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Unable to send from 'relay.plus.net' using password authentication

toggie101
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Registered: ‎02-04-2008

Unable to send from 'relay.plus.net' using password authentication

Hello,
This is new (hopefully a temporary glitch out in Plusnet-land).
If I use password authentication when sending email, it fails; stating the SMTP server is offline. However, everything works if I send mail with no authentication.
The only new thing I can think of, is that I changed my account password a few days ago. (I haven't attempted to send email since changing my password...until now.)
I've been receiving mail without a problem, and can log in to Plusnet member centre with my new password.
I need to be able to send email from non Plusnet connections, so I need to find a solution.
Many thanks.
Cheers,
Tony
39 REPLIES
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Re: Unable to send from 'relay.plus.net' using password authentication

If you are using your Plusnet connection you can send emails with no authentication.
If you are not on a Plusnet connection you must use authentication with no encryption/security (i.e. SSL/TLS off).
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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toggie101
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Re: Unable to send from 'relay.plus.net' using password authentication

Quote from: spoon
If you are using your Plusnet connection you can send emails with no authentication.

I know, as stated in my original post. (I appreciate your input tho' - thank you.)
Quote from: spoon
If you are not on a Plusnet connection you must use authentication with no encryption/security (i.e. SSL/TLS off).

Yep, I know this as well. This was how it was configured prior to the password change (via the member centre) and was working well. (Again, your input is much appreciated tho'.)
Just tried updating the SMTP server details again with the new password authentication (for the umpteenth time), and it now works - hurrah! Hopefully it was just a temporary glitch in the system.
Thank you.
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Re: Unable to send from 'relay.plus.net' using password authentication

Can I suggest that you go to http://email.plus.net and create a new mailbox called (say) smtp. You will set a password specific to that mailbox.
You can then use the that mailboxe's credentials (yourusername+smtp) for sending emails for any Plusnet mailbox and the password you use is dissociated from your main Plusnet password which would avoid such issues in the future.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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toggie101
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Re: Unable to send from 'relay.plus.net' using password authentication

That's an extremely good suggestion, one I've been meaning to look into for years. I need to read up and learn how it will affect the way I use my address (in combination with my own domain email) as a catchall utilising a different email address for different companies etc. (in order to track and control spamage).
I've a feeling it should be fairly straightforward, but my rudimentary system seems to work and I don't wish to risk mucking it up. Combined with my innate propensity towards procrastination. Which ultimately means I haven't got round to it yet.  Smiley
But you're absolutely correct, it makes very good sense from a security point of view.
I wish it was possible to use more than 16 characters for Plusnet passwords.
Thanks again for your help.
Community Veteran
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Re: Unable to send from 'relay.plus.net' using password authentication

It won't affect the way you use your address at all. You'll still have your client software set use the same senders addresses on your outgoing mail as at present and mail will still come in to the same mailboxes. All you will be changing is the authentication.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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alan659882
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Re: Unable to send from 'relay.plus.net' using password authentication

Quote from: spoon
Can I suggest that you go to http://email.plus.net and create a new mailbox called (say) smtp. You will set a password specific to that mailbox.
You can then use the that mailboxe's credentials (yourusername+smtp) for sending emails for any Plusnet mailbox and the password you use is dissociated from your main Plusnet password which would avoid such issues in the future.

Hi there,
I've used pretty much this setup for a few years now, I use the 'dummy' account to allow things like my NAS and Webcams at home to send alerts. Of course, the dummy account never actually receives any emails.
Until something went very wrong yesterday, Not sure exactly what is going on but the webcam is sending each alert 5 times, guess it's somehow being told the send has failed and is retrying.
It took me a while to figure it out but when I finally logged into the dummy account I found a couple of mails saying that it had been disabled as it hadn't been accessed for 90 days.
Any way around this?, obviously I can just put an entry in my diary to log in every month of so but as the account is used to send Emails regularly, I really shouldn't have to do this.
Alan T.
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Re: Unable to send from 'relay.plus.net' using password authentication

I assume the 'dummy' account is a non-subscription one. Keeping these alive requires the account to be accessed (logged into) or email fetched at least once per 90 days. Authenticated sending isn't permitted so sending using SMTP can be used only on a Plusnet connection.
SW's suggestion was to create a special mailbox for authenticated sending within the EU's paid-for account . Mailboxes on paid-for accounts aren't subject to the 90 day rule.
David
alan659882
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Re: Unable to send from 'relay.plus.net' using password authentication

I'm not sure what you mean by "non-subscription" and "EU's paid-for account".
It's a mailbox I set up under my normal Plusnet member centre page, I pay for broadband but not for any extra Email services so I'm guessing it's what you mean by "non-subscription" account.
Strange thing is, I've used it for a good few years without problems, the Emails saying it would be disabled arrived on 3rd November and it actually stopped working yesterday. The Emails say it should be automatically re-enabled in 24 hours now that I've logged in and read them so I'm waiting for that to happen.
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Re: Unable to send from 'relay.plus.net' using password authentication

@spraxyt
He's just used the wrong terminology - it's a dummy mailbox not a dummy account.
We've always been told that accounts are only kept open if they are accessed regularly - it appears from this that that applies to each individual mailbox and not the account as a whole.
I've sent a PM to Bob on this as the suggestion of a mailbox dedicated for authentication when sending has been around for a while. I'd have hoped that the 'keep active' would be triggered by sending or receiving.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Re: Unable to send from 'relay.plus.net' using password authentication

@alanonplusnet
Sorry, I misunderstood your reference to "dummy account". I assumed reference to "account" meant it was a free one separate from your broadband account, which is paid-for,
I was under the impression that the 90-day login/fetch rule didn't apply to mailboxes within paid-for accounts; based on your experience it seems I was wrong. Embarrassed
David
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Re: Unable to send from 'relay.plus.net' using password authentication

I've just checked one of my mailboxes I created for my daughters that's not been used for a while i.e 2013 and it has this email from PN
Quote
You are receiving this message as your mailbox has not been accessed for over 6 months.
We have therefore temporarily disabled mails coming in to the mailbox.
To stop this from happening going forward you need to access it and collect E-Mail at least once within a 6 month period.
If you are reading this email, your email address will be re-enabled automatically within 24 hours, you do not need to do anything further unless you still cannot receive new emails after this time. If this is the case please raise a ticket to our support team:
so that only says incoming mail is disabled!. I too had always assumed that either sending or receiving would keep the mailbox active. Let's see what Bob comes back with...
Failing that,  looks like I'll now have to go talk to the people for whom I suggested using the smtp mailbox trick that they must check the mail on that box occasionally to keep it active Sad
alan659882
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Re: Unable to send from 'relay.plus.net' using password authentication

Yes, that's the mail I've seen.
But something very odd is going on, maybe you could shed some light....
I have a webcam which uses the mailbox that's been disabled, it sends a set of images on motion detection.
Since yesterday, each set of images has arrived 4 times (all identical).
I'm guessing the webcam sends the mail (which succeeds) but gets some response it doesn't understand and retries three times.
There's no logfile available on the webcam to check but it does have a "Test" button.
The test result says "The message is denied by the server. Maybe because of the anti-spam privacy of the server".
But the test message does get sent.
I've tried configuring the mailbox in Thunderbird to see what error message I get but I haven't succeeded, Thunderbird refuses to get past the account set up process as it fails to access the server - says incorrect password.
Any ideas?
Superuser
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Re: Unable to send from 'relay.plus.net' using password authentication

When setting up Thunderbird for an additional mailbox, it is easy to get the email address entry (mailboxname@accountname.plus.com) and the mailbox access username (accountname+mailboxname) mixed up. Also the password required is that for the mailboxname mailbox. Have you got those correct?
There is also the security issue -Thunderbird tries to discourage insecure connection to the mail servers by bringing up a red warning window. You have to tick "I understand the risks" then click Create Account so that Connection security is set to 'none' and Authentication method is set to 'Password, transmitted insecurely'.
The Outgoing Server (SMTP) settings also need similar changes to Authentication method and Connection security. I'd also suggest using Port 587 rather than 25 though the latter should work.
Hope this helps.
David
alan659882
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Re: Unable to send from 'relay.plus.net' using password authentication

Well, the mailbox is working again and is receiving Emails that I send to it.
However, my poor old webcam is till screwing up, I think the whole 'disabled mailbox' thing was a red-herring.
I've setup the account in Thunderbird now [thanks spraxyt] and when I send a mail from TB I see the process hang in the 'Delivering mail' state for about 25 seconds before completing. I'm guessing the Webcam is timing out and re-trying.
Is there an issue with the relay.plus.net server running slow?