When i was in Lagos, our ISP was SwiftTalk, from office to house. In the office, we use a D-Link wireless router. In the staff houses (we have 4), we use a plethora of routers — Netgear, Belkin and Linksys.

All routers have same local ip:

I am using MS Outlook 2003, Windows XP SP2, HP Laptop.

My Antivirus is Kaspersky 6. I disabled the Mail security.

So far, this setup works fine, seamless. From the office, i would just close my laptop (without shutting down), and when i reached home, voila!, connected immediately — in any of the routers mentioned.

When i got transferred to Enugu, our ISP is Verbum Networks. Router is Linksys WRT54G v7.

This is when my email nightmare started. I can receive email using Outlook, but i cannot send from Outlook. The result was that, i have to login from the webmail (browser) interface of the company’s email to send my messages. Then i will leave my Outlook to receive messages.

This is because i configured my Outlook to leave original messages in the server. Sort of backup.

I tried searching for solutions on the net and i saw that all the posters with the same problem as mine were using Linksys (any models). So i thought maybe the Linksys router has a problem. But hey, we’ve got the same router working just fine in Lagos. So what gives now?

I e-mailed to Verbum for support but they couldn’t figure out the problem, either.

I have tried every solution i can find in the internet, such as:

1. disabling antivirus or the mailscan features
2. disable firewall.
3. put pop/smtp among the firewall exceptions
4. adjusted the MTU on the router
5. added PortTriggering 25-25 and IncomingRange: 113-113
6. Uncheck the “server authentication” in the Outlook (internet resources tells you to uncheck authentication and not to use SPA or SSL)
7. changed the ports on POP/SMTP
8. power down router
9. complain to ISP
10. connect directly to the ‘extender’ (wifi internet)

All to no avail. Nada. Zilch. Nil… Na big wahala o. MS Outlook still couldn’t send out mails.

I tried free (defunct) ¬†Eudora, but alas, it doesn’t work both ways — cannot send or receive. (Duh! Good thing Eudora is no longer in business. The way it imported my Outlook emails made me feel like i’ve just installed the humongous Norton AV. Eudora converted the mails into files. And separated all attachments.). It didn’t work. So i uninstalled Eudora. Finish.

With insanity setting in, i decided to download and install Mozilla Thunderbird. Nothing to lose.

My initial settings are the same as my Outlook, especially on POP: 110 and SMTP: 25.

I tried sending email but it cannot even connect to the server. Darrn…

Out of desperation, and against all expert advices from the internet, i checked the “SSL” box for POP and for SMTP. When SSL is checked, the ports will change. POP is now 995 and SMTP is 465.

Sent test email again. Thunderbird responded with a dialog box about my ISP’s server certificate. I clicked “Yes” to continue.

This time, to my great surprise, the email went out. Still unbelieving, i send several emails to my POP mail and to my yahoo email.

Eureka! All mails arrived…. I did it!

I got Mail!

I would have kissed Thunderbird and sing paeans to it for solving the riddle. But then, some good things never last, like some cliche. Yes, Thunderbird can send email, but it cannot manage well the options to leave original messages on the server. Everytime i click Fetch, i mean “Get Mail”, Thunderbird stumbles. The status bar message said: “Downloading 1 of 140″… And i only wanted to check New mails. Obviously, trying to download first the 140 old messages can cause wear and tear to Thunderbird, and time-out error occurs with neither the old emails or the new emails coming in. na-wow!

So i went back to MS Outlook 2003. And with a silent glee and overflowing confidence, i checked the “SSL” options for both POP/SMTP, automatically changing the ports to 995/465.

I tried sending a mail. Crossed my fingers. Waited. Two instances of server certificate challenge came up, and i just clicked “Yes”, and walla, the mail went out of Outbox. I can now send and receive emails from my MS Outlook.

Yes! Thanks, Frank S., but i did it my way……

The solution? The ISP required the use of SSL for e-mail client to connect to POP mail servers, and that server certificate means that i was finally able to connect to the mailserver.

This solution worked for my colleagues using Vista/Outlook 2007 also.

Just make sure to UNCHECK the box that says “My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication”.

Now, this is not a be-all solution to this problem. This SSL-check is just one of those solutions on the issue of not being able to send e-mail using Outlook (MS or OE) with a Linksys router.

Poor Linksys, i almost had it trapled by elephants out of desperation.

Happy to be using Outlook again.