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Communicating with Internet Email : Setting Up Mail Accounts

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1/4/2013 3:32:03 PM

1. Specifying Basic Account Settings

Here are the steps to follow to set up an email account with just the basic settings (which should be enough to get most accounts up and running):

1.
Start the Internet Connection Wizard using one of the following techniques:

  • Start Outlook Express for the first time.

  • In Outlook Express, select Tools, Accounts to display the Internet Accounts dialog box, and then click Add, Mail.

2.
Type your display name—this is the name that will appear in the From field when you send a message—and click Next.

3.
Type the email address for the account and click Next.

4.
Specify your mail server data (click Next when you’re done):

My Incoming Mail Server Is a x ServerUse this list to select the incoming mail server type: POP3, IMAP, or HTTP (World Wide Web–based email).
Incoming Mail (POP3, IMAP, or HTTP) ServerType the domain name for your incoming mail server.
Outgoing Mail (SMTP) ServerType the domain name for your outgoing mail server.

5.
Type your account name (your username) and your password, and then click Next.

6.
If you have another email client installed on your system (such as Microsoft Outlook), you might see the Import Messages and Address Book dialog box. You have two choices (click Next when you’re done):

Import FromActivate this option if you want to import data from the other client. If Outlook Express shows multiple clients, click the client you want to use. After you’ve clicked Next, you’re asked whether you want to import just the client’s messages, its address book, or both. Make your choice and click Next.
Do Not Import at This TimeActivate this option to bypass the import.

7.
Click Finish.

When the wizard completes its labors, your new account appears in the Mail tab of the Internet Accounts dialog box, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Your Internet email accounts are listed in the Mail tab.



2.Setting the Default Account

If you have more than one account, you should specify one of them as the default account. The default account is the one Outlook Express uses automatically when you send a message. To set the default account, select it in the Mail tab and then click Set as Default.

Note

It is possible to send a message using any of your accounts. However, sending a message using anything other than the default account requires an extra step. 

3. Specifying Advanced Account Settings

Although the basic account settings that you specify using the Internet Connection Wizard suffice in most cases, many accounts require a more advanced setup. For example, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) might require a different SMTP port or you might prefer to leave your messages on the server.

To work with these more advanced settings, select an account and then click Properties. The property sheet that appears contains a number of tabs, and most of the controls in this dialog box are straightforward. The next four sections take you through some of the other options and show how useful they can be.

Using a Different Reply Address

It’s occasionally useful to have replies sent to a different address. For example, if you’re sending a message requesting feedback from a number of people, you might prefer that the return messages go to a colleague or assistant for collating or processing. Similarly, if you send a work-related message from a personal account, you might want replies sent to your work account.

To specify a different reply address, display the General tab in the account’s property sheet, and then type the address in the Reply Address text box.

Enabling SMTP Authentication

With spam such a big problem these days, many ISPs now require SMTP authentication for outgoing mail, which means that you must log on to the SMTP server to confirm that you are the person sending the mail (as opposed to some spammer spoofing your address). If your ISP uses authentication, display the Servers tab in the accounts property sheet, and then activate the My Server Requires Authentication check box. By default, Outlook Express logs you on using the same username and password as your incoming mail server. If your ISP has given you separate logon data, clicking Settings, activate the Log On Using option, type your account name and password, and click OK.

Specifying a Different SMTP Port

For security reasons, some ISPs insist that all their customers’ outgoing mail must be routed through the ISP’s Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP) server. This usually isn’t a problem if you’re using an email account maintained by the ISP, but it can lead to problems if you’re using an account provided by a third party (such as your website host):

  • Your ISP might block messages sent using the third-party account because it thinks you’re trying to relay the message through the ISP’s server (a technique often used by spammers).

  • You might incur extra charges if your ISP allows only a certain amount of SMTP bandwidth per month or a certain number of sent messages, whereas the third-party account offers higher limits or no restrictions at all.

  • You might have performance problems, with the ISP’s server taking much longer to route messages than the third-party host.

You might think that you can solve the problem by specifying the third-party host’s SMTP server in the account settings. However, this doesn’t usually work because outgoing email is sent by default through port 25; when you use this port, you must also use the ISP’s SMTP server.

To work around this, many third-party hosts offer access to their SMTP server via a port other than the standard port 25. To configure an email account to use a nonstandard SMTP port, display the Advanced tab in the account’s property sheet, and then use the Outgoing Mail (SMTP) text box to type the port number specified by the third-party host.

Checking the Same Account from Two Different Computers

In today’s increasingly mobile world, it’s common to have to check the same email account from multiple devices. For example, you might want to check your business account not only using your work computer, but also using your home computer or your notebook while traveling, or using a PDA or other portable device while commuting.

Unfortunately, after you’ve downloaded a message, the message is deleted from the server and you can’t access it from any other device. If you need to check mail on multiple devices, the trick is to leave a copy of the message on the server after you download it. That way the message will still be available when you check messages using another device.

To tell Outlook Express to leave a copy of each message on the server, display the Advanced tab in the account’s property sheet, and then activate the Leave a Copy of Messages on the Server check box. You can also activate the following options:

Remove from Server After X DaysIf you activate this check box, Outlook Express automatically deletes the message from the server after the number of days specified in the spin box.
Remove from Server When Deleted from ‘Deleted Items’If you activate this check box, Outlook Express deletes the message from the server only when you permanently delete the message on your system.

Here’s a good strategy to follow:

  • On your main computer, activate the Leave a Copy of Messages on the Server check box and the Remove from Server After X Days check box. Set the number of days long enough so that you have time to download the messages using your other devices.

  • On all your other devices, activate only the Leave a Copy of Messages on the Server check box.

This strategy ensures that you can download messages on all your devices, but it prevents messages from piling up on the server.

Note

There are other occasions when you’d prefer to leave messages temporarily on the server. For example, if you’re on the road, you might want to download the messages to a notebook or to some other computer that you’re using temporarily. By leaving the messages on the server, you can still download them to your main computer when you return to the office or to your home. Similarly, you might want to download your messages into another email client for testing purposes or to take advantage of features in that client that aren’t found in Outlook Express.

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