Now I can't get my email!

An interruption to your email service can be costly, especially if you receive orders via email. Like website outages, email outages can be caused by many different things, in many different companies. First off, I recommend you read my previous article my website is broken, to give you a start to troubleshooting. Most things listed there can also be done for email.

If none of the troubleshooting tips from my previous article work, then the chances are either your hosting company has gone completely offline, or there is a problem with your local computer. So let us begin.

  • Firstly, if you have antivirus software like Norton Anti-Virus, disable it, and try again. I know its bad to have no antivirus software running, but often this will cure the problem. You don't need to disable the whole program, just the email autodetect part of it. Any attachments will still be scanned when they are opened.
  • If your ISP offers a webmail service, try logging into that to make sure your username and password are correct. Also if you have a very large email waiting for you, some mail clients *cough*outlook*cough* will timeout and return a error. Once you are in webmail you can see your email and delete any large ones after downloading the attachments if you need them.
  • A final test, and one of the more difficult ones, is to manually connect to the mailserver, and login. TO do so, try the following commands:

telnet 110
(replace ISP with your ISPs mailserver)

You should see something like this;g

Connected to

Type in 'user YOUREMAILADDRESS' without the quotes and press enter. You should see another +OK. Now type in 'pass PASSWORD' without the quotes and press enter. Again, you should see '+OK'. Now type 'stat' and press enter. You should see;g

+OK 2 6960284

The first number is the number of emails you have, the second is the size of the emails in bytes. (Divide this number by 1024 twice to see the answer in a more usable megabytes.) In this case I have 6.6mbs of email waiting for me, which on a dialup connection would take me 20 minutes or so to download. You can delete mail from here, but it is not recommended. Use webmail instead. If you were able to login here, but not through your email program, it means your email program is not configured properly, try entering in your settings again or reinstalling.

Author : Patrick Kelso

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