General Email Questions / Problems

I can't send email! It either asks for a user name and password, or it gives a "Relaying denied..." message.

This can happen for one of two reasons:

  1. Your email software is set up to do outgoing email authorization, but it isn't correctly configured, or
  2. You're not using Boreal to access the Internet (ex. you're on a satellite) but are trying to send mail through Boreal's server, and your email software is not set up to do outgoing email authorization.

There are a few solutions:


  • The cleanest way to resolve this is to configure your email software for SMTP Auth, or outgoing email authorization. To do this:
    • Netscape 6 or 7:
      • Open Netscape Mail, then click the Edit menu, and click Mail and Newsgroup Preferences or Mail and Newsgroup Account Settings.
      • On the left side of the screen, click Outgoing Server (SMTP).
      • Make sure the "Server Name" is set to smtp.boreal.org.
      • If "Use name and password" is not checked, click it to check it.
      • In the "User name" field, enter your Boreal username. (This is normally the same as your Boreal email address, except without the @boreal.org.) Click OK.
      • The next time you try to send email you'll be prompted for your password. Enter your Boreal password (remember it's case-sensitive) and you'll be done!
    • Outlook Express and Windows Mail:
      • Open Outlook Express or Windows Mail, then click the Tools menu and click Accounts.
      • In the window that appears, click the Mail tab (Outlook Express only). You'll see an account listed named "mail.boreal.org" or your email address or something similar - click it to highlight it and then click the Properties button on the right.
      • In the window that appears, click the Servers tab. Make sure smtp.boreal.org is specified in the "Outgoing Mail (SMTP):" field.
      • At the bottom of the window is a line that says "My server requires authentication" - if it isn't checked click it to check it.
      • Click the Settings button and in the window that appears click "Use same settings as my incoming mail server" to select it.
      • Click OK, OK, and Close to close all the open windows.
    • Outlook (2000 or later):
      • Open Outlook, then click the Tools menu and click Email Accounts.
      • Select "View or change existing email accounts" and click Next.
      • You'll see an account listed named "mail.boreal.org" or your email address or something similar - click it to highlight it and then click the Change button on the right.
      • In the window that appears, make sure the "Outgoing mail (SMTP):" field is set to smtp.boreal.org.
      • Next, click the "More Settings" button at the bottom right.
      • Another window will open - in this window click the "Outgoing Server" tab.
      • Make sure that "My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication" is checked - if it isn't, click it to check it. Then click "Use same settings as my incoming mail server" to select it.
      • Click OK, Next, and Finish to close all the open windows.
    • Eudora
      • Please note - older versions of Eudora don't work well with our authorization system, so the following instructions may not help!
      • Open Eudora. Click on the Tools menu and click Options.
      • On the left of the window that appears, click "Getting Started".
      • Make sure the "SMTP Server:" field is set to smtp.boreal.org.
      • Click "Allow Authentication" to select it, then click OK. The next time you try to send mail Eudora should prompt you for a username and password - enter your Boreal username (without @boreal.org) and password and you should be done!
    • Thunderbird
      • Open Thunderbird.  Click on the Tools menu and click Account Settings.
      • On the left side of the screen, click on "Outgoing Server (SMTP)."
      • You should see one server listed on the right.  Click it to highlight it and then click the Edit button.
      • On the window that appears, make sure the "Server name" is set to smtp.boreal.org.
      • On the bottom half of the screen, click to check the box in front of "Use name and password".  Then put your username in the "User Name" field.  This needs to be in all small letters, and is your Boreal email address without the @boreal.org.  (For example, if your email address is Joe@boreal.org, your username is joe.)
      • Click OK, OK.  Next time you send a message you'll be asked for your password.  Type it in (remember it's case-sensitive), and you're done!
    • Apple Mail (OS X or above)
      • Open Mail.  Click on the Mail menu, and click Preferences.
      • Select your email account and go to the Account Preferences for that account.  (In some versions you need to click the Edit button to access the Account Preferences.)
      • Make sure the Outgoing Mail Server is set to smtp.boreal.org, and click the Server Settings button below.
      • In the Authentication box on the window that appears, select Password.
      • Type in your username and password.  Your username is your Boreal email address without the @boreal.org, and is all small letters.  Remember your password is also case-sensitive.
      • Click OK, and close the Accounts window.

  • Another option is to turn authorization off - only do this if you're using Boreal to access the Internet! Follow the instructions above, except UN-check the boxes that the instructions tell you to check.
  • If you're not using Boreal to access the Internet, another option is to put your Internet provider's outgoing mail server name in your email settings under "Outgoing mail (SMTP) server".  This is not recommened for your Boreal email address, as it may cause some systems to flag your message as having a forged From address. To do this:
    • Netscape 6.0 or above:
      • Open Netscape Mail, then click the Edit menu, and click Mail and Newsgroup Preferences.
      • On the left side of the screen, click Outgoing Server (SMTP).
      • Change "Server Name" to your provider's outgoing mail server and click OK.
    • Outlook Express:
      • Open Outlook Express, then click the Tools menu and click Accounts.
      • In the window that appears, click the Mail tab. You'll see an account listed named "mail.boreal.org" or your email address or something similar - click it to highlight it and then click the Properties button on the right.
      • In the window that appears, click the Servers tab. Under "Outgoing Mail Sever (SMTP)" enter your provider's outgoing mail server name.
      • Click OK and Close to close all the open windows.
    • Outlook (2000 or later):
      • Open Outlook, then click the Tools menu and click Email Accounts.
      • Select "View or change existing email accounts" and click Next.
      • You'll see an account listed named "mail.boreal.org" or your email address or something similar - click it to highlight it and then click the Change button on the right.
      • Under "Outgoing Mail Sever (SMTP)" enter your provider's outgoing mail server name.
      • Click Next and Finish to close all the open windows.
    • Eudora
      • Open Eudora. Click on the Tools menu and click Options.
      • On the left of the window that appears, click "Sending Mail".
      • Under "SMTP Server" enter the name of your provider's outgoing mail server. Click OK.

I can't send email through my Boreal account. It's all configured correctly, but the mail just won't go!

By default, your computer sends your mail on port 25.  However, in an effort to block spamming activity many providers, including Qwest DSL, are starting to block all Internet traffic on port 25.  This is becoming especially common when you're in a public hotspot or library.  If this is the case, you'll need to configure your email to use an alternate port to send your email.  To do this:

Outlook Express / Windows Mail:

  • Open Outlook Express or Windows Mail, then click the Tools menu and click Accounts.
  • In the window that appears, click the Mail tab (Outlook Express only). You'll see an account listed named "mail.boreal.org" or your email address or something similar - click it to highlight it and then click the Properties button on the right.
  • In the window that appears, click the Advanced tab.
  • Near the top of this window will be a line that says "Outgoing Mail (SMTP):" with a port number behind it.  Change the number from 25 to 587.
  • Click OK, Close to close your window and try sending mail again.
  • If it still doesn't go, make sure you're set up for SMTP auth by following the instructions here.

Windows Live Mail 2011

  • Click the Accounts tab at the top of the screen and click the Properties icon at the top.
  • In the window that opens, click the Advanced tab.
  • Near the top of this window will be a line that says "Outgoing Mail (SMTP):" with a port number behind it. Change the number from 25 to 587.
  • Click OK, Close to close your window and try sending mail again.
  • If it still doesn't go, make sure you're set up for SMTP auth by following the instructions here.

Netscape Mail (Netscape 6/7):

  • Open Netscape Mail, then click the Edit menu, and click Mail and Newsgroup Preferences or Mail and Newsgroup Account Settings.
  • On the left side of the screen, click Outgoing Server (SMTP).
  • Change the Port: field from 25 to 587.  Click OK and try sending mail again.
  • If it still doesn't go, make sure you're set up for SMTP auth by following the instructions here.

Outlook (2000 thru 2007):

  • Open Outlook, then click the Tools menu and click Email Accounts or Account Settings, Email.
  • Select "View or change existing email accounts" and click Next. 
  • You'll see an account listed named "mail.boreal.org" or your email address or something similar - click it to highlight it and then click the Change button on the right.
  • Next, click the "More Settings" button at the bottom right. 
  • Another window will open - in this window click the "Advanced" tab.
  • A few lines down from the top of this window will be a line that says "Outgoing Mail (SMTP):" with a port number behind it.  Change the number from 25 to 587.
  • Click OK, Next, Finish to close the open windows.  Then try sending mail again.
  • If it still doesn't go, make sure you're set up for SMTP auth by following the instructions here.

Outlook 2010:

  • Open Outlook, then click the File tab and in the left column click Info.
  • On the right, click the area for Account Settings.
  • You'll see an account listed under the Email tab named "mail.boreal.org" or your email address or something similar - click it to highlight it and then click the Change option above.
  • Next, click the "More Settings" button at the bottom right.
  • Another window will open - in this window click the "Advanced" tab.
  • A few lines down from the top of this window will be a line that says "Outgoing Mail (SMTP):" with a port number behind it. Change the number from 25 to 587.
  • Click OK, Next, Finish to close the open windows. Then try sending mail again.
    If it still doesn't go, make sure you're set up for SMTP auth by following the instructions here.

Eudora

  • Open Eudora. Click on the Tools menu and click Options.
  • On the left side of the screen, click "Sending Mail".
  • Towards the bottom right side of the screen will be a checkbox labeled "Use submission port (587).  Click this box to check it.
  • Click OK and try sending mail again.
     
  • If it still doesn't go, make sure you're set up for SMTP auth by following the instructions here.
     

Thunderbird

  • Open Thunderbird.  Click on the Tools menu and click Account Settings.
  • On the left side of the screen, click on "Outgoing Server (SMTP)."
  • You should see one server listed on the right.  Click it to highlight it and then click the Edit button.
  • Change the field labeled "Port:" from 25 to 587.
  • Click OK, OK to close the open windows, and try sending mail again.
  • If it still doesn't go, make sure you're set up for SMTP auth by following the instructions here.

Apple Mail (OSX):

  • Open Mail.  Click on the Mail menu, and click Preferences.
  • Select your email account and go to the Account Preferences for that account.  (In some versions you need to click the Edit button to access the Account Preferences.)
  • Click the Server Settings button below the Outgoing Mail Server line.
  • Change the "Server Port" field from 25 to 587
  • Close the Accounts windows, saving your settings, and try sending mail again.
  • If it still doesn't go, make sure you're set up for SMTP auth by following the instructions here.

I'm getting messages bouncing back to me, but I never sent them! What's going on?

This can be one of two things:

  • Virus activity - Almost all modern day viruses send themselves out using a faked return address. What this means is that you can receive messages like this even though you're not infected with the virus yourself. Here's what happens:
    • Joe Blow, who's got your email address stored somewhere on his computer, gets a virus.
    • Joe's virus generates thousands of email messages as it tries to send itself to every address it can find on Joe's computer. It finds your address on Joe's computer and uses it as the return address on these emails.
    • Some of Joe's virus-generated messages go to invalid addresses, or systems with automated virus checkers. The system where the message ended up sees your address in the return address of the message, so it sends you the error message.

    Receiving these types of messages does NOT necessarily mean you have the virus on your computer; however it's always a good idea to check and make sure your system is virus-free. For more information on this please go to our Virus prevention section.

  • Joe-Jobs: If you have your own domain name, spammers can find it and use it in the return address of the spam they're sending. This way they send the spam but you get the error messages when the spam goes to an invalid address, and you probably get the complaints, too. This is called a Joe Job, and unfortunately there's no way to prevent spammers from abusing your domain name in this way. What you can do:
    • Limit your virtual addresses: This is probably the easiest and cleanest way to deal with this. By default, mail sent to anything@yourdomain.com will go to you. The Joe Jobbers usually use odd email addresses like ajjekdy@yourdomain.com. If you only have a few email addresses for your domain that you actually use (ex. info@yourdomain.com, you@yourdomain.com), contact the Boreal office with those addresses, and we'll limit your mail so you only receive messages sent to one of the addresses you gave us. (NOTE: We can only do this if we're hosting your web site. If your site is hosted with someone else, you'll need to contact them with this request.) This will drastically reduce the number of bounce messages you're seeing due to a Joe Job.
    • Wait it out: Joe Jobs don't usually last more then a few weeks - then the spammer moves on to another innocent victim.
    • Filter it out: If you look at the body of the messages that are being returned you'll probably see some similarities. You may be able to set up mail filters to filter these messages out. See our Mail Filters section for more information.

    For more information on spam and spammers, see our Dealing with Spam section.

Someone sent me a message, but I didn't get it.

  • Make sure they're sending it to the correct email address. A common mistake people make is to use boreal.com rather than boreal.org in the email address.
  • Are they replying to a message you sent them? Check your email settings to make sure you're using the correct return address on your emails. To do this:
    • In Outlook Express: Click the [Tools] menu, [Accounts]. In the window that opens, click the [Mail] tab, click your account and click the [Properties] button. Check the email address shown on the window that appears to make sure it's correct - if not, correct it and click OK.
    • In Eudora: Click the [Tools] menu, [Options]. Click [Getting Started] on the top left, and make sure the [Return Address] is correct. If not, correct it and click OK.
    • Netscape 4.79 and earlier: Click the [Edit] menu, [Preferences]. Double-click [Mail and Newsgroups] on the left and click [Identity]. Make sure the email address and Reply-to address are correct. If not, correct them and click OK.
    • Netscape 6 and above: Click the [Edit] menu, [Mail and Newsgroup Account Settings]. Make sure the Email address and Reply-To address are correct. If not, correct them and click OK.
  • Call the Boreal office with the email address of the person who sent you the mail and the date they sent it. If it was sent in the last week, we can check the logs and see if it was inadvertantly blocked by the spam filtering system. If so, you can whitelist that email address so it doesn't happen again by going here. If the message was sent in the last 48 hours, we can probably retrieve it and send it to you.
  • Are you signed up for greylisting?  Some senders have unusual configurations, and for those people the greylisting may end up blocking their mail.  Contact the Boreal office and have their email address whitelisted.

Is there a limit on the size of my email mailbox?

Boreal doesn't have a specific limit on the size of your mailbox, but in order to keep the mailboxes from getting too large, we do limit the age of the mail in your mailbox. What this means is that we won't reject mail because your mailbox is full - your mailbox can't get full. However, we will delete messages from your mailbox if they're over 90 days old. For most people, THIS WILL NOT AFFECT YOU. You will only be affected by this if:

  • You are using the Boreal Web Mailer, and haven't moved your old messages out of your Inbox. To preserve your old messages, you can move them to the Saved folder:
    • Click the box to the right of your message to check it
    • Select "Saved" from the drop-down box at the upper right side of your screen
    • Click the "Move/Del" button next to the drop-down box
    • Click OK on the message box that pops up

    To view messages after you've moved them, select "Saved" from the drop-down box at the very top left of your screen.

  • You haven't downloaded your Boreal email for over 3 months. In this case, your old messages will be lost.

 

It keeps asking for my email password, but it won't take it! (My connection was dropped while I was downloading mail last time.)

  • Wait about 10 minutes and try again.

    Why? If you get disconnected while downloading your email, the server doesn't immediately recognize that you're no longer online, and it keeps trying to download your mail. While it's in this state, your mail file is locked. It usually takes about 10 minutes after you've disconnected for the system to recognize that you're no longer online and release the lock. Until it does, you won't be able to get your email.

I'm trying to download my email, and it hangs up on one message.

  • If your email seems to stop downloading when you get to a certain message - for example, it gets to message 7 of 12 and then stops - what's probably happened is that someone sent you an very large message that's taking a long time to download. This can happen if, for example, someone sent you a lot of pictures.

    If this happens, you have a couple options:

    • Wait - If the message isn't extremely large, you may be able to wait it out.
    • Delete the offending message - You can go into Boreal's web mailer to scan through the messages waiting for you, and delete the large one so the rest of your mail can get through. To do this:
      • First you need to make sure you're not still trying to get your email. If you're trying to download it to your email software, you won't be able to access it through the web mailer. Disconnect from the Internet and wait about 10 minutes for the server to recognize that you're no longer trying to get your email. Then dial back in.
      • Next, click here to go to the web mailer. Type in your login name (without @boreal.org) and password, and click Login.
      • This will take you to a screen where you'll see all your messages listed. To the right of each message is its size. Most sizes will end in KB - if you see one that ends in MB that's the culprit. Often it will be the first message not listed in bold print.
      • Once you've found the large message(s), you can click on the subject line to see what the message is. To delete this message:
        • Click on the box to the right of the message in the list of messages. This will put a check in that box.
        • At the top of the screen, click on the arrow next to Trash or Saved and select -DELETE- from the list that appears.
        • Then click the "Move/Delete" button. Click OK. The large message will be permanently deleted.
      • Click the Logout button to exit the web mailer. Now you should be able to get the rest of your messages the same way you normally do.
  • I got a message saying something I sent was blocked as spam - why?

    To protect our email system, Boreal scans outgoing messages for spam content.  If our system detects spam in a message you send, your message will be blocked and you'll receive a notification from Boreal.  This notification will contain a spam report to help you determine why your message was blocked, and help you get your message through if it was mis-identified.

    Unfortunately, the spam report isn't always as helpful as it could be, so this page has been created to help you interpret the report to determine why your message was blocked and how to modify it to prevent this.

    You may also forward your notification to us at support@boreal.org, and we'll help you determine the problem.

    The report lists a set of rules your message triggered along with their scores and a brief description of the rule.  When the total score of all these rules is 6 or above, the message is blocked.  Therefore, you want to look at the scores on the rules and try to get your total score under 6.  Check the high-scoring rules first - fixing just one of these is usually enough to get your message past the filters.

    Common rules you may see and how to fix them:

    • n.n URIBL_XXXX  Contains an URL listed in the XXXXXX blacklist  [URIs: xxxxxx.xxxx] (NOTE: There are several rules that start with URIBL_.  The n's and X's will be replaced with information specific to the rule that hit.) : Your message included a reference to a blacklisted website.  Blacklisted websites are sites that are known to commonly appear in spam messages, and rarely appear in legitimate messages.  Look at the URI shown in the []s (ex. [URIs: store.com]).  Then search your message for a reference to this website and take it out before sending the message.

      This rule usually shows up when you are forwarding something you've received from a newsletter or joke list.  The best way to get rid of it is to just copy and paste the part of the newsletter you want the person to see, rather than sending the whole thing.  Usually the problem website reference is in one of the ads included with the newsletter.

       

    • -0.5 ALL_TRUSTED   Passed through trusted hosts only via SMTP : This is a GOOD rule - note the negative score of -0.5.  This indicates that your message was sent from a trusted system and it brings your overall score down.  You WANT this rule to hit!

       

    • 0.0 HTML_MESSAGE  BODY: HTML included in message : All this means is that your message wasn't in plain text.  Since it's common to send messages in rich text this rule has a score of almost 0, and therefore does not need to be a concern.  It's not what pushed your message into the spam category.

       

    • 1.3 MISSING_SUBJECT: Missing subject header:  Your message didn't include anything in the subject.  Type anything in the Subject of your message to avoid this rule.

       

    • n.n DATE_IN_PAST_xx_xx or DATE_IN_FUTURE_xx_xx:  The date and time on the message is different than the actual date and time by a significant amount.  Usually this happens because the clock on your computer is set to the wrong date and/or time.  To avoid hitting this rule, double-click the clock in the lower right corner of your screen and make sure the date and time are correct.  This rule can also be triggered if you send your message some time after you composed it - for example if you wrote the message and hit the Send button but the message didn't go out, and then a few hours later when you went online the message was sent.

       

    • 3.0 NO_BODY2_BA Email with no body : Either you sent an empty message, or your message included an attachment with no text.  Simply include some text in your message to keep this rule from hitting.  (Both spam and viruses are commonly sent as attachments with no text.)

       

    • 4.0 POSS_JOE_JOB_BA POSS_JOE_JOB_BA : This shows up if you forward a message that was returned to you - for example if you sent a message to the wrong address, it came back, and you're forwarding the message that was returned to the right address.  Re-send the original message (you'll find it in your Sent items) instead of the returned message to avoid this.

      Why are these flagged?  Returned messages being forwarded on look just like returned joe-job messages.  (A joe job is where a spammer sends messages using your email address as the forged return address.  When his messages go to bad addresses they're returned to you, not him, since he forged your email address as the returned address.  This results in you getting lots of Returned messages for email you didn't send.)

     

    I sent someone a message and it was returned with the error "Failed SPF".

    This happens if you're sending mail from your Boreal email address, but are using another provider's mail server.  The SPF system verifies your email address and mail server, and if you're not sending Boreal email via Boreal's servers, it assumes this is a spammer spoofing your email address and may block the message.

    To fix this, make sure your outgoing mail server is set to mail.boreal.org or smtp.boreal.org, and that you have SMTP Auth turned on, per the directions shown on this page.