Test POP3 connection

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You can easily test a POP3 connection from the command line in order to rule out any connection errors. This is done using Telnet, which can be found from the command line in Windows or Linux.

You will need to know the name of the pop-server, username and password.

Running a POP3 test using Telnet on Windows 2000/XP/Vista
  1. Go to Start (start button on the lower left of the desktop)
  2. Choose Run
  3. Type: cmd
  4. This should bring up a DOS prompt. Once there, enter: telnet incoming.servage.net 110
  5. Type: user username@yourdomain.com
  6. Type: pass yoursecretpassword
  7. Type: list (Will present a numbered list over mails in mailbox)
  8. Type: retr 1 (Will display e-mail number 1)
  9. Exit session by entering: quit
Running a POP3 test using Linux Ubuntu
  1. Start a terminal session and enter: telnet incoming.servage.net 110
  2. Type: user username@yourdomain.com
  3. Type: pass yoursecretpassword
  4. Type: list (Will present a numbered list over mails in mailbox)
  5. Type: retr 1 (Will display e-mail number 1)
  6. Exit session by entering: quit
Conclusion

With this test you can verify if the error is local (i.e. your Outlook, Thunderbird or other choice of client) or server-side. Because if you can retrieve a email using telnet the connection and mailbox is OK, and problem is in regards to email client. But if you fail to retrieve email using telnet, the error is server-side and you need to contact customer support for further investigation.


Other Telnet commands:

  • stat = Status of mailbox
  • dele N = delete mail number "N"
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