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Unable to send email over wifi

Since moving home I have been unable to send ntlworld email from my Virgin broadband. If I switch to a 4g data connect, the email will send.

Virgin technical team did look at this issue and it actually worked for a week but has now gone back to failing all the time. I don't get any message other than that the mail failed to send. When trying from the PC in outlook I get a popup to enter my user credentials which are correct.

Any help would be gratefully appreciated.

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Re: Unable to send email over wifi

Although there are a couple of possible reasons for this, there is one which seems to be particularly common and perfectly describes the symptoms you are reporting. The least 'techy' way of quickly testing for this to to do the following.

On the PC open a web browser and browse to  https://duckduckgo.com/?q=ip&ia=answer 
at the top of the screen is will say 'Your IP address is a.b.c.d  in some location (don't worry if this is nowhere near where you actually are, all we need is the IP address)

Now browse to https://www.spamhaus.org/query/ip/ but before pressing return, add the IP address you got earlier to the end of the line after the /

ie https://www.spamhaus.org/query/ip/17.18.19.20 If 17.18.19.20 were the four numbers you got earlier (PS it definitely won't be those numbers)

This page will display Blocklist Removal Center and a set of results something like '17.18.19.20 is listed in the SBL'.

You need to see what is comes up with and report back with the results BUT whatever you do NO NOT include the actual IP address, just;

the address is listed in PBL, it is not listed in SBL etc.

I'm afraid that if the result comes back as I expect it will then you're going to have a bit of work on your hands to fix it!

Incidentally how long ago did you move and have you tried sending mail from the VM web interface on the PC?

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Re: Unable to send email over wifi

Actually if you do fancy being a bit more 'techy' a more elegant method is this.

Open up a windows command prompt and in it enter the following :

curl -v smtps://smtp.virginmedia.com -u username:password 2>&1 | findstr "235 VM"

and replace the word username and password with your actual ntlworld email address and email password respectively (you need to keep the : between them).

A couple of users have reported trying this but it doesn't reply properly, I suspect they either haven't typed it in correctly or have mistaken the | symbol just before findstr. It's not a capital letter I or lower case l, it's actually the pipe operator and on a windows keyboard it is usually shift \ bottom left of the keyboard.

This will return the actual error code which the server is sending back but which neither the mobile device nor Outlook know how to interpret so just give a sort of generic 'bad password' error. The advantage here is that the error code will say exactly what the problem is. If it is what I think it is the message will come back with VM305 

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Re: Unable to send email over wifi

Thanks for the detailed instructions. They are most appreciated.

You are right, the error that was returned is

525 5.7.13 Authentication Denied (VM305)

Mail does appear to send ok from the web interface.

We actually moved in July but I don't use my ntlworld email that much these days, however the wife does and is starting to give me grief 🙂

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Re: Unable to send email over wifi

Hello

That error message is very specific and means that something on your home network is sending spam and has been  reported, what you need to do to find the device is follow this https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Security-matters/Searching-for-Spambots-on-your-network/td-p/40...

You can check your listing yourself but there is no point requesting removal until you have found and deleted the spambot. https://www.spamhaus.org/query and type in your external IP you can gets this my typing "whats my ip" into google.

If you are running Hola VPN Free, then note But Hola Free VPN is anything but a VPN.

Regards Mike

 

I'm a Very Insightful Person, I'm here to share knowledge, I don't work for Virgin Media. Learn more

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Re: Unable to send email over wifi

Yes; well the good news is that we know exactly what the issue is, and the bad news is that we know exactly what the issue is!

The previous post has given a link to a post setting out the procedure for fixing this but first a bit of background.

Spamhaus is a company which collates reports of spam emails being sent out and maintains a list of the IP addresses which they are coming from. Spamhaus makes this list available to companies and they can do with it what they will, Spamhaus doesn't block email or tell other companies what to do. When you try to send an email using a VM connection, the server checks the IP address where you are connecting from (your public WAN address) and compares it to the list, if the address is listed then the VM server denies the connection and returns the VM305 message - your email client often just interprets this as a generic 'password error' message.

So the question is how can I stop the spam being sent from my address? Once you do so and Spamhaus receives no more reports, then you are delisted after about 24 hours. It is important to understand that this doesn't have anything to do with the actual email programs you are using. What has happened is that some malware has become installed on one of your devices on your network and is sending out spam messages to the internet entirely on its own, bypassing your PC or phone email client. From the outside world it isn't possible to see the actual device responsible, only that spam email is coming out of your network so the entire address and everything on it gets blocked. An analogy might be that if I sat outside your house, I could make of note of everyone who came out of the front door but I couldn't see which room inside the house they came from.

The first step is to think very carefully about all of the devices you have connected to the internet. You can run malware scans of PCs fairly easily but often it's not them, more commonly it's something like an Amazon Firestick (for example) where out of the box it's perfectly clean but someone finds a free piece of software which allows you to view TV shows and movies without a subscription - ever wondered why they are free and what the writers and distributors are getting for it? 

Nothing can be regarded as absolutely above suspicion but Apple devices are far less likely to be the culprit because of their locked down nature and the App store restrictions. Android devices can have all sorts of stuff installed so I'd be more suspicious of those. Ask yourself if anything has been installed fairly recently which might have come from a 'slightly less than reliable source' 

If you think you know what the culprit might be, then disconnect it or factory reset it and see if your ability to send email returns after a day or so. As I said the rogue device is talking directly to the internet so to track it down properly we need a means of intercepting all of the traffic being sent out by the VM hub and the method outlined in the link mentioned about is how to do that.

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Message 7 of 9
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Re: Unable to send email over wifi

Really do appreciate the advice and info. 

We bought an Amazon Firestick shortly after moving in. Would removing apps solve the issue or does it need a full factory reset?

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Re: Unable to send email over wifi

In theory removing any 'less than kosher' apps should work but you can never be too sure what else they may have been installing silently in the background. The old adage of 'take off and nuke the site from orbit - it's the only way to be sure'  applies here!

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Re: Unable to send email over wifi

I think I may be on top of the problem now. I've been clean for a week and emails are working again.

I removed unused apps off the firestick. I will continue to monitor the situation over the next few weeks.

Thanks everyone for their help.

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