Email - moving your email without changing Internet Service Providers

Everyone's familiar with the urban legend about the letter or postcard that arrives twenty years late and sets off some tragic chain of events.

Email isn't immune, 'though the time spans involved tend to be considerably shorter.

Sometimes - and for a variety of reasons - email arrives hours or days late.


There are many possible reasons, including a mail server crash, or an overload caused by a deluge of spam or a denial of service attack. There's also plain old incompetence.

Whatever the reason, it's possible to move your mail somewhere else. There are the free mail services, such as Yahoo!, Hotmail and

If you want to have more of your own identity - you'll have to register a domain name. And then find a hosting service for your email accounts.

Using webmail at a third-party host rarely presents a problem. (Third-party as in - not your Internet Service Provider. If their mail doesn't work using their own domain name, it's probably not going to work using yours.) But using popmail - which is what you need for email clients such as Outlook or Eudora - can be a problem.

Because of the increase in spam, many ISP's have instituted what's know as 'port 25 blocking'.

Computers use ports to route specific types of traffic in and out. Port 25 is generally used for mail. But malicious software can turn computers into zombies - groups of them are called botnets - that are then used to send out junk mail. By blocking the standard mail port, ISP's can prevent that junk mail from reaching the network.

Many hosting companies, therefore, provide an alternate port for outbound mail. You will have to change the port setting in your email software (it's really not all that difficult - the trick is knowing where to look).

Cheers, George

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