Testing Your POP Account From a Command Line Interface

When you have trouble with email, it can be quite helpful to see how your computer connects to the mail server. These actions take place behind the scenes, and are performed by your mail client.

If you’re a Windows XP (and previous) user, go to “Start” and “Run” and type “cmd” in the command line. If you’re using Vista, use the “Start Search” dialog box and type “cmd” and hit enter. Don’t include the quote marks when typing cmd. Mac users, please go to Applications and then Utilities and double click on Terminal.

Now that you have a command line, use the following example to access your mail server.

telnet mail.yourdomain.com 110
Connected to mail.yourdomain.com.
Escape character is ‘^]’.
+OK Dovecot ready.
user you@yourdomain.com
pass yourpassword
+OK Logged in.
+OK Logging out.
Connection closed by foreign host.

Make sure to type in your actual domain and user name. If you’re able to connect to your mail server using this method, then there is a path to the server, and the problem lies with your mail program (i.e., Outlook, Eudora).