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Ridgefield, CT

SMTP auth issues for Torrington @sbcglobal.net user?

D'aww, I only show up when there's trouble!

Mom has been happily abiding with her service for months since I gave up and swapped in a Netgear (Staples-sourced) for the latest flaky 2Wire 2701HG [constant 'DMA errors' - did I miss a legitimate explanation for this after the 'just ignore it even though it drops the link for seconds every time' handwaving about a year back?].*

However, for the past week or two, she suddenly lost outgoing mail access through smtp.att.yahoo.com, and trying to walk through a switch to "outbound.att.net" results in equivalent authentication errors despite using the same login and password that'd been working for ages [checked before we disturbed the password field in her mail client by retyping it].

It's an @sbcglobal.net account. Anyone aware of global or local issues re: same? A perusal of other complaints suggests this crops up as a 'regional' problem randomly, but that reads more like the centralized MTA is losing access to certain auth DBs than anything that might truly be local (then again, I don't know how decentralized all the various pools of auth info are stored within Ma Bell 2.0's mothership!).

Also, if I should be aware of any service upgrades or options available to people who've been automatically renewing whatever the 'default' 1.5mbit/"cheap" plan is for years in Ridgefield or Torrington, or impending service changes, let me know - just been too busy and out-of-the-loop. [Being "stuck" with free cable c/o the landlords at my new residence is making me realize 1.5 is getting a little long in the tooth, but I'm not feeling a lot of love for any provider, and hey, kudos to AT&T for keeping service up during last year's storms even when there was no power available to use it.]


*Used to be a big 2Wire fan, too, but those last couple products before they got bought out certainly seem to have been 'troubled.'


Edit: Probably important info - the client is Mail.app on Mac OS Lion (or possibly ML, it's been a while). As far as I can tell without VNC'ing in, this only provides options for "SSL" on/off, no specific way to demand it go straight to TLS over SSL, but maybe I've missed something. The auth problem is only with SMTP and it seems to be making the link properly and just getting the l/p combination [as happily works in »mail.yahoo.com and still works with pop.att.yahoo.com] rejected, though.

New Haven, CT
These are the settings I'm using for Outlook (on a Windows PC) with no problems sending or receiving from my @sbcglobal.net email address.

Incoming Mail Server: inbound.att.net
Incoming Server (POP3) Port: 995
Enable SSL

Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP): outbound.att.net
Outgoing server (SMTP) Port: 465
Enable SSL

Or see this AT&T Support link...

I gave her time to steal my mind away
San Jose, CA
·Pacific Bell - SBC
reply to Floid
Ma Bell was killed off in 1984, and she isn't coming back. What currently exists is more of a zombie, or a Frankenstein monster.

All email is now handled by Yahoo! severs, despite the aliases:
C:\Dig>nslookup outbound.att.net
Server:  homeportal
Non-authoritative answer:
Name:    smtp.att.mail.fy4.b.yahoo.com

Aliases:  outbound.att.net
Both POP3 and SMTP service had some issues with certificate expiration recently. I have no idea if that is the problem you are having.

~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum


Ridgefield, CT
said by NormanS:

Ma Bell was killed off in 1984, and she isn't coming back. What currently exists is more of a zombie, or a Frankenstein monster.

All email is now handled by Yahoo! severs, despite the aliases:
. . .

Yep, I was just being snarky. Mostly because it let me imagine the idea of "whups, lost access to a regional auth DB," which ... well, the history that results in the possibility of that sort of federation existing makes me wince and giggle in equal parts. 'Nothing personal!', just mind-boggling.

FWIW, if you notice, the various permutations of the various SMTP servers once/currently favored do resolve to slightly different permutations of CNAMEs with different addresses, so there was room to wonder if one might've dropped some such association while another did not.

Both POP3 and SMTP service had some issues with certificate expiration recently. I have no idea if that is the problem you are having.

That sounds promising - I'll have a look into it, although it made it to the point in the SMTP handshake to be rejected (or so the client seems to claim), so not so sure it'll be the culprit.

Anyhow, still an open issue until the wrench in the works is located or it magically goes back to working.


The ATT SMTP issue to be issue specific to Apple Mail:



Ridgefield, CT
said by Givo :

The ATT SMTP issue to be issue specific to Apple Mail:


Cheers, found that thread in an earlier stage of its evolution, I believe.

So yay, we've got an interaction between one single mail client that happens to be the popular-default on its platform, and ... a slight indication that either of AT&T or Yahoo are possibly maybe aware of it should-have-been-fixed-a-week-ago?

The lack of technical detail is impressive (not that I expect a lot on Apple forums, and right now the last post seems to be an "I made toast and suddenly I got some mail so making toast must be important" red herring - or at least, I walked my user through the same to no avail, and POP was still fine for her while SMTP is the issue) ... kind of amazed they'd leave the entire? Apple userbase in the lurch for so long, but if I had to choose 2 or 3 corporate entities that would have to interact to resolve an issue...

Oh well, more searching for me. Apparently it's still a problem because no bolus of previously un-sendable mail has made its way to me yet.

[How's life for iPhone customers? Does iOS even use POP+SMTP in the default configuration?]
Expand your moderator at work


Sacramento, CA
reply to Floid

Re: SMTP auth issues for Torrington @sbcglobal.net user?

You can usually resolve this problem by changing your dns servers. Not sure why but the issue is that the Mac Mail.app is not getting a response from the smtp server using the default ATT dns servers. I have had success with both Google DNS and Open DNS. I have also heard of ATT providing alternate DNS servers with success.


Ridgefield, CT
Actually, I did some poking at this, and it seems even AT&T's servers will recurse and toss in A records for what the CNAME for outbound.att.net resolves to - but the little DNS proxy in the Netgear at mom's place won't recurse and only returns the CNAME record. Perhaps official AT&T 2Wires [and most other consumer gateway appliances] have the same issue?

I haven't gotten around to walking mom through overriding DHCP for DNS and knocking at AT&T (or other) servers directly - and I haven't received any mail from her, so clearly she's still out - but I'm guessing that might be it. It's certainly the only 'variable' I can see involving DNS, anyway. [Unless Mail.app is simply ignoring the server handshake in a paranoid way based on the name mismatch due to the DNS alias - which is what it looks like from the logs someone posted elsethread - but then this won't be solved by switching DNS providers...]


Ridgefield, CT
Or, maybe it's "none of the above" per "dshuford" in:


... asking her to try that workaround (mail.bellsouth.net, unencrypted, no auth), will post back with the results.

I assume they'll break that once they get outbound.att.net working for Mac Mail.app users, if there's any truth to it at all.

[Edited to clarify that the issue is said to be specific to Mail.app. Haven't tested personally from her machine, but I know everything's fine with other clients used from elsewhere.]