Shaw blocking port 25 outbound

Well it has been happening all summer but Shaw has been slowing blocking port 25 outbound on their connections. They are probably one of the last ISPs in North America to do so.

Does this affect you? Probably not! If you do use email accounts other than Shaw’s you probably are or will be affected. Here is what is happening, Shaw blocks port 25 outbound which is the port that email servers use to send and receive email. By blocking port 25 outbound your mail client can’t communicate on that port to your mail server. and therefore cannot send email. Telus has been doing this for sometime now and I was first made aware of Shaw’s changes in May of 2007. About a month later my connection started doing the same thing.

Their rational behind this is that it reduces outbound spam from their network, where in actuality one of the side affects is that it can make your non Shaw email look more like spam because of one of the methods of working around the block. 

This restriction can affect you if you have your own domain email, or if you use pop3 services for Gmail, Hotmail, AOL etc.

How can you work around it? Well if you have your own domain and use that email server, see if your hosting provider can set up your sendmail program (or mail server) on an alternate port (like 2525). If this is done go into your mail client’s advanced settings for the account and change the smtp port to the port that was provided. You should now be able to send to your own server.

If you don’t have the option to change the ports you will have to send email out via the Shaw (or Telus mail servers if your are with them) . Go into the account settings for your mail client and set the outgoing servers as your ISPs. For example with Shaw cable in Calgary it is  If you are using a mail server other than your own domain you are essential done (although it is possible that you email will be marked as spam because the sending domain will not match the email domain). If you are using your own domain there is one other step you have to do. In order for your email not to be tagged as possible spam, make sure that you create an SPF record for your domain including your ISPs mail servers as authorized servers to send mail for your domain.

There are several web based wizards available that will walk you through the process of creating the SPF record (Microsoft has a good one). Create your SPF record and either add it (or have it added) to your DNS records as a txt record. This tells other mail servers that use SPF that your ISPs mail server is authorized to send on behalf of your domain and therefore it is less likely to be tagged as a spam email.

I have checked and this affects both personal Shaw accounts and commercial accounts. However my server running on a static IP address works fine.

Just another way that spammers have ruined our Internet experience!

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New Shaw problem – Access Denied with certain Web sites Fix included

I ran into some strange things using IE and my Shaw internet connection this summer. I would go to sites and would get access denied messages or it would say that I was a spammer. My wife even was denied the ability to do a Google search.

After some investigation I found the problem. I was using IE and it appears that the setup (automatically detect settings) was using Shaw’s proxy server and that was being blocked. Whenever I tried to access I would get an access denied message. I tested this at a few client sites and saw the same behaviour. No problems when I used Firefox (recommended anyway). Going to showed that my IP address was 24.xx.xx.xx which I know is wrong because I have one static and two dynamic addresses from Shaw and all three are supposed to be in the 70.xx.xx.xx range.

I find that this does not affect people with the older Motorola Cybersurfer modems either, only the docsis (small black ones). To fix the problem in IE do the following:
Open IE and click on the tools drop down (IE7) or on the tools menu in IE 6 and select Internet Options.
Go to the connections tab
At the bottom click on LAN settings
Uncheck the box that says automatically detect settings
Click OK all the way through to close the dialog boxes

I have reported the problem to Shaw technical support , but have not updated them with the fact that I have found this on other clients connections.


Intel Wireless Card Woes

I wasn’t going to post a full blog entry for this, but was going to post it to my mini blog instead ( Then I decided that other folks may benefit from this too, and the rant will be a little longer than I thought so I will post it here.

I have been having issues of late trying to hook up my Asus laptop to one of my wireless networks here at home, and yes I did say one of my wireless networks. With my back problems I have been working from home and off of my laptops of late connecting via remote desktop to my main PC. Rather than run 3 cables to the laptops I need I was hoping to hook up via wireless to do my work.

When I said wireless networks I did mean more than 1. At home I run up to 5 wireless networks at the same. My main network has an older Netgear WG602 Access point with one SSID and a Linksys WRV 200 router with two SSIDs set up on it, one is WPA security and the other is WEP for a couple of devices that don’t have WPA ability. My SBS 2003 server network has a Belkin N1 Wireless router set up in Access Point mode (I am testing the N speeds) and there is another Linksys WRV 200 with a wireless network set up for a new MS server I am in the beta program for. I am currently trying to connect to laptops to the various networks. My Asus Z62FM custom built machine with Vista Ultimate and an Intel 3945 ABG Mini PCI-E wireless card in it and my new Acer TM6292 laptop (Out of the box review coming soon) with an Intel 4965 ABGN mini PCI-E card in it and Windows XP Pro.

I know what many will say is that the interference from the networks is causing the problem, but I don’t think that this is the reason. All of the SSIDs are different and the devices are set for different channels. The Netgear on 11, the Main Linksys on 6 and the Belkin on 1. The Linksys on the beta server is currently disabled.

Let me start with the Acer machine. This one took a while to fix but I did fix it and it was strange. I updated the drivers to the latest Intel drivers for the card and could not see any of my wireless networks except for the one on Channel 11. I checked the settings on the card and could not figure it out at all. If I moved away from the other two wireless laptops that were there I could then see and connect to the other networks. But if I happened to lose the connection I could not re establish it without moving away again. I uninstalled and reinstalled the drivers several time. Finally I tried changing the ad hoc channel settings to channel 6. All of a sudden I could see the two SSIDs. This really shouldn’t be happening at these SSIDs are set up for infrastructure mode and not AD HOC mode. I have since been able to connect without problems and have been able to now see all of the three networks I have set up.

The 4965 card does have the problem that other Intel wireless cards have in that it will after a long period of time drop the connection. Re-establishing the connection usually involves disabling and re enabling the card in the Control Panel Network Icon. The problem also occurs after bringing the machine out of sleep mode or hibernation mode.

On my Vista Asus machine the problem seems to be specifically pointing at the network card itself. I have tried several fixes that I have found on the net and none seem to work. Again I was only seeing the network that was on Channel 11 (this is the default ad hoc channel setting in the Intel driver). Changing it to channel 6 allowed me to see the SSIDS on that channel. But for some reason I cannot connect to any of the networks. Nothing I tried worked (enabling/disabling the card, registry hacks from MS knowledgebase, disabling IP6). Finally I put in an old Netgear WG511 PCMCIA wireless card in the system and boom, I could see all of the SSID’s and connect to any network. There were a couple of problems that Vista identified that the router did not support and it offered to fix those. Once that was complete the card was stable and would connect fine. After a while I removed the card and connected with the Intel card and everything was fine for a couple of hours with it. After installing more software and rebooting the machine, I found I could not get connected with the Intel card but again had no problems with the Netgear card. Now this Vista machine has been newly reimaged twice this month (a couple of weeks ago I did it because of wireless problems) as well) and this last time I tried default Vista drivers, as well as the latest Intel ones.

I have picked up a used Dell DW1500 Mini PCI-E card from EBay to try in this machine. This card does feature the Draft n spec but I am more concerned about the connectivity of the machine. This card is based on the Broadcom chipset, and if it performs like the Broadcom card in my wife’s Acer I should be fine. I hate the idea of having to carry around a second wireless card in case I can’t connect with the one that I have.

Of course I will no longer be able to say that the laptop is a Centrino Duo after the change because one of the components will be gone (the Intel wireless card) but if this card works I will be happy. Watch here for an update after the card arrives and is installed.


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