Getting your email

There are many ways to access a hosted Exchange mailbox. The web based Outlook Web Access (OWA) client can be used, as well as both Outlook (for the PC) and Entourage (for the Mac) from Microsoft. There are also several third party email clients that can connect to Microsoft Exchange using Exchange ActiveSync.

Outlook Web Access is very easy to use, and emulates the functionality of Microsoft Outlook in a web browser. If you are happy using a web based client, there is no need to set up Outlook or Entourage, simply point your browser at the OWA site, and log in.

Setting up Microsoft Outlook is very easy. Every hosted exchange provider will provide full instructions to do this. However, here are the basic steps required to set up Microsoft Outlook with a hosted Exchange mailbox.

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook.
  2. Click the File tab.
  3. Locate the Account Settings section of the page, and then click the Add Account.
  4. Enter your Name and Email address.
  5. Click Next. Microsoft Outlook will then attempt to set up the Exchange email account automatically.

If the automatic setup of the hosted Exchange mailbox fails in Microsoft Outlook, then the following steps will need to be taken:

  1. Complete steps 1 through 4 above.
  2. Instead of clicking Next, click the Manually Configure Server Settings button.
  3. Enter the server address, and port numbers provided by your Exchange hosting provider into the relevant fields.
  4. Click Next.

Setting up Entourage on an Apple Mac is very similar to the way we configured Outlook above, here are the steps after opening Entourage:

  1. Open the Tools menu, then Accounts and then New. Select Exchange as the account type.
  2. Enter an Account Name (local name for the email account).
  3. Enter your Name.
  4. Enter your Email Address (in lower case only).
  5. Enter your Account ID (this is your email address again).
  6. Leave the Domain field empty.
  7. Enter your Exchange Password.
  8. Click on the Advanced tab at the top of the window.
  9. Enter the server address provided by the Exchange host and click OK.

If you are using one of the third party email clients that have the Microsoft ActiveSync mail transport protocol built in, then the process for setting up a hosted Exchange mailbox will be very similar to the above two examples. Check with the supplier’s documentation for exact instructions.

It is also possible to connect to a hosted Exchange mailbox using with the IMAP or POP email transport protocols. However, please note that POP should be used as a last resort, there is no way to synchronize changes back to the exchange server when POP is used. For more details on the drawbacks of POP, see our 'What is POP' FAQ question.

For an IMAP connection, simply use the hosted Exchange server address as the both the Incoming Mail Server address and the SMTP Mail Server address. You will need to check with your hosted Exchange provider to find out which security protocol is being used (TLS or SSL) and which ports are used by the IMAP and SMTP server. An IMAP connection to a hosted Exchange mailbox will synchronize changes to emails, as well as the contents of folders, back to the exchange server. However, it should be noted that IMAP does not provide access to contacts, calendar, tasks or notes, it is purely of use for accessing Exchange email. For more details on IMAP, see our 'What is IMAP' FAQ questions.