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How can I access my firewall-protected mailbox via OWA when I don't know the IP addresses?

We are running Windows 2000 Advanced Server with Exchange 2000 on one back-end server behind the firewall. OWA is enabled. We have tight security through our firewall -- only specific IP addresses are let through.

I am going on vacation in Europe in a few weeks and I want to access my e-mails through local Internet cafes in the cities I am traveling through. How can I get access to my mailbox through OWA and the firewall when I don't know the IP addresses? Thanks.

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That's a tough and common problem. Basically, you have two choices:
  1. Relax your firewall policy and either use some other method to verify who you are (e.g., extra authentication, callback, etc.)
  2. Find an allowed intermediary and use a remote control method such as terminal services, Remote Desktop, PCAnywhere, etc., to access it remotely, and that intermediary will retrieve and display the e-mail for you.

This was first published in April 2003

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