Many problems are due to Internet connectivity issues (ie lack of). The first test you should do is to try and connect to the internet, then use a web browser (Internet Explorer / Firefox) to go to a fast, reliable web page such as http://www.google.com - once this works then, without dropping the connection, try and access your email.
Many people assume that an Iridium / Inmarsat, etc internet connection is somehow different to a super fast wifi/broadband connection. In fact they are both roughly the same to the computer, they only vary in price/speed, etc, however, the computer doesn't know or care. Hence use the cheapest one to test - if the computer doesn't work properly with broadband then it's unlikely to suddenly start working if you change to use the Iridium!
Outlook Express Error: "Server has unexpectedly terminated the connection"
If you are using Outlook Express / Windows Live Mail and get the error message "The server has unexpectedly terminated the connection", then this means that our compression software was unable to connect across the internet back to our server. The likely reasons for this are:
- No internet connection... Are you sure that you were dialed up to the internet at the time the error message appeared? If you just clicked "Send/Rcv" and you were not connected to the internet at the time of the error then the error is just a normal consequence of not having an internet connection! Either enable the automatic dial feature of Windows, or dialup to the internet manually
- Firewall on the wifi connection blocking you. If you have just started using a new wifi network and this problem has suddenly appeared then the two events are likely correlated! If you can browse the internet ok with your web browser, but email is giving the error above, then the wifi network you are using probably is locked down and is blocking our compression protocol. The workaround is to use the Web Mail system at http://webmail.mailasail.com and if you will be there for an extended period of time, email firstname.lastname@example.org for tips on reconfiguring your computer.
Note the other cause of this could be if you are testing the system on a business connection which you know to be carefully firewalled
- Firewall on the local computer. Norton / McAfee, etc frequently cause problems with network software. If possible try temporarily disabling the antivirus software and see if the error goes away? Often it's the spam blocking or email blocking part of the software which is causing the problem, rather than the normal virus scanning of your hard-disk. Contact email@example.com for further ideas
- Background programs using up all your bandwidth. If you have Skype, Windows Update, your Antivirus scanner updates or anything else downloading in the background then it will likely use up ALL the bandwidth on an Iridium. This leads to lots of error messages and sometimes to this one. See: Disable Background Tasks
Outbound Emails (ie FROM you) are disappearing...
This is a new issue in the last few years now that broadband has become suddenly the norm. Usually the issue is:
- You have automatic disconnect set in your email program
- Norton / McAfee antivirus. At least several versions have bugs which cause them to tell the email program that they are finished sending the email when they aren't.
The practical upshot is that Outlook Express (etc) hangs up the internet connection because it believes that everything is finished sending, however, in reality the antivirus program is still sending the email out in the background and this gets cutoff halfway through (and lost)
The other main reason is the sudden rise of the "Spam Blocker", which in many cases works by eliminating great swathes of emails that you might actually want to receive. Ask the recipient to check VERY carefully that they really didn't receive the email and just had it filtered away...
- You are NOT hanging up the internet connection manually (or it's dropping for some reason) before your email program is COMPLETELY finished
- Try disabling the "Scan outbound email" feature of your antivirus or spam scanner - note this is often tricky to do and the options may be badly labelled
- Disable the automated hangup feature of Outlook Express and watch the "bytes counter" on the internet connection to be sure that no more data is going in/out before hanging up (this is not a long term solution, but helps figure out the problem)
With a specific example lost message:
- Check that the "lost" email is definitely in your Sent Items folder
- Get the date/time on the email in the Sent Items folder.
- Try to estimate the actual time you connected to the internet
- Contact mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org with all the info above and we can examine the server log files and determine whether we actually received an email from you or not.
Note Please don't just send part of the information requested above - we have gigabytes of logs to examine and it's only by having a clear example that we can search and see whether we actually got the email from you, or whether it was the recipient which must have lot the message. Log files show sender/recipient email addresses and the date/time. Please do not quote subject lines, people's real names or email content. (For some reason people seriously ask: "Do you know what happened to my email about mooring fees that I sent to 'Ken' some time last month?")
Inbound Emails (ie TO you) are disappearing
Missing inbound emails could be due to:
- You have enabled our spam blocker and it's snagged your message. Check your "Spam" folder via the webmail - http://webmail.mailasail.com
- Sender's mailserver is in the dog house for sending a bunch of spam messages recently. If this happens then the sender gets an instant failure message back, however, sometimes one of the following occurs:
- Some users cannot correlate the action of sending an email and getting a near instant "delivery failed" email back again as being related events. They then disregard the failure email and claim that the email must be lost...
- Unfortunately Microsoft Exchange is reasonably common in businesses - several versions of this have a bug (well many of them actually) which causes it to:
- Looses many "delivery failed" emails
- Those it doesn't loose it rewrites and removes all the useful information about why the delivery failed
- Often if the problem is just temporary then Exchange seems to just forget about the email and it sits in some folder on the server never being either delivered, nor returning a failure message to the sender...
It's very likely that lost inbound emails are really lost. With modern email servers (MS Exchange excluded) it's near impossible to properly loose emails. Therefore there will be an error delivered somewhere and usually that error message is fairly "geeky", but will have all the relevant information about why the problem occured. Contact email@example.com if you need help debugging this (we will need full information about the sender email address and dates/times!)
Requesting Further Support
If you can prove that you can access web pages, but cannot access your email then please send a request for more help to: firstname.lastname@example.org (either use your existing email account or log into our webmail system from the front page)
Please make sure that you tell us:
- The exact text of any error messages that you can see. Whilst we agree that they often look quite cryptic they do in fact contain important information that we need in order to figure out what is wrong with your configuration.
- Also remember to include basic information like what version of Windows you are using, which email program, how you are dialing into the internet, etc.
- Be sure to have already worked through the Various Video Setup Guides!!
The connection to the server has failed
First thing to do is to right click on the little red boat and then click on configure email and follow the on screen instructions.
Things to check:
That the little red boat is running?
That there is nothing running like a firewall (excluding windows) or anti virus like Norton.
If you click on tools and then accounts and then double click on the account. This should give you the properties window of that account. If you click on the servers tab you can change the incoming and outgoing mail to 127.0.0.1.