Lotus Notes no longer connects to Domino server remotely (without VPN)

Hi everyone, at my organization we have a Lotus Domino server.

I think we are running Domino 8 and using a mix of Notes 7 and Notes 8.

On the company's internal network we are having no issues at all with Lotus Notes. However mobile users are having issues connecting with their laptops when at home. They USED to be able to just take their laptops home and be on a wifi network and open their notes clients and it would refresh with mail.

Now however they receive an error message saying it cannot connect. If they connect to the company network via VPN they are fine.

This problem must in someway be related to a recent connection/firewall change. We have two internet sources, a cable line and a T1. We recently dropped our T1 service and changed to a DSL line (this is a backup service in the event our Cable line goes down).

We previously had a 3 static IP block on the T1 line and had some pointing to some internal websites, etc. Our firewall was essentially setup to accept ANY external data from the Lotus Notes/Domino ports and send to our Domino server. I have updated our firewall to add the new DSL line and remove the T1. Everything seems to be working fine from that way. With the exception that users can't connect from the outside.

Does anyone have any ideas what the problem might be? Is there somewhere in the Domino server that it stores a specific IP that it tries to reach by chance or does it just resolve a name, (ie: mail.mydomain.com)? Thanks for any assistance you can offer.
MikeC7Asked:
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Sjef BosmanGroupware ConsultantCommented:
99% chance it's a network-related issue. Do you have a fixed IP-address? Has it changed? Is there a Connection document in every laptop client, with a fixed IP-address for the server? Can you ask one user to open Notes and click File/Application/Open or File/Database/Open, and type the new IP-address?
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MikeC7Author Commented:
The Domino server has a static internal network IP. Like I said the incoming connections to the firewall changed. However our DNS for mail.domainname.com still resolves to our main cable line which hasn't changed during this.

How can I tell if there is a connection document in a laptop?
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Sjef BosmanGroupware ConsultantCommented:
So you say that Notes users should connect to mail.domainname.com to get in?

A Connection document you can find inside the laptop's Notes client, in the user's Personal Address book (or names.nsf database). Look under Advanced, then Connections. Check or ask if there's such a document for your server. If you have a reliable external user, ask him to connect using mail.domainname.com using Lotus Notes (Ctrl-O, then type the DNS name in the first field).

I'm willing to try for you, if you send me the domainname; my address is in my EE-profile. If I succeed in passing through the firewall, I won't be able to get in the Domino server and you'll see an error message on the console and in the logs.
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MikeC7Author Commented:
Thanks sjef, I will try this tonight at home with my laptop. Is there any special DNS that needs to be setup on our domain control panel that might've gotten messed up? I know if I visit the website http://mail.domainname.com I get prompted in my web browser for login credentials and can view the selected nsf file there.
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Sjef BosmanGroupware ConsultantCommented:
But that's HTTP, port 80. What Notes needs is by default port 1352, that must be open to the outside world.
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MikeC7Author Commented:
Yeap and that is open on the firewall

ANY EXTERNAL CONNECTION on 1352 -> Domino Server IP
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Sjef BosmanGroupware ConsultantCommented:
Good! Try it, this evening. Which would be now over here, I could do it now, but alas..  ;-))
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MikeC7Author Commented:
Alright. So last night I took my laptop home and got a chance to dig into this a bit more to see what others were seeing. When I attempted to change the connection document, I pressed control+O and it brought open the 'open application' dialog. I had a few choices, our main server domino1/domainname and domino2/domainname. I tried plugging in mail.domainname and received nothing, then I tried the IP. Neither worked.

Since that was occurring I thought something might be a little bit funny in our DNS. So I went into the DNS control panel and dug a little deeper and found a record 'domino1 points to IP'. The address this record is pointing to is our former T1. I am convinced this must be the problem. I have updated this and will try tonight.

Thanks for all your help sjef!!
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Sjef BosmanGroupware ConsultantCommented:
Ok. If you want me to try right now, I'm also on Skype, but I'll be leaving in 15 mins. (Nick = sjef.bosman)
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MikeC7Author Commented:
The problem was there was a separate entry in our DNS that I didn't see. our dns for domain.com had a settings 'servername'.domain.com that pointed to our firewall from the outside world. Once I changed that users could connect again.
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