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Metronet email problem sending

Tandy
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-05-2021

Metronet email problem sending

Hi.

Been a metronet customer for years and to be honest have had this issue for a while. Using images.

On my android phone I can receive emails regardless of whether on broadband or my mobile network (vodaphone).

I can also send mail from my phone when on my broadband network (sky) using relay.metronet.co.uk port 587, no security and my user name and password.

I CAN'T however send mail when using my mobile connection using the above settings. When I play about with the ports and security I either get a message that:

- User name / password is correct or pop3/imap is not enabled in this account or
- unable to connect to server.

Any suggestions please?
5 REPLIES 5
Townman
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 17,643
Thanks: 7,360
Fixes: 71
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Metronet email problem sending

Hi Tandy,

A warm welcome to the forums.

The description you have given of the issue very much suggests that there is nothing wrong with either the email service or with your email settings.  If this works over wifi then the email account settings are AOK!!


@Tandy wrote:

I can also send mail from my phone when on my broadband network (sky) using relay.metronet.co.uk port 587, no security and my user name and password.

I am guessing that where you say "security" you mean "encryption".  Security is your username and password details, without which you could never access the relay server in not connected to the Plusnet network.

 

However there are other things which can give rise to connection problems as you describe when connecting over any third party network especially mobile networks, but could also be any not Plusnet ISP's network.  Most email clients do not clearly differentiate between "Your credentials are wrong" and "You are connecting from a black listed IP address".

If you are able to run TELNET on your phone the following will help you determine which type of 535 logon rejection you are encountering.

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

 

There is nothing you can do about acquiring a black listed IP address from your mobile provider.  There is every likelihood that if your phone was to connect to a difference mobile cell, the issue would disappear.

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.

Tandy
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-05-2021

Re: Metronet email problem sending

Hi Townman 

thanks for your reply - I was all with it to test on my phone until the line 'Launch a windows command line window' which I can't do on an android phone.  I had the same issue with O2 two years ago.

Any suggestions?

 

Kevin

Townman
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 17,643
Thanks: 7,360
Fixes: 71
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Metronet email problem sending

Hi Kevin.

I ought to have said (for your situation) launch telnet by whatever means...

I will look at rewording my stock text for this.

Cheers, Kevin

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.

Tandy
Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-05-2021

Re: Metronet email problem sending

Hi Townman

I tried to connect via 587 and it it says:  

Connecting To relay.metronet.co.uk...Could not open connection to the host, on port 587: Connect failed

I tried again with port 25 and it drops initally says 

220 avasout02 smtp relay.metronet.co.uk

 

then a few seconds later says connection failed.

Any suggestions?

MJN
Pro
Posts: 1,283
Thanks: 146
Fixes: 5
Registered: ‎26-08-2010

Re: Metronet email problem sending


@Townman wrote:

I will look at rewording my stock text for this.

 

It might be worth changing the EHLO hostname too from relay.plus.net to something like test.localdomain in case Plusnet ever start rejecting connections from servers claiming to be them. It is quite a common anti-spam technique as a few poorly written spambots use the destination server as the sender EHLO name.