Anyone have Comcast for an ISP?

alex at alex at
Sat Mar 22 09:59:14 PDT 2008

>>> Does anyone on here have comcast for an ISP? I use them and today I was
>>> messing around on a machine I use for FTP service over my LAN (Not
>>> accessible from the net so I'm not worried about using it for back ups)
>>> and anyway, I wanted to set up one of my comcast accounts on it so I
>>> could do as I've done for years, and use SSH to log into that machine
>>> and use fetchmail to grab my email off comcast, and then use Mutt to
>>> check it since I really like Mutt.
>>> Well, I got sendmail up ad tested that it was working and it was working
>>> fine. After that I tried sending a test email with Mutt.
>>> For some reason ti failed even though it was the backed up copy of my
>>> Muttrc that I used to use on EVERY machine I used mutt on. I always
>>> backed it up because I had it looking really nice with colors and also
>>> my email address was in there and I built in a mini addy book for my
>>> friends and mailing lists I'm on so I didn't have to worry about an
>>> address book being deleted by accident.
>>> Well, it failed horribly. I can't send an email because it's blocked,
>>> and also, using fetchmail isn't exactly working either and I can't stand
>>> how getmailrc works....
>>> So does anyone here use Comcast and Mutt for an email client that could
>>> maybe reply and let me know how they do it? Id' like to use Mutt and
>>> also I do like how simple fetchmail is to use, so fi you use these and
>>> have Comcast for internet please reply with how you did it. I'm googling
>>> right now but everything I find isn't exactly helpful, so if anyone here
>>> uses Mutt and has Comcast please let me know how you did it.
>> What you have available in the e-mail realm when you are
>> on the Comcast network:
>> For e-mail CLIENTS you may retrieve mail via the standard
>> IMAP or POP3 ports from a remote non-comcast mailserver.
>> For e-mail CLIENTS you may send mail through a remote
>> non-comcast mailserver using the submission port 587 and
>> authenticated SMTP.
>> For e-mail SERVERS you can use fetchmail to pretend the
>> server is a mail client, then redistribute the mail
>> internally.  However you cannot use sendmail to send
>> out outgoing mail to port 25 on remote mailservers - unless
>> it's to the comcast mailserver.
>>   Comcast's residential
>> TOS prohibits servers and they enforce this by blocking incoming
>> traffic going to SMTP, IMAP and POP3 ports.
> I'd like to call BS here.  My mail server runs on a Comcast connection.
> I send all my out going mail through them, but incoming mail works
> without issue.  My employer does pay for my Internet connection, so it
> might be on some exception list for business service.  But, it
> definitely works.

It's very much a location-by-location, and sometimes even a 
connection-by-connection kind of thing. I'm in Northern Virginia (DC 
area), and I've been running a mail server on my Comcast connection for 
over a year. I found that a lot of providers like Yahoo, AOL, etc. 
refused to take mail I sent directly out (though Gmail was awesome, 
shocker, huh?), so I use DynDNS to send outbound mail. For a few months 
starting last November or so, they blocked all mail -- said there'd 
been some sort of spike in traffic on my connection that they refused 
to give me details about, and felt I was infected with something 
(nevermind that it was a fully patched OpenBSD server running the mail) 
-- and I had to switch to port 587 for a while. With no notice at all, 
though, port 25 re-opened at some point later, so I think it was some 
sort of dynamic block that had an auto-timeout.

In any case, you definitely can run mail on Comcast...just not 
legitimately per their TOS, so you're kind of at the mercy of the local 

Alex Kirk

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