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NCarroll
12-05-2011, 05:05 AM
Hi there,

Over the next coming months, I need to setup a few different email accounts within outlook over multiple computers for my aunty and uncle. My ultimate question I have is:

Do I learn how to setup an exchange server for everything, or would it simply be easier to setup all accounts on a master computer and then "share" the PST file over the network?


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To help give the answer to the question that I have, I will explain the current setup situation and what needs to happen.



Both my aunty and uncle run their own seperate business. The business' are very small and for the sake of causing complication, lets just say they both only have one email address each for their business' - I'll call them A@A.co.nz & B@B.co.nz

These address' have their own domains (as in, they are not gmail or hotmail accounts) and both of them have access to webmail. However, we can't "just use" the webmail due to it only allowing a certain amount of storage space (100mb). Also, both my aunty and uncle do not want to have to keep deleting emails all the time.

Currently they have one "main computer" setup at home which is the family computer. Along side of this, my uncle has his own dekstop computer, and my aunty has her own laptop.

To complicate things even more, they both have their own "personal" email address' as well. Lets call these D@D.co.nz & E@E.co.nz.
Then, on top of this - Their children both have email accounts that also need to go into outlook. (G@G.co.nz & H@H.co.nz)

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For my aunties business. Her work email (A@A.co.nz) needs to go to both the main computer and her laptop. They need to somehow be synced so that whatever she does on one of the computers, will replicate on the other one as well.

For my uncles business. His work email (B@B.co.nz) needs to go to his personal computer only - But it also needs to be setup on his iPhone. Once again, whatever he does on his computer, or on his iphone, needs to replicate on the other.

My aunties personal email also needs to go to both the main computer and her laptop (D@D.co.nz), and my uncles personal email needs to go to the main computer and his personal computer (E@E.co.nz) - But NOT his iphone.

The kids email address' need to go just to the main computer (G@G.co.nz & H@H.co.nz).


Do I just setup multiple mail accounts within outlook alongside different profiles so when outlook opens they can choose which account to go into, and then do I share these PST files and set them up on the other computers - Or do I send all accounts to an exchange server and then set up all the computers to link to that? (Keep in mind I have never setup an exchange server before so it would take a lot of learning on my part)

I personally think the easiest way would be to share the PST files and hope like hell the network never goes down, or they don't try to open their email account on two different computers at the same time. But then, the only 'bump in the road' I have is with the iPhone for B@B.co.nz emails. I don't think there would be a way to do this properly.


Sorry for the complete mess this post probably is. I had a much better way of explaining it in my head but it doesn't seem to come out in a very "understanding" story.



Help will be much appreciated!

Cheers.
Nick

Cato
12-05-2011, 06:20 AM
Why not just use google/gmail?

http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/business/features.html

pctek
12-05-2011, 08:43 AM
However, we can't "just use" the webmail due to it only allowing a certain amount of storage space (100mb). Also, both my aunty and uncle do not want to have to keep deleting emails all the time.

For my aunties business. Her work email (A@A.co.nz) needs to go to both the main computer and her laptop.


First, even if the emails are setup up on 2 PCs, the actual email sent will end up on one only - the one she checks email with first. Unless you leave a copy on the server.

Second. Why does space matter. I sure hope they aren't intending to store emails as some form of storage. If an email is important enough to have the content kept then thats what they should do. Save the content only of the mail to the hard drive. Or save the attachment.

Storing actual emails is not a very safe and secure method.

fred_fish
12-05-2011, 09:48 AM
You should set up a local mail server (but I would highly recommend avoiding Exchange, unless you want to buy a new dedicated machine with a MS server OS, along with the hefty Exchange licence, not to mention configuring and maintaining it).

Then you can pull mail from all the separate external accounts, deliver them to whatever local users you wish, and connect to the local mailboxes from any device anywhere via IMAP (for a persistent mailbox across all clients).

There are plenty of mail servers that will do what you want, I'd recommend Mercury (http://pmail.com/overviews/ovw_mercury.htm)
Has a very small footprint.
Can run as a service on the existing PC.
Standards compliant & highly configurable.
Made in NZ :thumbs:

edit: I'd also recommend Thunderbird over Outlook as an IMAP client.

fred_fish
12-05-2011, 09:56 AM
Second. Why does space matter. I sure hope they aren't intending to store emails as some form of storage. If an email is important enough to have the content kept then thats what they should do. Save the content only of the mail to the hard drive. Or save the attachment.

Storing actual emails is not a very safe and secure method.

A proper email archive, storing the complete messages including headers, timestamps, read & delivery receipts, is extremely valuable business information, and locally accessible backups should be kept.

nmercer
12-05-2011, 02:51 PM
buy a hosted Exchange mailbox

http://www.microsoft.com/online/en-nz/default.aspx

around $9 a user/month for 25GB antivirus/antispam Outlook Web Access, access from Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android etc etc

www.office365.co.nz version is launching shortly

and can signup for a free beta test now