How to Set Up a Microsoft Exchange Server

By Anthony Markesino

Microsoft Exchange is a server software package that enables communication between different clients through email, instant messaging, calendars and other shared mediums. These packages combine the services of numerous other programs at a significant savings to the client as well as giving the client unprecedented control over setup and control of how communication works. Microsoft Exchange can be set up for a small business through the use of its Setup Wizard, which will guide you through each step for your business.

Things You'll Need

  • Administrative access
  • Microsoft Exchange Server software
  • Windows or Apache Server

Step 1

Open the Start menu to locate the server management tools. If the tools are not located directly under your Start menu, you can find them with the following path: "Start >Programs >Administrative Tools >Manage Your Server."

Step 2

Start the configuration wizard by clicking the "Add Roles" icon.

Step 3

Enter the login name and password you wish to use for the master administrator. Be sure to record these in a safe place. If you lose them, you will have to uninstall and reinstall your Microsoft Exchange software. Click "Next" to continue.

Step 4

Select "Mail Server (Pop3, SMTP)" for your server role. This is the default setting that will allow you to control most communication roles, such as email, messaging and calendar. Click "Next" to continue.

Step 5

Enter "Local Windows Account" when prompted for which authentication method to choose. This is the default setting and allows you to unify the account each user uses for her personal machine with her email accounts. Click "Next" to continue.

Step 6

Enter the domain name and server address that you have designated for your server. These will be filled out automatically if your server is set up correctly. Click "Next" to continue.

Step 7

Select "Finish" after you have reviewed your settings. Your Exchange server is now set up, and you can begin adding individual users.

Tips & Warnings

  • Microsoft Exchange is very good at what it does, enabling communication. Unfortunately, if you do not use other products from the Microsoft family, such as the email client (Outlook), you will not be able to use all of the features. Some third-party mail programs, such as Thunderbird, can make use of most of these features through constant updates and plug-ins.
  • By default, Microsoft Exchange uses only simple encryption for your emails and communications with an authentication server to supervise who is allowed to view which product. It is advised to use SPA authentication during or after setup; this will implement high-level encryption that is very difficult to break.