Ask the Expert

Forward Exchange Server email to an ISP using Active Directory

I am using Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 and I can't figure out how to add an alternate recipient to the mailbox in Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC).

I am using an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to collect my email and a POP3 connector to download email to the SBS 2003 server for Microsoft Outlook use. However, as expected, all internal Exchange Server email does not go to the ISP server. We are a very small company so I would like to lean on the ISP for email when our BlackBerry mobile users are traveling (and as a safe backup if our Exchange server goes down).

Is there any way to forward all internal Exchange Server email to our ISP so that the data from both servers gets replicated? I believe Microsoft Exchange would handle any duplicate email (i.e., email looping).

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This can be done, but the solution is somewhat less than elegant. Based on your description, the POP3 downloader pulls from JDoe@myisp.com and puts the message into the Exchange mailbox at JDoe@myexchange.com. If this is the case, I suggest you do the following:
  1. Create an Active Directory (AD) contact that corresponds to each defined user account. Set each contact's email address to be a different account on the ISP's email server. For example, add a mailbox on the ISP site called JDoe2@myisp.com and point the AD contact to that address.
  2. Configure each user account to forward a copy of all messages for John Doe to JDoe@myisp.com. That way, John Doe will receive the message in his Inbox as well as in his ISP mailbox.

Keep in mind that the mailbox at the ISP will fill up very rapidly if John receives a large number of messages and the ISP mailbox is not purged periodically.

If this method is too messy for you, then consider using a POP3 connector other than the one built into Windows SBS. Look for a POP3 connector that will leave a copy of email messages on the Exchange server, so that messages will be saved on the server as well as be downloaded into the Exchange mailbox.

Do you have comments on this Ask the Expert Q&A? Let us know.

Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • Expert Advice: Download POP email to multiple Exchange user accounts
  • Tip: Configuring Exchange Server to receive email from an ISP mailbox
  • Tip: Free third-party POP3 connector for Exchange Server
  • Tip: hMailServer: Free open-source SMTP/POP3 email for Windows
  • Reference Center: Exchange Server and POP3 tips and resources
  • This was first published in December 2007

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