I hate tech support

For some reason Cox has something against using port 25 on POP3. I’ve been trying to figure out which port I should be using instead. I figured that’s a simple question, right?

Cox Communications Chat Transcript

karla > Welcome to Cox High Speed Internet Service Online Technical Support.

karla > I understand that you want to verify Cox e-mail servers ettings.

karla > Is this correct?

Maryam > what port should i be using for outbound email? 25 doesn’t work

Maryam > yes

karla > May I have permission to access your account?

Maryam > sure

karla > Thank you. This will take me a moment while I look up your account information.

karla > Which program are you going to use to check your e-mails?

Maryam > thunderbird

karla > Unfortunately, I am unable to help you with your issue because we do not support the e-mail program you are using. However, I will send you a Webpage that will help you verify Cox e-mail servers ettings.

karla > Please visit this link:

karla > http://support.cox.com/sdccommon/asp/contentredirect.asp?sprt_cid=fcb44db0-3835-491c-bca8-2d56ac32a574

karla > Were you able to open the Web page?

Maryam > i just need to know what port number to use

karla > You can verify that infomation on the Web page I just sent you.

karla > Were you able to open the Web page, Mis?

Maryam > no

karla > You just have to clik on the link Iprovided you.

Maryam > the link is not clickable

karla > I will send you this chat session to your e-mail address.

karla > In that way you will be able to copy and open the link Iprovided you. Do you agre?

karla > I am sorry, what I mean was: Do you agree?

Maryam > okay

karla > Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Maryam > no

karla > Thank you for choosing Cox Communications as your friend in the Digital Age.

karla > Analyst has closed chat and left the room
Grrr. She probably had no clue what I was talking about.

That’s a surprise because they spoke very highly of you.

A lot of tech support seems to made of human beings who cannot pass the Turing test.

Psst! SMTP is port 25; POP3 is port 110. But SMTP is usually the correct protocol for sending email.

Very likely, alas.

It is, but Cox won’t let me use it (port 25 that is). I find all sort of stuff saying they don’t use it because of spam, but not a damn thing telling me what they use instead.

Go back and tell them Outlook, but yeah I think it’s 110.

I’d say 25 for sending. It seems that they’re blocking outgoing port 25 to external addresses due to people getting their Windows PC zombified and turned in to spam servers. (A good idea, but I’m not wild about the universality).

If you’re sending mail through their server, then barring anything specifically saying differently (and the Outlook setup instructions don’t), it’s probably 25 outgoing, 110 incoming. (The defaults)

If the SMTP server you’re trying to send mail from isn’t the Cox SMTP server, you won’t be able to use port 25. And if it isn’t the Cox SMTP server you’re trying to use, Cox has no way of knowing which port you should use instead… that is arbitrary and up to the admin of the SMTP server you are trying to use. Contact them.

Of course it would be nice if Cox tech support had been able to tell you this.

Now thank me for carefully wording my explanation to avoid making inadvertent “Cox blocking” puns.

hazel-rah has it correct. Here’s the page where they explain their policy on non-Cox SMTP traffic. You have to use their servers to send out unless your outside SMTP server uses another port for SMTP.

SBC DSL does the same thing these days.

P.S.: I think hazel-rah should have gone for the pun.

I eventually figured it out. It is because I’m using my mother’s connection which isn’t Cox. Of course it worked for a while at first. I don’t know what made it stop.

Grrr. This is part of the reason 1010011010 needs to come back. I lost my in home tech support.