Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Logging onto an SMTP server

This might seem obvious to some but I only just realised that some SMTP servers allow users from other subnets to access them by logging in. Because I use a different ISP depending on whether my laptop is at home, in university or at my parents’ house, it can get somewhat laborious having to change the SMTP server every time I use a different connection – if I use one ISP’s SMTP server while connected to another ISP’s network, the email is rejected. In Thunderbird, changing the SMTP isn’t the easiest thing to do (Tools > Account Settings > SMTP Server every time you change ISP) so to have another way would be pretty useful.
But thankfully the university’s email server allows you to log into it from outside of the campus network, so it means I can use one SMTP server on all 3 connections. The university system has the added advantange that it will validate any internal email addresses – so it won’t send the email if you try to send it to an invalid internal mailbox.


  1. Well, what I normally do is have IIS SMTP server to deliver from home, failing which (because some mail servers reject invalid originating hostnames) there’s always the one in my webserver.
    I’ve found the Buttons! Extension very useful for alternating between SMTP servers. Other than that, I’m finding it’s “Delete Junk!” and “Label!” buttons more useful. Add on the Purge extension and I’m all set.

  2. If you’re using your own smtp server on a remote network then you really want to make sure it’s secured as well which bradford uni didn’t support last time I checked. I’m currently using ssh into my home server to send/receive emails remotely and it works rather nicely because I can also attach any files I’ve happened to leave at home.

  3. i just set my mailserver to “mailserver” and then have a script which swaps out windowssystem32driversetchosts as appropriate.

  4. I have tried to access pegasus email services for university but my SMPT and ISP server is always rejected can you help?