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3.1 Email

Bell blocks all traffic (incoming and outgoing) through port 25, except for it's own SMTP servers. The main reason that Bell does this is to avoid being being blacklisted for spam (junk e-mail). Here's why:

A common feature of SMTP servers is open-relaying. Open-relaying allows anybody on the internet to relay an email message through an SMTP server. The disadvantage of open-relaying is that it makes all messages appear to originate from the relaying server. For this reason, open-relaying is usually disabled because a spammer could use an SMTP server with an open-relay to send spam, and it would appear that the owner of the SMTP server is sending the spam instead of the spammer. This makes it very difficult to trace the origin of the spam and stop it.

If a Bell customer were to operate their own SMTP server, it is possible that it may be configured improperly with open-relaying enabled, and have spam relayed through it. In this situation, it appears that a Bell customer is sending the spam. So Bell avoids this situation by ensuring that no customer can operate their own SMTP server, and blocking port 25 effectively does just that.

One of the disadvantages of this arrangement is that it also prevents the use of any port 25 SMTP server other than the ones that Bell provides. (SMTP servers that use a port other than 25, like GMail which uses 465 for example, are not affected by this block.) So if you have a third-party e-mail provider, you will not be able to send outgoing mail through their SMTP server via port 25. You must use a Bell SMTP server over port 25.

Another disadvantage is that it prevents a Bell customer from running their own incoming SMTP e-mail server.

Please note that port 25 blocking does not affect incoming email through POP3 servers, which do not use port 25. You are free to use whatever POP3 provider you wish.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • Une message d'erreur comme celui-ci apparait depuis qu'une personne de chez Bell a joué dans mon ordinateur hier. :-( -->L'authentification a échoué car Outlook ne prend pas en charge les méthodes d'authentification disponibles. Que dois-je faire: J'ai un MAC 10.6.8 et utilise Outlook version 14.1 L'authentification a échoué car Outlook ne prend pas en charge les méthodes d'authentification disponibles. Merci de communiquer avec moi

    2011-11-17 19:30:38

  • Despite Bell's security reasoning behind this sudden monopolization, it does not change the fact that it represents a major inconvenience to its loyal customers, especially to does who run a business and rely on their e-mail addresses. Even if you do use your own server its no use since they close off port 25. This leaves you with no options.

    2011-10-18 08:45:18

by MacGyver See Profile
last modified: 2011-09-27 18:29:50

Incoming mail server (POP)

POP Server:
Port: 995
Authentication: Email address (e.g: and password (e.g.: a123456z)
SSL: Be sure to select the this server requires a secure connection (SSL) or use SSL (Secure Sockets Layers) option

Outgoing mail server (SMTP)

SMTP Server:
Port: 25
NOTE: Sympatico support recommends using port 587 for SMTP with server if you are getting SSL errors using port 25
Authentication: Email address (e.g: and password (e.g.: a123456z)
SSL: Be sure to select the this server requires a secure connection (SSL) or use SSL (Secure Sockets Layers) option

If you are still using the old servers, those settings are available here: » ··· id=15951 - Be aware that accounts are being transitioned to the new servers and eventually the old servers will be discontinued. When this happens, you will need to update your server settings.

More info, including how to configure your email client software: » ··· id=15951

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • Thank you. The internet could not answer my question, but you did. Changing the outgoing port to 587 from 25 was the key. Actually called Bell for help and they could not help because they don't support Office 2013 because it's too new??? What the hell ? It's almost 2015! Thanks again

    2014-10-15 21:53:21

  • Hi MacGyver!! Thanks for the tip "What are the addresses of the Sympatico email servers? (#10514)". I was getting nowhere on one of my computers using Port 25 with The current\upgrade site recommends/requires Port 25, and I didn't see anything about, 'in case of errors'. Port 587 is working just fine now. BTW, I am working with three WinXP SP3 computers, using Outlook 6 on all of them, Office 2003 Outlook on two of them, and Office 2000 Outlook on one of them. I had no problems using Port 25 on two computers, and no success in either program (Outlook Express 6, Office 2000 Outlook) on the third computer. The third computer is a bit old, slow, and bloated, but I haven't had any email problems with the previous server. I suspect there could be some timing/timeout issues, but nothing I know how to tweak. BTW2, all computers are using AVG antivirus, and the one with troubles only has the WinXP firewall, while the other two have Sygate and Comodo free firewalls. Thanks again for you posting.

    2010-01-06 11:47:38

  • Jan 6, 2009 - Sympatico support recommends using port 587 for SMTP with server if you are getting SSL errors using port 25.

    2009-01-06 14:31:31

by MacGyver See Profile
last modified: 2009-01-06 15:32:02

If you have the Enhanced Email Service, you can check your email at HotMail. Just enter your full email address and password.

Sympatico offers a free web-based email service, like Hotmail, called GetEmail. You can access it from any Internet-enabled computer from this URL:

Alternatively, you may use either of the following links to access your email (these may work better for those not using Internet Explorer or the latest version of Java)
»unifiedwebmessaging.bell ··· ogin.jsp

Note: Unlike POP3, the email you receive will still appear in your email inbox on your home computer when you return. Unless you delete them, of course. However, any email you send will not appear in your computer's outbox.

by quanta See Profile edited by MacGyver See Profile
last modified: 2007-08-25 13:08:36

If you are on the "old" mail platform (your email server is You can configure your mail account from the Sympatico GetEmail web-based email service.

You can:
- set vacation alerts
- set automatic replies
- auto-forward your email to somewhere else
- set up additional POP3 accounts you want to access via GetEmail
- activate the anti-spam filters

Go to, log in, and select "Options" on the top of the page. Choose from the various options on the left column.

If you are on the new email platform (your email server is with HotMail then these options do not apply to you. Refer to HotMail help for further information on how to configure the available features.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • there is no option for auro-forwarding

    2009-01-23 23:49:53

by quanta See Profile edited by MacGyver See Profile
last modified: 2008-04-23 19:47:25

I have came across this myself, and apparently, below is the proper settings:

Netscape 7/Mozilla:

Incoming (POP3) Server Settings:
User Name: (your full e-mail address)
User Pass: (your e-mail account / .NET password)
POP3 Server: -
- Check off "Use secure connection"

Outgoing (SMTP) Server Settings:
SMTP Server: -
- "TLS, if available"
- check off "Use name and password"
- Use your full e-mail address as the user name

According to Sympatico's tech. support, MSN is responsible for this new e-mail platform. Sadly, MSN has blocked off SMTP access for certain e-mail clients. According to my tests, Mozilla Mail is unable to send e-mail using the server. You can simply workaround this by using "SMTP8.SYMPATICO.CA" as your SMTP server.

by lawrence171 See Profile edited by BliZZardX See Profile
last modified: 2007-11-05 07:09:36

Sympatico has partnered with MSN to provide content to Sympatico customers. One of the changes with this relationship is that MSN now provides email service for new Sympatico customers, regardless if they subscribe to the MSN Premium service or not.

One way for an existing Sympatico customer to receive this upgrade is to subscribe to the MSN Premium service and then cancel. However, it is not necessary for existing customers to subscribe to the MSN Premium service to receive this upgrade. Simply visit » and follow the instructions to upgrade your email accounts at no charge.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Ensure that you thoroughly read the Help/FAQ Section and understand the changes that will be required, as well as the full conseqences of the change that will take place. This upgrade CANNOT be reversed so please do not proceed unless you completely understand what will happen.

Also be aware that some anti-virus scanners will not work with the new SSL secure login required by the upgraded email platform. If you use such an antivirus scanner, you will need to disable email scanning until your antivirus provider can supply a work-around or upgrade.

by MacGyver See Profile
last modified: 2005-01-01 23:03:27

The new Sympatico mail platform includes virus scanning at the server, the same that's used by Hotmail.

This basic virus scanning should not be considered a replacement for running your own local realtime virus scanner.

Credit Mister_E See Profile

by MacGyver See Profile
last modified: 2005-11-20 08:41:05

If you are having problems with the new MSN-enhanced Sympatico email or MSN Premium service, here is some important information:

How do I know if I'm using MSN-enhanced email?
You use the POP3 email server

Norton/Symantec AntiVirus
Certain versions of Norton/Symantec AntiVirus do not co-operate with the new secure SSL email protocol used for downloading email. In some cases, disabling email scanning will solve the problem. In other cases, you must uninstall Norton Antivirus completely in order to get email working again. Please refer to for more information. To date, Symantec has not announced plans to include SSL support for email scanning in a future update or release of its Antivirus software.

Anti-spam or Anti-virus software
Any anti-spam or anti-virus software which you use on your computer MUST be capable of using SSL for both incoming and outgoing e-mail, otherwise it will not work. In some software, you need to explicitly enable this feature. Please consult your documentation or ask in the Software Forum if you need help with your software.

Not receiving messages?
If you are not receiving email messages, they may be getting caught in the agressive spam filter. By default, the spam filter is set to "high" - To change this setting, you need to login to each mailbox via this page and go to the options section to lower or disable the spam filtering. Please note that any mail flagged as spam will only be kept for three days - after that it will be deleted without any possibility of recovery.

Login Problems
If you cannot login to your account via the Sympatico website, or get the ".net email not supported" error message, you need to call 310-SURF and immediately ask for a second level technician to have your email account access restored. This technician will contact MSN on your behalf to do this, and have your account access restored while you wait on the line (about a 15 minute wait).

by MacGyver See Profile

As a Sympatico Enhanced member, you can have up to 11 e-mail addresses: one main address and 10 additional ones.

by Viscera See Profile edited by MacGyver See Profile
last modified: 2005-05-03 06:33:34

Yes. According to administrators in Sympatico's own internal forums, a "no migrate" list exists. You can have your name put on it if you call 310-SURF. However you can not be go back to the old mail platform if you have already been upgraded (or upgrade yourself) to the new MSN platform.

Hi *********,

I completely understand the reasons why you would be worried by the
unlikely event that the US Government will actually enact the Patriot
Act and "spy" on your email and I appreciate the time you took to
compose your response.

That being said, at this point the only alternative is to refuse being
migrated to the MSN platform. This will prevent us from doing it
automatically for you. Once we have the segment of customers that have
refused to be migrated, we will have to decide what we can do to
accommodate those customers since one domain cannot exist in two places
or email destined for it won't go anywhere.

If you wish to not be migrated, please call into 310-SURF and let them
know. There is nothing wrong with this request.


Christian Belanger

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • This can be removed since everyone is on the MSN Platform now.

    2008-12-13 15:27:17 (Deadpool0 See Profile)

by DKS See Profile edited by MacGyver See Profile
last modified: 2006-05-07 11:44:39

In thunderbird, go: tools-> account settings
•under e-mail address "someone"
•go->server settings : at "server Name" : port 995
•user name put "someone"
•server settings below, make sure use secure connection (ssl) is checked.

For sending e-mail : go: tools-> account settings->outgoing server (smtp)
•server name:
•port 25 (note, if port 25 does not work, try using 587 instead)
•use name and password-> checked
•user name "someone"
•use secure connection : TLS

It will ask you for your password the first time, you can leave it like that, or use the optional remember password.

If you still have trouble sending email after following the above instructions, your Anti-Virus scanner may be to blame. Try disabling it temporarily. Many Anti-Virus scanners do not work at all with secure connections, while others require different settings. Contact your Anti-Virus provider to see if there are workarounds, patches, or updated versions to enable scanning of outgoing secure email.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • Thank you Thank you Thank you - 5 minutes, and your guidelines have made it possible for me to capture my sympatico account into Thunderbird. Next, I'm going to set aside a moring and a pot of coffee, and import the last 8 years of Eudora into Thunderbird. Thanks again,

    2010-05-02 11:50:30

  • What are the settings to get thunderbird to work with email

    2010-02-23 15:51:34

  • Solution worked perfectly (and yes I needed the port 587 alternate). Thanks so much for putting the effort into researching and posting ... a shame sympatico tech support didn't provide TBird support directly on their web site (I noticed that they did for every incarnation of a Microsoft email product ... :P Anyway - thanks. Worked perfectly.

    2010-01-10 11:36:14

  • I too had problems sending mail w/ Thunderbird through server Eventually got around it by using server on port 25 with no secure connection.

    2009-08-27 20:56:49

  • I just bought a new laptop and downloaded Thunderbird, hoping that the Sympatico issues were fixed. It used to work for me, then I started having problems with the outgoing mail so I had been using outlook (not good - it doesn't even have a spam filter). The above advice worked, so thanks! (port 25, TLS). I can't remember Thunderbird ever being that easy to set up with Sympatico email accounts (grrr Bell). Peace, Jen.

    2009-08-09 13:38:26

  • This is good - the TLS instead of SSL secure connection setting. Thanks a lot!

    2009-07-07 12:57:55

by MacGyver See Profile
last modified: 2007-12-08 11:35:48