I have a customer who is recently having problems sending email using MSFT Outlook, starting on 17-Nov-04. Her connection to the internet is via DirecPC, but her email account is with EarthLink.
Up until recently, she has been able to send mail through this mailhost swimmingly, regardless of whether she was using a wired or wireless network over DirecPC, or using dialup networking into EarthLink central.
More recent history has been a different and undesirable experience. The symptom is a timeout.
I've done some problem isolation. The smtp port at the EarthLink mailhost can be connected to using either Outlook or Telnet. Using Telnet, I do get a greeting from the EarthLink mailhost, so the SMTP protocol does indeed flow unencumbered. Also, I've been sending email from her computer to my email address via this path, and one message made it through (although the response was that all sent messages had failed).
I've chatted with a technical support representative of EarthLink about what possible changes there may have been with the EarthLink network or mailhost. He or she said (typed) that the problem is with DirecPC, not with their mailserver, and that we'll need to (re)configure outbound email to go through the DirecPC mailhost. This conclusion was supported by the fact that the sending of mail when connected via dialup does work.
Does anyone have any thoughts on any of this, or am I just barking up the wrong tree?