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Checking Your Email Ports

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We just released a Port Checker inside of the [new] Email Tools section of the Customer Care portion of our website. The purpose of this tool is for testing to see if an end user is able to make connections to the Webmail.us email system. This is useful for troubleshooting situations where it is suspected that SMTP, POP3, IMAP or webmail connections are getting blocked by a desktop firewall or a network device.
The way it works is the Port Checker opens up a connection just as an email client would to all of the various email related ports on our servers (SMTP, POP3, IMAP, and webmail) and checks for meaningful responses. If it gets responses, that means the ports are unblocked and the user can use those ports to connect into to send or receive email. If they’re blocked, the user will need to ask their network administrator to unblock them, or the user may need to use alternate ports in order to connect. The Port Checker provides advice after it runs as to which ports should be used for incoming and outgoing email, and whether or not the Email Auto-Configuration tool is right for them.
Also, there is a “Submit Results” option after running the tool, which will log the results into our Master Diagnostics System for that account so that our Customer Care team can better troubleshoot problems for customers.
Thanks to Doug G. for building this—it’s been in high demand from the Customer Care guys, that’s for sure.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Pat Matthews.

Pat Matthews is the Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Rackspace. Prior to Rackspace, Pat founded Webmail.us, a business email hosting company that made Inc. magazine's list of the fastest-growing private companies in America. In 2007 Rackspace acquired Webmail.us and the two businesses joined forces. From 2007 to 2009, Pat led the Rackspace mail business and helped grow it to more than two million paid mailboxes worldwide.

In January 2010, Pat was promoted to Vice President and General Manager of all Rackspace cloud businesses. In this role he led Rackspace to become one of the most important companies in the cloud computing industry. He was promoted to Senior Vice President of Cloud at Rackspace in August of 2010.

Today, Pat oversees corporate development, which includes M&A, investment projects, new business initiatives and strategic partnerships.

Pat is a graduate of Virginia Tech. He is an angel investor and advisor in several startup companies. Pat and his family live in San Antonio, TX.


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  • http://webmail.us/blog pat

    Thanks for your item on email ports. Never heard of them until first Earthlink – after 4 or so years – blocked port 25 with neither explanation or remidy. (What the heck is the meaning of “timed out,” anyway?) So, with several emails I couldn’t send for love or money, I fired Earthlink & opted for DSLEXtreme, which suckered me in for a couple of days then blocked 25 and three more with triple-digit numbers. Mindful that I couldn’t fire DSLEX without paying a $250 penalty, I turned to Yahoo for mail. So far OK, except recently it stopped transmitting photo attachments in the clear (I have a Mac, which evidently offends them.) But now I know more than I did and you’ve suggested remedies. Thanks.

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