Issues sending mail

This is a quick primer on how e-mail works.

Getting the mail out:
For sending, you use something called Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. (Wikipedia)

SMTP uses TCP port 25 to send e-mail. In your mail client (Outlook, Eudora, Thunderbird) there are settings for SMTP. These settings include either a server IP address Wikipedia or the ‘name’ of the server you want to send mail through.

IP address:

(Note, those are for demo purposes only.)

Now, guessing that those settings are correct and have worked in the past, there are a few remaining problems.

1. Port 25 is blocked by something. This could be either your local firewall (Zone Alarm,) your router, or similar kit at the ISP’s end.

2. The mail server at the ISP end is down. You are basically sending information via the ISP. If their server is down, then you won’t be able to send mail.

3. There is a problem with your mail client (could happen, but less likely than 1 or 2.)

4. There isn’t a problem with any of the above. The real trouble is a server problem at the recipient’s end. If you’re getting return receipts from something that isn’t one of Talk Talk’s servers, then the trouble is with the address you’re trying to send to. I’ll outline basic troubleshooting later.

You can send e-mail, but not receive it:

So, you’ve managed to get your e-mail out. They’ve sent e-mail to you and you haven’t received it, what could be wrong?

Now, SMTP is the send protocol, remember? (Just think S for Send) The receive protocol is called Post Ooffice Protocol, usually POP3. (Wikipedia) POP3 uses port 110 to receive mail.

Got that? Two different protocols for sending and receiving mail.

Occasionally, Internet Service Providers (or, Talk Talk) will use two different ‘names’ for sending and receiving e-mail. While you have for sending, the IP for receiving may be It’s important to look at the difference when (if?) you receive your documentation.

Like SMTP, you receive e-mail via the ISP. Mail is sent to, mail finds its way to Talk Talk’s servers, Talk Talk’s servers deliver to your system when you connect to the mail server.

If you can’t receive e-mail, one of the following may be at fault.

1. Port 110 on your computer is blocked by something (your system’s firewall, the ISP, router…)

2. The mail server at the ISP end is down.

3. There is a problem with your mail client.

4. There isn’t a problem with any of the above. There is a problem with the sender.

How to troubleshoot e-mail

Now you know the basics right? So, here is how you troubleshoot your e-mail.

1. First, make sure that the e-mail address you are sending to or giving out is accurate and follows the correct format. All e-mail addresses will look like this: user@domainname.something (the .something could be .eu, .com,, and so on.)

2. Read any messages that come back to you, or have the person sending the e-mail read messages that come back to them. Often times something from ‘System Administrator’ or ‘Mail Daemon’ will come back. There will be something in that error message to indicate what the failure was. ‘User not found’ or ‘mailbox full’ are pretty clear. This AOL page has a good rundown of common error codes and messages found in return reciepts.

3. Triple check your settings. Make sure that every little dot and number is identical to what you were sent from the ISP. A mispelling or typo could be all that’s at fault.

If those three things are working, or don’t apply, then call the ISP.

Here’s an example of an SMTP problem from one of our lovely readers!

Hi Simon: I think I am having the same problem as you: I can receive but not send emails (these are emails on my account not talk talk). Just called the helpdesk – load of rubbish

The solution?

chris you need to change your outgoing mail server to this should rectify your problem as to web mail i called in and found 2 alternatives and also the mydial takes you to the old style webmail but it works.

Funny thing is i called talktalk today and got through straight away and when the person couldnt help i got transferd to there 2nd line team who i must say where very much on the ball and resolved my issue emidiatley

In Talk Talk’s case, they seem to have several names and IPs for sending/receiving mail. Best keeping track of these somewhere offline.

Talk to Simon and Derek

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48 responses to “Issues sending mail

  1. Cheers, a very heplful posting.
    I seem to be having every one of the faults listed.

    Will work through each help pointer – before I buy some pigeons. They used to be very reliable, so long as you Fead Them grom time to time.


  2. I have the same problem as steve and can recieve emails but not send them. I have checked my setting and everything appears to be correct.

    Question: Is there anyway of checking that the talktalk email servers are working correctly?

  3. Pingback: Tool for checking mail servers « Less Talk Talk: More Service. The unofficial, unaffiliated Talk Talk blog.

  4. Cannot send a taltalk email.

    I can receive emails in my talktalk webmail
    but on selecting ‘new message ‘ have a blank page with just an arrow and eggtimer on it, and I wait and wait !!

    Talktalk technical staff have given up !!


    Any suggestions ?

  5. Since getting TalkTalk I’ve had problems sending e-mail, including several webmail accounts that worked fine before and using Outlook. Only e-mails of 1KB (a few words) could be sent – bigger e-mails failed.

    After hours checking my system for corruptions, spyware virus and correct settings I have found that there’s nothing wrong with the pc – mail sends fine when I connect using dial-up or from soemone else’s PC with a different ISP. It seems the packet size for uploads is limited on TalkTalk. Has anyone else had this problem? Did you manage to get TalkTalk to fix it? If so, how long did it take…?


  6. Me? had no problems until the 10th December 2006. Now I can send through talktalk but not receive, neither does webmail work on all my email addresses.

    The solution? call the premium rate number for support.

    Er, nope! Not my systems at fault talktalk it’s YOURS!!!!!!!!

  7. We too have just started (this week) having a problem receiving email through talktalk. I have found we have been able to receive this morning ( but not tonight) perhaps this is because it is less busy or perhaps it was just a lucky connection!

  8. I, like quite a lot of people by the looks of it, have had awful problems recieving mail this week. To start with it just seemed to be post 4pm (funnily enough about the time most school kids get home and check their mail) but today it has been down most of the day. I have tried through my mail client and also directly through a browser and when I try to connect on the browser I am told I am using the wrong username or password I AM NOT, ITS A PROBLEM WITH TALK TALK’S SERVER!!! I am at the end of my tether after 6 months of TalkTalk hell, I just wish my husband hadn’t just painted his van and used his talk talk email address!

  9. The Talktalk mail servers have been up at best intermittently in the last few weeks. After midday it always gets worse. The last couple of days however it has been impossible to contact Talktalk’s webservers at any time in the evening. They really are the most incompetent company I have ever come across, with the worst customer service. Dunstone should be ashamed of himself.

  10. Suddenly I can no longer connect to the talktalk POP3 server. A test message finds it but I can’t log on. I haven’t changed my setup and my username and password are supplied automatically by Outlook, as they have been for months. I’ve tried logging in to webmail. The username and password that got me to that point are suddenly not recognized when I try to get my email. (NeverAny)TalkTalk needs to sort out its email server. It is the pits!

  11. Yes I would like to echo the comments of these other people.
    I have found that most times I can’t get my mail, powering down my router and the rebooting will often let me connect.
    The only difference I can see is I generally get a new Gateway address.

  12. I have having the same trouble with talktalk email.
    Ok through day evening not a chance.
    It use to be no trouble at all till this last week now its every night.
    Very annoying at this time of the year when i use email to contact the kids regarding mother christmas box.

  13. I’ve been with TALKTALK for about 6 month. The email problem has just started to happen recently, the last 2 days have been impossible. A sad day but they really are useless.

  14. Why bother with your ISP’s email? Dump it. (alias addresses are free, have 2.7Gb of free storage (never delete another email, just archive them), free POP3 access, free forwarding and the most effective spam blockers I’ve ever experienced?

    email me and I’ll send you an invitation.


  15. Sorry, should’ve given you my email address, shouldn’t I?


  16. Have I cracked it – or is it just coincidence.
    Unable to receive e-mails, I checked and rechecked my settings over and over again. My anti-virus and anti spyware programs had been repeatedly run until the ‘puter was as exhausted as I was. Previous attempts to gain help from talktalk meant long and fruitless telephone conversations with myself as no-one was ever on the other end of the line. Then, desparingly I ran my anti virus and anti spyware programs in SAFE MODE. It worked. Give it a try.

  17. I’ve got the same problem as MM – OK to recieve, OK to send very small emails (

  18. I have problems with emails at TalkTalk: unable tyo open MSN Hotmail, can read but not reply to Yahoo mails and can read and reply to emails but unable to load files to send. Talk talk help unable to help (!) and cannot figure out what the problem is. I am in the process of changing my router to see if it does the trick (it is a BT router). Tips anyone? Will try to do the safe mode function on the anti virus and spamware. I had to go to an internet cafe to send this!

  19. Could not send emails using talk talk.
    Have solved my problem by changing Interface to (Advanced Mozilla).

  20. I keep getting this error when trying to send email from Outlook Express – I can receive ok.

    The connection to the server has failed. Account: ‘’, Server: ‘’, Protocol: POP3, Port: 110, Secure(SSL): No, Socket Error: 10060, Error Number: 0×800CCC0E

    Talk Talk have no idea – are they blocking sending at their end because I am using a freeserve address ?

    Help – is there any way around this

  21. Richard Turner

    27 April 2007
    I could receive email , but not send it. The problem turned out to be the Belkin router which appeared to be working perfectly but was somehow blocking outgoing mail (the message at the bottom of the talktalk email box was “waiting for….”.
    A new router (this time from Netgear) solved the problem completely.

  22. I just went “live” with TalkTalk this Monday, 21st of May. I can receive email but can’t send them out if it is over a certain size. Noticed someone has had this prob and could only send 1k size emails. I had to send one of my emails in 4 parts. The thing is, I use Gmail, can’t even get in to Gmail account (I get my emails as I only open up my Thunderbird) and my second email account which is through the university, I’m having exactly the same problem with it as well, can only send a certain size, that is a small one. Is this TalkTalks fuck up? I am really annoyed as they are very incompetent. I have phoned them about a problem which they couldn’t solve and when I told my friend what the problem was he knew straight away what it was and got it sorted. Anyway, by any chance someone knows how to sort this out, in case when I phone up tomorrow they can’t do help me?

  23. I couldn’t send the whole email. Here’s the rest –
    Also, my friend had an interview for TalkTalk but they failed him on purpose, discrimination as he has got Asperger syndrome, although he passed on everything but failed on this one question. The question was what this certain error code meant. He checked it up later when he got home and it was an error message for Win95. This interview was either beginning of this year or at the end of last. Feel bad for using them but I am a student and need internet and cheap phone calls.

  24. An update – The problem that I have been experiencing is not caused by TT. I need to tell this in case anyone else is having the same problem. I was told by TT I needed to change the MTU setting to 1400. It is because of Linksys router model BEFDSR41W which they no longer produce upgrade for, i.e. the firmware that I needed to get the MTU setting as it is not available in Setup is no longer available. You’ll not find this specific model on the websites, US or the UK one. After spending hours on the phone with Linksys helpline, by chance one of them managed to find out that this model is no longer supported and if you still have the receipt and you’ve had it for less than 3 years you are still within the warranty and they will replace the product. I haven’t received it yet but I’m in the process of it. Hope this will be helpful for some of you. After all, it wasn’t TT’s fault.

  25. Talktalk have two POP server names:
    “” and “”.

    In Thunderbird “Server Settings” there are various “Security Settings”. I can only get the mailer to work if I choose “Use secure connection: NEVER”. A bit confused here, because I am fairly sure that I used to use “TLS, if available”, but will not cooperate any longer. This discovery is the result of adding another old e-mail address and having everything go BADLY wrong. It would help considerably if Thunderbird had user field for entering passwords!

  26. I’ve just started using talktalk as my isp for dial-up connection and am unable to send emails, receiving is ok.
    I’m in Ireland so will .net in the smtp address line work for me?
    I’ll give it a try.
    Their help desk has told that they have no IT section set up over here as broadband is unavailable!! what that ahs to do with dial-up I can’t figure out.

  27. See my note of June17th regarding sending email.
    SUCCESS. I ignored the talktalk instruction to use and tried and it works fine so thank you to whoever suggested this.
    I mailed talktalk and they replied thank you for reporting this, we will get our IT team to look into it!!!!.

  28. Thanks to spammers using TalkTalk you cannot send an email to
    If you complain to TalkTalk they just cut you off! If you complain to AOL (UK or USA) they cut you off!
    Are there any re-mailing sites that you can send the email to and from where they re-send the email using an ISP that is not blacklisted?

  29. Just discovered this page and have had the same email problem as (among others) MM: Can’t upload files or send emails over a certain size. However, I have found that I can send files over Skype of any size, so I’m guessing the encryption used on Skype cuts the files into small enough pieces. This could be useful for those of you needing to send files but have the same problem.

  30. Hi, follow this route through OE to resolve sending large files.
    TOOLS>ACCOUNTS>(highlight account) PROPERTIES>ADVANCED. change server timeouts to long, should sort the problem out.
    ta ta

  31. Fivish said: Thanks to spammers using TalkTalk you cannot send an email to

    According to TT:
    “TalkTalk engineers have noticed a problem has occurred with Talktalk customers having trouble emailing AOL email address. This occurred when a certain email attachment was added to all TalkTalk emails.”

    “The problem you are experiencing is due to an email attachment previously run by TalkTalk.

    One of our employees is a friend of the McCann family and contacted our CEO to ask what we could do to help. Posters have been put in our stores in Spain and Portugal. We then looked to see what else we could do to offer further support to the family. As a result we thought it would be acceptable to send a message raising awareness of the search on our emails. We have been mindful in ensuring that we state ” This is a special message from TalkTalk’ to make it clear it is not a message from you.

    Our intention was only to run this for just under a week and this is not the start of regular insertions. To ensure maximum impact we had to implement this very quickly and as such were unable to build in the “opt-out” choice. As a result some mail servers have blacklisted our email as spam due to this attachment.

    You may need to contact your friends on AOL to deregister us on this spam list so you can continue sending mail.”

  32. Further to the above, I consider this to be an intrusion of privacy, as the message was added to the body of messages (I have evidence of this).

    TT’s IP addresses remain blacklisted, and to date they have refused to take any action, saying it is the responsibility of AOL.

    (Didn’t TT take over AOL, or was I imagining that?)

  33. I have a problem with mail. I can’t send files over a certain size. I use gmail. has anyone solved this?

  34. When connected via talktalk, I cannot use any other webmail service (pages time out). Nor can I send smtp mails (to any available server) over a certain size.
    Receiving using POP seems ok.

  35. Re: unsolicited e-mail attachments and blacklisting.

    Two weeks ago I received a small payment from Talktalk to recompense the lack of service and lost e-mails. Their IP addresses are still being blocked for SPAM, despite assurances that this is being dealt with.

    Now that the McCanns are suspects in the case of the disappearance of their daughter, I trust that Carphone Warehouse will reimburse any donations they encouraged people to make, as I am certain that the parents will need every penny of the £1,000,000+ raised to mount their respective defences.

    (I am pleased to say that I was not mug enough to be taken in by this fraud.)

  36. Have had a frustrating week with the same problems as MM and others. I now have 2 webmail addresses and one pop3 and can send no message with any of them. Latest discussion with techie from TalkTalk said I may have Spyware. I downloaded a spyware detection and sure enough found “invaders”. Dealt with them and hoped for the best. Still no difference to my email output. Next test is to borrow a laptop and try it out at home. Speed tests show 977 kbps download but upload doesn’t even register!


  38. I’ve been trying to help a client with their talktalk service.

    She is unable to use *ANY* email service. I have set the client up with email accounts at gmail, hotmail and yahoo and she can’t access any of them on her computer. It is a wireless setup, and the same happens when I use her network with my laptop – I can’t access any of my own email accounts or any of hers but other websites are fine!

    So that means it’s not a problem with her PC, it’s a problem wit her wireless router or talktalk…my money’s on talktalk!

    Anybody got any ideas? It’s doing my head in…

  39. Mark, I have exactly the same problem as you = did you get anywhere with this?

  40. Kaizer_Von_Krieg

    If its the TalkTalk Huwaei HG520 router your using there is a problem with the default MTU setting, log into the router via in Internet Explorer, username admin, password admin, got to Basic then WAN settings, within WAN settings change the MTU value to 1432 and the TCPMUS to 1452 if I remeber correctly. click submit then reboot the router, problem solved…

  41. Scratch that its
    TCP MSS – 1392
    MTU Option – 1432

  42. Symptoms:
    Unable to send email with attachments.
    Huwaei HG 520 default settings incorrect 1400 & 0.
    TCP MSS – 1392
    MTU Option – 1432

  43. I had same issue with a client.
    (win98 pc)
    she could only send 1kb mails, no larger and could not use the web mail. dial up seemed to work.
    I then installed her adsl modem on my laptop (winxp) using the lastest drivers from sagem. it worked fine , so I uninstalled all the talktalk sofeware and drivers. loaded the driver from sagem website and all works fine now.

    driver link:

    hope this helps someone.

  44. to: Kaizer_Von_Krieg
    Thank you so much for your advice. I was going crazy, was not able to log in to messenger, send any email from ANY account, and was not able to use any email client, I was on TalkTalk, and have Huwaei HG520 router. I followed your advice and it is working now. Thanks a lot.

  45. Hi all
    Have been having problems sending e-mails but could recieve ok all settings ok. When did manage to send e-mail files had to be tiny otherwise they would not send. Found problem to be router after 2days of tearing my hair out and speaking to TT. Plugged my original router back in(the one TT sent me in the first place) and all working fine now would suggest anyone having similar probs to check their router before blaming TT like me :]

  46. Just get your own domain name and hosting package – you can get them for £5.99/ year and use your own server and unique IP – all your email woes are solved! You take your address with you whatever Internet Provider you choose, and you have an email address that suits you!

  47. If your using talktalk in Ireland you have to use BT’s smtp (outgoing) server. I use and it works. All talktalk broadband here is just rebranded BT broadband.

    Hope this helps.

  48. hi,

    i am developing a small website with WAMP server on my pc. i need to setup aan email server like h4mailserver to use php code to effect mail sent from the website to any user. Question is does talktalk allow people to setup thier own email server at home? and how?
    Thank you.

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