what do you do when you're staying at hotels and their network blocks traffic on port 25?
June 7, 2004 5:36 PM   Subscribe

Road warriors: what do you do when you're staying at hotels and their network blocks traffic on port 25? It's frustrating to not be able to send email, and SquirrelMail as an alternative to Mail.app in OS X isn't quite good enough for me.
posted by redshifter to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
You might want to consider setting a web-based host on your site,
or using an existing system such as Spymac's.

You could also try a "disposable" service like Mailinator or Spamgourmet.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:51 PM on June 7, 2004

If you are hosting your own mailserver, or if you are friendly enough with your ISP, they might consider opening SMTP up on an alternate port.

Also, some ISPs support alternate delivery mechanisms like SMTP tunnelled over SSH.

Of course, it might not be the Hotel that's blocking your access - some ISPs only allow you to use their SMTP servers when you are connected directly to their network, or if you've done a POP or IMAP before send.
posted by tomierna at 6:15 PM on June 7, 2004

Check port 2525. My host (pair Networks) has a "relay" SMTP server (you authenticate by checking your POP box, then you're OK to use the SMTP server) and they have that port for use when 25 is blocked.
posted by bcwinters at 6:26 PM on June 7, 2004

Good looking out, people. I think it is the hotel that is blocking port 25, since my ISP and my web/email hosting provider are separate companies (SBC Yahoo and Mediatemple, respectively).
posted by redshifter at 6:31 PM on June 7, 2004

To expand on skallas' answer: if you have access to any shell accounts from which it is possible to send mail, then ssh port-forwarding is the quick-and-easy way. A command like this

ssh -L 2525:mailhost.example.com:25 shellhost

will log into shellhost, and as a side effect, as long as you're logged in, any connections to port 2525 on your local machine will be tunneled through the ssh connection and connected to mailhost.example.com port 25. (Mailhost will see the connections as coming from shellhost.)

You can buy shell account access at many ISPs for around $5/month (Drizzle and Eskimo North are two I've used and liked, I'm sure there are others. Possibly you could use freeshell.)
posted by hattifattener at 10:33 PM on June 7, 2004

If you haven't done so already, you might consider calling the hotel's tech support line, if they have one. (If you can't find a number to call, explain the problem to the front desk, and they might be able to hook you up with whomever the right person is.) It seems to me that one of the biggest advantages of internet access in hotel rooms is to allow travelers to check their email, so blocking 25 is not useful. (And in fact, most hotels do not block 25.) You're surely not the only person having trouble with it. It's possible that the block is a mistake, and that they can fix it. Or, if they're blocking it on purpose, feedback that this is not desirable could get them to change it.
posted by blue mustard at 2:47 AM on June 8, 2004

If I had to choose between a hotel with free wifi and one without, I'd definitely choose the free option. DID YOU HEAR THAT HOTELIERS OF AMERICA?!

[pissed at having to pay wayport 10 bucks a day]
posted by mecran01 at 6:47 AM on June 8, 2004

I would certainly do the same, mecran01. I know that T-Mobile HotSpots (at Starbucks etc) blocks port 25 as well -- I can get email, but I can't send it (maybe due to needing to authenticate SMTP?). It's a drag.
posted by redshifter at 10:29 AM on June 8, 2004

Man, we really need a mail service that does both outgoing and ingoing mail.

Like, oh, fastmail.fm? They have a proxy service that lets you send mail on basically any port. To send mail through their server, however, you must sign up for a member account, which is a $14.95 one-time fee.

I wonder if IMAP can be hacked so that putting stuff in the outgoing folder just sends it.

I don't think so, but many POP servers support XTND XMIT, which is a way to send mail using POP. If your mail client supports it (Eudora does), you can use that.
posted by kindall at 2:21 PM on June 8, 2004

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