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Using email at more than one location

sequoiak
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎27-11-2011

Using email at more than one location

Is there anywhere I can read an explanation of “How emails are sent and received” for people who have no knowledge whatsoever of how these things work?  I have spent hours looking on ISPs' and Microsoft's  websites, and googling, but all articles I can find immediately zoom off into the depths of email technology, seeming to assume we all know the basics.
I use my laptop at three separate locations.
At home, where I can receive and send emails. I pay plusnet each month for my landline and broadband internet, so I think this makes plusnet my ISP.  (Only”think”.  I am not sure,)
At my friend's house, where I can receive, but not send emails.  I don't know whether this is via plusnet, or via her ISP (TalkTalk), or via a combination of the two.
Elsewhere, with a “three” dongle, when I seem to be able to both receive and send emails.
My usual email address, from a previous ISP, is “myname”@virgin.net.  I am totally confused over why I still seem to be able to use “myname@virgin.net, when I left virgin long ago.
I haven't a clue what all the talk of “ISP's” and “clients” is all about., but I would like to know whether I can use “myname”@virgin.net to receive and send emails whether I am at home, at my friend's house (Where at present I can receive emails, but not send them, and where the Three mobile broadband reception is dodgy.), and using my “Three” dongle.
What happens when I press Send/Receive?  Where are the emails sent to and received from, bearing in mind that my email address is a virgin one?  Do I need to tell my computer whether to try to use virgin, plusnet, TalkTalk, or Three to send and receive emails, and if so, how do I tell it which one?
8 REPLIES
Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Using email at more than one location

Does the article How E-mail Works (http://communication.howstuffworks.com/email.htm) help? There are several pages to this - click the "Next Page" links to move on. It does get a bit technical towards the end.
You are correct that Plusnet is your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and your friend's ISP is TalkTalk. When you use your dongle Three become your ISP..
On your laptop you will have an email program, perhaps Windows Live Mail. This is called a 'client'. When you collect or send emails your client connects to a 'server' which is in your email-provider's data centre; You are probably using a different email-provider for receiving and sending messages. These servers know how to collect emails intended for you, and how to deliver emails addressed to someone else - just like Royal Mail do with letters.
Since you are using a virgin.net address Virgin are still collecting emails for you and your email program will go there (electronically) to collect these. For emails you send, who handles them depends on the outgoing mail server you will have defined in your email program. That is probably relay.plus.net because I doubt that Virgin would allow you to send when they are not providing your internet service. This is for spam prevention reasons.
For the same reason Plusnet will not allow you to send emails when not connected to their network, as when you use your friend's connection. It is possible to alter your settings to use "authentication" which would allow you to send emails from your friend's home, just as you do from home. How to set up authentication is email program specific. Plusnet help pages most likely cover this, or users might be able to help if you post the program name here.
Since you can send and receive emails when using your Three dongle I think your email set-up must be different when using that service. Do you use a different email program (or perhaps webmail) when connected that way?
Hope this helps
David
David
sequoiak
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎27-11-2011

Re: Using email at more than one location

Hi David – many thanks for your reply.  It is more useful than any other explanation I have looked at, and I understand a lot more now.
Taking your paragraphs in turn.
I had already looked at “Howstuffworks”, but that didn't really address my questions at all, as I am only concerned about how to make the connections from my computer to the servers of several ISPs.
From your second paragraph I now understand where ISPs come into the process of sending/receiving emails via Windows Mail. (I am using Mail in Vista.  Should I change to Windows Live Mail?)
From your fourth paragraph, I now understand the role of virgin in my incoming emails  I still need to sort out whether I only need to set up Windows Mail in one place to look at the virgin server for incoming emails, regardless of the ISP I am using (If so, where is this?), or do I need to set something for each ISP in order to do this.  (Again, where do I set this up?)  I have noticed that when I am receiving emails, several email addresses are listed, and “executed” in turn, but I don't know what I did to get this to happen, or whether I have virgin listed separately for each ISP.
Your fifth paragraph – this may be what I need.  I shall pursue this, but will need a little time.
Paragraph 6 – I am using Windows Mail for all three ISPs.  I could not find anything whatsoever on the “three” website about setting up email, so telephoned them.  After 50 minutes their technician managed to get email via my three dongle to work, but only after deleting all my other email ISP settings, so now I shall have to set them up again.
Should I change to just Hotmail plus Windows Live Mail, so I can send and receive emails via any ISP?  I think I have read that I can save Hotmails within Windows Live Mail.
Then, how do I tell my computer which ISP to use to connect to the internet in each location?  I shall now look on the plusnet, talktalk and three websites to see if they explain how to connect to different ISPs.  I bet they don't!
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎27-05-2011

Re: Using email at more than one location

sequoiak
Chill, be happy, don't worry  Smiley Wink
We all have multiple e-mails with different suppliers and ISPs we used to have accounts with Cool
I have my own domain and Freedom to Surf, Plusnet, Gmail and Yahoo.  Cheesy
Most clients are relatively user friendly and setting up to receive from multiple e-mail sources is IMHO a doddle (you will find plenty of  guides right here on the Plusnet portal for all the main clients. Put your client in the search window on the portal home page or any other page)
But sending whooooooo thats the issue  Roll eyes
To do is to be - Neitzsche
To be is to do - Kant
do be do be do - Sinatra
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,887
Thanks: 1,252
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Registered: ‎06-04-2007

Re: Using email at more than one location

Hi sequoiak,
Quote from: sequoiak
I had already looked at “Howstuffworks”, but that didn't really address my questions at all, as I am only concerned about how to make the connections from my computer to the servers of several ISPs.

I thought the diagrams showing separate receiving and sending servers were relevant but I think you've grasped that anyway. Those diagrams also mention ports - 110 for incoming emails and 25 for outgoing emails - and I will refer to the latter later.
Quote from: sequoiak
From your second paragraph I now understand where ISPs come into the process of sending/receiving emails via Windows Mail. (I am using Mail in Vista.  Should I change to Windows Live Mail?)

Windows Mail is the standard email program (client) that comes with Windows Vista; my suggestion is to stick with it - when I used it for a while I felt Windows Live Mail was over complex for a basic user.
Quote from: sequoiak
From your fourth paragraph, I now understand the role of virgin in my incoming emails  I still need to sort out whether I only need to set up Windows Mail in one place to look at the virgin server for incoming emails, regardless of the ISP I am using (If so, where is this?), or do I need to set something for each ISP in order to do this.  (Again, where do I set this up?)  I have noticed that when I am receiving emails, several email addresses are listed, and “executed” in turn, but I don't know what I did to get this to happen, or whether I have virgin listed separately for each ISP.

Lots of questions in that paragraph which are difficult to answer in isolation. Do you use a Plusnet email address as well as your Virgin one? And do you have only the one Virgin address?
Quote from: sequoiak
Your fifth paragraph – this may be what I need.  I shall pursue this, but will need a little time.

Plusnet provide guides for setting up Windows Mail. These can be accessed from Help Page Email Setup Guides and (for Windows Mail) comprise Email setup guide, Check and change settings and Send email from any connection. If you do set up authentication "any connection" includes a Plusnet one so there is no need to remove it when at home.
With authentication you should be able to send when connected on your friend's broadband. However as you've already discovered the problem comes when you connect via Three - even with authentication you are still unable to send emails via Plusnet. This arises because Three do not allow port 25 (that number again) connections to a third-party (eg Plusnet) send-mail server. More follows the quote ...
Quote from: sequoiak
Paragraph 6 – I am using Windows Mail for all three ISPs.  I could not find anything whatsoever on the “three” website about setting up email, so telephoned them.  After 50 minutes their technician managed to get email via my three dongle to work, but only after deleting all my other email ISP settings, so now I shall have to set them up again.

Continuing ... Three insist you use their server and I expect the technician probably got you to use smtp-mbb.three.co.uk as your outgoing mail server.
Quote from: sequoiak
Should I change to just Hotmail plus Windows Live Mail, so I can send and receive emails via any ISP?  I think I have read that I can save Hotmails within Windows Live Mail.
Then, how do I tell my computer which ISP to use to connect to the internet in each location?

Hopefully reaching the home straight now ... Grin
I would be inclined to avoid Hotmail - I don't think you need it as long as you are comfortable making small changes to email settings when you use your Three dongle and when you don't.
I think the key to telling your computer which email settings to use for collecting and sending emails lies in the settings tick-box marked in the attachment. Set up two email accounts in Windows Mail, both collecting from Virgin* but one sending via Plusnet (with authentication) and one sending via Three. I think if you remove the tick marked on the attachment from the Three account then that will lie dormant and just the Plusnet one will function when a 'get and send mail' cycle is processed. Now if you connect via Three - edit the settings to remove the tick from the Plusnet settings and tick that on Three. The Three one should now function when a 'get and send mail' cycle is processed.
Hope that makes sense to you. I haven't done that sort of thing using Windows Mail, though have using Outlook - and it worked for me. Smiley
Before long I'm hopeful that Plusnet email developments hinted at in other posts will eliminate even the need to do this connection-dependent edit.
David
* As PeterLoftus mentioned most ISPs will let you collect email from anywhere, the difficulty is always trying to send it.
David
sequoiak
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎27-11-2011

Re: Using email at more than one location




Hi David,
I cannot express my thanks enough for all your help, and the time you must have spent composing your replies.
I am now out of the woods, almost, and now not only are my emails working again, but I understand to a large extent what is going on.
The bit I don't understand now is: -  How do Microsoft and ISPs expect we dumheads to set up multiple ISPs for the internet and for emails? Am I the only dumhead who wants to use other land-lines when I stay at friends' homes, and wants to use a dongle when I am "on the road"?
I used to be a degree qualified engineer. Now I guess I'm going senile!
Back to the subject.
Howstuffworks - I think I did learn some of the background to the working of emails from it.
Windows email program (Client?) I shall take your advice, and stick to Windows Mail.
Incoming email via virgin - I only have one virgin email address, and that is the only email address I give to people to email me.  I do have a "plusnet" email address and a "three" email address, which I suppose are used by anyone replying to one of my outgoing emails.  I don't remember seeing any explanation on either plusnet, talktalk, or three websites, of being able to use a previous email address for incoming emails (In my case virgin.) instead of setting up a new account.
Looking at my Inbox, most historic emails show the Account as "mail.virgin.net", some show "plusnet", some show "mail.plus.net (2)"  For emails I have received today, the Account is shown as my "three" account, even though I haven't put the dongle into the USB port since yesterday, and as far as I was aware, have been using my plusnet land-line connection.
Sent Items -   I have not sent any emails today.  In Sep + Oct + Nov, I sent three emails, and replied to eight emails. Nine of these show the account as mail.virgin.net, and two show "plusnet"  Does this mean I am still able to SEND emails via virgin?
I have read in a "Help" somewhere (I think, in the plusnet "Help") that in the Windows Mail/Tools/Accounts/properties/General window, the E-mail address is the address to which incoming emails will be sent.  However the next box down is labelled "Reply Address".  The email "Help" does not even mention these boxes.  I am confused.
Authentication - I have set this up, and will test it next time i am using the internet at a friend's house.  I have asked plusnet callcentre staff on at least three occasions whether I could send emails on other ISPs, and have been told each time that this is not possible, unless I pay to have my account transfered to another phone line, and then pay to have it restored, each time.
Three - yes, the technician did indeed change the outgoing server to smtp-mbb.three.co.uk
Your routine for changing between plusnet and three makes sense.  I just hope I an remember the routine.  Or, I think I can use Tools/Accounts and change the Default account.
Many thanks again.  I now have another problem, but I shall raise that later today as a new topic.
Superuser
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Re: Using email at more than one location

Hi,
Email on the go used to be easier when mail relays were effectively open - until the need to lock everything down came about to make spamming and virus distribution activities less easy.
Quote from: sequoiak
Incoming email via virgin - I only have one virgin email address, and that is the only email address I give to people to email me.  I do have a "plusnet" email address and a "three" email address, which I suppose are used by anyone replying to one of my outgoing emails.

Where people reply to depends entirely on what you put in the "E-mail address" box when you created the account you are sending from. That address need not be the one related to the ISP whose sendmail server you are using (that's not always true but is for the ISPs mentioned in this thread (when 3's is the smtp-mbb variant).
Though the Virgin address is your main email address obviously mail could be addressed to your Plusnet and 3 addresses. What have you done previously for picking those up?
Quote from: sequoiak
I don't remember seeing any explanation on either plusnet, talktalk, or three websites, of being able to use a previous email address for incoming emails (In my case virgin.) instead of setting up a new account.

Well during sign-up Plusnet give users the option *not* to create an email address - but some users then complain in the forum (and probably call in) about their email not working. I suspect most users are probably happier to associate email address and ISP and change if they move. Help pages are intended to be easy to follow and building on that association meets that requirement. Setting up email proves troublesome for some users so keeping it simple is very desirable.
Quote from: sequoiak
Looking at my Inbox, most historic emails show the Account as "mail.virgin.net", some show "plusnet", some show "mail.plus.net (2)"  For emails I have received today, the Account is shown as my "three" account, even though I haven't put the dongle into the USB port since yesterday, and as far as I was aware, have been using my plusnet land-line connection.

Email programs often set the account name to that of the incoming mail server when the account is first created. If the account is edited later that 'association' might no longer apply. I always change the name to suit my requirements, it serves no purpose other than as a label in the accounts list. Having "mail.plus.net (2)" suggests to me at the time you created that you already had "mail.plus.net" and "mail.plus.net (1)" accounts defined. I'd look at the message headers to check where it was sent to (and how it got there) - but of course I'm familiar with mail headers..
Quote from: sequoiak
Sent Items -   I have not sent any emails today.  In Sep + Oct + Nov, I sent three emails, and replied to eight emails. Nine of these show the account as mail.virgin.net, and two show "plusnet"  Does this mean I am still able to SEND emails via virgin?

I doubt Virgin would allow their mail relay to be used if you were not on a Virgin connection (though that needn't be your own, could be a friend's).
Quote from: sequoiak
I have read in a "Help" somewhere (I think, in the plusnet "Help") that in the Windows Mail/Tools/Accounts/properties/General window, the E-mail address is the address to which incoming emails will be sent.  However the next box down is labelled "Reply Address".  The email "Help" does not even mention these boxes.  I am confused.

The E-mail Address field is set as the "From" address, and when left empty the Reply Address is (effectively) set to the same. Normally that is what people want to happen. However a different Reply Address could be given if desired and replies would go there. As an example this might be used when jsmith@example.com answers a customer query but replies are to go to sales@example.com so that another agent can pick it up if appropriate.
Quote from: sequoiak
Authentication - I have set this up, and will test it next time i am using the internet at a friend's house.  I have asked plusnet callcentre staff on at least three occasions whether I could send emails on other ISPs, and have been told each time that this is not possible, unless I pay to have my account transfered to another phone line, and then pay to have it restored, each time.

The option has been there for some time but only relatively recently became "official" and covered in the documentation. There were concerns it might need to be withdrawn if problems occurred.
Edit: Re the phrase highlighted in bold. Perhaps this is playing with words but you don't actually send emails on other ISPs. You still send it via Plusnet, but use authentication to verify your identity because the path to their server is not controlled by Plusnet. Let's be generous and assume the agent thought you meant using the TalkTalk mail server. Wink
As I mentioned previously I hope email developments will soon make needing to change settings when using the 3 dongle unnecessary.
David
David
Superuser
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Re: Using email at more than one location

Some suggestions of things to look at to give you greater control...
1. When you SEND an email  given that you ave several email accounts configured, you email client should allow you to select thr FROM address.
2. If you want all of your replies to go to one mailbox then you can set that address as the reply to value on all of you email accounts.
3. [This works well for me on my iPhone though some might debate it] on all of your accounts set the SMPT server to be relay.plus.net with authentication required and put your PlusNet username and password into the logon details.  This will allow you to send on any account on any connection to the Internet.
I would counsel against the continued use of an old email address associated with a paid for service which you no longer pay for. I was an executor of an estate which took phone and bb services from Virgin, within hours of ceasing their services, they killed off the email account.  Most unhelpful!  You might find one day that the email by which everyone 'knows' you no longer works!
Ellis
Grafter
Posts: 213
Registered: ‎04-02-2011

Re: Using email at more than one location

I learnt many years ago, not to be tied to ISP addresses. I have my own domain which is mine while the hosting rental is paid. I now access my emails by using web mail in my browser, the slight drawback with that is that you cannot access all mailboxes at the same time as you can with an email client. On my domain I have my email box, my wife's email box and our computer user group (which I am organiser of) email box. Another advantage of having my own domain is that my host also provides a synchronisation service which synchronises my emails, calendars and address books, as well as any other files, on any computers I use. Useful when visiting relatives.