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Email settings for password

dc8
Grafter
Posts: 81
Thanks: 4
Registered: ‎06-01-2014

Email settings for password

I lost the ability to send emails from my default account a few days ago.

 

I have tried resetting passwords, checking connection settings and just about anything else I can think of - all to no avail.

 

Could someone give me a complete idiot's guide as to how to find out what the password is on my main, default mailbox as nothing I try seems to want to work.

 

Thanks in advance.

10 REPLIES 10
Strat
Community Veteran
Posts: 31,306
Thanks: 1,627
Fixes: 565
Registered: ‎14-04-2007

Re: Email settings for password

Moderators Note
This topic has been moved from ADSL Broadband to Email.
Windows 10 Firefox 105.0.2 (64-bit)
Townman
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 19,729
Thanks: 8,063
Fixes: 94
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Email settings for password

Test SMTP authentication

Email programs often report username / password error for issues not actually related to those being wrong, but for other connectivity issues. Such can be very frustrating when you are convinced that they are correct. Testing SMTP authentication through a command line interface can deliver a more precise error message. The following describes how to do this using TELNET.

This is not difficult, but you need the following resources which might be unfamiliar...

  1. TELNET - this might need installing as an additional option, for Windows see enabling TELNET.
  2. A code64 encoder / decoder such as this.

You can use TELNET to communicate direct with the SMTP server as follows...

Open the code64 encoder in a web browser and leave ready for use in the following steps.

Launch a windows command line window (DOS window) - press windows-key+R - type CMD into the run box - click OK

Enter...

telnet relay.plus.net 587

Press enter. Note if you use one of the other brand email services, use the appropriate SMTP server name for that brand. In response to SMTP server I'm here message, say 'HELLO'...

EHLO relay.plus.net

The SMTP server will then report what it can do after which tell the server you wish to authenticate...

AUTH login

The server should return the following, which is a base64 encoded string that requires your username:

334 VXNlcm5hbWU6

Use the code64 encoder to encode your username and paste it into the telnet window and press enter. For example:

bXl1c2VybmFtZQ==

The server should return the following, which is a base64 encoded string that requires your password:

334 UGFzc3dvcmQ6

Paste the base64 encoded password for the username. For example:

bXlwYXNzd29yZA==

The server will then report success or failure, any failure message should clearly indicate the reason for the failure. If the reason for the failure is not clear, please report back the message.

Close the SMTP / TELNET session by entering

quit

The session should look something similar to the below wherein your input is in bold...

220 avasout03 smtp relay.plus.net
EHLO relay.plus.net
250-avasout03 hello [your IP address], pleased to meet you
250-HELP
250-AUTH LOGIN PLAIN
250-SIZE 104857600
250-PIPELINING
250-8BITMIME
250-STARTTLS
250 OK
AUTH LOGIN
334 VXNlcm5hbWU6
bXl1c2VybmFtZQ==
334 UGFzc3dvcmQ6
bXlwYXNzd29yZA==
235 ... authentication succeeded
quit
221 avasout03 smtp closing connection
Connection to host lost.

Here are some examples of failure responses...

535 ...authentication rejected [as username / password is wrong]
535 ...authentication rejected as source IP has a poor reputation

 

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dc8
Grafter
Posts: 81
Thanks: 4
Registered: ‎06-01-2014

Re: Email settings for password

Thanks for the reply and associated instructions.

 

Result was

535 ...authentication rejected as source IP has a poor reputation

I did manage to send an email last night but having tested this a few minutes ago, I cannot now end a test email again

 

 

Townman
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 19,729
Thanks: 8,063
Fixes: 94
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Email settings for password

Well done!!  You asked for a simple answer ... and you got through one of the most complex answers ... to obtain a very definite answer!

Is the connection you are using provided by Plusnet?

You are not going to be able to send emails using this IP address, for the IP address has been deemed to be a source of suspect emails.  Most users are on a dynamic IP address, which means it changes each time the router establishes a new connection to the internet.  If a previous user of that address has done something 'bad' the consequences can be visited on subsequent users of that IP address.

You can try the following to remedy the issue...

  1. Google whatismyipaddress to find your current external IP address
  2. Switch off the router for at least 70 minutes
  3. Turn the router back on
  4. Google whatismyipaddress to find your new external IP address (hopefully it will be different)
  5. Try to send emails again

If it still fails, please post your IP address back here for investigation.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

dc8
Grafter
Posts: 81
Thanks: 4
Registered: ‎06-01-2014

Re: Email settings for password

It would seem that my issue is down to my recently installed VPN.

After looking at the IP adress details on the site you mentioned, nothing about PlusNet was mentioned UNTIL I stopped the VPN.

As soon as I checked the "new" IP address it mentioned Plusnet.

Have had a look on the Kaspersky site and their only suggestion at the moment to this known issue, blocked connections as I experience, is to disable the VPN when sendng/receiving mail which seems to defeat the object of a VPN to me.

I might see if I can ditch the Kaspersky VPN and try something that does not cause this issue.

Thanks for nudging me in a different direction as I had convinced myself something had changed about the actual connection SETTINGS themselves.

Just checked again before I send this message and my VPN fails but Plus IP delivers the mail.

MisterW
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 11,183
Thanks: 3,451
Fixes: 260
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Email settings for password

The problem with a VPN is that the IP address you are allocated when the VPN is connected is allocated from a 'pool' and will have been used previously by other people. If they have used it for 'dodgy' purposes e.g sending spam / phishing emails then the IP will have been marked with a poor reputation. As you have discovered, the only way to guarantee sending is to drop the VPN and send via the PlusNet connection and IP.

edit :- If you're running Windows 10 it MIGHT be possible to use split tunneling to ensure that any email traffic goes out via the router to PN directly (rather than the VPN tunnel). Its not simple though https://medium.com/@ATheCoder/how-to-use-split-tunneling-for-your-vpn-on-windows-10-85e76635914d

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Townman
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 19,729
Thanks: 8,063
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Email settings for password

More to the point VPNs are not always the benefits they are cracked up to be. Who or what are you seeking to ‘hide’ from? They have become a money making scheme (I will stop short of calling it a scam) for the VPN providers.

Services such as Plusnet can clearly discern that the connection is coming in from a VPN service. The VPN service provider still has legal obligations to disclose who was using the service at any particular time if ordered to do so.

What’s worse is if the VPN gateway is overseas, then email submission relates will be profiled against the off-shore submission restrictions. Worse still if the VPN IP address is shared (is a NAT service) all users will be presenting as the same source IP and therefore more susceptible to submission rate caping, as has been seen where users are using Gmail or Outlook as an email aggregator.

Understandably, PlusNET takes extensive measures to protect its mail services from potential abuse from off network connections.

You could explore exclusion options on your VPN client to allow connection to specified addresses to go direct, rather than via the VPN.

It is worth examining what risk you believe you are mitigating by the use of a VPN and see if it holds water. The real merits of using a VPN is not as a masking gateway to wherever, possibly to hide nefarious activity, but rather to provide a virtual connection into a remote private network as in being able to connect to one’s employer’s internal network as if you were actually on site behind the corporate firewalls.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

dc8
Grafter
Posts: 81
Thanks: 4
Registered: ‎06-01-2014

Re: Email settings for password

You learn something every day, so they say, and my learning curve now is VPNs 😉

The reason I wanted to try one was a recent attack that encrypted virtually every file on my NAS drive and the attached USB drive.

Despite running Kaspersky Total Security and Spybot, NO warning was received that anything was awry.

I have now scanned the laptop and both drives a number of times with half a dozen different AV/anti-malware etc programs and not one trace of anything has been found anywhere on my laptop or either of the drives.

Can only assume that somehow, the attack was made directly from the internet to the NAS drive. How is another matter because as far as I was aware there was no connection between the NAS and outside world.

Don't know if a VPN would have saved the damage but thought it might be worth trying as another line of defence for the future.

dc8
Grafter
Posts: 81
Thanks: 4
Registered: ‎06-01-2014

Re: Email settings for password

See Message 9 for my use of a VPN.

Townman
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 19,729
Thanks: 8,063
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Email settings for password

A VPN does not protect inbound connectivity. It provides a virtual ‘segregated’ connection from the individual PC device (or indeed router in some circumstances) to the remote host. Such is not going to stop a third party incoming connection to the underlying IP address and onward connection to devices in the local network if there are forwarding rules in the firewall.

This might be relevant and of interest to you - https://atlantsecurity.com/what-to-do-if-hackers-encrypted-your-nas-server/

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.