-mails, calendar and notes. There is a SonicWall firewall NSA 3500 on our network.
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Question by:bobox00
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8 Comments
 
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by:paulsolov
paulsolov earned 125 total points
ID: 22754728
In general the two major differences are:

Blackberry uses a Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) to interface with Exchange. It has been out for quite a while and is very stable platform

IPhone uses Active Sync which uses a direct push technology.  Since IPhone is not a Microsoft product it will take a little bit of time to get all the issues resolved, since Windows Mobile devices work the same way it may be just a matter of time but since it doesn't use Microsoft Exchange the actual interface may not be as smooth as blackberry or windows mobile devices.

Both use ssl technology to access emails which encrypts the emails so that they're not plain text and can't be sniffed on the internet.

My $.02
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by:VCBooth
VCBooth earned 375 total points
ID: 22755996
Okay, BlackBerry doesn't necessarily use BES to interface with Exchange.  There is a cheaper option called BIS - BlackBerry Internet Service that uses a POP3 style interface also.  BES is much, much better than BIS - more secure for a start.

BlackBerry devices, as paulsolov says, have been out for a while now and are very tried and tested.  The iPhone obviously hasn't, but as a commercial device is more appealing.  The selling point of a BlackBerry device is email.  The selling point of the iPhone is iTunes, iPod and the App Store.

Both don't actually use SSL technology in the same way.  The iPhone requires you to have Exchange OMA (Outlook Mobile Access) to have a SSL certificate installed so that the username and password details (to name but one) are encrypted at browser level.

However, the BlackBerry device doesn't use an SSL certificate as such but SSL technology on its own unique port (3101) and so you don't require to buy new certificate time after time.

I personally use both devices (we support them) and I do like the iPhone interface and the way its going.  However, for our clients that are more security focused and want incredibly reliable email we do point them to the BlackBerry setup.
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by:bobox00
ID: 22757493
I recently enabled a barracuda spam filter, after which my blackberry continued receiving e-mails, but iphones on my network didn't. We use a SonicWall firewall NSA 3500 and exchange server 2003. Why do you think the iPhones can't receive when I enable the spam filter?
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by:VCBooth
VCBooth earned 375 total points
ID: 22757800
Are your BlackBerry devices using BES or BIS first of all?  I.e. do you have software on a server on your network that is specific to BlackBerry?  (BlackBerry Enterprise Server).

If you take away the Baracuda Firewall then do the iPhones start to work again?  Are you using Push technology on the iPhones or POP and SMTP?  If SMTP then I would daresay that the issue is related.
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Author Comment

by:bobox00
ID: 22757980
I am using BES, and yes the iphones do start working again when I take away the Barracuda spam filter. Below are the ports configured for e-mail on my SonicWall firewall. I am really not sure what we use for the iphones, but if the information below doesn't help figure this out, let me know, so that I'll borrow one of the iphones and take a look:

HTTP      TCP      80      80
HTTPS      TCP      443      443
IMAP3      TCP      220      220
IMAP4      TCP      143      143
NTP      UDP      123      123
SMTP (Send E-Mail)      TCP      25      25
Blackberry      TCP      3101      310
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by:VCBooth
VCBooth earned 375 total points
ID: 22758899
Okay - for the iPhone to work as a push service you need to have HTTPS open pointing to your server hosting https://servername/oma - the exchange Outlook Mobile Access.  This is normally the same as your Outlook Web Access server.

You don't need port 80 pointing to that server, however, you DO need port 80 open on the IIS server for OMA to work.

Why do you have IMAP3 and IMAP4 open?  Is this what you are using for your mail?

Is it a case of simply turning off the Baracada and everything works - or do you make a change to any of the services?  Are you logging into the Baracuda firewall via HTTP or HTTPS?  Is that one of the rules?  If so - thats your issue - the HTTPS service is pointing to the Baracuda and not the Exchange server OMA.
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by:
bobox00 earned 0 total points
ID: 22762145
It's working now. My spam filter only receives the following now:

HTTP      TCP      80      80
NTP      UDP      123      123
SMTP (Send E-Mail)      TCP      25      25
DNS (port 53)
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Expert Comment

by:VCBooth
ID: 22764748
Great stuff - so it was your HTTPS pointing to the Baracuda that was the issue.  Good stuff.
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