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New Encryption Requirement (TLS vs SSL) for SMTP?

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New Encryption Requirement (TLS vs SSL) for SMTP?

While troubleshooting one of my frequent problems with Comcast/Xfinity POP3 e-mail in Outlook 2013, I was told by one of the (generally useless!) Comcast telephone tech-support operators that I had to change the outgoing server (SMTP) encryption on all of my accounts from SSL to TLS.  This didn't work, of course, so I'm still using SSL on port 465, but it did raise a red flag.  (The problem eventually turned out to be the usual:  temporary failure of their POP3 server.)  Further, I have now seen one (but only one) error message about an unsupported encryption method when sending through SMTP.  (This has not recurred through several subsequent successful sends.)

 

Searching, I found the following interesting but apparently unresolved older thread:

 

https://forums.xfinity.com/t5/Email-Web-Browsing/Port-465-SSL-or-port-587-TLS-for-outgoing-server/m-...

 

Does anybody really know what's going on here?  Given that I insist on sticking with POP3 for incoming mail, is it recommended and/or possible to change the outgoing encryption (and apparently the port number -- not mentioned by tech support) from SSL to TLS?

 

If so, why?  Is this a security recommendation or something being forced on us by Comcast's pending retirement of SSL encryption?  (I note that the only option apparently supported by Outlook 2013 for the incoming POP3 server is SSL.)

 

Thanks in advance for any clarification! -- JCW17

 

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Contributor

Re: New Encryption Requirement (TLS vs SSL) for SMTP?

I can't believe nobody knows anything about this!  Is no one using SMTP any longer?!  Where are the tech support gurus? -- JCW17