Never Visit Nexus Again!

For anyone who’s tired of the web-based interface that UW’s Nexus offers, here are some tips so that you never have to go back there again! I’ll tell you how you can move your email away from Nexus (your engmail account) as well as how to access your N: drive from anywhere using FTP. I am assuming you are using Gmail for these tips because it makes it all 100x easier.

Mail Forwarding & Custom Reply Address

Visit Nexus, login like normal, and go to “Deliver/Divert/Forward/Respond” on the left hand side menu. In the yellow box check “Foward Mail to” and enter your other Gmail address.

Now any email you receive on your campus account will go to Gmail. This is fantastic for keeping “in the know” about campus activities and official emails. However it leaves one problem – how do you reply (or send new emails) without using your Gmail address?

Now visit Gmail, login and hit “Settings” in the upper right corner. Go to “Accounts and Import”. By clicking “Send mail from another address” you can specify your Nexus account, for example “mmurkovi AT engmail DOT uwaterloo DOT ca”.  You can leave the “reply-to” to be your Nexus account. This way when someone replys to you, their email first goes to Nexus then gets forwarded (set up earlier) to your Gmail again.

On the next page I recommend sending the mail through the ____.uwaterloo.ca SMTP server. The settings you need are:

  • SMTP Server: engmail.uwaterloo.ca
  • Port: 465
  • Username: Nexus UserID
  • Password: Nexus Password
  • Check “Always use SSL when sending this email”

Now visit your Nexus (I swear it’s the last time!) and click the confirm link that Gmail just sent you. Done!

From now on all of your UW mail will be sent to Gmail and when you hit “Reply” it will automatically send it from Nexus. Hurray!

Alternatively you can set up Gmail so that it connects to the Nexus POP3 server and actually downloads all of your school mail and basically becomes an email client (like Outlook) for your Nexus mail. I tried this method once and it gave me a few headaches. I’ll post another tutorial if I manage to make that work better in the future.

N:\ Drive Access with FTP

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is the primary way file transfer is done on the internet. You can use it to connect to web servers and upload/download data. In this case, you can use it to connect to your N:\ drive from home or your laptop. You can do this via the web interface on Nexus Mail by going to “File Manager” on the left hand menu and clicking “Login”. But like I said, that sucks!

  1. Download Filezilla (a free FTP client)
  2. Install it. Run it.
  3. File > Site Manager
  4. Click New Site and enter in this info:
    • Host: engage.uwaterloo.ca
    • Port: 22
    • Servertype: SFTP -SSH File Transfer Protocol
    • Logontype: Normal
    • User: Nexus UserID
    • Password: Nexus Password
  5. Click Connect
  6. On the error that pops up click “Always trust this host, add this key to cache” and hit OK
  7. Voilà! You can upload folders from your computer on the left into your N:\ drive on the right.

Side note: If you go into the “public_html” folder. This is where you can set up a personal website. Just make an “index.html” page to get started! You can access your site by visiting:

http://www.eng.uwaterloo.ca/~NEXUSID/

Where NEXUSID is your Nexus ID.  Hint: try using my ID to see an old school web page I made.

  • nexus user

    gee.. thx a lot!

  • MikeMurko

    No problem. I’m going to update this with some pictures so hopefully it makes it easier to understand.

    Look forward to some tutorials on how to do access literature/journals from home effectively coming up in a few days!

  • nexus user 2

    Thanks this is useful. A screenshot of the final product would have been even more effective.

  • Brent

    Mike! I can’t believe you wrote this, I just google searched for a way to do this and yours came nearly first! Nice work, this worked like a charm

  • Kebin

    Hey i have question regarding Drive access with FTP. I am unable to go in public_HTML folder. Where is it located because i checked all my files but i was unable to find it. So, if you could guide me because i am pretty new to it and i really interested in making website. Thanks you

  • MikeMurko

    Hi Kebin,
    What folders do you see when you follow the instructions? In my home folder I see things such as, “binFreeBSD”, “etc”, “mail”, “Netscape”, “public_html”, “Software”, “WINDOWS”, “Windows2000”. The path that’s displayed for me when I connect is: /u4/mmurkovi/. You could be in some sub-directory of that and therefore can’t see public_html.

    These are all mixed in with my personal folders. Maybe just check more thoroughly to find that folder.

    Let me know how that goes and we can try something else if you can’t get it to work.
    -MikeMurko

  • http://www.squidoo.com/proxy Proxy

    Thank you for the information on proxies. I have been researching proxies for some time now and cannot figure out which proxy is greatest for me to use. I included a link in my reference which gives an IP deal with to be entered in to bypass filters. I can’t figure out if that is what I need to unblock websites.

  • Semi

    Thank you. Right now though I have non SSL connection, through port 25 to engmail.uwaterloo.ca server. I can’t configure gmail to have a SSL connection through port 465 of engmail.uwaterloo.ca because “Your other email provider is responding too slowly. Please try again later or contact the administrator of your other domain for further information. ” Help?

  • MikeMurko

    Hey Semi,
    I’ve been in correspondence lately with some of the people administering “engmail”. Apparently they have disabled Gmail access to engmail for the time being. They were getting overloaded with requests as people were trying to use Gmail to brute-force their way into peoples’ engmail accounts. Those people were subsequently getting locked out. The final solution was to disable Gmail’s access to engmail. Read about it here: http://engmail.uwaterloo.ca/gmail.htm

    So! I’ve been on the hunt for a good solution to this. I’m close … it involves using “mailservices” which is a good mail server here on campus. I’ll keep you posted on the status and then tell you how exactly to set it up.

    In the mean time, I’ve been sadly using Thunderbird to aggregate my Gmail+Engmail accounts. It’s a poor solution because it’s local and isn’t run off a browser, but that’s all I’ve got.

  • http://1701host.com Thi Miyake

    I really find this a interesting subject. Never looked at this subject in this way. If you are going to write some more articles relating to this subject, I will return in the near future!

  • colin

    i dont have the “Deliver/Divert/Forward/Respond” on the left hand side..?

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