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Can I back up Exchange Server with a POP3 hosted email server?

Find out if you can set up a POP3 hosted email server to back up Exchange Server and deliver recovered POP3 email if the Exchange server fails.

I would like to keep my POP3 hosted email as a backup for my Exchange server in a disaster recovery situation. I'm currently in the planning phase to migrate from having our email hosted by a third-party provider to using an in-house Exchange server. If the T1, router, Exchange server, etc., go down, I still want email to be backed up and delivered. I know I have to give the MX record for the Exchange server a higher priority than the POP3 hosted account.

How do I configure Exchange Server to check the hosted POP3 server for email (i.e., the email that is delivered to the POP3 server when the Exchange server is not accessible), and then deliver the email to the correct mailboxes on the Exchange server? I know how to configure the Microsoft Outlook clients to check the POP3 email server, but this wouldn't be a scalable solution.

I'd recommend you speak with your Internet service provider (ISP) about this solution. Many ISPs already provide a service that queues messages in case your Exchange connection goes down. If that isn't sufficient, you really need to check with your ISP to see what they have available to help you with your backup and disaster recovery efforts.

Do you have comments on this Ask the Expert Q&A? Let us know.

Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • FAQ: Exchange Server and POP3
  • Tip: Configuring Exchange Server to receive email from an ISP mailbox
  • Reference Center: POP3 tips and resources
  • Reference Center: Exchange Server backup and disaster recovery
  • Dig Deeper on Exchange Server setup and troubleshooting

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