In configuring a number of various smartphones with our e-mail system, I've found there to be a distinct lack of consistency in the process. Some phones work great the first time, others require experimentation, and some even require me to make changes to a user's mail account on the server itself.
As such, two mobile mail clients will be specifically supported: the Apple Mail app on iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad), and K-9 Mail for Android devices. Both work great with our mail server. Specific configuration instructions for both can be found below. However, you need to decide whether to use POP or IMAP with your device.
POP or IMAP?
For checking your e-mail, there are two protocols you can use, POP and IMAP.
POP downloads a copy of each message to your device, so all of your e-mail (as well as any mailboxes you may create) are stored on the device itself. This is the protocol traditionally used with stand-alone mail clients like Eudora or Thunderbird. It's very reliable, and allows you to read/write e-mail while disconnected from the Internet. It does not, however, lend itself well to checking e-mail from multiple devices since each device has its own inbox, outbox, and mailboxes.
IMAP is a newer protocol that doesn't download anything to your device or computer...everything is stored on the mail server itself, so your mail program only acts as window that lets you "see" what's on the server. This makes it great for checking mail from multiple devices, since you will always "see" the same information. On the downside, IMAP is a more complicated protocol, and tends to be more problematic than POP (it can be slower, some mail clients have poor IMAP implementation, and you lose access to all of your e-mail if you're not connected to the Internet). As an FYI, things like GMail, Yahoo mail, and our departmental webmail system use IMAP.
If you're unsure which protocol is best for you, come talk to me about it. Should you choose to use IMAP, and you have not used it before, then let me know so I can verify a setting with your mail account on the server that will allow IMAP connections to be made.
If you use POP, be sure to configure your device to NOT delete mail off of the server. If you don't do this, you run the risk of messages appearing on your device, but not appearing on your computer.
Specific configuration information
Instructions for configuring an Apple iOS5 device can be found here: IphoneEmail
Instructions for configuring K-9 Mail for Android devices can be found here: AndroidEmail
Using a different mail client
If you want to try using a mail client other than Apple's Mail or K-9, there are a few things you need to know:
When configuring your device, you *must* use SSL encryption for both incoming and outgoing mail. Every smartphone I've come across supports this.
The correct port for incoming mail should be 995 (for POP) and 993 (for IMAP). The correct port for outgoing mail (SMTP) is 465.
SSL uses security certificates to enable encryption. Ours are configured in such a way that your mail client should accept the certificate as-is, without asking you if you want to accept it. If your smartphone gives you the option of using "SSL (accept all certificates)", select this. If your mail program generates some sort of "I don't trust this certificate" error, let me know.
If you see an option in either the incoming our outgoing mail server configuration regarding "authentication" or "require sign-in" or whatnot, enable this. If you see it in the outgoing server setup, and you see a variety of options for authentication (like "plain text", "NTLM", "encrypted" or "MD5/CRAM-MD5"), the option to select is "MD5/CRAM-MD5" or "encrypted". In all cases, the required info will be your e-mail address and e-mail password. If you do NOT see such settings, then it's very likely that this mail client is incompatible with our mail server.