iOS exchange setup vs OSx -- what am I missing?

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by emt8q5, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. emt8q5, Jan 15, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013

    emt8q5 macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2007
    I recently started working for a new company. I'm working remote and need to access their exchange server outside of a VPN. The company uses an exchange active sync email server. I was given the following settings (real info substituted with filler) to set up my email:

    Username: fakename
    Password: fakepass
    Domain: aa.bbbb
    SSL: OFF

    Using the above information, I was able to set up an exchange account on my iPhone 5 in less than 2 minutes. Awesome.

    The problems started when I tried to set up the account on Mail on my Macbook Pro (ML 10.8.2). I couldn't get it to work. The company outsources IT to a 3rd party firm, so I got their number and gave them a call (over Skype of course, international…). The IT guy spent 45 minutes remotely screwing around with my machine before he gave up. According to the tech my only options with Apple Mail are to either:

    1.) connect using a VPN
    2.) Create a POP account

    Neither of these options are desirable. Currently I am using outlook webmail through my browser to access my mail on my mac. This is less than optimal for me.

    I know very little about exchange servers and connection protocols, however some basic google research suggests that Exchange problems with Apple Mail are not uncommon. I could not find a clear solution on the internet.

    This situation is bizarre to me. How is it that the account can be so simply set up in iOS but impossible to set up in Apple Mail?? That just seems counter-intuitive and ridiculous to me.

    Does anyone have any advice here? I just began working for this company, and I'm not comfortable insisting the IT rep make something work when he's told me it's not possible. I would be much more comfortable sending him a clear cut solution to put into play.

    Any exchange experts out there? What do you think?
  2. emt8q5 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2007

    Just an FYI for anyone else looking for a resolution to this problem in the future. I was able to completely solve my problem with a free application called DavMail

    DavMail runs in the background and establishes the connection to the exchange server. I route Apple Mail through it to access the server.

    I'm still disappointed that I have to use a 3rd party software to supplement Apple Mail just to achieve basic functionality which is already baked into iOS...but it sure beats a webmail client.
  3. twintin macrumors 6502

    Aug 10, 2012
    This is how most (if not all) e-mail clients on deskto/laptop OS:es work (checkout Thunderbird, MS Windows Live etc. and you'll see they have all same limitations regarding this). Nothing specific to iMail on OS X. They all require a VPN connection.

    Mobile devices such as phones on the other hand have traditionally in the past not had any access to VPN connections and hence have used active sync as a mean to connect to exchange servers instead.

    That's how it always have been as far as I know.

    Nice however that you have found a simple solution, which does not require a VPN connection.

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