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Inside the Help Desk: Checking Email from Home
by Mitchell Ochi
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The ITS Help Desk receives an average of 50 calls and 70 emails per day from faculty, staff, and students of the University system seeking assistance with various problems. There are a number of questions posed which are specific to a particular user's circumstances, however we routinely answer a few recurring questions. With that in mind, I wanted to share one of the most common questions the Help Desk receives, and provide its answer.

Q: How do I setup my home computer to check my UH email?

Email account optionsA: Checking your UH email account can be accomplished by simply using a web browser and either logging to the UH Web Mail site (http://mail.hawaii.edu), or by logging into MyUH (http://myuhportal.hawaii.edu). However, using these web mail clients provides only for some basic email functionality, such as reading messages, and forwarding, replying, and adding contacts to an address book. There are software email clients that can provide a number of useful tools and tricks beyond these basic functions. Options such as rich text or HTML message formatting can enhance email messages, and provide a way to deliver content similar to what you could do in a word processor or through a web page. Unfortunately, UH Web Mail and MyUH are not that robust, so software clients are the only way to acquire those features. Examples of these software email clients are Outlook, Eudora, OS X Mail, Entourage, and Thunderbird. There are others out there, but these are some of the more common clients in use today.

Email account IMAP settingsWhen setting up an email client to connect to your UH Email account, there are a few important pieces of information you'll need. First, you'll need to decide if you would like to setup your email client using a POP (Post Office Protocol) connection or an IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) connection. Essentially, the difference between the two is that POP will download all of your email to your computer for you to view, while IMAP creates a connection to the mail server and accesses the messages directly from the mail server. Setting up your mail client for POP is good when you have a slow Internet connection (i.e. you're using a dial-up connection), or when you prefer to have all your mail messages on just one computer. An IMAP connection is preferable if you need to access your email from multiple computers (e.g. accessing email from your home computer AND your computer at work).

Second, you'll need to provide both the incoming (POP or IMAP) mail server and an outgoing SMTP ( Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) mail server, so that the email client knows where to check for your email, and where to send your email. The incoming mail server for your UH email, regardless of whether you've chosen to setup POP or IMAP, is mail.hawaii.edu. Internet email settingsYou must be sure to configure your email client to use SSL ( Secure Sockets Layer ) for connections to the incoming mail server. Some of these clients may also require that you specify the port in which the incoming mail server uses, so be sure it's set to 995 (for POP) or 993 (for IMAP). For the outgoing mail server, you have two options: 1) use the SMTP server provided by your Internet Service Provider, or 2) use the UH SMTP server (also mail.hawaii.edu ) as your outgoing mail server. If you elect to use the UH SMTP server, you must be sure that your email client is configured to use SSL for connections to the outgoing mail server. If the email client also asks for the port number, you can set the outgoing mail server port to either 25 or 465. Additionally, the UH SMTP server also requires the email client to be configured to authenticate to the SMTP server; if the client is not configured for authentication, the UH SMTP server will reject your messages.

Finally, you'll need to provide your UH email address (e.g. username@hawaii.edu). With this final piece of information, your email client should be ready to send and receive email through your UH email account.

For specific information on how to configure various email clients that ITS supports, visit http://www.hawaii.edu/itsdocs.

 
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