Configure External and Internal URL in Exchange 2013

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To be able to access emails from internal and external network using different services, various URLs must be properly configured in the Exchange server 2013. URL for outlook web accessActiveSync, autodiscover and outlook anywhere virtual directories are the most important ones. In this post I will show how to configure External and Internal URL in Exchange 2013 for various virtual directories of Exchange Server 2013. After installingconfiguring and creating user mailboxes in Exchange server, this is another very important task that must be done.

Configure External and Internal URL in Exchange 2013

Before configuring the URLs, we need to plan the domain names that will be used to access the mail server. is the domain name that will used from both internal and external network in our case. Similarly, is the domain name that will be used by administrators to access EAC console. The CNAME recored is added in both internal DNS server and public DNS server as well. It’s easier for users if external and internal URL is same because they don’t have to remember multiple domain names for same purpose. But you can also configure different internal and external URLs. Let’s configure URLs for each services step by step.

Open Exchange Admin Center. Click servers on the features pane. Click virtual directories tab. This is where you configure most of the URL’s of the virtual directories.

Configure External and Internal URL in Exchange 2013

Step 1: Outlook Web Access

Outlook web access virtual directory is the directory that users access while logging into their mailboxes. Double-click owa (Default Web Site) and change the URLs.

1. owa

Now users will need to type, in their browser to access their mailboxes.

Step 2: Exchange Control Panel (ecp) or Exchange Admin Center

ECP virtual directory is accessed by administrators to configure the Exchange server. Double-click ecp (Default Web Site) and configure the URLs.

2. ecp

Now administrator needs to browse to log in Exchange Admin Center.

Step 3: ActiveSync

Exchange ActiveSync is used by mobile clients and devices to synchronize mails, contacts, calendar, etc. Double-click Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync (Default Web Site) and configure the URLs.

active sync

Step 4: Offline Address Book (OAB)

OAB virtual directory is used to distribute offline address book for mailbox users. The address book is distributed to user’s office outlook application so that users can use the address book even when they are not connected to the Exchange server. Double-click OAB (Default Web Site) and configure the internal and external URLs.


Step 5: Exchange Web Services (EWS)

Exchange Web Services allows for calender sharing and other various options provided by Exchange. To configure URLs, double-click EWS (Default Web Site).


Step 6: Outlook Anywhere

Outlook Anywhere feature lets users out on the Internet to send and receive Exchange emails without requiring a VPN connection to the company network. Office outlook 2007. 2010 and 2013 is used to connect to Exchange server from the Internet. Click servers tab. Double-click the server and select outlook anywhere tab.

4. outlook anywhere setting

Now configure the URLs as shown below and click save.

Outlook Anywhere URL

Step 7: Auto Discover

AutoDiscover feature in Exchange 2013 let’s client application such as Office Outlook 2007, 2010 and 2013 to connect to Exchange server automatically. AutoDiscover feature automatically discovers the mailbox settings for user profile in Office Outlook application. AutoDiscover also works for supported mobile applications. In Exchange 2013, you can configure SCP for AutoDiscover service via Exchange Management Shell. The command below will update SCP (Service Connection Point) object. SCP is active directory object and is used by internal domain-joined clients to retrieve autodiscover URL.

[PS] c:\windows\system32>Set-ClientAccessServer -Identity MBG-MAIL -AutoDiscoverServiceInternalUri

To view the changes type following command in Exchange Management Shell.

[PS] c:\windows\system32>Get-ClientAccessServer | FL AutoDiscoverServiceInternalUri

You don’t have to manually set External URL for autodiscover. Clients from outside/Internet will connect to domain. So make sure domain record in public hosted DNS server like GoDaddy is pointed to public IP of your organization. Also make sure, is added as Subject Alternative Name in the digital certificate installed in the Exchange server.

In this way you can configure internal and external URLs in Exchange 2013. Now you can configure HTTP to HTTPS redirection for accessing OWA by clients.

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Bipin is a freelance Network and System Engineer with expertise on Cisco, Juniper, Microsoft, VMware, and other technologies. You can hire him on UpWork. Bipin enjoys writing articles and tutorials related to Network technologies. Some of his certifications are, MCSE:Messaging, JNCIP-SEC, JNCIS-ENT, and others.

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