Monday, December 1, 2008

Elegant solution to remote email problem

Here is one of the downfalls of being a consultant - business travel. Most of what I do is outside the office and usually outside my home town.

Are you a business traveller? Are you always on the go between home and work, travelling to different cities, or even different countries? If you travel as much as I do, you have likely struggled with getting emails to work properly remotely.

Your favorite email software (Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Apple Mail likely does not work properly from hotels, airports and internet cafe's. Even at my customers sites, I have experienced this lack of connectivity.

I have, thankfully, recently found a solution to this dilemma.

This whole problem is caused by many internet service providers (ISPs) blocking what is called "Port 25". This is the port used to send e-mail. They are doing this to cut down on the amount of spam that is sent from their networks and allow traceability to spammers. All e-mail sent from a computer directly connected to the Internet is routed through port 25, the channel used for communication between an e-mail client and an e-mail server. Port 25 blocking is quickly becoming the industry standard.

However, this filter can create problems for travellers and e-mail servers, blocking legitimate e-mail as well as spam.Port 25 blocking allows ISPs to block spam sent out through their networks, but it frustrates those that have a need to send e-mail through servers other than those belonging to their own ISP. The ISPs that block port 25 require their SMTP server to be used instead of the remote SMTP server or a SMTP server running on your computer. But getting hotels or internet cafes using these ISPs to release their credentials to you is unlikely. In fact, my experience has been that most desk clerks don't know WHO their ISP is, never mind giving you email credentials.

What this translates to for the business traveller, is heartburn. Your outlook will not work from any connection other than your home base. Hotels, airports and other locations will allow you to retrieve emails, but will block you from sending them.

To resolve this problem, many mobile users switch between their regular email program and a web-based email program like Hotmail. Obviously it's possible to use a web-based program anywhere in the world, but these systems have their own drawbacks. Not only do you have to send mail from a highly unprofessional email address (, for instance), but it's also hard to keep track of your emails when you're hopping between your different email accounts. This is compounded by many companies now blocking "free" accounts like hotmail.

Who needs the drama? Wouldn't it be better to just use the same account, and the same email program, wherever you are?

That's what I think. I've recently found a simple and elegant solution that I'd like to share with you. Simply use this service as your outgoing mail server and never worry about problems sending emails ever again. Setup takes only minutes. You can send emails from anywhere in the world — from home, the office, I've used it all over Canada, the US and Great Britain with no problems - and use your favourite email program! They offer a free 7 day trial. Put an end to the hassle that plagues today’s business traveller. And get back to using your favourite email software (Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Apple Mail etc.) Chick here to try the service

Happy Travelling!


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