Can’t send outgoing email when using a different ISP

You’re not a newbie–you know you have all your email settings configured properly in your email client (Outlook, Thunderbird, etc). In fact, you can send and receive email just fine from one ISP. But when you connect your laptop at a different location which uses a different ISP, all of a sudden you can’t send outgoing email. You get an error message like this one:

Send Message Error in Thunderbird

Send Message Error in Thunderbird

The issue:
In an effort to stop spam, many ISPs (Comcast, Cox, many others) block all traffic to port 25 on anything except their own SMTP servers.

The fix:
Replace the default SMTP Port 25 with 587. RFC 2476 explains why this works for newer SMTP servers. (For, the fix is to change port to 26.)

Alternate fix:
You will have to use your ISP’s default SMTP servers. Here is a tentative list that has not been checked for accuracy:

  • Earthlink: (To verify, visit
  • Comcast: (To verify, visit
  • Sympatico: or (To verify, visit
  • AT&T: (To verify, visit
  • Netzero: (To verify, visit
  • Charter Communications: (To verify, visit
  • MSN: (To verify, please check with your MSN provider)
  • RCNL: (To verify, visit
  • (To verify, visit
  • (CT, FL, GA, LA, NC, OH, RI, VA); (KS, NE, OK, UT, West TX); (AZ, CA, NV); (for customers
    in AR, ID, LA, MI, East TX, Tyler). Port 587 may also be required for SMTP. To verify, visit
  • Rogers: May require port 587 for smtp. To verify, visit
  • AOL: May require port 587 for smtp. To verify, visit

How to turn auto-generation of ID numbers off

identityAlthough not recommended, sometimes it is necessary to turn auto-generation of ID numbers off in your database. For instance, I was in a situation where I was completely redesigning a database (deleting tables, renaming tables, purging data, entering new data, ec.). However, the client was insistent on maintaining the ID numbers that were associated with specific items that they wanted to keep.

This is how I turned off the auto-generation of ID numbers in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Management Studio:

  1. Right-click on the table name and hit Design
  2. In the Column Properties tab, find Identity Specification and expand the section
  3. For (Is Identity) change the dropdown to No
  4. Hit Save

If you encounter the following error message, you will need to perform an additional step:error

Go to Tools > Options and click “Designers”.

Uncheck the “Prevent saving changes that require table re-creation” and hit OK.


Try the above steps again.

When you are done, make sure to turn auto-generation back on!!!