Pacific Internet - Ukiah, California

Correct Mail Client Settings

2016-02-01

Using the Correct Mail Client Settings

Update 2017-05-10

Users with unsupported mail settings will find their mail no longer works over the coming weeks. We have posted the preferred settings for over 2 years, and have been actively helping people change them for over a year now, and it is time for us to bring this effort to a close. Most customers have already been updated, and all customers have been notified, and we will be enforcing the required settings with smaller groups, to avoid any support overload. If you are one of the remaining few who have not updated your settings, should you need help correcting any settings in your mail programs, please contact our support.

If you only use Webmail, you only need to remember to use your entire email address as your username.

Most of our customers will be receiving email from us about updating the settings in their mail programs. The settings you should be using are posted on our website, along with screenshots for many common mail programs.

If you haven't yet, update your settings now.

What Is Changing?

Settings we have only (strongly) recommended for quite some time, are finally going to be required. The following list contains a summary of the primary changes:

  • The outgoing server must be smtp.pacific.net.
  • All connections will require encryption.
  • The username must be user@pacific.net.*

All other settings should conform to what has been posted on our website, of course, but those are the ones we feel people are most likely to have incorrect. For example, we're not aware of anybody who has ever used smtp.pacific.net as the incoming server, but many people have had their outgoing server set to mail.pacific.net.

Why Are You Inconveniencing Me With These Changes?

Because, despite being extremely short-staffed, we employ competent professionals who are so good at their jobs, they are often bored and looking for ways to cause trouble, er, more work.

No, I'm kidding. It's mostly our Postmaster's fault. He keeps saying things like, People need to use our outgoing server when they send out mail, or, Users need to use their entire username to log in.. We don't know why; if it works, it works, but whatever. We do agree on one thing though: it is 2016, and there is no excuse to not protect your online activities with some level of security, so requiring encryption is A Good Thing™.

For a taste of how shameful the security state of affairs really is, check out these (already dated) comments by Mozilla.

Who Is Impacted By These Changes?

Anybody who is using settings other than those we have posted on our website.*

We will be identifying users who aren't using the long-recommended and soon-to-be-required settings, and sending them an email. If you have so much as a single device configured incorrectly, we'll let you know.

When Are These Changes Going To Take Effect?

In the future, unfortunately. We debated changing the requirements retroactively, but decided that would simply cause too much confusion in the time-continuum to risk it.

There isn't an exact date (yet), but changes are going to be rolled out in stages, so there is no single date when everything is going to magically change all at once anyway. Ensuring your settings are correct now, ensures nothing breaks as we change things on our end.

Anything Else Going To Change I Should Know About, You Belligerent Clod?

Funny you should ask. Some people may be taken by surprise at a few other changes that are going to made to the mail system. For example, we've noticed a number of users sending mail through our system as their gmail.com, yahoo.com, and icloud.com accounts (to name only a few). This is highly inappropriate, and policies will be put in place to restrict this type of abuse. It is a shortcoming of the current mail system that this is even possible, and has priority for being addressed.

The above example isn't necessarily fundamental to making sure you can connect to our mail servers and use your pacific.net email account, however, which is why it wasn't mentioned in the Why section above, but it does serve to illustrate the types of policy violations and abuses we reserve the right to do something about as we become aware of them, with or without advance notice.

*Does This Have Anything To Do With Domain Mail?

No. These changes are only applicable to email accounts in the pacific.net domain, with one caveat: if your domain has any email addresses that are aliased to pacific.net email accounts, everything here still applies to the pacific.net account.

Can I Get Some Help, Then?

Of course. Call, email, fill out our online support form, or come by the office. If you're comfortable changing settings in your own programs, or would like to test your mettle, you can check out the settings yourself (screenshots for many mail clients included).


Posted February 1, 2016