Email Issues

Vodafone NZ Email Customers

Vodafone NZ has announced the closure of its Email service with effect from 30th November 2017, so you need to do something NOW in order to continue receiving emails for your old Vodafone NZ email accounts and domains they have historically absorbed, see the info at Vodafone NZ's website.

The information from Vodafone NZ seems somewhat odd though, the reason they give for shutting down is excessive Spam, but they're not shutting down entirely, just forcing you to access email in a different way, i.e. you just have to tell them where to forward the emails to. This doesn't really affect Spam at all, they're just passing the buck on to someone else to deal with. Whilst there will be some reduction eventually as email accounts are closed down, most of the Spam will continue to arrive at Vodafone NZ's email servers irrespective of whether the account still exists or not.

Vodafone suggests moving your email to GMail or, probably OK for most people as long as you're happy with Google and Microsoft filtering your email and selling the results on to interested parties.

If you want something more robust and private then contact CMIT and we can recommend other options.


Other ISPs

Sending and receiving Emails can be performed in two main ways:-

1. Webmail via a Browser

Useful for people that want a simple interface and not too many features or people who travel a lot. However, it's simplicity can be a problem for some users that maintain large contact lists or need to perform more complex tasks. Webmail is generally fairly trouble free and will work from pretty much anywhere, assuming your Internet connection is reliable. Offline email generation usually isn't possible, as you need an active Internet connection to access the Webmail server.

2. Email Client Software

There are a multitude of different software Email Clients available, some free, some "free" and some paid for. These can be tricky to setup and very dependent on where you're connecting from and the quality of your Email provider. Many ISPs and Email providers still do not fully support standards that have been setup to minimise Spam and may implement their own proprietary blocking mechanisms. Many ISPs will only allow you to send email via their servers using mailboxes hosted on domains they own. If you have a custom domain you often have to setup multiple profiles for each to work correctly. You can often find that public Internet hotspots can block the sending of Emails, so again you have to jump through hoops to make things work when away from your home or office.

Most email client software products have configuration "wizards" that attempt to work out how to connect. Some are fairly crude, just asking you for the appropriate information, these generally fail miserably and need a lot of manual intervention. Other "wizards" are pretty intelligent and make a good attempt to work out a viable configuration automatically.

Important Fact: The sending and receiving of emails using email software clients installed on your device generally uses two entirely different protocols. Receiving emails is fairly simple to achieve. However, sending emails is an entirely different matter and can sometimes be very tricky. This is due to the ever increasing rise of Spam and other fraudulent emails and the countermeasures that ISPs and Email providers put in place to try and thwart this.

Why port 25 is a no no...

The sending of emails is usually performed using SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). Historically all email was submitted using port 25 with no username, password or encryption and receiving servers would simply accept email received no matter whether it came direct from a user or another server. As Spam started to be generated, owners of receiving email servers would implement more security, but not in a very consistent manner, making it hard to have a single "one size fits all" config. Eventually two new ports were designated to help separate client to server from server to server traffic, these are 587 for plain text (unencrypted) traffic or 465 for encrypted traffic. These new ports generally now require a username and password, known as Authenticated SMTP. Some enlightened ISPs and Email providers support all forms of traffic, authenticated/unauthenticated, encrypted/unencrypted traffic on all of ports 25, 465 and 587. So you can be lucky and things "just work", but it's usually safer to keep to designated standards for port use, as a provider's policy could change at anytime and potentially without notice.

Many viruses that attempt to send vast volumes of Spam will still try to use port 25. It is the way of the world that as new people learn about and implement email servers, they very often make fundamental mistakes and leave port 25 open for all traffic, not for long though as their servers generally grind to a halt and their domains and/or IP addresses get Blacklisted real quick. Most receiving servers will now only accept traffic on port 25 if it has come from another server or has come from a restricted range of authorised domains and/or IP addresses or has authenticated with a username/password.

The golden rule is, all email clients should use the new ports 587 or 465 for sending email. The problem is not all email providers support them!

Less is more

If you keep it simple and only use one email address or use webmail, this considerably reduces the issues you'll face. The more email addresses you add and the more locations you try to use email from, the harder it is to make email work reliably.

VPNs - Virtual Private Networks

A VPN connection is a very good way to reduce or eliminate issues when away from your home or office. These create a secure tunnel back to a specific location and then data is only ever presented to the Internet from a consistent source, making email configuration much easier. However, VPNs can be difficult to setup and many public Internet locations attempt to block them, so you will often need specialist help to set these up. However, this is usually a "one off" setup, rather than having to tweak your email connection profile for each new location.

Common Email Issues


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