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When I have traveled in Europe in the past, I have been able to receive emails in my Cox email account on a Windows laptop and an iPhone, but neither of them can send replies or new email. They sit in the outbox and never send. I thought I had this solved years ago when the telephone support guy said to use "smtp.west.cox.net on channel 465 with SSL" but that has not worked lately. I see old postings about some services having cox SMTP servers blacklisted, or something like that. Does anyone see an obvious problem and know a solution?
See my post on 12 Oct. in the thread "What's Cox's plan for customers traveling outside the U.S.?" It details issues regarding both my own experience with Cox email while traveling in Himalayan Asia and general issues pertaining to customers traveling overseas. It won't solve your problem, but it may help you see what you're up against.
Apparently Cox either programs its servers to block overseas access or uses a firewall to accomplish the same goal.
As far as I can tell, Cox's plan for customers traveling overseas is like the "super-secret probation" in Animal House. Nobody, not even most Cox support personnel, know about it, it doesn't really serve its intended purpose because in most countries a VPN can circumvent blocking of Cox web pages (but unfortunately not access to Cox's SMTP servers), customers only discover it after they are overseas, and then they're supposed to contact Cox even even though almost none of Cox's communications channels work from outside the U.S.
One piece of clarification: I'm finding that using a VPN sometimes lets me access Cox's SMTP server and sometimes not.
Still, using a VPN is far from a satisfactory solution, even if it were a reliable workaround. First, most VPNs charge a subscription fee, and Cox has no right to expect customers to purchase additional third-party services just so they can use the services they are already paying for from Cox. Second, which VPN works where varies, and customers traveling multiple places would have to experiment with multiple VPNs and likely pay multiple fees. Third, some countries block VPNs, so it's not a universal solution. Fourth, turning a VPN on and off is subject to human error, so relying on one is not acceptable as a solution to what is inherently a problem with Cox's own policies, procedures, and technology.
Nonetheless, I strongly recommend using a VPN when overseas because most VPNs encrypt their messages and therefore are more secure. Check your specific VPN as YMMV. But this has nothing to do with the issue of accessing Cox's email servers.