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EXCHANGE 2003 & ISP

Posted on 2009-04-28
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Last Modified: 2013-11-11
Does anyone know the best ISP providers to go with other than BT, in order that I can setup exchange 2003 at home via a Business Line and successfully send & receive email externally.

Once Ive confirmed what is required and I can prove I can communicate with the chosen ISP I can then offer this as a service to new business customer and use whatever ISP Ive used to bring new customers on board.

So I get paid for setting up a companies exchange server within the company so that everyone can send and receive email externally.

The ISP im currently with say that they dont provide the service I want as they are not earning any money from me.  which i did not understand as I can still receive email from an external person back to my local domain.

so ive been told that that have a 3rd party package that provides something else for what i wish.

I think weve got ourselves confused personally, but im not sure!!

I do though have a business line, although I think it still maybe via broadband, so Im not sure if this is the real issue??

I am using a Dynamic type of Fixed address as they interpret it, but from my knowledge and speaking with others, ive been told that as long as I monitor the IP Address and change it according on my 123reg dns then email should always work.

This is good for me because once Ive confirmed I can ACTUALLY setup email for users to send & recieve, then I will no longer require this service but will continue to use the package, ie my internet access.  Until maybe I use some other software out there in the future that will again require my fixed ip again.  Like I say as long I change it at my 123reg dns then I should be ok.??
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Question by:mikey250
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 24250510
Correction of the above paragraph, is supposed to be as below:

The ISP im currently with say that they dont provide the service I want as they are not earning any money from me.  which i did not understand as I CAN send email to them or a 3rd party, but they CANT send back.

THE ONLY DIFERENCE IS, INSTEAD OF THEM CREATING A DOMAIN LINKED TO THE IP ADDRESS THEYVE GIVEN ME WITH PRESUMABLY THE RELEVANT "MX & A RECORD" POINTING TO THE IP ADDRESS GIVEN.  IVE CURRENTLY GOT MY OWN DOMAIN WITH 123REG DNS, and ive already added an "MX & A Record" pointing back to the IP Address that they gave.  But 3rd parties still CANT send email back.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Britt Thompson earned 400 total points
ID: 24250598
Take a look at Speakeasy and see if they're in your area. They provide an outstanding business class DSL that they'll install in your home and they have great customer service. I've used Speakeasy at several clients with Exchange.
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 24250754
never heard of them, are you based in the UK?
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 24250870
they only offer this service in USA not UK.  Ive just spoke with speakeasy!
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Assisted Solution

by:Mestha
Mestha earned 1600 total points
ID: 24256100
Anyone else reading this question - this is UK ONLY!

The phone service has nothing to do with the ADSL/Broadband service. You can have ADSL enabled on anything that BT or BT wholesale have put in for someone else. It just cannot be a Virgin/NTL line.

Therefore it comes down to finding a decent business ISP.
If you avoid anything connected to BT (so that includes plus.net) and anything connected with Tiscali (who are trying to leave the UK - so that includes Pipex) then you need to look at a few others.

You need a static IP address and reverse DNS records.
Look at a proper business ISP - but don't think you will pay £15/month for service.

So Easynet, Eclipse, Zen Internet, someone like that.

This site is too USA orientated for something as geo specific as broadband providers. Try something like http://www.thinkbroadband.com/ instead.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 24258585
1. why cant it be a Virgin/NTL Line?

2. why would i need to avoid BT?
3. So Tiscali are looking to leave the UK!
4. Look at others like who?

5.  What price would I pay as BT have said if I pay a SO-CALLED deposit which I agree, which is returned at the end of the term. but it is similar to what Im currently paying for a residential line with Blueyonder?

6.  are Easynet, Eclipse, Zen Internet UK based?
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 24262066
non of those companies actually provide what I want except for: easynetconnect.net, but their package is too expensive.
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 24262081
Everyone else was also struggling to understand what I wanted:

I basically said I wish to run my own exchange 2003 and be able to send & receive email externally!!
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 24262099
I then said to them presumably Im going to need the following:

- static ip
- domain name with relevant a & mx records pointing to the static ip
- & presumably a smart host

would this be correct?
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LVL 65

Assisted Solution

by:Mestha
Mestha earned 1600 total points
ID: 24264522
You can't put ADSL on a Virgin/NTL line.
BT can't run an ISP to save their life.

As for what you are looking for - you don't know.
You are obviously looking for something on the ISPs web site and not seeing it. So what specific phrase do you THINK you need?
All of those ISPs will allow Exchange to run quite happily. I have clients on all of them.

If you are looking for them to specifically say "Exchange" - then you will never see that.
If you are specifically looking for email server - then you will never see that.

The ISP doesn't care - they are only interested in the bandwidth. As long as you aren't hosting anything illegal and are not spamming the planet, then they don't care.
A business connection is all that you need - but as I wrote above, you are not going to get a decent business connection for £14. You need to look at packages at least £30/month, if not more to get a decent business connection.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 24268978
You can't put ADSL on a Virgin/NTL line.
- Im aware of this, but all I know is I told them what I wanted to do, so automatically assumed they know what they are doing.

As for what you are looking for - you don't know.
- I think I know what I want from an ISP although never been involved with this part but trying to learn and go through it now.  So from my point of view ISP's are all the same. Or should I say I thought.

You are obviously looking for something on the ISPs web site and not seeing it. So what specific phrase do you THINK you need?
- Yes but what Ive been doing is asking to speak with sales and then a Technical person to clarify to them what I wish to do but those Ive spoken with yesturday have said no but there was one company that did but it was out of my price range.
- What ive been saying is:  I wish to run my own Exchange server on my own internal domain, but I also wish to have the ability to send & receive emails externally.  Im assuming I need:

- static ip
- domain name with relevant a & mx records pointing to the static ip
- & presumably a smart host

I have said to them can they advise on this!!

All of those ISPs will allow Exchange to run quite happily. I have clients on all of them.
- you say your comment above! Wel I can only assume that as you know exactly what you wish, that you just go ahead and buy.  So I can only assume that maybe they have taken my comments as if Im trying to take businness from them or something. Although this would not make any sense either!!  As you say all they care about is Bandwideth etc.  SO I DONT KNOW.  CAN YOU GIVE ADVICE THEN?

If you are looking for them to specifically say "Exchange" - then you will never see that.
- What do you mean?

If you are specifically looking for email server - then you will never see that.
- what do you mean?

The ISP doesn't care - they are only interested in the bandwidth. As long as you aren't hosting anything illegal and are not spamming the planet, then they don't care.
- This is exactly what I thought!

A business connection is all that you need - but as I wrote above, you are not going to get a decent business connection for £14. You need to look at packages at least £30/month, if not more to get a decent business connection.
- Yes I have been looking for a package for at least 30 per/month, although Im happy that BT do do it.  Although Ive read your comments about BT above.  Ive had an in depth conversation with them and Im content that they can do this.  But I do already know because my last Job it was BT that provided remote activity for other stuff for ATOS Origin.  Although I was not involved except for plugging cable into position as per the diagram.  And they would be configured remotely via BT.


I'll tell you what ive done:

1st server
Installed win 2003 primary dc server on domain & sp2 & some hotifixes

2nd server
win 2003 on domain, sp2 & some hotifixes & exchange 2003 & sp2 connected to primary dc above

Added a smarthost that I was given on ESM
created a additional Recipient policy on ESM & set to primary, which was called: smtp@masterexchange.co.uk

i already setup a domain with 123regdns called:

masterexchange.co.uk

a record

mail - 77.98.87.114 - This would point to my NTL provider

mx record
mail.masterexchange.co.uk

Client pc
installed with xp sp2, some hotifixes & offic 2003 & updates
linked pc to MS Exchange server successfully via admin rights
logged onto client pc to confirm user: corinne works which it does and corinne can send email like I say below.

Yes I can send email out externally, which Im assuming goes via the smarthost address given but when the external party receive this email they cannot reply back to the email I sent from user: corinne as appears unroutable.

I HAVE BEEN TOLD THEN IT SHOULD WORK! BUT IT DONT
WHY?
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 24269008
A business line is what Ive actually got with NTL.
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LVL 65

Assisted Solution

by:Mestha
Mestha earned 1600 total points
ID: 24269426
First - don't talk to sales people at ISPs.
At best they will not know what you are on about, the worst they will lie.
Waste of time talking to ISPs.

You only need three things from the ISP.

1. A static IP address.
2. Can a reverse DNS/PTR record be set on that IP address.
3. Is port 25 open for both inbound and outbound traffic.

Nothing else.
You do not need to look for "support" for SMTP, support for Exchange etc etc.

You do not need a smart host if you can get the above three items set. If you do want a smart host, then all ISPs have those. They don't call them smart hosts. They call them SMTP servers, and will be provided for all of their customers to use.

My comments on BT are based on experience. I have had more hassle with BT than any other ISP, probably because they are so big. The other three have had more success with, because they are smaller and used to dealing with the requests.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 24269725
I totally agree about ISP's as ive spent 6 weeks going through.  Although thats why I spoke with the so called Technical staff and even then there knowledge was limited it seems to a degree as they were having trouble comprehending.  As from what I was told they provide a business model on top of something else and have no access to the exchange server except via some form of control panel.

You only need three things from the ISP.

1. A static IP address.  - OK
2. Can a reverse DNS/PTR record be set on that IP address. - OK but didnt realise although I have my own set for my own internal domain.  So presumably rather than going into conversation with them just tel them?
3. Is port 25 open for both inbound and outbound traffic - according to them it is not CLOSED in any shape or form!!!!!!!!!!!!!? dont know what else

Nothing else.
You do not need to look for "support" for SMTP, support for Exchange etc etc.
- I agree as I told them this that I would not need any support to I suppose clarification that Port 25 is open things like that!! etc

You do not need a smart host if you can get the above three items set. If you do want a smart host, then all ISPs have those. They don't call them smart hosts. They call them SMTP servers, and will be provided for all of their customers to use.
- Well the smart host was entered anyway on my ESM and still same problem that someone outside could not send email to: corrinne@masterexchange.co.uk - unroutable or words to this affect, Im assuming this is ware the reverse dns/ptr comes into affect?
- Although as the last piece, NTL have told me that the SMARTHOST I was given belongs to Virgin which is their Residential account anyway and that I didnt need it.  So Im assuming that I can remove this, which would then not let me send email, but presumably because of reverse dns/ptr?

My comments on BT are based on experience. I have had more hassle with BT than any other ISP, probably because they are so big. The other three have had more success with, because they are smaller and used to dealing with the requests.

Im waiting a phonecall back from EASYNET to find out if they can provide what I want, what do you think?

Im looking to cancel with NTL & they revert me back to Blueyonder residential, what do you suggest?

As you know I do have a domain currently with 123reg called:  masterexchange.co.uk, which I can log onto, but would you say get one ISP to do everything?

Once Ive confirmed I can do this at home, then in my home town I can setup other peoples up!! But wanted to find the right ISP first then I know what to do to get someones exchange up and running as far as emailing goes.

Then I can look at the Administration side for the ESM and the users, ie disk quotas etc

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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 24270508
Hi mestha,

Ive just been on the phone with easynet and they have said if I keep my IP Address ive already got with NTL as normal.
- stop using my 123regdns domain name.
- they would then create me a domain name of my choice at their end and relevant a & mx records and point them to the IP Address NTL have given and they would then provide the smtp feed, in order to enable me to confirm I can send & receive email externally.
- I would obviously remove the smarthost I was given as it is not needed.
- Would there be any reason once Ive given EASYNET my NTL IP Address that my email wouldnt work via NTL?
Would this be correct?

It would cost for what I want:

£149 install charge one off
£99 pa, but both paid straight away or £8.25 monthly
which would mean my NTL charge me anyway:

£36 p/mth, which would total: £44.25 p/mth, inclusive of the £8.25.

This sounds ok to me as Im basically paying a similar price for a residential line as once Ive confirmed I can setup exchange for email externally.  I can pretty much switch it off, but also browse the internet as I wish anyway.

I said I would get back to her once Ive clarified these details with you and will probably stop with NTL in this case.

I did mention about the reverse dns/ptr and they said they dont or wouldnt provide this, so if this is needed, do I need to get or ASK if NTL can do this?
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LVL 65

Assisted Solution

by:Mestha
Mestha earned 1600 total points
ID: 24281767
Oh dear. What did I say about talking to ISPs?

Keeping the IP address - not possible. The IP address doesn't belong to you. It belongs to NTL. Therefore if you move to another ISP you get a new IP address.

Every ISP wants you to transfer the domain name to them, or use one they have issued. It is their way of keeping you as a customer. They can then put barriers in the way to stop you leaving. I once had to get a lawyer to send a letter to an ISP to release the domain name after 90 days of giving me excuses.

Those charges are high. Most likely for a new phone line as well. Completely new phone line. Easynet run their kit in the telephone exchange in most locations, so will be trying to tie you in to their phone service as well.

The reverse DNS is set by the ISP. I have written on my web site that the standard response of most ISPs is that we don't do that. You spoke to a sales droid following a script. Doesn't know what they are on about.

Talking to ISPs on the phone is a pointless exercise. Any of the three I have provided above will do the job on a standard phone line provided by BT or BT Wholesale. If you have an NTL phone line then you will need to get a regular BT line. If there is a BT box in the house, then it should be easy enough to get anyone to give you a phone line. Post Office, Carphone Warehouse or even BT.

Simon.
0
 

Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 24285471
Hi Mestha,

I read what you said about ISP's and Easynet is one of the ISP's that you suggested!!

- Easynet said I could keep the IP Address that I had with NTL.
- Easynet would provide my new domain name
- Easynet then said they would just provide my SMTP feed
- Easynet said they wouldnt provide the reversedns/ptr
- I will check with NTL to if I have a BT phone line first of all!

Yes it is there way of keeping me as a customer!!

1. Why do I need the reverse dns/ptr? Can you explain in a bit more detail?
2. Would I have to get the reverse dns/ptr with NTL then?

They can then put barriers in the way to stop you leaving. I once had to get a lawyer to send a letter to an ISP to release the domain name after 90 days of giving me excuses.

- Barriers like what?
Note:  I just want to get my exchange 2003 server working.
- According to Easynet this is all I would require and my Exchange 2003 server WILL work, although she was somewhat Technical.Yes she was SALES although it was just a conversation.

I would like to get reassurance from YOU mestha!!

Those charges are high. Most likely for a new phone line as well. Completely new phone line. Easynet run their kit in the telephone exchange in most locations, so will be trying to tie you in to their phone service as well.

As for the costs from Easynet, it would be:

£149 one off fee & £99 for year subscription - totallying: £248 paid to Easynet!
1yr later it would be: £8.25 p/mth for their SMTP feed
Ntl - £36 per/month
total:£44.25

Talking to ISPs on the phone is a pointless exercise. Any of the three I have provided above will do the job on a standard phone line provided by BT or BT Wholesale. THE ABOVE IS WHAT EASYNET COULD DO!

Easynet said the next package on offer that provided everything was £1188 per annum or £99 per month! Otherwise the above was the cheapest!

If you have an NTL phone line then you will need to get a regular BT line. If there is a BT box in the house, then it should be easy enough to get anyone to give you a phone line. Post Office, Carphone Warehouse or even BT.

- As far as Im aware there is a box in my home saying: Telewest.  Not sure if a BT line!

What do you suggest?

- I should leave NTL?
0
 

Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 24303095
Hi mestha,

Eclipse have just rang me, which is one of the ISP's youve suggested.

£40 - One off fee
£24 - p/month for a year subscription

They will provide the following:

- SMTP feed to enable me to send & receive email externally
- Static IP Address
Webhosting Option 1
Domain Registration/Transfer
100Mb Webspace - I can upload my website
50 POP Mailboxes - Im only going to use 1 POP for myself anyway
Webmail
Anti-Spam & Anti-Virus Support - Will check my email inbound & outbound at ISP
Online control
Record Changes - I will or they will add the relevant A & mx records pointing to static IP
SMTP Feed (allowing email to be stored and forwarded to your mail server)
 
Im currently using Webpage Maker so I will confirm with those it uses one of the below so that I want have any issues uploading my webpage once complete.
Scripting: PHP/CGI, HTML, ASP, Frontpage

Database: MySQL &  PHPMyAdmin

1. Im assuming on my exchange 2003 server I will add a "RECIPIENT POLICY" called the Domain Name of my choice & SET AS PRIMARY, then My Exchange server should be ready for my Client pc to send a test email externally and BACK again.  As my client pc is already on the domain and connected to the Exchange server?

2. Can you confirm that I will get what Im after?
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 24324643
At the moment im stuck in a contract with NTL and they arent letting me go.  I have though have all my history of emails from start to finish and the none acknowledgement from Blueyonder/Virgin & NTL primarily, that they have been ignoring.

In the hope that they will revert me back to Blueyonder residential so that I can then go with Eclipse.  I cant at the moment go with them, because even though Eclipse can provide me the smtp feed I require, guess what NTL do not or should I say not part of their service.

Ive now wrote a recorded delivery letter to Virgin Headquarters complaint and also requested for a "Deadlock" letter apparantely, before I can progress my complaint for them to let me go as they pretty much said yes to everything when I had catagorically stated what I wanted ie "I am going to run my own Exchange server from home, but will need the ability through NTL to provide me with the means to send & receive email from myself via them to the outside world as well as, static ip address, domain"  This was agreed that they can provide this for me as Id also spoken with the Technical staff, but ive always mentioned that some of their comments have been contradictory although, who am I to question what they say THEY CAN DO!!

As it stands, Ive also said it would be in-conceivable for me to move from Residential to a Business line, unless prompted initially otherwise as NTL say im getting my internet.  But Ive also said as the primary reason for moving across to Business was to make use of my static IP, SPECIFICALLY for my Exchange server 2003 and NO OTHER REASON.  As was and has always been stated from the beginning.

So at the moment Im getting a service for which I could quite easily be getting from my residential account.  The fact that Ive wasted 6 weeks of hours of conversation to be told sorry we dont provide support, now we know what it is you require.

The rules are 3 months have to pass first with Telecommunications company's and obviously given NTL time to investigate and put right.  If not I should receive on request from myself a "Deadlock letter" and forward to CISA who can assist although have no authority.  By the sounds of it Telecommunications arent REGULATED.
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Author Comment

by:mikey250
ID: 24373343
Im going to close this ticket now but assume that my settings are correct on my exchange server 2003.  Currently Im trying to get myself out of my contract with NTL.  Im waiting to hear back from them.  If I have any further issues I will create another thread.
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