Pinging SMTP Servers

Networking, connecting to the internet, wi-fi and home entertainment
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BobH
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Pinging SMTP Servers

Post by BobH »

In trying to help my BIL (in another state) with a problem he's having sending email from his regular Thunderbird ISP account via a wifi hotspot, I tried pinging first his ISP's smtp server and then mine. Both are RoadRunner servers.

I was able to ping his server from my system and get a response, but when I pinged mine I got no response (request timed out). He is getting time outs on outgoing email sent thru his ISP's smtp server; however, he is not in his home state and is connecting via a wifi hotspot. He can access the Internet (proving that the wifi connection is working) and he can receive email (proving that his ISP's pop3 server is working).

This situation raises questions that I cannot answer. First, why is it that I can sucessfully ping his smtp server and even the gmail smtp server but cannot ping my own? Second, why would his ISP's smtp server - which worked for him as set and which I can ping and get a response - be timing out for him through his wifi connection? My surmise is that his sending of email via the smtp server at his ISP involves some sort of verification or validation, but I don't know what it might be. Surely the password that works to retrieve mail is the same as any that is validated when he sends, no? I also thought that the validation might involve the IP address of his home router (which is powered off), but that makes no sense to me. Aren't you supposed to be able to use the same Thunderbird settings through multiple networks?

I have not talked him through 'ping' yet and don't know what response he will get when trying it. Based on my attempts, I'm guessing that he will not be successful pinging his own smtp server through the command console but might be able to ping others. If this is the case, why does a ping to one's own smtp server time out when others do not?

The other thing I'm going to have him try is to add the IP address of the gmail SMTP server to his Thunderbird smtp options and to make it the default. He says he has a gmail account but I don't know whether or not he uses the same name with @gmail.com as the second half. I will find out. He is currently away from his RV where his handheld Windows device is located, but I thought I'd see if I could get other helpful advice and suggestions for things to try. FWIW, RoadRunner Help told him he needed to reset his password and did so for him; however he continues to be able to retrieve email without making any settings changes in Thunderbird.

:thankyou: :chocciebar: :cheers:
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DaveA
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Re: Pinging SMTP Servers

Post by DaveA »

Are you saying that he has a username@thuderbird.com email address?

If so what are the required settings for these 2 servers?

If NOT, what is his email domain?
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BobH
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Re: Pinging SMTP Servers

Post by BobH »

DaveA wrote:Are you saying that he has a username@thuderbird.com email address?

If so what are the required settings for these 2 servers?

If NOT, what is his email domain?
No, Dave. His email address is username@ec.rr.com. The domain mail servers are: pop3-server.ec.rr.com (incoming) and smtp-server.ec.com (outgoing).
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Jay Freedman
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Re: Pinging SMTP Servers

Post by Jay Freedman »

About pinging one server but not another: The ping utility uses an Echo Request message of ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol), which is a different method than SMTP. Some servers set an inbound rule in their firewalls to block Echo Requests, so they never receive or respond to pings. This is done to shut off one path of denial-of-service attacks.

About the timeouts: Some ISPs use a non-default port number for email being sent through their servers but originating from somebody else's network. Check with Roadrunner to find out if they do that. (My main ISP, Verizon, won't accept outgoing email at all from any computer not connected directly to their network; when I'm away from home, I have to use web mail or a secondary account attached to my web site on 1and1.com.)

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BobH
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Re: Pinging SMTP Servers

Post by BobH »

Thank you, Jay!

I shall contact RoadRunner to find out if they block ICMP pings. What strikes me as odd though, is that I can ping my BIL's RoadRunner SMTP server but not my own RR server. It is quite possible that each server is set up differently, I know; but I would find it odd.

If the ec.rr.com domain's server uses a non-default port number, can we set their port number on his device? If so, is it done in Thunderbird or in the CP?

Again, thank you very much for your help!
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StuartR
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Re: Pinging SMTP Servers

Post by StuartR »

The SMTP port number should be set in the email client. You can use multiple email clients on one computer and each would need to be correctly configured.
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DaveA
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Re: Pinging SMTP Servers

Post by DaveA »

Are you sure the correct servers are being used?

Per http://www.emailquestions.com/road-runn ... rvers.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; there are a lot of different servers for different locations!
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BobH
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Re: Pinging SMTP Servers

Post by BobH »

StuartR wrote:The SMTP port number should be set in the email client. You can use multiple email clients on one computer and each would need to be correctly configured.
Thanks, Stuart!
I thought I remembered that port numbers were set in Thunderbird, but I no longer trust my memory so much. As RR said, "Trust but verify." (I've forgotten the Russian phrase.)

DaveA wrote:Are you sure the correct servers are being used?

Per http://www.emailquestions.com/road-runn ... rvers.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; there are a lot of different servers for different locations!
Hi Dave,
Yes, the server names are the correct ones. They are both in use on our respective home computers. I think that RR does use redirection to other servers, but I'm unsure why they do so.
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Re: Pinging SMTP Servers

Post by DaveA »

I am NOT a thunderbird user, but in order to use a third party to access the out going server setting "Outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication" needs to be checked along with "Same settings as incoming server".

This setting is normally in the "Advance" area of the account settings.
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StuartR
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Re: Pinging SMTP Servers

Post by StuartR »

For my ISP I need different settings for the outgoing server and the incoming server, you have to ask and then follow the instructions you are given.
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BobH
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Re: Pinging SMTP Servers

Post by BobH »

StuartR wrote:For my ISP I need different settings for the outgoing server and the incoming server, you have to ask and then follow the instructions you are given.
Yes, I'm aware that the ISP's sending and receiving servers are different IP addresses. I have mine set correctly. One is labeled a pop3 server and the other is labeled an SMTP server. The same set up is used by my BIL except that the remainder of the server names differs for us as we have different providers.

I'm sorta trying to push a chain here, as I cannot see his system and must rely on what he reports. He is using Windows on a pad device. I haven't explored taking over his system because if anything were to get hosed, I would forever be on his **** list. :scratch:
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DaveA
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Re: Pinging SMTP Servers

Post by DaveA »

server names differs for us as we have different providers
What is his provider?
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BobH
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Re: Pinging SMTP Servers

Post by BobH »

We both subscribe to RoadRunner but we live in different parts of the country. RR have different domains for different geographic areas. Although their ISPs are set up in similar fashion in different areas, they are not identical. Each has its own domain name.
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Re: Pinging SMTP Servers

Post by DaveA »

IF you were to provide THAT domain, then we may be of additional help.
Without it, we are shooting in a barrel of water that leaks all over the place.

Once we have the domain name, we may be able to find the correct server names for that domain.

Also, is this being set up as POP or internet mail?

What is the brand and model of this tablet?
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BobH
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Re: Pinging SMTP Servers

Post by BobH »

Howdy Dave!

The 2 domain names, his and mine, are "ec.rr.com" and "hot.rr.com." I am certain that both use these IP addresses for incoming (pop3-server.ec.rr.com and pop3-server.hot.rr.com) and for outgoing (smtp-server.ec.rr.com and smtp-server.hot.rr.com). We have both used these IP addresses successfully for quite some time now. The problem has arisen only since he took an extended RV trip and is using a wifi hot spot.

I don't recall the make and model of his tablet. I 'think' it is a Samsung, but I'm not certain.
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StuartR
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Re: Pinging SMTP Servers

Post by StuartR »

According to this (somewhat old) thread RoadRunner does require a different username for the outgoing (SMTP) server to the one you use on the incoming (POP3) server.
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DaveA
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Re: Pinging SMTP Servers

Post by DaveA »

Try removing the "3" in the servers names!

pop3-server.ec.rr.com and pop3-server.hot.rr.com
pop-server.ec.rr.com and pop-server.hot.rr.com)

Pasted from my link above
North Carolina (East Carolina, Wilmington)
incoming mail server: pop-server.ec.rr.com
outgoing mail server: smtp-server.ec.rr.com

Texas (Heart of Texax – Waco, Temple, etc.)
incoming mail server: pop-server.hot.rr.com
outgoing mail server: smtp-server.hot.rr.com
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DaveA
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Re: Pinging SMTP Servers

Post by DaveA »

Using a "Hot Spot" is a third party accessing the RR servers,.
but in order to use a third party to access the out going server setting "Outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication" needs to be checked along with "Same settings as incoming server".
Did you check on this setting?


I found the following, which states that RR email can NOT be accessed from a third party.
I found several others where RR has made arrangements with some of the major "Hotspot" brands to have access to RR servers. So you need to check for authorized hotspots from RR.
In order to use RR mail outside of the RR network, i.e., a WiFi hotspot or over 3G, you MUST use SSL to connect to the outgoing server. RR will NOT let an anonymous sender send through their servers. This avoids all sorts of spam artists using their servers. However, if you are on a RR network connection, either your home connection or someone else's RR network connection, the outgoing mail is just going to sit in your outbox until you hit a foreign network. RR does not require login to send from a know RR issued IP address (the router that connects to RR.) This means that the mail will sit in the outbox until you move to a different provider's hotspot or you go 3G. If you absolutely have to e-mail from your droid at home, either turn off wifi and allow the 3G connection or turn off SSL in your RR e-mail setup on your Droid. If you do the latter and forget to turn SSL back on, you will not be able to send UNLESS you are ON your home network. This is how my e-mail works on my Droid and I was told by a Techie at RR that this is how is should work. I was also told that not all RR network areas are the same, but they are working toward that end. So mileage may vary.
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Re: Pinging SMTP Servers

Post by StuartR »

Not relevant to RoadRunner, but my ISP only allows its SMTP server to be used by clients with local addresses, but you can pay for "authenticated SMTP" and they then give you a new username and password to use just for SMTP, you also have to use SSL or TLS security when you connect.
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BobH
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Re: Pinging SMTP Servers

Post by BobH »

Thank you, Gentlemen!

It was my mistake to include the '3' in the name of the incoming mail servers. When the mind thinks 'pop3' the fingers somehow obey. Our settings, however, do not suffer from that error.

Yes, the inbound mail servers are the 'pop' servers and the outbound servers are the 'smtp' servers. We don't use the same server name for both inbound mail and outbound mail.

I will have to investigate the other issues further. This is the first time either of us has encountered an email problem using a wifi hotspot. That doesn't mean that the constraints are new, only that we have not tripped over the problem before.

Thank you, again, for all the help. BIL has about given up as he has little technical knowledge and is easily frustrated by that fact. I try not to become his chief irritant in that regard. Perhaps with time we will get to the bottom of the issue.

:thankyou: :chocciebar: :cheers:
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