I recently started using my local public library for getting work done outside the house. The free wifi is fast and works great for every website or other operation I've attempted...except for my IMAP connection.

I am using Thunderbird 3.1 on Windows 7 and trying to connect to my Gmail account. I have followed all instructions provided by Gmail's help page using the following settings:

Type: IMAP Mail Server
Server Name: imap.googlemail.com
Port: 993
Connection security: SSL/TLS
Authentication Method: Normal password

I know the settings and my credentials are correct because TB connects just fine at home and elsewhere. So I'm assuming it's a firewall problem? Is there another port I should be using?

Also, I can access my Gmail account just fine in the browser.

  • 2
    Seems like the Free WiFi blocking all ports except port 80 – Sathyajith Bhat Jul 12 '10 at 19:49

Many ISPs and public Internet access places block mail ports for security reasons. GMail works just fine because it is being accessed via typical HTTP and/or HTTPS ports (which are usually open in public places), but (as you have indicated) IMAP and POP use different ports, which are often closed off.

  • So is there any way to access my mail through Thunderbird or do I have to just stick to the browser? – NoCatharsis Jul 12 '10 at 19:57
  • 2
    Well, if you can convince either the library or the ISP (or both) to open the requisite ports, then you can use Thunderbird. Or you could set up a home VPN and tunnel your way out of the library; but honestly, it's probably easiest just to stick with the browser. Sorry! – jrc03c Jul 12 '10 at 20:11

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