I got home from work the other day, and wanted to fire off a few quick e-mails before dinner. For some strange reason, I couldn’t get any mail to send successfully from Outlook. Weird… I never had a problem before that moment. My connectivity was fine, I could download mail just fine, it just kept timing out when trying to send it. My ISP is Comcast, so my Outlook was set to use smtp.comcast.net for outgoing mail. Had it made some change I wasn’t aware of?
I dug around on the Comcast Web site, and although I couldn’t find anything conclusive, I found an FAQ posted about specifying Port 587 for outgoing mail (with authentication). Mind you, I had to look up what my Comcast UserID and password were, because I never use my Comcast e-mail account. So after some fiddling, I set it up, and my outgoing mail started to flow.
I think it’s a safe bet that Comcast instituted the change from Port 25 to Port 587 (with authentication) to combat spammers. Nice thing it warned its users of the change.
And speaking of Outlook, I was helping one of my customers who wanted their Outlook PST file copied to her laptop. No problem. Then she wanted to add her work e-mail account to Outlook on her laptop… again, no problem. Actually, it was a problem. She is one of those POP3 mail users who insist on keeping copies of messages on the server… which becomes a huge problem when you work on multiple PCs or get a new PC. Despite my warnings, she insisted that she was OK with it. The result: she had to re-download thousands of messages she’d already seen. I wonder how much time she’ll spend deleting all the duplicates (I did tell her about an Outlook “De-Duper” utility I’d heard about), so maybe she’ll get a hand from some software.