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Services like POP3, IMAP4 and NNTP are disabled by default when you initially install Exchange. If your company needs these protocols, here's how you can activate them.

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SMTP is what Exchange uses to handle mail by default. HTTP is the underlying method used for all Internet traffic. Since these protocols are essential functional elements, they are automatically enabled when you perform an Exchange installation.

Many other services are installed during setup, but initially disabled. This is likely because Microsoft doesn't want you opening up a chink in your network security armor inadvertently. In fact, this was a selling point when the company was touting Exchange Server 2003. Several functions that were default-enabled in earlier Exchange versions no longer are to make the server more secure out of the box.

Whether or not you want to allow additional services on your Exchange server will depend on your organization's particular messaging needs and security policies. But if you do want to use services like POP3, IMAP4 or NNTP, you'll need to manually activate them.

To do so, you simply need to enable the virtual servers that provide them. You can do this with the Exchange System Manager's Services snap-in. Just click on Services, expand the service you want, and then click to enable it. After you set the startup mode to Automatic, you can start POP3 and IMAP4 services right from there. NNTP requires a separate start-click on its virtual server properties.

Microsoft's Exchange Client Access Guide offers more detailed instructions on how to enable and start these services.

About the author: David Gabel has been testing and writing about computers for more than 25 years.

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This was last published in November 2004

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