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  1. #1
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    POP3 e-mail in hotels and China

    I use Thunderbird POP3 e-mail (my ISP is Cox) and often send and receive e-mail from hotels. I also regularly travel to China. I often encounter situations where accessing the Cox SMTP server is blocked for sending e-mails. I usually am able to get around this by using gmail's SMTP server (smtp.gmail.com). Note that both SMTP servers do use STARTTLS. I hope someone can help with the following questions:

    1. gmail is currently being blocked in China. Will this affect my ability to use the gmail SMTP server there? (Note that to use the gmail STMP server from a foreign country, you have to log into your gmail Web mail account within 15 minutes of the first use and verify that the attempt to use the STMP server was from you.)

    2. I have occasionally run into situations where downloading POP3 e-mail was blocked in hotels. I haven't found a workaround for that. Does anyone have any suggestions as to the cause, and a possible remedy?

    While I could use a VPN service (e.g., privateinternetaccess.com), many hotels put up barriers to using VPNs. I could also use Web mail, but there are many convenience reasons why I would strongly prefer to avoid doing that.

    Thank you.

    Ross

  2. #2
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    I would always go with a VPN and wouldn't even try to access a network without it. With a VPN, not only your security would be enhanced, but all the blocking would have no effect. It seems a no brainer to me, really.

    POP is a service that uses known ports. Block communication using such ports and POP is blocked. Use the VPN and they can't block you. Any hotel where you cannot use a VPN should make you think why they would put up such a restriction. It seems totally unreasonable to me (unless, of course, you remember it is China).
    Rui
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  3. #3
    Lounger
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    Ruirib --

    I certainly agree with your sentiment. However, the "real world" facts are that many hotels make it difficult if not impossible to use a VPN (often, because it requires more effort on their part, and few of their guests demand it). Can you offer any suggestions in those situations where a VPN isn't practical, please?

    Ross

  4. #4
    Silver Lounger
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    Not sure if Psiphon3 would help you with this, but read through the article after clicking on its download link in https://en.greatfire.org/faq/how-can...ine-censorship

    This article also has some suggestions but don't know how you would get a portable version through Chinese Customs http://yourenotfromaroundhere.com/bl...ing-vpn-china/

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by r.stone View Post
    Ruirib --

    I certainly agree with your sentiment. However, the "real world" facts are that many hotels make it difficult if not impossible to use a VPN (often, because it requires more effort on their part, and few of their guests demand it). Can you offer any suggestions in those situations where a VPN isn't practical, please?

    Ross
    Hi Ross,

    How would you using a VPN require more effort on their part? If you mean more effort to eavesdrop on you, then I understand, otherwise I don't really get why... unless they purposefully disable VPN support right from the start, which must be a voluntary and conscious decision, maybe mandated at a higher level.

    Without VPN, I probably wouldn't use anything but a browser, as you can't really protect POP communications and the like. For browser use, you could probably use a browser extension such as ZenMate, which will encrypt your stuff and maybe even allow you to access Google, as all communications are done through their server.
    Rui
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    R4

  6. #6
    Platinum Lounger
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  7. #7
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    I trust that 'bestvpn' site about as far as I could throw it ...

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