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717.796.1800 ext. 3333


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Non Institutional Email Access


This page describes how students, employees, and other guests can access their non-Messiah email services while on campus. This page is necessary, because some of the email related ports are blocked:

  • Port 25 (SMTP) to off-campus addresses is always blocked.
    • This is to prevent "spam bots" from using our network to send out spam.
  • Port 143 (IMAP) and 110 (POP3) are blocked from MC-Open wireless.
    • These protocols contain unencrypted usernames and passwords that would be easy to "sniff" on the unsecured MC-Open wireless network.


Web Access

The recommended way to access your email is through your email provider's web interface. Almost all email providers these days provide an interface like this. The web interface is not blocked, and is safe to use since your email provider almost certainly provides SSL encryption.

SMTP - sending email to off-campus servers

SMTP is the protocol used for sending email.

There are a few choices:

  • Send email to your email provider's SMTP port on a port number other than 25. You may need to check with your email provider to see if they allow connections on other port numbers. Common port numbers to try would be 587 or 465.
  • Connect to your email provider (e.g. it is your corporate email) using a VPN connection. Once connected to a VPN, you should be able to send and receive email as if you were at work place.
  • Use Messiah's SMTP server to send your email. While on campus, configure your outgoing email server as Remember what your old setting is, because when you leave campus, you will need to change it back.

POP3 and IMAP - receiving email from off-campus servers

POP3 and IMAP are two different protocols for receiving email.

Here your choices are a bit more limited:

  • Like SMTP, your provider may offer POP3 or IMAP service on something other than the standard ports. The usual port for encrypted POP3 is 995, and the port for encrypted IMAP is 993. If your email program (e.g. Outlook Express) supports encryption, enable it and use these port numbers.
  • Like SMTP, if you use a VPN you should be able to receive email without changing any settings.


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