So you’re having a problem with email. Can’t send, can’t receive.

There are any number of reasons as to why you’re having email issues. In this day and age of multiple email addresses, web hosting companies and ISPs, it can be a challenge to determine just what is happening where.

If you have a domain name and use your domain name email, and you’re having trouble:

Send an email from a free online account like Yahoo or Gmail to the account (or accounts) that you’re having issues with.

Determine whether the problem lies with your hosting company. You do this by simply logging into your webmail account (providing your webhosting offers this – most do) and try to send a message. If the message is sent, the problem is not with the hosting company. If you see a bunch of messages that you have not been able to download, then again, the problem is not with your hosting company, because the mail has arrived on the server.

Determine whether the problem lies with your ISP. Login to the webmail offered by your ISP. Send a message. If the message goes, then their server is working correctly.

If you’re having a problem with downloading messages, and you see a bunch of messages – the mail is hitting the server.

Checking webmail first will help you determine immediately that a problem does or does not lie with the companies you use. If the problem is not with them, then it’s local to your machine or network setup.

Check ports:

POP should be port 110.
SMTP should be port 25.

Does your ISP block port 25? Nowadays, they usually do. So if you have a domain name, the chances are good you’ll have to use your ISP to send mail, and receive your web hosting mail with a different setting for each. (Alternatively, your hosting company may offer a secondary port to get around this issue.)

Check and make sure your settings are correct. You may have to contact your ISP or webhosting company to determine this (or their FAQ pages.)

Check antivirus. Turn it off and send or receive. Still having issues? If not, this pretty much determines that the antivirus is the issue, and you’ll need to do some research on how to get around it. My antivirus causes issues, so I keep the SMTP scan turned off, but the POP scan on.

Some antivirus programs will change your email settings to reflect as your incoming and outgoing mail servers. You’ll need to change the mailservers to your correct mail servers.

Firewall settings. Turn off your firewall and see if you can send or receive email. If you can, then the firewall is the problem and you’ll need to look into the reasons why it may be fouling your ability to get email.

Make a note of any error messages you’re getting. In some programs, you can copy and paste the error – so copy and paste it into a text editor, and do a Google search on that error message. Quite often you can find the problem and the fix by doing this.

If you can’t copy and paste, write it down. Include any numbers you see. Writing it down verbatim is best.

You can always make a screenshot of the error and save it to send to your support team if nothing else works.