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3rd party email access

New Poster

3rd party email access

So.

We have xfinity internet service via cable modem. We also have a webhosting account with a 3rd party provider, in this case bluehost. They also provide an email server for addresses related to our owned domain names, which we have used since the start with an email client, in this case Thunderbird. This has been the case for several years, with only sporatic email issues that are quickly resolved. Not so anymore, apparently.

 

We now have an issue where we are unable to access the 3rd party mailserver through an email client as it denies password authentication UNLESS we first trigger comcast to assign us a new IP (by changing the MAC address accessing the comcast network) which opens a window of about 60 minutes, give or take, where access is allowed with no difficulties whatsoever. When the window closes, must get a new IP address again before access can be regained. The remote mailserver responds to queries, it just denies any attempts at authentification once the time has expired.

 

Why contact comcast about this? Because we have found that the window for access that opens upon gaining a new IP closes regardless of whether or not we attempt to access the 3rd party mailserver. Nobody but comcast would know we have a new one, I would presume.

 

All connections, incoming and outgoing, are TLS/SSL with password. Have tried different email clients and had the same result. I see references here and there regarding comcast policy that only comcast mailservers will be allowed outgoing mail for comcast customers, but nothing I have seen is very diffinitive as to what xfinity/comcast customers can and cannot do regarding email. And even in the case where outgoing mail over comcast IPs is restricted to comcast servers only, it does not explain why even access to a non-comcast incoming mailserver would be blocked as well.  

 

I look forward to any helpful response you might have.

New Poster

Re: 3rd party email access

I should also point out that, using the same email client, we can access other non-comcast mailservers, both sending and recieving without difficulty, e.g. gmail.

Expert

Re: 3rd party email access


@echoffacker wrote:

So.

We have xfinity internet service via cable modem. We also have a webhosting account with a 3rd party provider, in this case bluehost. They also provide an email server for addresses related to our owned domain names, which we have used since the start with an email client, in this case Thunderbird. This has been the case for several years, with only sporatic email issues that are quickly resolved. Not so anymore, apparently.

 

We now have an issue where we are unable to access the 3rd party mailserver through an email client as it denies password authentication UNLESS we first trigger comcast to assign us a new IP (by changing the MAC address accessing the comcast network) which opens a window of about 60 minutes, give or take, where access is allowed with no difficulties whatsoever. When the window closes, must get a new IP address again before access can be regained. The remote mailserver responds to queries, it just denies any attempts at authentification once the time has expired.

 

Why contact comcast about this? Because we have found that the window for access that opens upon gaining a new IP closes regardless of whether or not we attempt to access the 3rd party mailserver. Nobody but comcast would know we have a new one, I would presume.

 

All connections, incoming and outgoing, are TLS/SSL with password. Have tried different email clients and had the same result. I see references here and there regarding comcast policy that only comcast mailservers will be allowed outgoing mail for comcast customers, but nothing I have seen is very diffinitive as to what xfinity/comcast customers can and cannot do regarding email. And even in the case where outgoing mail over comcast IPs is restricted to comcast servers only, it does not explain why even access to a non-comcast incoming mailserver would be blocked as well.  

 

I look forward to any helpful response you might have.


I use Bluehost and have my own domain and set up three email addresses which I receive via Thunderbird.  Did you use the setup from Bluehost or are you using Comcast servers?  [I know you said "They also provide an email server for addresses related to our owned domain names, which we have used since the start with an email client, in this case Thunderbird".  You shouldn't have to rely on a Comcast IP address since you can login to Bluehost from anywhere not related to Comcast.  IOW, I have downloaded my domain email from various places across the country, not connected to Comcast.  Did you make any changes in Thunderbird related to your domain addresses? 

 

I'm using IMAP on mail.mydomain.com with the default port of 143 and STARTTLS for incoming and outgoing is mail.mydomain.com with default port 587 and STARTTLS, both with normal password on Authentication.


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New Poster

Re: 3rd party email access


@Again wrote:

Did you make any changes in Thunderbird related to your domain addresses? 

 

I'm using IMAP on mail.mydomain.com with the default port of 143 and STARTTLS for incoming and outgoing is mail.mydomain.com with default port 587 and STARTTLS, both with normal password on Authentication.


Made no changes to thunderbird before this all started - before, had it setup just like yours, going to mydomain.com and the rest.  After the first round of tech support with bluehost, they had me change the server to boxXXXX.bluehost.com (the XXXX is actually a number, the actual server box where our stuff lives apparently) with the same ports and SSL/TLS as before.

 

I'm glad to find someone, however, who has pretty much our same setup and is still operational - at least I know I'm not the crazy one. Well... as crazy, anyway. It also tells me that my weak hypothosis that comcast was doing something was actually mighty weak indeed. 

 

You happen to know what your boxXXXX is? Since yours works, maybe I can ask them to move my account over to it instead.

Gold Problem Solver

Re: 3rd party email access


@echoffacker wrote: ... we are unable to access the 3rd party mailserver through an email client as it denies password authentication UNLESS we first trigger comcast to assign us a new IP (by changing the MAC address accessing the comcast network) which opens a window of about 60 minutes ...

What does a traceroute to the mail server look like when you are able to authenticate, and again when you are not? In Windows, open a Command Prompt window, enter

    tracert -4 hostname

and post the output.

 

Also, what does "denies password authentication" mean exactly? Any error messages?

New Poster

Re: 3rd party email access


@BruceW wrote:


What does a traceroute to the mail server look like when you are able to authenticate, and again when you are not? In Windows, open a Command Prompt window, enter

    tracert -4 hostname

and post the output.

 

Also, what does "denies password authentication" mean exactly? Any error messages?


 

Traceroute result while able to connect:

 

tracert -4 box5442.bluehost.com

Tracing route to box5442.bluehost.com [162.241.216.242] over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 5 ms 1 ms 1 ms 192.168.1.1
2 13 ms 13 ms 10 ms 96.120.26.197
3 19 ms 13 ms 15 ms 96.110.154.133
4 19 ms 13 ms 13 ms 68.87.231.137
5 15 ms 15 ms 21 ms be-167-ar01.area4.il.chicago.comcast.net [162.151.144.101]
6 19 ms 16 ms 18 ms be-33491-cr02.350ecermak.il.ibone.comcast.net [68.86.91.165]
7 17 ms 17 ms 21 ms be-10506-cr01.chicago.il.ibone.comcast.net [68.86.86.230]
8 37 ms 36 ms 37 ms be-10614-cr02.56marietta.ga.ibone.comcast.net [68.86.84.142]
9 53 ms 49 ms 56 ms be-11423-cr01.houston.tx.ibone.comcast.net [68.86.85.22]
10 55 ms * 49 ms be-12393-pe01.westwaypark.tx.ibone.comcast.net [68.86.82.130]
11 51 ms 63 ms 50 ms as8075-1.2001sixthave.wa.ibone.comcast.net [75.149.230.54]
12 53 ms 68 ms 71 ms 216.117.50.150
13 49 ms 48 ms 49 ms po101.router2a.hou1.net.unifiedlayer.com [162.241.0.7]
14 48 ms 48 ms 50 ms 108.167.150.114
15 57 ms 60 ms 53 ms box5442.bluehost.com [162.241.216.242]

Trace complete.

 

And unexpectedly, when I want the thing to go down... it doesn't.  Will check back tomorrow, will post again with the trace info when it finally goes down.


New Poster

Re: 3rd party email access

Okay, now they are just messing with me. It has been WEEKS since the bluehost email has stayed accessable for more than a couple hours, and now it decides to stablize.

 

Thanks for all who attempted to assist, at least now I know it's not comcast... probably.