Possible E-mail Problem Looms for DSL Users
If you know someone who uses AT&T/Yahoo DSL service (formerly SBC/Yahoo or Ameritech DSL), you may want to make them aware of a potential problem looming on the horizon. AT&T is making changes to their e-mail servers to make them more secure. However, these changes require that users modify the configuration of their e-mail software to continue to use e-mail properly. A partial list of software that is affected includes Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Outlook Express, Eudora, Apple Mail, and Thunderbird. Users who only use AT&T/Yahoo’s webmail feature are not affected.
More information on these changes can be found here http://helpme.att.net/article.php?item=10918. However, be aware that the instructions on this page are not entirely accurate! I have found that a setting called SMTP authentication must also be enabled. The exact way to set this differs between e-mail programs, but it usually is referred to as SMTP AUTH, authentication, or authorization.
It appears that for some users the changes have already started causing problems. AT&T has been sending their customers e-mails warning of the required changes. However, many users ignore the e-mail, or do not feel comfortable making the required changes. So if you know anyone with AT&T (or SBC or Ameritech) DSL service, usually identifiable if their e-mail address ends in att.net, sbcglobal.net, or ameritech.net, please point them to this article.
Usually, a call to AT&T support will help resolve this issue. But oftentimes a call to AT&T support will result in long wait times or talking with a difficult to understand support technician. If you or someone you know would like help getting this issue resolved, let them know that I will identify and fix this problem as part of my Computer Tune-Up service.