Error receiving on Port 110

I have a guy with a fairly simple business network (a modem and several routers) who's having trouble sending email.  The clients use Port 110 for receiving email (POP3).  It's been working fine for several months then, without warning, started giving him problems this week.  Here's a copy of the last email he sent me.  I'm more of a software development guy and not a networking guru so I'm tapping as many resources as I can (including technical support at the hosting company).

- I have spent hours and hours on this POP3 timeout problem today
- This includes multiple phone calls to Comcast Business Services, who see my modem easily
- I installed a brand new modem and Comcast successfully configured it
- Multiple routers have been swapped in
- Routers have been set back to factory default, set to a previous known working configuration, and rebooted more times than I care to remember
- accepts POP sending on port 25
- It does not, and has not for much of this week, allow POP receiving on port 110 (this is the problem)
- My comcast address works just fine on port 110
- When I use the modem directly with no router under it, all POP processes--domainname or comcast--work
- However, using the modem and router, I can use Comcast mail on ports 25 and 110; I can ping easily; I can send mail using easily; and we have internet access. It is only the port 110 for receiving mail that is an issue.
- I set up the account in Outlook Express, at the request of Comcast tech, thinking that Thunderbird was perhaps the problem. OE gave exactly the same error: Connection to timed out.
- I have uninstalled Microsoft updates from June 12 and since, and Mozilla Firefox 3, thinking any of them could have somehow messed up using port 110
- Using the cPanel, I created a brand new address, (pw password), but it shows the same issue: Connecting, hangs there, and times out
- I entered the mail server's IP address in the server field in Thunderbird's settings, with port 110; no difference
- I cannot (in cmd prompt) successfully telnet 110
- Comcast and other help I asked say my hosting company needs to check the server
- Perhaps there was a software update that affected the server this week?
- The only far-fetched thing to do yet, besides the possibility of a server glitch, is buy a new router that I know is brand new.

Cheers (maybe)
Who is Participating?
war1Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Hello theclay,

So you cannot receive email on either Thunderbird or Outlook Express, but you can send.

1. Register an important send/receive library file.  Go to Start > Run and type regsvr32 inetcomm.dll

2. Check if antivirus email check is slowing sending and receiving.  Disable it. Check if other programs running in the background is interfering. Disable one at a time the Firewall, antispyware, antispam, and all Norton programs.

3. In OE, In the account settings, Advanced settings, change the server timeout time from 1 min to 5 min

6. If no joy, create a new  Windows profile.

Hope this helps!
theclayAuthor Commented:
war1 (and anyone else who contributes)

I do not have access to the client's computer right now and I don't know how much he'll be able to do today.  We might not be able to do too much testing until next week.  In the mean time, keep sending possible solutions as you think of them.  I will distribute points to multiple solutions if I find them helpful.

You should have a means to login via webmail to see the messages in the mailbox.  Are you able to do this?  Whilst you are there check the FAQ's for the following two pieces of information:-

I take it that in Thunderbird you have setup the POP3 server to be the address that you have been advised to use by the Mailbox Hosting company.  Check this detail with the hosting company.

Ditto the Username.  The Username is not necessarily the full email address, it may be something else - it varies between different mailbox providers.
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theclayAuthor Commented:
We are able to log in to webmail and check mail there.

The username and server settings are correct since we did have this set up and working properly for several months.  It seems to have stopped functioning in the past week or so.  We are in contact with the email provider and no changes have been made on the server.

All indications seem to point to a problem in the client's hardware somewhere.
It sounds to me like war1's suggestion about firewall, anti virus programs is the most likely solution.  I don't think this sounds like hardware to me.
theclayAuthor Commented:
We'll check it out - unfortunately it won't happen until Monday (6/23)
vigodConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I am also on Comcast and in the past week have been experiencing intermittent bouts where I cannot connect for incoming email on port 110.  It appears comcast could be blocking 110 at their firewall on a sporadic basis.

I tried to telnet to port 25 and could do that fine and have access to everything else.  I disabled my norton to ensure this was not firewall related and still cannot telnet from my system to port 110 on my email servers.

I am a sysadmin for linux and windows and right now everything points to Comcast blocking 110 for some reason.  Using telnet at dos prompt eliminates the outlook variable and shows that the port is being blocked.  I can traceroute fine to our mail servers.  I tried 3 of our mail servers and all are port 110 blocked and are on different networks at different hosts.  Comcast needs to check their firewall
moorhouselondonConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Recommendation to your end client:-

Dispense with using POP3, get a mail server (I recommend Mdaemon - the Standard product is probably good enough) organise direct SMTP to the client's domain, ensure reverse DNS is setup, then there is no dependancy on mickey mouse intermediaries to deliver their email.
Oh, forgot: client will need one fixed IP address (ideally, or use a DDNS service - back to relying on a third party, therefore not recommended).
theclayAuthor Commented:
Very viable solution.  I'll check the client's budget.
theclayAuthor Commented:
OK - seems like vigod might be right on the money here.  The email is now intermittent and Comcast seems to be hedging and not giving straight answers.  I think we'll go with that solution for now.  Only other option seems to be to buy a new router, but that's a bunch of bull.  Points get distributed to all since all input was and is appreciated.
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