Ask the Expert

Establishing a direct Microsoft Outlook connection using RPC over HTTP

I have laptop users that are attached to our LAN and have mailboxes on our Exchange server. When they are out of the office, they want to use Microsoft Outlook to access email, so I have configured POP3 accounts for them. This works to a degree, but when they connect from outside the network, all their existing email on the Exchange server is downloaded for a second time, creating two copies of each message. How do I stop this from happening, and is there a better way of doing this?

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There are a number of different (and perhaps less problematic) ways to use Microsoft Outlook to access email from the Internet. For example, you could use IMAP4 instead of POP3. Or, assuming that you have Outlook 2003 and Exchange Server 2003, you can also use Remote Procedure Call (RPC) over HTTP for a direct Outlook connection to your server. In this configuration, Outlook will use a direct Exchange Server connection rather than POP3 or IMAP4. Read Microsoft article "Exchange Server 2003 RPC over HTTP deployment scenarios" for more information.

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Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • Expert Advice: Accessing Exchange over the Internet without using a VPN
  • Tip: Setting up RPC over HTTP
  • FAQ: Exchange Server and POP3
  • Webcast: Locking down Exchange Server and securing the client
  • Reference Center: Exchange Server mail protocols
  • Reference Center: Microsoft Outlook tips and resources
  • This was first published in September 2006

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