By Woody Leonhard
Recently, many Windows Secrets readers — me among them — discovered that they could no longer send e-mail, although they could still receive messages.
In an attempt to reduce spam, many ISPs, including Verizon as of a few months ago, now block all outbound traffic on what used to be the de facto avenue for e-mail, port 25 — leaving customers in the lurch.
E-mail glitches rate among the most difficult, distressing, and dire problems in all of computer-dumb. Orphaned e-mail programs, operating systems with more patches than a clown’s coat, the whims of intransigent e-mail and Internet service providers, and the phases of the moon combine to make e-mail problems devilishly difficult to solve.
And any e-mail glitches you fix today will undoubtedly require even more remedial attention in a month or a year.
One problem pops up regularly over the years because an ISP suddenly blocks all outbound communication using port 25. This glitch has a very specific symptom: your e-mail program — whether Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Thunderbird, or Eudora — suddenly loses its ability to send mail. You can receive messages with no problem, but every e-mail you try to send sticks in your outbox.