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How do I configure an Exchange Server to send email to a user on the same domain outside of the network?

Posted on 2009-04-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a client that uses a Microsoft Exchange server built in Server 2003. Internally they have no problem sending and receiving emails from each other. The problem begins when their outside sales rep tries to receive messages from someone in the office.

The Exchange server is set to receive mail from the domain management company. So it gets mail from mail.userdomain.com (example name) and then sorts it to the different mailboxes associated in the internal network. So mary@userdomain.com can access her mail either via POP3 or via the Exchange Server. We have it configured that when she is in the office Mary accesses her email via outlook using server.company.local.

When one of the staff members send Mary a message she receives it in the office. So when Joe@userdomain.com sends a message and Mary is accessing the Exchange Server she receives it. But when she leaves the office and is checking email on her laptop via POP3 the messages don't reach her. How can I setup the Exchange server to send all of Mary's messages to the domain mail server instead of handling it internall?

I'm sorry if this doesn't make a lot of sense, but I'm new to the Exchange Server Environment. Thank-you for your time.
Question by:RWB_Support
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 24062005
This is very confusing.  Where is she popping the mail from?  Is the Exchange server set up to provide POP access?

The simplest solution would be to use a single domain both internally and externally.  Then you have a number of options for external users to access email.  MAPI over the internet, Outlook Web Access, POPping from the Exchange server, forwarding email, etc.  Which solution is best depends on how people can access your internal network from the outside.

Personally, I'd go with Outlook Web Access with an SSL certificate, that way they can access their email from any place they have Internet and a web browser, and you don't have to worry about any client side configuration.

LVL 65

Expert Comment

ID: 24064506
Having email on two different servers can make things complex. It isn't clear how your email is delivered - do you know where your MX records are pointing?
If they are pointing to a remote system and not your Exchange server then you need to be careful you do not create a loop.
However for this to work the user would need to have her mailbox removed from Exchange and would therefore be unable to collaborate with others - meetings etc.

Your best option is to have the user collect email from your server, as already pointed out. For remote users with Outlook, Exchange 2003 provides a feature called RPC over HTTPS. That will allow the user to collect email from anywhere with an internet connection, with minimal ports open on your firewall and still retaining the email on Exchange and able to use shared calendaring, contacts etc.


Author Comment

ID: 24065902
Hi Guys,

Thanks for the replies. I knew this was going to come across as confusing since I really don't have a good grip on the begining to end process but this is what I do know.

1. The MX record is pointed to mail.userdomain.com
2. The Exchange server is set to download email from the external mail server and then place it into the users Exchange mailbox locally.
3. The user, using Outlook, accesses the Exchange mailbox and download's the email messages.

The Exchange server has an area labelled POP3 Connector Manager. Inside this control window each user on the network has user information configured. For example Mary has the following options configured:

In the POP3 Information Section
Email Server = mail.userdomain.com
Port = 110
User Name = mary@userdomain.com
Password = *****
Confirm Password = *****
Log on using secure password Authenitication (SPA) check mark box unchecked.

In the Mailbox Information Section
Mailbox Type = User Mailbox
Exchange Mailbox = Mary
Email Domain = This option is greyed out and cannot be accessed.

So as you see their mail is being delivered to a mail hosting company which is accessed via webmail by going to mail.userdomain.com. The clients Server is configured to have Exchange access the users POP3 mailbox, download the messages for them and place those messages into an Exchange mailbox on the local server.

They aren't using Exchange as their mail server so to speak, but rather are using it as their Mailman. Messages go to the Post Office - POP3 server and the Mailman - Exchange server delivers them to their mailbox - Exchange mailbox where they view their mail via Outlook.

Thanks again for your quick responses, I appreciate the help.
LVL 65

Accepted Solution

Mestha earned 2000 total points
ID: 24069471
The presence of the POP3 connector means that you are using SBS.
The POP3 connector isn't really designed for long term use. That also explains how the user can collect their email from the remote server. Is this user listed in the POP3 connector accounts? I expect not.

Basically you have a mess. The first question you need to decide on is simply which server do you want to manage the email. Ideally it should be the Exchange server, with the MX records pointing to that server rather than another server. That will also mean email comes in live, rather than the 15 minute delay of the POP3 connector.

If you want to support users collecting email from both Exchange and the remote site, then you need to configure Exchange to accommodate that, but that will mean the users collecting email from the external server will have to be removed from Exchange so that Exchange treats them as non-local accounts.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 31566678
The answer was great and is exatly what I needed to solve this issue with the client. It allows me to gut the previous techs work and get something solid in, in the near future. Thanks a lot for the info, it really helped.

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