I'm having a heck of a time accessing our exchange server on my personal android phone
December 9, 2011 12:25 PM   Subscribe

I'm having a heck of a time accessing our exchange server on my personal android phone

Can't seem to sync up the built-in mail app OR even access the online platform through the browsers, getting an error like "server failed to communicate." Everything works fine from a laptop!
What can I do to fix this?
posted by jander03 to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
When you connect via the laptop are you on a VPN?
posted by dgeiser13 at 12:41 PM on December 9, 2011

Response by poster: Nope, I can do it from any computer with an internet connection on any network, with or without a vpn.
posted by jander03 at 1:01 PM on December 9, 2011

That's some crazy security your Exchange admin has. Are you connecting to Exchange with Outlook as your e-mail client? Or are you using the Exchange webmail interface?
posted by dgeiser13 at 1:42 PM on December 9, 2011

On this last question, I'm meaning from your laptop.
posted by dgeiser13 at 1:43 PM on December 9, 2011

Response by poster: From my laptop I can do both.
posted by jander03 at 1:57 PM on December 9, 2011

Response by poster: Also, thanks for checking back in!
posted by jander03 at 2:03 PM on December 9, 2011

There's quite a few points of failure here. To limit the problem I would probably recommend starting by troubleshooting why you can't load the Webmail interface.

1) When you put the Exchange URL in the phone's browser what is the exact error message that you get? Including any error codes?

2) Has your IT department given you any indication that this should work from any old Internet-connected device?
posted by dgeiser13 at 2:42 PM on December 9, 2011

Your Exchange administrator should be able to help you with this and it is to him or her that you should address this question.

It is possible, even likely, that they are intentionally blocking mobile device access. The company I work for does this. If you have an iPhone, they will open it up for you. Android, no dice. This is because Android's e-mail client lies: the Exchange server says, "you must adhere to these security policies to use this server" and Android's e-mail client says "okay!" but then doesn't. In particular, most Android phones do not support on-device encryption, i.e. hardware encryption of your e-mail, at all, and just ignores the admonition to use it. I think this capability was added in Ice Cream Sandwich, but don't know if there are any phones that actually employ it yet.

Oddly enough, Windows Phone does not support on-device encryption, either. Blackberry does, but you need their special server software. At this time, the iPhone is really the only smartphone that is secure enough for paranoid corporate IT departments.

You may be able to find a loophole that will allow you to get your Exchange e-mail without your IT department's approval. This will likely be seen by management as circumvention of corporate policy and could lead to dismissal. Tread very lightly here.
posted by kindall at 2:48 PM on December 9, 2011

Response by poster: Interesting... Subduing like this isn't going to work.

I first get a warning that the security certificate is but from a trusted source, which I ignore.

then I get
The seber failed ti communicate. Try again later.

No error code
posted by jander03 at 3:05 PM on December 9, 2011

Response by poster: Subduing = sounding
Writing from said android
posted by jander03 at 3:06 PM on December 9, 2011

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