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access hmailserver from outside office

Posted on 2009-03-31
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Hi all,

i've installed hMailServer on a xp pro machine. the MD wants to be able to access his emails from home. can anyone help me to do this?

at the moment the emails can only be accessed from the office as the hMailserver is located on a reserved ip i.e. 192.168.0.50

is there any way i can do this?

many thanks in advance,

EDIT apologies i didnt' mean to add it to the javascript forum. can this please be removed from this section?

matt.
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Question by:flynny
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by:ComputerTechie
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You can use a software like logmein that can access the computer any web browser.
CT
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by:flynny
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hi there thanks for the reply.

i have spoke to bt about this and they say they can redirect all the mail traffic down through to our mail server.

at the moment hmailserver is set to a local ip, i.e. 192.168.0.50

will i need to change this so bt can see it? if not is there anyway i can give it a more descriptive name?


many thanks for all the help,

matt.
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by:c01000100
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sounds like you may need a network administrator to activate port forwarding at the gateway device that the hmailserver obtains it's ip address from.  you will need to know the listening port of the hmailserver, and assign the server a static ip address.  then the network manager uses those two pieces of info(port number and server ip address) to forward traffic from outside.  the md will need the external ip address of the server's gateway to set up the connection from home.
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by:flynny
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thanks for the reply. heres what i have done so far and what i have.

the internet ip is static (i've checked with bt on this).

on the server from looking at the services hMailServer is listening to port 110.
i've also opened up the ports 110 and 25 on the norton firewall.

on the netgear DG834GT router i've added a new service called POP31 for the port 110 and allowed inbound services to 110 and 25.

finally on the client machine i'm testing it (running vista windows mail) i've set the IMAP incoming mail server ip to be the static internet ip address and the port to be 110.

however it isn't connecting to the imap folders am i missing anything out?

thanks for the reply.

matt
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by:c01000100
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on the netgear DG834GT router i've added a new service called POP31 for the port 110 and allowed inbound services to 110 and 25.

this implies that the netgear router had a firewall in place.  now the firewall in the netgear allows incoming traffic destined to ports 25 and 110.

if that's correct, the next step is finding the port forwarding section and enableing the ports 25 and 110 to be forwarded to the hmailserver ip address.
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by:flynny
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Hi thanks for the reply

yes i've done this (please fina screenshot attached.) i've probably overkilled with the inbound and outbound.

however it still doesn't connect. is there anyway i can get more detail on where its falling over?

matt.
screenshot1.jpg
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by:c01000100
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could you also post a screenshot of the services page?
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by:flynny
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yes here it is. also i downloaded a program called PFPortChecker (v 1.0.28) and checked the ports 110 and 25 on the server. and this informs me they are open here.

its saying they are not open on the client machine i'm testing it on though. this again has norton on but i've not opened the ports on this machine. will i need to do this?
screenshot2.jpg
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by:c01000100
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do the log files indicate any activity for the pop31 service?
also, are you attempting to connect from outside your network?
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by:flynny
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hi yes there are both on the same network at the moment but in windows mail i've set the imap inomcing mail server to be our static ip.

yes its does seem to be logging something 192.168.0.5 is the static ip of the server

192.168.0.11 is the local static ip of the client machine i'm trying to connect with. does this help?

Wed, 2009-04-01 14:34:55 - TCP Packet - Source:192.168.0.5,1073 Destination:213.123.26.152,110 - [POP31 match]
Wed, 2009-04-01 14:34:55 - TCP Packet - Source:192.168.0.5,1072 Destination:213.123.26.152,110 - [POP31 match]
Wed, 2009-04-01 14:35:00 - TCP Packet - Source:192.168.0.11,64121 Destination:213.123.26.23,110 - [POP31 match]
Wed, 2009-04-01 14:35:01 - TCP Packet - Source:192.168.0.11,64128 Destination:213.171.216.66,110 - [POP31 match]
Wed, 2009-04-01 14:35:01 - TCP Packet - Source:192.168.0.11,64130 Destination:213.171.216.65,110 - [POP31 match]
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by:c01000100
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i don't think this will work from inside the network.  the client would send it's request to the public ip address, then the router would forward that request to the server.  the server would reply to the router and the router would forward that out the public interface to a private address(the client).  the isp router would receive the reply and not know to send it back to your router.  i would try to connect from outside the network next.
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by:flynny
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ok that could be a problem then does this mean i would need different connections for being in/out of the office?
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by:c01000100
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i'm not sure how what the connection is called from client to server, but from in the office you would just continue connecting to the server using it's private ip address, and from outside, you'd use the router's public ip address.
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by:flynny
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ok thanks for your help i'll try this and see if it works.
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by:flynny
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hi i think i made a mistake. from looking at the hMailServices the IMAP folders are on port 143. ok, so i did the same thing as before and added the service and then the port forwarding to 192.168.0.5. i checked the port on the server end and it said it was open ok.

however i still can't connect to the server. the router logs contain nothing for any attempts at connecting to the new port  (143) though. i also tried telneting into the port and it couldn't connect again there was nothing in the logs for any ports i tried.
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by:c01000100
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i take it you also specified that the port 143 was tcp and not udp...also you might remove the old service and forward entries and create new ones for the same/new ports.  not likely the problem, but it definitely seems like a port/protocol issue.  i would suggest opening all ports to the server for both tcp and udp, with logging, but you seem well informed enough to know that this is more of an entry-level troubleshooting technique...
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by:flynny
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thank you yes i have. i know that the IMAP port is opened as if i go to

http://www.yougetsignal.com/tools/open-ports/

and test the 143 port it says it is open and i get a entry in the router log for this.
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by:c01000100
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are you able to set or check log messages at the server?  assuming yes, and the logs indicate a connection was attempted at the server through the router, i'd say a security protocol for the next level of troubleshooting.  unfortunately though, I'm unfamiliar with the security measures for hMailServer
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by:flynny
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no it doesnt seem to be getting that far (at least i don't think so). as there no log being made at the router when i'm trying to connect through windows mail.
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by:c01000100
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so this external website causes log entries, but your remote test machine doesn't?  if this is the case, i would say to look toward the test machine as the problem source.
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by:flynny
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Last night from home i tried a couple of things out. maybe this will help shed light on what going on.

From  my home network i tried entering the static ip into the web browser first to see if i could log into the router externally. however this didn't work it simply said the address didn't exist. however when i type this ip into the web browser when i'm on the routers network it brings up the log in screen.

next i polled the ports to check they were if fact still active. which the above website confirmed again.

so next i used telnet to try and open port 143. this opened ok. (this doesn't work when on the local network).

seeing this i finally tried to connect to the IMAP folders using the static ip and port 143 in windows mail. which seemed to work (i.e. it said it found the folders and no errors were thrown up).
so i tried to send an email to an account on the server which hasn't worked. when i came in today the hmailserver hasn't shown any logs for the connection i apparently made and logging into the router the logs it has only go back to around 2 in the morning last night so it looks like the router clears the log periodically.

i'm going to try connecting from and external network again today and see if i can get any further logs to see how far the message is getting.

thanks for all your input its been appreciated.
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c01000100 earned 500 total points
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happy to help when possible.  the router should have an option to allow remote management.  that's the feature that would allow you to connect to the web interface for configuration from home.  it should also allow you to specifi the port to listen on for remote management.  i recall seing the port 143 in the forwarding list, ensure that 25 is also there as well as for incoming connections to the server through the firewall.  the reason your connection was successful from outside is that your source ip address was different...as i stated earlier from inside your return ip address was private and the isp didn't know how to route the pack back to you.  seems like you're on the verge of getting this thing done.  after successful connection i suppose would be the instruction part for the md...as to the difference in local and remote email storage, and how to set up the email client to leave a copy of the email on the server when connecting from home.  i'm sure that's all taken care of though...good luck
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by:flynny
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yes thank you your right i'd overlooked this.

out of the office its all connecting fine now. again you're right. the reason it hadn't logged to the hMailServer was because the logging is off by default, switching that on sorted the logs out. the which proved it was connecting it was then just a case of setting the mail server up.

the only problem now is to try and solve the in/out of office issue.

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by:flynny
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faultless support. quick informative answers to questions
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