Connecting Exchange Server to a POP3 Account

Last reviewed on October 8, 2013

Downloading mail from a POP account into Exchange Server in general is not a supported configuration (though you wouldn’t know it from the proliferation of tools to accomplish this). However, Microsoft does provide an Exchange Connector for POP3 Mailboxes for Small Business Server, having licensed Internet Mailbridge from Acotec. It’s still not a supported configuration for full Exchange Server.

I’d suggest that you read about both sides of this issue. If you decide to try this route, there are plenty of tools to choose from. Features common to all POP3 collectors include the ability to POP mail from multiple servers and from multiple mailboxes. You’ll also be able to control how often it checks for new mail in the POP3 accounts and limit it to downloading new mail during specific hours, such as only during business hours. All of the commercial POP3 connectors should be able to deliver mail to any SMTP address, including mail-enabled Public Folders.

Many of these tools support these forms of POP3 collection:

  • One-to-one, which collects mail from a single POP3 mailbox and sends it to a specific SMTP address
  • Many-to-one, which collects mail from multiple POP3 mailboxes and sends it to single SMTP address
  • One-to-many, which collects mail from single ‘catch-all’ POP3 mailbox and sends it to multiple SMTP addresses

Note that the one-to-many collection method fails when messages are BCC’d to users.

Tools | More Information

Tools in the Spotlight

IGetMail

IGetMail is a POP3 connector that downloads email from remote POP3 servers (Gmail, Yahoo, etc) and third-party hosted domains to your local Exchange Server. Runs as a multi-threaded Windows Service. Supports unlimited number of POP3 individual and catchall email accounts. Checks for email as fast as every 20 seconds according to a frequency schedule you define. Archives the email and delivers downloaded emails to any version of Exchange Server using the SMTP protocol. Supports SSL. UI shows real-time status of email.

MAPILab POP3 Connector for Exchange 2013, 2010, 2007

MAPILab POP3 Connector enables various companies to solve an actual problem of downloading mail from external POP3 servers and its delivering to recipients located on Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, 2010, 2007 in the most effective and simple way. Using an external server which downloads mail allows you to limit access to Microsoft Exchange Server from the internet.

Native POP3 Connector

Native POP3 Connector installs as a connector to Exchange and is configured using Exchange System Manager. It supports a large number of mailboxes (each one may be catchall accounts), multi-threading processing, flexible scheduling of POP3-mailbox querying, and integrates with the Active Directory. Supports Microsoft Exchange Server 2000/2003 and Small Business Server 2000/2003.

POPcon

POPcon downloads emails from POP3 and IMAP accounts. 1 minute minimum schedule time, unlimited accounts, both single-user and catch-all (multi-drop) type. Supports Exchange 2010, 2007 and 2003 and runs on Windows 2003 and 2008 x86 and x64.

Tools

ARX POP3 Connector

Supports filtering rules and DNS verification on incoming messages to reduce spam. Version 5.2

Eclarsys PopGrabber

Eclarsys PopGrabber is a replacement for the POP3 connector included with the Small Business Server and also works with any standard SMTP server or Exchange server. Runs as a Windows Service. Free version available for up to 3 mailboxes; Standard version for larger sites. Requires Net Framework 1.1.

EFS (Email Forwarding Server)

EFS is a FREE POP3 gateway for any SMTP server such as Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes or SLMail. It pulls mail from a Pop3 mailbox at your ISP and distributes the messages to users on a local SMTP mail server. EFS requires you to have a registered Internet domain name (to accept and forward mail for), use as a replacement for the somewhat limited Microsoft SBS Pop3 Connector.

Exchange Connector

Exchange Connector allows you to integrate your existing POP3 mailboxes with Microsoft Exchange Server 2000 or 2003 by downloading mail from POP3 mailboxes and delivering the messages to your Exchange Server accounts. Exchange connector runs in the background as a Windows Service and can be configured to download only during specified hours, such as between 9AM-5PM Monday-Friday and includes a "Download Mail Now" button for immediate downloads. It provides support for APOP (enhanced POP3 security), archiving, and SQL Server logging. Version 3.3.3

eXchange POP3

An email gateway (connector) that retrieves messages from Internet POP3 email accounts (IMAP also supported) and delivers them to Exchange Server mailboxes. Supports single and multiple user POP3 accounts, unlimited POP3 accounts, unlimited ISPs and SMTP authentication when sending to Internet. Version 5

Fetchmail

Fetchmail can be used to collect mail from POP3 mailboxes and deliver it to Exchange server. It's one of the applications found Unixmail for Windows, a package of unix mail tools ported to MS Windows (Win32), and bundled together with an installer. In addition to fetchmail, the bundle includes mutt, aspell/pspell, sSMTP, and GnuPG.

GFI MailEssentials for Exchange

Anti-spam, disclaimers (with variables), archiving Internet mail, Internet mail usage reports. Includes a POP downloader and personalized server-based autoreplies that can include attachments and tracking numbers. Can archive to an ODBC database. Current version includes Overall improved anti-spam technology, an additional anti-spam engine called SpamRazer along with improved performance and a real-time dashboard.

Hexamail POP3 Downloader

POP3 Downloader is a high performance and scalable real-time POP3 connector for Exchange. It can download and forward any POP3 or IMAP account email to Exchange. Compatible with Microsoft Exchange server 5.5, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2010 and SBS 2003, 2008 1 Minute schedule SSL Support IMAP support (with configurable folders)

Inox POP3 Connector

Narawen Inox POP3 Connector is a bridge connecting mail servers. The software operates automatically in the background as a system service. In configured time intervals it downloads e-mail messages from specified mail servers using POP3 protocol and sends them to other mail servers such as Microsoft Exchange Server or Lotus Domino using SMTP protocol. Original mail content, attachments and headers are preserved.

Pop Collector

POP collector to download POP3 mails and forward to Exchange. Automatically installs as service on Windows 2003. Supports SMTP server for each POP account and SMTP AUTH. Improved Service support. Logging is configurable. Now supports POP over SSL. Freeware.

POP2Exchange

Supports mail forwarding without attachments (i.e. for SMS messages), dial up (RAS) connections and checks all inbound mails with a standard virus checker i.e. Norton Antivirus. Works with every version of Exchange Server including Small Business Server, 2000 and 2003, dial-up, dial-up routers, ADSL and leased-line connections to the Internet. Supports any SMTP server -- Exchange, Lotus Notes and Novell GroupWise and proxy servers that support the SOCKS protocol such as WinGate or MS Proxy.

Pop3Connector

Pop3Connector is designed to download mails from an unlimited number of POP3 mailboxes and relay them to any SMTP server, for instance Exchange Server, GMail, or any other mail server using the SMTP protocol. Works with any Exchange or SMTP server, allows unlimited users, supports SSL.

POPBeamer

Supports every version of Exchange server, any ISP's POP3 or IMAP server, even the older ones, that do not support the Received for: header line. Use with any SMTP server like Exchange, Lotus Notes and Novell GroupWise or proxy that support the SOCKS protocol like WinGate or ISA Server. Supports all message encoding formats, including MIME and UUENCODE messages, and character sets.

POPWeasel

A command line utility to add POP3 mail collection to most SMTP mail servers. Easy to configure with multiple POP accounts to collect from, once started the POPWeasel collects mail from each account, reads the mail headers and routes the mail to your mail server for distribution to your users.

PYTHEAS MailGate

POP3 connector including spam filtering with SpamAssassin, interface for virus scanners, content-checking, outgoing mail handling and more. Works with all Microsoft Exchange versions.

More Information

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlookforums.

One response to “Connecting Exchange Server to a POP3 Account”

  1. Jakob Medara

    Hi,
    very nice list, thanks! I used GFI POP2Exchange but now I'm forced to use another software. Many German providers will force SSL client connections in 2014 and, sadly, GFI does not support SSL for POP3.
    I switched to SmartPOP2Exchange from JAM Software instead.

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