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 Post subject: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:22 pm 
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I've had this problem for a while, maybe 6 months or so. It occurred now and then to begin with but now it's a permanent feature of my e-mail set up. With Apple Mail, I'd get the small warning triangle alongside 'Inbox' in the sidebar. Clicking on it would bring a dialog box offering the choice to take all accounts online. Again, to begin with, that did the trick, but now trying to take accounts online results in an alert box springs up with the message:
Quote:
Alert
There may be a problem with the mail server or network. Verify the settings for account “zen.co.uk” or try again.
The server returned the error: Mail was unable to connect to server “mailhost.zen.co.uk” using SSL on port 995. Verify that this server supports SSL and that your account settings are correct.

I've been in touch with my ISP three times. They've had me check account settings (nothing wrong) and had me tinker with some of the advanced options (I can't now remember the details). The last time I was on the phone for 75 minutes and during that exchange they had me download Thunderbird. It seemed to do the trick, inasmuch as a load of emails appeared. Now, however, even Thunderbird just sits there 'Connecting to mailhost.zen.co.uk…'

Seemingly randomly, when returning to the machine at some later time emails have got through. The 'Get Mail'/'Get Messages' buttons don't work at all on Mail or Thunderbird.

I'm wondering whether there's a hitch with the modem. Could that prevent outgoing calls to the server? I'd like some new ideas before I try another phone call.

Where are the 'ports', as in port 995?

Anyone able to shed some light on possible causes for this? A possession requiring an exorcism perhaps?

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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:32 pm 
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In the Mail account settings, is "use IDLE command if the server supports it" selected?

If so, does deselecting it, then quitting and reopening Mail help prevent the problem?

- Anonymous


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:56 pm 
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Also…

Open Keychain Access in Utilities, use Keychain First Aid under the Keychain Menu item, then either check the Password under that item, change it, or delete it and start over.

There should be 2 entries for each eMail account & if ever a different PW was entered it will call on that at random times for unknown reasons.


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:42 pm 
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Location: Melbourne
Here's a third possibility.
Use the outgoing mailserver of your ISP. It will still get to the destination zen.co.uk.


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:57 am 
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Anonymous wrote:
In the Mail account settings, is "use IDLE command if the server supports it" selected?

I can't see any such option in the Accounts section of Mail Preferences.

I should have said at the start that this is on my Snow Leopard machine (10.6.8), Mail version 4.6.

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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:23 am 
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BD - There were two entries for incoming and two entries for outgoing all with the same password. I deleted the older versions, but no difference.

roam - The mail servers are the same for incoming and outgoing, except that incoming is POP and outgoing is SMTP.

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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:07 am 
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Location: Melbourne
RodF wrote:
roam - The mail servers are the same for incoming and outgoing, except that incoming is POP and outgoing is SMTP.

Perhaps this does not apply to your case but I'm suggesting this because this worked for me after I changed from one ISP to another. I encountered a problem that my old email address (retained from the old ISP account) could receive mail but would not send.
Yes the server names were the same but turned out that changing the outgoing server name to the new ISP mail server name, allows me to send. Took me months to crack that one. This may not apply to your situation as on reflection it seem a little different.

Maybe as BD suggests it is a keychain problem, but want to say that you can have different names for Incoming and Outgoing mail servers and can still work.

OSX 10.9 Mail ver7.3


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:38 am 
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Is there any possibility it might have something to do with the modem? it's getting on now.

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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:36 am 
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Quite possible. & maybe a temporary DNS issue.

Idle would be in Mail>Prefs>Accounts>Advanced tab if an IMAP account.


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:34 am 
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No, it's a POP account.

Looks like another painful chat with my ISP. To be fair, they're normally (that is, the few times I've had to use them over the years) on the ball and very clued in. This one's got them wondering.

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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:10 pm 
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The port, 995, is a number that the server listens for to identify incoming TCP connections. It specifically stands for POP over TLS/SSL (transport layer security, for encryption).

Sorry, I didn't notice earlier you were using a POP3 account. That's less common these days.

- Anonymous


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:34 pm 
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Anonymous wrote:
The port, 995, is a number that the server listens for to identify incoming TCP connections.- Anonymous

I have no idea what I'm talking about vis-a-vis ports. Is this port to be found at the ISP's server, or my modem here?

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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 2:39 pm 
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Your computer opens a connection, though your modem, through all the routers between your modem and the server, to port 995 on their server.

I wonder if, because this is 10.6 and a built-in Apple product that uses OS-provided frameworks to make connections, render HTML, etc. this might be a case of certificates being outdated. Though I must admit I shuddered when I realized Mail.app uses the outdated version of WebKit installed in 10.6 to render HTML emails.


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:05 pm 
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For what it's worth, I cannot successfully connect to mailhost.zen.co.uk on port 995 over SSL:
openssl s_client -host mailhost.zen.co.uk -port 995
CONNECTED(00000003)
write:errno=54


I wondered if maybe they were using STARTTLS (does anyone still do that!??) instead of TLS/SSL...I can connect on port 110 without SSL:
telnet mailhost.zen.co.uk 110
+OK smarthost01b, Zen Internet POP3 Server Ready
STARTTLS
-ERR You must login first.
QUIT

...but I can't test it. And of course logging in before starting transport layer security means beaming your mostly unprotected password across the net, which somewhat defeats the porpoise.

If you're willing to let absolutely everyone between you and anywhere read your mail and maybe steal your password you can disable TLS/SSL and use port 110. (If you do that be sure to try the different choices for password encryption...none of them are very good encryption, but it's probably better than nothing.) This will paper over the symptom but won't explain what's going on and definitely isn't secure.

- Anonymous


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:44 am 
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MB - Thanks. So port 995 is found at their end. I know I'm well out of date with SL. Moving to get a new machine. Enough dithering from me.

Anonymous - I don't want to make my connections more insecure than they might already be, considering my version of OS X. Another go round with my ISP looms. It's so stomach churningly boring, although they're always helpful and stay on the phone as long as you want.

Thanks both.

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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:52 pm 
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I don't know if an entire new machine is in order, but avoiding anything that uses the built-in frameworks is certainly a good first step. So, in other words, no Safari, no Mail, but you can use Firefox ESR or Postbox or whatever. The determining factor should be if it connects to the internet and whether its still seeing updates. If it connects to the internet but is old, its no-go.

That being said, if 995 is closed on their server (or, more likely, its only open to clients who are already on their network - its probably only blocked to people outside their network), it doesn't matter what you're running, it still won't get through.


Funny thing about STARTTLS, I didn't even know it was a thing until I got my new Marshmallow phone, which has STARTTLS all over the damn place as an encryption choice. Samsung and GMail clients even default to using STARTTLS, though of course they didn't work.


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:40 pm 
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When I attempt to connect on 995 I get a connection, but it fails the SSL handshake. The port is open; it's just not talking any dialect of SSL that my version of OpenSSL happened to speak, which makes it not entirely useful.

I haven't the faintest clue what they're doing. Is "mailhost.zen.co.uk" the right address?

- Anonymous


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:37 pm 
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MB - a new machine is in the pipeline. I'm fed up with browsers and mail acting up on this 'old' iMac. I do realise that security is now a major issue. Been in denial long enough. Not clever.

While I have no expertise in these matters, I feel disgusted with the throw-away culture that now sweeps us all along because we don't get 'supported' anymore. We'll keep this machine for home use, other than internet use.

Anonymous - yes, that's the correct address.

The very strange thing is that we've had this ISP for years and they've been great. Back when ISPs in general didn't have much of a clue about Macs, this one did. Their tech support has always been good. The ISP we had before, Virgin.net, was lamentable. We're going back a long way now, but I remember one support guy mumbling something about the Registry, showing how little he knew about Macs. Not his fault. His employers could have tried harder getting people that were familiar with Macs, or training up the ones they had.

I can't remember when this problem started, but it's been this year anyway. Initially when the wee warning triangle appeared alongside 'Inbox' in the sidebar of Mail.app, I could click on it, get the option to take all accounts online and succeed. It's only in the past couple of months that things have degenerated this far, with the problem now being constant. Mail comes through intermittently. The 'Get Mail' button has no effect. Downloading and installing Thunderbird hasn't helped.

I phoned my ISP yesterday, for the fourth time. The matter has been referred to another team. The guy I spoke to was very puzzled, took over my machine and could directly see for himself what the problem was.
The one way we can successfully get our email on this account is via Mail2web on our iPad Air. Although it takes time, what with tapping in all the details for the account, it is reliable. I explained this to him and he said that there was a different route (as I recall) to getting mail that way.


More fun today sometime.

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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:07 am 
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Have you tried their WebMail in a Browser on the Mac?

https://webmail.zen.co.uk

Are these tour settings in Mail?

https://support.zen.co.uk/kb/knowledgeb ... l-settings


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 2:41 pm 
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BD, just tried Zen's WebMail at your suggestion. It works fine, BUT … just like using mail2web on the iPad Air, it means all emails tumble into view and it means sorting through the garbage to get the emails we want.

For several years I've used Mail.app along with SpamSieve which filters out undesirable/unwanted mail so we just get the stuff we want. SpamSieve works very well indeed. I supposed I've been spoiled by the ease with which it has all been working and feel cheesed off that yet another comfy wee rut is being put out of commission.

And, yes, those are the settings in Mail.

Still waiting on Zen support getting back to me.

It's not 100% black since Mail does work intermittently, and seemingly at its own choosing. I suppose, looking at it from a snail mail viewpoint, it's like waiting for the postie to come each day and his times aren't uniform either. Some days he doesn't come down the path at all.

Don't you love the 21st Century? :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 5:14 pm 
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:D


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:50 pm 
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How much do you care about your existing email address?

- Anonymous


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:18 am 
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Anonymous - It's zenXXXXX-at-zen-dot-co-dot-uk, where XXXXX is a 5-didgit number. I'm not particularly attached to it as such. It's a bit of clunky to look at and has a sort of anonymity, which is actually fine.
At one point I considered asking my ISP for a new account, replacing this current one, because I thought this one had been compromised somehow. It hadn't been - I'd just been temporarily inundated with spam for unknown reasons, so I kept it going. We don't get much spam these days, more junk mail than suspicious spam.

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 Post subject: Re: Problems with Mail
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:46 pm 
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Have you considered a third party email address, like Gmail (but not Yahoo! <shudder>)?

If you have a relatively low volume of mail and don't leave a lot of mail on the server, you could have an address on this domain: <whatever>@x704.net. The spam filtering isn't all that great, and the address might go away if anyone ever stopped paying for hosting or renewing the domain, but it's likely to be around for quite a while. At least you'd know where to get support.

On the other hand, Gmail is reliable, easy to use, has great spam filtering, and supports IMAP quite well (my recollection is POP3 support is kinda wonky -- but IMAP is usually better anyway)...if you don't mind Google reading all your mail to profile you for advertising.

If you're willing to pay for an address, there are lots of services that include email as part of a hosting agreement or are intended just for hosting email either with your own domain or not. I haven't looked in to any in quite a while, but they're out there and not in short supply.

- Anonymous


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