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Problem with relay.force9.net?

FIXED
quelquod
Pro
Posts: 668
Thanks: 163
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎31-07-2007

Problem with relay.force9.net?

I’m unable to send mail today. Reports that relay.force9.net is uncontactable.

Tried webmail instead - still trying to load after 5 minutes waiting. 😒

Democracy - 3 wolves and a lamb voting about what to have for lunch!
25 REPLIES 25
Champnet
Aspiring Hero
Posts: 2,540
Thanks: 947
Fixes: 11
Registered: ‎25-07-2007

Re: Problem with relay.force9.net?

Definitely a problem :
‘The connection  to the outgoing server “relay.force9.net” failed’

 

mavison
Grafter
Posts: 39
Thanks: 14
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎20-10-2017

Re: Problem with relay.force9.net?

Yup - problen connecting here as well.

mavison
Grafter
Posts: 39
Thanks: 14
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎20-10-2017

Re: Problem with relay.force9.net?

Fix

I am getting info that makes me suspect ssl certs - either not for relay.force9.net or missing completely.

I think they changed recently...

Anyone else confirm or deny this?

I always use ssl for emails, and on one platform it claims the server in the ssl cert is not correct, and if I ignore the warning it sends OK. Other platforms hide the error with the useless 'can't connect'.

quelquod
Pro
Posts: 668
Thanks: 163
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎31-07-2007

Re: Problem with relay.force9.net?

Yes agreed it seems to be an SSL problem. I generally use SSL but turning it off allows me to send emails. Trying to turn SSL back on again fails to verify my account though.


It wouldn’t hurt for someone from PlusNet to pick this up. Been down all day and the service status still claims there are no problems so presumably nobody’s reported it to the tech staff.

Democracy - 3 wolves and a lamb voting about what to have for lunch!
mavison
Grafter
Posts: 39
Thanks: 14
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎20-10-2017

Re: Problem with relay.force9.net?

Agreed.  These days we seem reliant on a staffer reading & acting on posts here.

 

d-dixon
Hooked
Posts: 9
Thanks: 3
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎21-05-2021

Re: Problem with relay.force9.net?

There's a new cert (dated 3-Aug, although presumably only deployed today) that has an entry for "relay.force9.co.uk" (which doesn't exist) but no entry for relay.force9.net.  I was able to add an exception in Thunderbird to ignore the error and send anyway.

bobpullen
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 16,852
Thanks: 4,922
Fixes: 315
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Problem with relay.force9.net?

I'll take a look at this tomorrow.

Edit: now raised (ref: IMT-8041). Looks like the wrong SAN has been used when renewing the TLS cert.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

mavison
Grafter
Posts: 39
Thanks: 14
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎20-10-2017

Re: Problem with relay.force9.net?

And it now seems to be working OK for me. Thanks Bob!

Dickyp1
Dabbler
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎15-09-2022

Re: Problem with relay.force9.net?

Is anyone experiencing problems logging on to the relay.force9.net server? I keep getting "The username or password for "relay.force9.net" is incorrect". I've changed the password, changed it back, tried ports 587, 25 and 465, SSL ON, SSL OFF and still no joy. Any suggestions?

Dicky 😥

adamwalker
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 16,845
Thanks: 874
Fixes: 220
Registered: ‎27-04-2007

Re: Problem with relay.force9.net?

Hi there @Dickyp1 are you also using a Plusnet connection when trying to send via that server?

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
Dickyp1
Dabbler
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎15-09-2022

Re: Problem with relay.force9.net?

Hi Adam. No. I live in a rural area - I have Starlink. The speeds and connectivity are good.

Dickyp1
Dabbler
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎15-09-2022

Re: Problem with relay.force9.net?

For what it's worth, I am one of the original Force9 customers. It's a free account. Not sure if that means I do not have access to SMTP. That's possibly red herring as it has worked in the past.  No matter what I try, inc all permutations of ports/SSL the server doesn't recognise me? 

Of interest and maybe connected, my account has an amber warning indicating no change allowed (attachment). This warning has been there for the best part of 10 months as I recall. It has had no impact so I haven't bothered to mention it. I have raised it this morning though.  I have tried changing the main account password, but no affect on being able to log in. Puzzling.

Dicky

Townman
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 22,709
Thanks: 9,441
Fixes: 150
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Problem with relay.force9.net?

For clarity, can you login to the email account to receive emails?

Can you send emails if you access the mailbox using webmail?

If the answer to both of those is "Yes" then double check the SMTP settings - make sure that the connection is authenticated.

 

Also try this diagnostic...

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
535 Too many SMTP auth failures. Please try again later.

 

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.

Dickyp1
Dabbler
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎15-09-2022

Re: Problem with relay.force9.net?

Thank you for the reply Townman. Yes, I am able to log into to receive emails, and I can send/receive emails via webmail. It seems to be the relay.force9.net server that is somehow reluctant to authenticate my PC (using outlook) and my iPad, iPhone using the IOS mail apps. I have changed the main plusnet account login password once today. I’ll change it again and see if that makes a difference. I’ll then work through the SMTP authentication guidance you’ve provided. As I mentioned earlier, Plusnet is not my ISP. I use Starlink due to my rural location. I have had no other issues with Starlink, so would not expect that to be a contributing factor.

Best,

Dicky