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Filed under Apple, Computing, iPhone, mobile
Sounds like handcuffs that came along with their deal with the devil, er, I mean, AT&T. You can get that the cell provider is the culprit behind how this gets set up (who do you think Apple asked how to set all of that up?). Alas, poor Cingular. Cell users knew thee well.
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My iphone comcast settings are:
Host Name: smtp.comcast.net:465
User Name: e.g.: Fred
Under Advanced, turn on “Outgoing Uses SSL”.
Or better yet, set up your Mail.app to use authenticated SMTP (I’m not home to check the settings) and sync your iPhone.
What’s going on is this. Over the years, the fight between ISP’s and Spammers has eliminated the “open relay” outgoing mail servers. Nowadays, you’ll get blacklisted if you allow everyone to send email through you. So everyone’s SMTP server is locked down to only allow a certain range of addresses (the ones owned by them) to send through their server.
So, for all you non-mobile types, sending mail from home on your comcast network automatically “authenticates” you as a comcast subscriber (you’re IP address is one of theirs, so you’re cool). You’ve never had to switch from non-authenticated SMTP because you’ve never left the comcast network.
But once you’re out in the wild, noone wants to talk to you. Over iPhone’s EDGE network, Comcast mail servers won’t let AT&T addresses from EDGE iPhones send mail through Comcast servers.
So you need a way to tell Comcast to let you in when you’re outside of Comcast’s house. That’s where SSL comes in. It’s a secure (meaning it’s not sending your password “in the clear” over the wild internet), and it let’s you send a user and password to tell Comcast you’re really a comcast subscriber, even though from EDGE you appear to be an AT&T subscriber.
Comcast made it easy by letting you use your email name and password (they do that for their web site login’s as well). So if your email is set to check “Fred” with password “Fred1234” just check the boxes that say to turn on SSL, make sure the port changes from plain old SMTP port 25 to SSL SMTP port 465, and find a spot to enter your user name Fred and password Fred1234.
If you’re getting the rejected username problem on ANY email account, call up your provider (or do a google search on their site “site:comcast.net SSL SMTP”) and find out what the settings are, and what logins to use for secure SMTP.
Comcast let’s you set up additional email/passwords, with or without account modification abilities, and forwarding. So in my case I set up a couple email addresses, forwarded them to my real email address, and used the new login info to set up secure SSL on my iPhone.
Gmail also has a secure SSL server any gmail user can use. I used this a a temporary fix until I figured out how to get Comcast to tell me my username/password (since I don’t use their email). Comcast has a nice java web app to talk to a tech… I was online with them before my gf got through to their phone support.
The problem with using your gmail account to get secure SMTP you can access from somewhere else, is that gmail’s SMTP replaces the reply-to address with your gmail address. So if you want people to see and use your firstname.lastname@example.org address, if you send through gmail, it’ll replace it with email@example.com if that’s your gmail name!
If you want to use gmail’s spam filtering, you can get stupidly creative and set your reply-to address to firstname.lastname@example.org, set comcast to forward to email@example.com, and set gmail to forward to firstname.lastname@example.org where you check your mail. Which, I must point out, is blantantly stupid, since you are at th mercy of any one of those machines popping a screw causing problems.
So, what I’m really saying is, find a 12 year old, give him your precious iPhone, your user name, and your password, and home he doesn’t sell it to a gentleman in Russia after he get’s your iPhone email working like a dream in under 5 minutes.
Sorry, web page deleted some stuff:
iPhone settings like:
User Name: Fred
Guess you can’t use greater/less than symbols in comments.
If you think you did everything correctly and it doesn’t work… make sure you’re not as dumb as me.
comcast.NET not comcast.COM
(METROXING: Whoops, yea – if you’re a Comcaster, it is .NET – it was more of an example for others).
Oh, you’re using multiple accounts (comcast & gmail) and syncing both to your iPhone.
Silly, just forward gmail to comcast and be done with it (leave gmail active though, but turn off automatic checks for gmail, and NEVER do a manual “get messages”, so that you can still choose your gmail return address in Mail.app if you want… which is a crappy hack to be able to set return addresses in Mail.app but it is the way that works).
Then just sync your comcast mail (which will include your forwarded gmail now) to your iPhone.
But if you insist on having both accounts on the iPhone so you can send mail with the gmail reply-to address, then just set all the accounts (even gmail) to send through secure SSL smtp.comcast.net:465 in Mail.app, and resync the iPhone.
Because on your mac’s Mail.app, you can set outgoing servers per account, and these sync to your iPhone.
On your iPhone, you’re switching accounts, since it keeps them separate on the iPhone, so you’re probably picking up the gmail account’s settings (which are probably the unauthenticated comcast.net SMTP still) from the mac.
email is a pain… even harder to explain than it is to understand, with all the ways spam blocking (“blacklists, whitelists, and closed-relays… oh my!”) hoses you from doing non-standard things (like using an iPhone).
(METROXING: Thanks T. – great advice and info!)
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I’m still having the issue with my earthlink mail account.
(METROXING: I think Apple suggests :587 – maybe that might be better for Earthlink?)
You should really clarify your post as this isn’t a problem with the iPhone or Apple at all, but 100% caused by the way Comcast restricts their mail servers.
As one of the previous posters mentioned, many of the large ISPs now do this and it makes it hard for a lot of people to use their email on the go. I have to explain this exact same issue to people on-the-go with their laptops all the time.
The solution to this problem boils down to this: use a mail server that allows you to authenticate to it and uses a port other than the default of 25. AT&T isn’t blocking your mail traffic over EDGE, so it’ll work there just fine and Comcast is blocking other mail servers by simply stopping traffic on port 25 so your mail should still send fine when on the Comcast network at home because you’re using some other port number that they’re not blocking.
This information is good to get out to other people that aren’t familiar with how email works and the types of restrictions that their ISPs have in place, but it doesn’t need to be as complex as this post makes it appear and describing it as a Apple (or AT&T) failure is blatantly wrong.
Its an Apple and ATT failure due to their inability to realize how isp roaming and smtp would affect their customers and didnt address this via manuals or online documentation
Aside from that, most ISP’s and those who adhere to the BCP documents for email do not allow folks from outside IP addresses to send mail via their smtp servers. Some ISP’s allow SSL SMTP traffic from outside but many dont because even a secure connection with the average password being password is still a method for spammers to relay spam.
All ISPs have some form of webmail, available from anywhere and usually a wap front end so its usable on a hand set. Being aware of what network you are using and sending to the designated smtp server for that network is something handset and other users need to be more educated by the sellers of such services.
FYI, I found that you cannot create two email profiles with the same adddress, even if name, descr and other fields diff. I tried to do this to have both the cwmx.com outbound for cell network, and my regular outgoing host for wifi. The settings get mixed up between the two which initially look like they are two diff profiles.
I have found that this and other twidling to get this email prob fixed has caused my iphone to lock up and/or crash. This seems to indicate an Apple problem as well as ASP. The iphone should not lock up or freeze when changing email configuration. Only way to unfeeze it was to hold HOME and POWER buttons together for about 15sec.
I’ve spent hrs trying to get a good fix to this without resorting to using another email acct, and nothing really works seamlessly across wifi and cell networks. Been trying to get it to work with my COMCAST acct.
It’s a shame this has marred my experience since the iphone has seemed solid and well designed otherwise.
(METROXING: Yea, I first tried creating a home & away SMTP setting thinking that was a cheat but did not work (I think I noted that). At no point did my phone lock up (20+ days, no lock ups) but I was frustrated for 6 hours trying to get it to work. The :XXXX settings worked much better for me than cwmx.com which is good on the road but would not work on my home wifi – but the smtp.comcast.net:xxxx worked fine so look over our notes and try it again and hopefully it will work).
Why don’t you just change the send from account in your gmail settings? This isn’t rocket science folks. I’ve got mine setup like that and it works just like sending mail on behalf of someone in outlook. Not too hard to figure out.
(METROXING: GMAIL is an option as WE NOTED but it’s a workaround solution – if it’s okay for you – great – but others might prefer not to filter/forward all their email to GMail – thay’s why we went to effort to give you options and let you choose what you prefer.)
OH MY GOD!! My tech people couldn’t figure out why I could not SEND mail from my unlocked T-Mo Dash (WM 5, now on ATT), I could not find ANYTHING in the forums and had just about given up on ever responding to an email from the Dash. BUT–can I buy you a beer? Geez, adding the “:” and port number for my .edu email (in my case 587) got my smtp moving and I can now send from the device! THANK YOU SO MUCH for ending my 4 week Odyssey! I will probably live longer now.
Still need help… Great info..helped.
But, randomly, my IPhone resets the outbound email server to the one I had originally set (which was wrong for tbe reasons stated in this post)…its not clear why or when this resets?? Help
(METROXING: Are you adding the : and the suggested ports? As noted in the post, when I first thought I could just set it with AT&T’s settings, they would not work as wifi at home and would actually be changed! Once I switched to the smpt.comcast.net, the settings “stuck.”)
Edge definitely changed something in the last week or two.
I admin an Exchange server with a filtered port 25 SMTP. No SSL or authentication necessary. The iphone took the SMTP settings perfectly at first and worked great for a week or two then “bam.” I’m no longer able to get a connection to it. About one email in a 100 makes it through.
The SMTP address works great on every provider’s network Wi-Fi access port I’ve tried it on. Edge is the only one that doesn’t work.
(METROXING: I’m not an admin so my answer might be too limiting for you but the :25 port never worked for me, I tested it but the 3 numeral port “exclusion” worked for me and continues to work – does Exchange allow another setting?)
I have tried to follow these directions, but have not had success. I have the exact same problem, using a .edu account. I tried using for 465 (adding :465 to the end of my smtp server) and no luck. Any other ideas, or reasons why this would not work?
I also tried port 587 as someone else mentioned, and that did not work either.
In my normal email client, I use the same smtp server and port 465, so I have no idea why it would work from my computer but not my iphone.
Any help is appreciated.
(METROXING: I’m afraid once I got mine to work, I stopped thinking about it The only thing might be a SSL setting or VPN feature at home that allows you access? Is there someone you can ask in IT or I presume you’re on stealth mode? Would it be easy for you to forward to your home address and access that way or via gmail?).
So u have to have a comcast acct in order for email app to work?
(METROXING: No, these are specialized settings if you have Comcast as I do to get it to work – these may be similiar settings for other cable ISP’s or not but worth a shot if you have not gotten your email to work correctly).
just curious .. They dont have free accounts do they?
(METROXING: Free accounts? Free email accounts? No, Apple doesn’t offer any but the iPhone is set up for gmail, yahoo and AOL (setup meaning, it’s minimal work on your part – just enter in name & password, it will figure out your other settings) – all three companies offer free email accounts (you can also forward any other emails to these accounts). You do need to sign up online first before accessing with the iPhone).
Thank u for ur patience…. I currently have it set up with an aol account but out going mail comes back saying “smtp.aol.com server failed”
(METROXING: I don’t have AOL but I presume you’re going to need to put your ISP smtp address there … are you using AOL dialup? If so, you might need AT&T’s which is that cmw one? Try that).
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Same problem with sending emails away from home using my new iphone and comcast as ISP – thought I had it cracked with “:465′ with Wifi “off” and was pleased as punch. reality returned when “:465 ” would not stick. So far tried your trick of using gmail as default account and activating SSL authentication seems to allow comcast settings to stick. Here’s hoping but thanks for the “fix” so far !
By the way just got a new computer with Vista Ultimate (their choice not mine) – should add ulimate “software mess” I ain’t no genius or dummy but not one program I have tried to load – Office 2003, Blackberry Desk Top, QL Label Printer etc- functioned without major hassles and hours of fixes from relevant websites. All these programs worked flawlessly on Windows XP – you would think the would all be backward compatible – especially Micrcosofts own program – ie Office 2003
(METROXING: Yea, the email on the iPhone is very un-Apple like – very odd but yea, my favorite error mesages from XP and Vista are of the variety “External device not recognized.” um, if you can “see it” enough to give me an error message, how about recognizing it?! 🙂
thanks for posting this fix to get my mail working on iPhone. i still don’t understand why creating a gmail account and calling that your primary e-mail account and using another one made things work for me, but i really appreciate you posting this information as my mail (incoming & outcoming) is finally working on my iphone! thanks again!
it seems like e very good web site but my English is not good. It would be great if it might be availible in other languages too. Thanks.
(METROXING: Sorry, you can try AltaVista, or AjaxTrans. No Turkish but French? Spanish? Good luck!)
Ok, I read and understood enough of what you all are talking about to make these settings… BUT, how do I found out the port number to use with my isp? When I call them they are HUGELY rude and say they do not support iphone. Iphone people shrug at me. Is there a magic was to find out the port number? Or, am I just stupid…
(METROXING: No, you’re not an idiot – they’re idiots for not helping. You’re only trying to retrieve your email. Did you try :465 only using your nctc.com settings for smtp mail (presuming that’s the ISP you’re trying to access?) Also note – make sure to sign up for a GMAIL account if all else fails and folow my instructions again – only activating your GMAIL account first – which is automatically set up once you have a user name & password. Even if you never use the gmail account, for some oddball reseason, it gelps in the other setup.
It might just be be smtp.nctc.com:465 … have you tried that? Or their online help? Good luck!)
Author, it’s your best post in this blog. I sent it to all my friends! Big thanks for article.
I have like 6 gmail addresses, which I can get mail fine on (imap/pop both set to on)… 🙂
It is the sending that is screwy, tried smtp.gmail.com:465…
A good tutorial/howto/video on just setting up gmail accounts with the iPhone?
(METROXING: The send SMTP needs to be whatever your “normal” internet provider settings are … so sub in comcast, sbcglobal, etc … for gmail above and see what happens).
Cool, I will try that… 🙂
All good now :-), this may help some people out for gmail only accounts…
Activate both pop and imap in your gmail account on gmail.com
Create a other mail account pop!!! not imap in iphone,
Set name, address, and description to email@example.com,
Incoming mail server/host, pop.gmail.com
Here is the important one,
outgoing mail server/host,
ssl on/pw authenticate
If it does not work try with a freshly entered account in your iphone mail settings
Good Luck 🙂
p.s. tested on wifi only, canceled my edge network 😉
Thank you for the excellent post. I bought an iPhone recently and still figuring out how to grasp the full potential of this marvel.
Seeking for help to set an iphone outgoing with a netvigator account. I have tried desperatly every settings and can not send email. No problems to receive.
Have tried smtp.netvigator.com and mail.netvigator.com
have put firstname.lastname@example.org in user name
advance settings have put ssl on or off
server port 25 or 587
put nothing is working. Can you help me?
(METROXING: Did you try getting a gmail account and adding in that step as outlined above? Or trying port :465?
Or as noted in the COMMENTS above “If you’re getting the rejected username problem on ANY email account, call up your provider (or do a google search on their site “site:comcast.net SSL SMTP” 😉 and find out what the settings are, and what logins to use for secure SMTP.”
So try doing a search for netvigator and if they offer you any SMTP tips)
to carine hascoet
I had teh same problem but soon I found simple solution for outgoing emails it’s smtp.com best service and just few baks)
We are what we repeatedly do.
Neither comcast nor Apple could provide this info but it works just on comcast Wi-Fi, other Wi-Fi or Edge. It was provided to me by an Apple computer and software consultant expert in Chicago.
I would note that I upgraded to an Airport Extreme a couple of weeks ago and had to delete my iPhone email account and recreat it to get it all working again but that my have been my lack of experience and nothing to do with iPhone or Apple. No Gmail or any of that other fancy stuff necessary.
Authentication: MD5 Challenge-Response
yeah irritating in times when carry my laptop around and have to change the settings each time.. surely its more cumbersome in an iphone!
smtp.Gmail.com server connection problems fw 1.1.4?
pop.gmail.com is working fine. 🙂
all you should have to do. At least if you have a non-generic email account. Not yahoo or gmail & the like is to toto settings: mail: change your outgoing mail server to AT&T. It gas a box for you to turn their server on. Most cell phone providers want you to use their outgoing servers. I don’t know the reason I only know tfat it works this way. I also changed the port from587 to 465 as the first gentleman suggested. Have fun with your phones.
The problem, as has been said, with using AT&T’s outgoing server falls flat as soon as you go wi-fi (leave the EDGE network) with the iphone.
I’ve set up 2 iphones using gmail for the smtp servers, and the reply-to address is staying as it should. No forwarding or trickery involved.
I wish this blog was in other languages as well, like in German.
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