Comcast and port 25...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by mkrishnan, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #1
    So Comcast announced over the weekend that they would start blocking Port 25 (the SMTP port) for suspected spammers (see the following article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A35541-2004Jun11.html ).

    I spent about two hours on and off trying to get mail.app working with Bellsouth before I finally found from extensive searching of their support site that they block port 25 for ALL users. :mad:

    How common is this? Do a lot of others have ISPs who don't allow access to SMTP from someone other than themselves? To give Bellsouth some credit, you can send using any e-mail address you want, @bellsouth.net or not, using their SMTP, but this is the sorta thing they should more visibly state. I spent a lot of time going through my firewall settings, my AEBS settings, my Linksys router settings, my DSL modem settings, trying to figure out what was blocking the port... :(

    Dunno if I'm asking a stupid question, but from this article (http://p2pnet.net/story/1671) it doesn't sound like ISPs blocking SMTP for all users indiscriminately is very common. It certainly wasn't anything I'd heard of in Michigan, although it's been a while since I used non-web-mail at home.
     
  2. Oirectine macrumors regular

    Oirectine

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #2
    I don't know how common this is, but I heard about the Bell South thing on Slashdot yesterday. Somebody had been running a mail server for over a year and it suddenly stopped working. That sucks for the power user customers who suddenly can't use all their ports any more.

    Something similar happened to me: Last fall when I first startedd college, I didn't know that everybody is behind a firewall or some routers or something. I spent the whole night trying to set up apache. I had no idea it was impossible and wasted a solid two hours googling and changing settings. Grr!
     
  3. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    My ISP (Charter) just shut off port 25 last week. No notice or anything--2 days later I figured out what had happened. Tech support is useless in determining alternate ports/methods. So I'm stuck using their (not 100% reliable) mail server. I'm pissed.

    And how is that going to stop spam anyway?
     
  4. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #4
    Yeah, I have to use Bellsouth to send my .Mac email. It's really annoying. I love how they just don't tell you and it takes a week of constant phone calls before you get someone who has enough tech savvy to realize what a port is and that they blocked it and that's why suddenly SMTP doesn't work.
     
  5. whfsdude macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2002
    Location:
    Washington DC USA
    #5
    Services like .mac should provide a second port number to connect to. My host does that for me > dreamhost.com

    But home users shouldn't be running mailservers on cable. Now DSL that's a little different :-\

    I think if people want to run mail servers they should get business class service. That wouldn't limit all the home users because they get infected with a virus (on that spams) and they have no idea.
     
  6. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #6
    I don't think you understand. Its not just that you cannot run your *own* mailserver. You cannot use anyone's mailserver except the ISP. So I have Univ. of Florida e-mail, and they have an SMTP gateway. Blocked. I have Yahoo, and they have an SMTP gateway. Blocked. And we were not warned. That's the part I find irritating.

    Ummm...in the case of Bellsouth, apparently (snooty voice on) *their* SMTP server has bizarre supernatural powers that make it invinciible against spam. :)
     
  7. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #7
    I never got spam ever in the year I have had my new PowerBook with .Mac...until I got Bellsouth FastAcess DSL Xtreme. Suddenly, I was baffled by why 4 out of my 6 email headers were this ugly brownish color. Needless to say, I deleted the Bellsouth mail account from my Mail program.
     
  8. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    Supernatural powers has got to be the answer. Just the power of being on their network is enough to stop spam dead in its tracks. They don't seem to have provisions for authentication or ssl (gee, I thought those were more secure...). You just have to be connected to their network and you can send all the mail you want without proving who you are. That's secure! Obviously nobody would be on their network without permission. Obviously there's no possible way to put a trojan on a PC and use that PC to send spam. If that was a possibility then blocking port 25 would just be stupid, wouldn't it?
     
  9. MattG macrumors 68040

    MattG

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Location:
    Fletcher, NC
    #9
    Interesting...

    I haven't sent any mail from my .Mac account from home since last week. I'll have to try it when I get home to see if it still works.

    You live in Florida too...not too encouraging :confused:
     
  10. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #10
    Seriously I guess they use spam filters outgoing, but they don't seem to do a very good job, and definitely not incoming. Since I switched to mail.app and put it in training mode, I'm seeing all this crap too. If one more person e-mails me to tell me how to get a bigger penis.... :mad:
     
  11. bbarnhart macrumors 6502a

    bbarnhart

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2002
    Location:
    Stilwell, Kansas
    #11
    My DSL is provided by a rural phone company and they blocked nearly all ports one day without telling me. It took at least 10 phone calls over a month for them to admit that they had blocked ports and then another 5 calls over a few weeks for them to attempt to open certain ports. They couldn't open my ports for some reason, but they did give me a static IP with all of the ports open. I'm wondering how long that will last (it's been about a year).
     
  12. rdrr macrumors 6502a

    rdrr

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2003
    Location:
    NH
    #12
    Check your TOS, my ISP (Adelphia... YUCK! :p), states that you cannot run a server of any kind. I.E. Web, FTP, DNS, Mail....

    Oh and before anyone says, "But I didn't agree to any contract", you implicitly agree when you pay your bill... :(
     
  13. mkrishnan thread starter Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #13
    But this is about accessing Yahoo, etc, not running a server. Sending outgoing mail to smtp.yahoo.com is nothing like running a server on your own computer, is it?

    I'm sure the small print backs them up. I'm just questioning the sense in this and (like PB G5 said) wondering how this actually contributes to reducing spam.

    The workaround (using bellsouth's smtp server) is even more-or-less acceptable to me. I just wasn't happy no one told me about it.
     
  14. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #14
    I think this is a good move on Comcast's part. They aren't blocking port 25 for all users (I can verify that, since I am a customer but don't use Comcast's SMTP server) - just those that are considered suspicious. And if the Slashdot discussion is to be believed, they're fairly reasonable about reinstating your port 25 access if you can demonstrate you were blocked erroneously.

    Frankly, it's been known for a long time that "zombie" mail relays on Comcast (and other broadband networks) are a significant contributor to the spam problem. Sysadmins have been grumbling about it for several years. There are a huge number of people who just don't bother to patch their Windows boxes - I don't know if it's ignorance or laziness or what-not, but it's a big problem.

    I'm just glad they didn't take the sledgehammer (Bell South) approach.
     

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