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Curiosity IT questions?
crazymorton
Brisbane, Queensland
4105 posts
Because you're a bunch of major geeks, and I am only semi IT literate and have this compulsion to know the answer to stuff, I have a couple of questions about things I don't understand that bug me.

So excuse my ignorance and lack of tech speak, I know some basics but i think you'll get the picture

1. Email at work - my work is using Office 2003 on Server 2003 (yep stuck in the dark ages, I know that much, i think someone from the Coalition runs our IT). We use a VPN to access email locally, as in on my laptop, or I can RDP (which is a bit of a pain) We don't use a proxy server so I can't get around this.

However! Despite the need for a VPN to get my email locally on a laptop i can and do get email on my iPhone and iPad by setting up the relevant parameters like user name, password, and domain which on these devices is mail.companyname.com.au as I'm sure you all know.

i don't get how this works and why I need to use a VPN to get it on my laptop but not on my mobile devices. I have tried different settings in Outlook to replicate my mobile settings but it doesn't work.

As a famous scientist once said.............Why is this so?

2. VPN use - this one is much more straightforward. Does VPN slow you down? Or is it dependant on other things? I notice that my direct connection is good but it's my impression that when on VPN and I need to RDP as well things slow down. As in general internet use and RDP.

Thanks team for satisfying my curiosity
07:47pm 08/05/13 Permalink
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07:47pm 08/05/13 Permalink
3x0dus
Townsville, Queensland
1769 posts
Not sure if 2003 has OWA, may not ~work~ but you could try

https://mail.companyname.com.au/exchange

and see if OWA is setup.

Check your phone "APN" also, as you may have a corporate APN setup with the likes of telstra which gives you some internal/extra connectivity on your mobile via this custom APN.

(the address was undocumented at work, but messing around trying to figure out how to access Out of Office assistant I eventual found the default "/exchange" address was enabled on the mail domain, As well as office Communicator server =], so have work communicator on the Iphone now also.

Believe work are upgrading to Microsoft Lynx eventually as well as crap loads of other improvements to work at home/mobile which are much needed.
08:04pm 08/05/13 Permalink
TiT
Brisbane, Queensland
5597 posts
Yeah in outlook go to account settings
connection
tick connect using https
click on exchange proxy settings
type in
http://mail.companyname.com.au
then click mutually authenticate and type msstd:mail.companyname.com.au
choose basic settings
restart outlook and see if that works

if it works will ask for your username and password
for your username must put the domain name in
domain\username
08:17pm 08/05/13 Permalink
crazymorton
Brisbane, Queensland
4106 posts
I have tried the Outlook settings and https/exchange settings thing. I actually knew this one because I've done it at previous jobs. But no go here.

I should have added I'm not yet on the company network fully as such. Brand new office set up. So currently I just have a standard business broadband account with a standard Cisco modem. Which is why I RDP for our other stuff, I can also use email this way but its annoying as we have lots of product data sheets and rendering PDF's is a pain. But we use Goldmine CRM so it all links nicely this way.

They tell me I am getting a draytek modem which will see me permanently VPN'd. So this will mean I don't have to connect manually all the time I guess when at the office. However when travelling or working from home it would be great to to have to worry about it.

As for the iPhone settings APN I haven't seen anything but again I can add that while the iPhone is work supplied my iPad is personal. I just copied the settings and emails came in.
09:14pm 08/05/13 Permalink
Spook
Brisbane, Queensland
35657 posts
yes, there would be a performance hit accessing work over the vpn.

rdp as well seems to be particularly sensitive to internet speeds, ive noticed mine is much smoother since i moved from adsl2 to cable.
06:59am 09/05/13 Permalink
jmr
Brisbane, Queensland
7969 posts
Nah, on Exchange 2003 RPC isn't configured by default.

You need to set it up manually, this detailed guide covers everything. Or just get an IT guy that has a clue

http://www.petri.co.il/how-can-i-configure-rpc-over-https-on-exchange-2003-single-server-scenario.htm
10:27am 09/05/13 Permalink
HerbalLizard
Brisbane, Queensland
5779 posts
Who in the f*** does your IT.... f*****g retards. The configuration reeks of; we have no f*****g idea what we are doing and can barely configure it for on premise

08:23pm 10/05/13 Permalink
HerbalLizard
Brisbane, Queensland
5780 posts
On vpn's yes a little, but its dependent on "how long is a piece of string"
08:25pm 10/05/13 Permalink
crazymorton
Brisbane, Queensland
4107 posts
^ yep that's what I thought.

Oh and Jim, they don't want to activate anything like that. Claim getting "port scanned" (remember my ignorance this may be wrong terminology) constantly so everything is through VPN, or will be for me when the draytek turns up.

Even RDP is mail.company.com.au:12345

08:30pm 10/05/13 Permalink
HerbalLizard
Brisbane, Queensland
5781 posts
Let me guess its a PPTP VPN
08:34pm 10/05/13 Permalink
trillion
Brisbane, Queensland
2879 posts
why don't you just get them to add the vpn connection settings into your cisco remotely? unless that draytek is a better modem with wifi tennas that your cisco doesn't have.

make sure whoever does it gives you the admin password in case they forget to add your isp username and password to auth your dsl connection at home.
08:51pm 10/05/13 Permalink
skythra
Brisbane, Queensland
6549 posts
2. VPN use - this one is much more straightforward. Does VPN slow you down? Or is it dependant on other things? I notice that my direct connection is good but it's my impression that when on VPN and I need to RDP as well things slow down. As in general internet use and RDP.

Only for certain things. 100% make sure your RDP settings on your local machine have this checkbox disabled:
If i you set it up on windows using the inbuilt VPN connection thingy

Right click on the VPN connection
-> Properties
-> Click the Networking Tab
-> if possible uncheck tcp/ipv6 and then click ipv4 and click properties
-> Click advanced
-> UNCHECK "Use default gateway on remote network".

That will speed up your connection a little while you're connected on the VPN.

(PS mostly assuming that you only use it for mail and RDP)

edit: if stuff stops working set it back. But it should only need to be setup so that you can connect to things on the (now) "local" network, not for things on the internet
09:01pm 10/05/13 Permalink
crazymorton
Brisbane, Queensland
4108 posts
Will check that skythra, thx.

Trillion - I believe they use the draytek because they can have multiple VPN's off it? So when we staff up in Brisbane office everyone can be on VPN.
09:17pm 10/05/13 Permalink
trillion
Brisbane, Queensland
2880 posts
oh right they're switching out the cisco which is in your office for a draytek, not at your home (that's how i understood it when i first read it)

as for your iphone and ipad not needing the vpn connection settings like your laptop does, does this work regardless of if they're using 3/4G when you're anywhere in coverage or connected to wifi on the cisco modem in your office if the auto connect to prefered network is on and they're in range? that cisco might already have the vpn settings in it if so.

09:45pm 10/05/13 Permalink
crazymorton
Brisbane, Queensland
4111 posts
haven't taken the iPad to work. iPhone works for email always. I have connected it to the wifi at work, no problems for email there.

iPhone/iPad get emails fine under all circumstances, 3/4G, wifi work/home. I only need VPN when using Outlook for some reason.
10:00pm 10/05/13 Permalink
3x0dus
Townsville, Queensland
1770 posts
If the emails work fine on the iphone/iPad (both wifi and 3g) should be no reason the same exchange settings on a pc shouldn't work also.
10:30pm 10/05/13 Permalink
crazymorton
Brisbane, Queensland
4113 posts
If the emails work fine on the iphone/iPad (both wifi and 3g) should be no reason the same exchange settings on a pc shouldn't work also.


that's what i thought. I've tried though and no go. I've copied exactly the settings to Outlook and it just doesn't connect. Some voodoo IT magic happening.

we're only a small company and the IT is outsourced to a company run by some Russian dude I met while in Melbourne. From memory he told me they were having issues with port scanning so have locked everything down. We don't have a proxy server so that's why the http proxy thing in Outlook isn't set up.

I'm learning to live with it, like i said it was mainly curiosity as to how it works on iPhone/iPad but not Outlook.

We are getting these http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/tablet/thinkpad/thinkpad-tablet-2/ I found out yesterday so maybe things will change all round.
10:29am 11/05/13 Permalink
Viper119
UK
2002 posts
When you say access locally on the laptop, is this whilst in the office, e.g. on the work network? Or from home or another external location?

VPN's are used to connect you into a network that you're not directly connected to, common practise for remote working. Any network with security requirements will probably use something more secure then standard PPTP, like RSA token or similar.

RDP is terminal services (TS) and essentially creates you a virtual desktop on a TS server located in the work network where you can do everything, like Outlook, locally. Presuming you're not RDP'ing to a desktop. A lot of places do thin client setups so it's all TS server based.

Outlook Web Access (OWA) and RPC (Outlook connecting to exchange via https instead of local) have gotten loads better in recent versions though, 2010 and 2013 are ace. So using that is a lot more common place now then VPN + Outlook connecting to local server.

If you're VPN'ing whilst in the office, then that's defo retarded, unless there's legit multiple networks and they haven't done network-level routing for some reason. Which would also be retarded.

Otherwise doesn't sound that strange, small company, old software/equip, haven't bothered to config the other remote access options.

iPhone/iPad is a different mail client and will connect via IMAP or their Exchange protocol which essentially uses OWA/HTTPS access to the exchange. Both of which are different to how Outlook connects to a local exchange server, though as mentioned you can configure Outlook to connect via HTTPS if it's setup (RPC).
09:22am 12/05/13 Permalink
skythra
Brisbane, Queensland
6555 posts
Viper basically confirming my suspicions that android/ios etc using owa/https to work with exchange, therefore isn't the same as outlook.
09:45am 12/05/13 Permalink
Viper119
UK
2003 posts
Yeah and I'm not 100% on this one, but I think the mobile devices (iPhone) all use ActiveSync which essentially just uses Exchange via Web Services (basically OWA access).

Edit: If you've chosen their 'Exchange' feature and not done a custom IMAP or POP3 setup, which also works but uses different access again. I think your exchange server needs IMAP to be enabled server-side, not sure if it is by default, might be.
09:58am 12/05/13 Permalink
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09:58am 12/05/13 Permalink
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