You don't say what server you're trying to telnet into. Remember telnet ONLY supports plain text connections. If a server expects an SSL connection it will hang once you get in as it waits for the client to negotiate a secure connection.
If you are trying to access pop3.virginmedia.com it only supports secure connections on port 995.
From a standards viewpoint it's been recommended that people DON'T send their credentials over plain text since 1997 as it can be intercepted by hackers.
So no I wouldn't recommend simply using telnet to pop.ntlworld.com on port 110 any more. Installing stunnel should be fairly easy for someone such as yourself. The default configuration file contains example connections for gmail POP3, IMAP and SMTP. I simply amended the config to point to VM's servers instead.
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I've never heard of stunnel.? I must admit I do not keep uptodate that much anymore.
The telnet was just to see if the server was working?, as part of the debug process to find out why my email was no longer working?
It worked on webmail, so I suspected the pop server and know that they can go down now and again. My sister is always calling me with the sky server and I try and explain that they can go down, no matter how infrequently. 🙂
That was just me trying to see if I could at least get in to it. Just tested with 110 and still works. 🙂
I have removed he recent: prefix from both my ntlworld and virginmedia addresses, so will see how it goes.