You see something new every day..

That’s the thing about working in IT, every once in awhile, you get to see something go wrong, and say “I have no idea why that just happened”. Today it was an SMTP change implemented by the place that acts as our ISP. I keep a completely seperate account in Outlook on my work desktop, from this domain in fact, so that I can interact through email with other IT folks during the course of the work day, without having to use web-mail or give out my work email address. Well, I always figured that someday the ISP might start blocking port 25 and I’d have to do something different, but I always figured I would find out when I sent an email using that account and it simply got blocked. Wrong!

Turns out that rather than blocking the port 25 traffic, they redirected it, I guess. So when I sent an email from that account, it got re-routed to my work SMTP settings, and the return address got changed to my work address! I’ve never seen that behavior before, and I wasn’t exactly happy about it either, since I don’t want my work email address getting out to the public!

Turns out, after a few emails back and forth with the ISP, who didn’t really have any explanation, that if I change the SMTP to send this account’s email through our ISP’s server, it doesn’t change the return address, which is better. Not perfect, but I checked the headers and can see where it has the ISP’s mail server name and not our company name anywhere so I can live with it, or I can just use Gmail from now on and keep it all on the web. 😉

Strange update: My laptop, which has all of my personal accounts setup in Outlook, but not my work account, doesn’t display this behavior at all. If I plug it into my work network, I can send using any SMTP server, and the address stays consistent. So it’s not the ISP, it’s something on this desktop! Ugh!

Second Update: This discussion thread seemed to have a good grip on what was happening, and changing it to authenticate to the SMTP server allowed me to send using my own SMTP server again. The strange thing that bugs me is why this changed all of the sudden, and why, once I authenticated the one time, I could turn it off and everything was back to the way it was yesterday!

Tags: SMTP Outlook

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