Tip

Free third-party POP3 connector for Exchange Server

Exchange Server isn't really supposed to connect to an external POP3 mailbox and aggregate email from it, but enough people do it that most Exchange Server administrators have to support it.

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 Of course, any external POP3 mailbox should ideally be phased out at some point, but that hasn't stopped many Exchange administrators from setting up a permanent POP3 connector of some kind -- like the POP3 connector that ships with Microsoft Exchange in Small Business Server 2003, for instance.

If you have no choice but to use that kind of POP3 configuration, you may be interested in PopGrabber, a third-party POP3 connector tool.

Nothing needs to be installed on Exchange Server itself for PopGrabber to work, because it's a standalone program, not an Exchange Server add-on. When installed, it talks to an outside POP3 mailbox at regular intervals, downloads all the email there, and forwards it to another server via SMTP.

The port numbers for all actions can be user-defined, and APOP authentication is supported if you need it (although SMTP authentication is not).

Note that the target server doesn't have to be an Exchange server --any SMTP server will do-- but it works with Exchange Server as transparently as anything else.

The basic, free version of PopGrabber can talk to up to three external email accounts, and forward them all to a single SMTP server. The standard, commercial version of PopGrabber costs U.S. $35 and can retrieve email from and send email to an unlimited number of POP3 and SMTP accounts.

Both versions have a few drawbacks, though. For one, they don't support SSL, for one. However, the program's authors have a workaround for the SSL problem that involves using ClamMail, a free mail proxy and antivirus scanner.

About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of  Windows Insight, a newsletter devoted to hints, tips, tricks, news and goodies for all flavors of Windows users.

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Another good software to use is SmartPOP2Exchange from Jam Software.
—Nick T. 

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This was first published in April 2007

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