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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?
GeoLynch's post said s/he's unable to "send replies or new email." So how is someone overseas supposed to send an email to email@example.com if Cox makes it impossible for them to send email?
My experience was even worse. I got error messages saying my password was bad. So I wasted over an hour trying to figure out the problem, eventually changing the password for my Cox email. Still no success, but by this time my account was blocked on Cox web sites because of too many attempts with invalid passwords. I then somehow managed to open a chat with Cox support, and after over an hour with a Level-1 tech who knew nothing about overseas travel restrictions, etc., a Level-2 told me about Cox's policy of blocking overseas access. The tech said he'd authorize my wife's account and mine, but that was two weeks ago, and it still doesn't work.
But now, thanks to the misleading error message, I have to go and change the password on all my devices: 3 desktop computers, 1 laptop, 1 NAS server, 1 tablet, 1 phone. What a colossal waste of time. And all because of a totally bogus error message.
Also, I just got back (to Nepal) from about 2 weeks in Tibet, where the government blocks most VPN's, everything Google, CAPTCHA's, etc. For customers overseas Cox blocks some of the same elements, making it harder to troubleshoot in places like China. (I'd expect similar problems in Iran, Russia, and other places where governments are likely to do such things.) When a government does it, we call it censorship. When a corporation like Cox does it, we call it free enterprise.
Well, I suppose you're lucky in that you found a level 2 rep that actually knew about this blocking outside the US :-/ It's really bad in that it seems they don't really care about providing a good service and satisfying customers.
With this and other mail issues (the biggest now is that with the "new" webmail platform, it's impossible to manage and delete emails by sender or date ranges, where before it may have been a bit cumbersome, it was doable, and this is exacerbated by the 2Gb limit that's been in place for over a decade--when you try to view a lot of e-mails, it takes 5 minutes just to get halfway through the "A's" when going alphabetically by sender, and then you get a 502 server error or 127.0.0.1 error, so you can never view and delete e-mails from senders in the "G's" and "H's", let along L's and M's!), I have been told twice that the best solution is to use another e-mail service. Really? Telling customers to use a competitor? And then they say that the e-mail is just a "free" item, and they only really sell the internet access. Yeah, right--it's included in the package for a price!
So, the only thing I could afford to do since I had critical responses and e-mails for things I had to get done while traveling, was to use gmail. I see that it's blocked where you traveled, so I suppose you'd need to find another one... Good luck!
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.