Mobile users not receiving emails that have attachments when working from home on Wi-Fi.

We are having an issue with mobile users not receiving emails that have attachments when working from home on Wi-Fi.  Email without attachments are received without issue.  

When users return to office and connect to wired network connection, all emails are received (including the ones with attachments that did not come in the day before when working from home on Wi-Fi).

 The users are connected to office network through Sonic Wall Global VPN Client to access files and folders on servers, but email is hosted using Office 365 Business Essentials, email only.  VPN is not required for them to access email.  Outlook 2010 and 2013 on users laptops.  

Any help is appreciated.

cja
cja-tech-guyAsked:
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Rob KnightConsultantCommented:
Hi,

Can the emails be seen and attachments accessed via Office 365 Web Mail?

Are there any policies on emails that restrict access when coming from your non Office IP address?

Thanks.
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cja-tech-guyAuthor Commented:
Can the emails be seen and attachments accessed via Office 365 Web Mail?  Yes, and emails come in on phones.

Are there any policies on emails that restrict access when coming from your non Office IP address?  No.
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cja-tech-guyAuthor Commented:
I was just told by one user with the issue that he did get an email with an attachment, but it came in 3 hours after it was sent.  He also said that Outlook shows "updating inbox" all day long, it does not show "all folders up to date". I'm thinking it may be a connection speed issue because other users did not have the issue who are using same Internet provider, but in a different area.

cja
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Rob KnightConsultantCommented:
Hi,

Could it be either the SonicWall client or your Windows host firewalls doing something when working outside of the Office? I.e. you'll be on public or private profiles as opposed to Domain (assuming you have Windows DCs).

What AV product are you using - is this location aware and does it enforce different policies when outside of the office which might, for example, interfere with email?
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KimputerCommented:
With those last comments added ("updating") it sounds like it's a coincidence that the office network is probably fast, while almost all employees have slow internet at home.
The continuous updating usually only happens if you have CACHED mode enabled.
Try again with CACHED mode DISABLED!
Use this guide (which is for turning it on. Obviously, you can follow it to TURNING IT OFF as well): https://support.office.com/en-us/article/turn-on-cached-exchange-mode-7885af08-9a60-4ec3-850a-e221c1ed0c1c
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cja-tech-guyAuthor Commented:
Could it be either the SonicWall client. Sonic Wall client is not required when using Outlook since Exchange server is hosted by Microsoft.

The continuous updating usually only happens if you have CACHED mode enabled.  This does not happen when user hard wires from home.  


I just tested it using office Wi-Fi (which is outside our network) and it worked fine.  I think it is a latency issue.
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Rob KnightConsultantCommented:
Hi,

Whilst the Sonic Wall client isn't required, it doesn't mean that it hasn't installed some drivers or other software which can impact the way the device behaves even when not connected to the VPN - that was my meaning when I posed the question and for example, is it using the latest SonicWall client.

Since it works fine when wired but not on Wi-FI sounds like either the Wi-Fi router, Wi-Fi adapter driver or range/signal to the router is poor. If it's a dual band routed they are using the the laptop supports 2.4 and 5Ghz, ask them to connect to 5GhZ.
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masnrockCommented:
Does this issue happen regardless of whether the users are using VPN? So if they're working from home and NOT using VPN, does the same issue persist?

What Cached Exchange Mode setting do you have?
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cja-tech-guyAuthor Commented:
So if they're working from home and NOT using VPN, does the same issue persist?  User is testing this tonight.

What Cached Exchange Mode setting do you have?  "Use Exchange Cached Mode" is checked.  I don't think this is the issue because other users with same set up did not have the issue.
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masnrockCommented:
It looks like the definition has changed throughout this: Is your problem with ALL mobile users, or just ONE mobile user?
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cja-tech-guyAuthor Commented:
Multiple mobile users, but not all.
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KimputerCommented:
What Cached Exchange Mode setting do you have?  "Use Exchange Cached Mode" is checked.  I don't think this is the issue because other users with same set up did not have the issue.

"Did not have this issue", is only applicable if that user goes to the user's (with the problem) home and tests it there successfully.
If you didn't properly and fully test these situations, the Exchange cache mode WILL CAUSE continuous "updating folder..." in low bandwidth situations.
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cja-tech-guyAuthor Commented:
Kimputer

I will test this.
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Blue Street TechLast KnightCommented:
Hi cja,

The continuous updating usually only happens if you have CACHED mode enabled.  This does not happen when user hard wires from home.
The problem points to wireless transmission of low-end residential-grade routers/WAPs. A user could have a poor signal, over-saturation, channel interference, and/or congestion all the while thinking they have some bars not realizing that:
a) that all of these factors play a part in throughput on a wireless network; and
b) data flow is impeded after three bars of signal strength.

The users are connected to office network through Sonic Wall Global VPN Client to access files and folders on servers...
Is the VPN set to Split Tunnel Mode or Tunnel All Mode? This works together with my theory that its a wireless transmission issue because if you have slow speed, throwing on encapsulation overhead (of the VPN) on top of it will stifle performance.

Also are you positive someone has not configured On slow connections, download only headers option in the OCT, or locked down the option in Group Policy to set Disallow On Slow Connections Only Download Headers?

@Kimputer - I think you nailed it with the wireless but help me understand why you'd suggest disabling Cached Mode in Outlook if a slow connection is present, aside from testing a corrupted cache issues which this isn't since it is remedied w/wired connections? Slow connections should always be cached so that they are not required to download aggregate data. Even the MSFT article you posted states it, "Use Cached Exchange Mode to work with items in your Microsoft Exchange Server mailbox even when your network connection is slow or unavailable."

By default Outlook is configured to determine a user's connection speed by checking the network adapter speed on the user's computer. If the reported network adapter speed is <128KB, the connection is defined as a "slow connection". In this scenario, to improve the overall experience of the user Outlook (in Cached Mode) reduces data synched w/Exchange by:
  • Downloading headers only;
  • Bypasses OAB downloads/updates; and
  • Downloading the body & attachments (where applicable) only when explicitly requested by the user.

Also some client-side rules might run depending on the aggregate size of the rules and the individual size of each rule.

Dialing in your MTU on your firewall will help the VPN for many users too. Here's how: https://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/12615/Unstable-Slow-Performing-Networks-or-VPNs-just-go-grocery-shopping.html. Now, thay this will not obviously resolve wireless issues within your users' homes but it will help slower connections process through the tunnel more efficiently.
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cja-tech-guyAuthor Commented:
Other users with faster connections or hard wire connections did not have the issue. All Outlook profiles are set the same way so it was the wireless connections being slow. Some users even lost their VPN connection due to wireless connection dropping off.

Thanks,
cja
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Blue Street TechLast KnightCommented:
Glad I could help and thanks for the points.
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cja-tech-guyAuthor Commented:
No Worries. Just an FYI. The user with the issue now cannot load webpages from home using wireless connection, it takes a long time. Hard wire works so it must be something with wireless on the router.
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