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I have my AT&T cellular through Tracfone. Ever since the migration, I've been unable to access my POP3 email via cellular. I just borrowed a friend's phone, set up my email account, and accessed my POP3 email just fine via cellular. That friend also has wireless service with AT&T, but directly with AT&T (not through Tracfone, like me). Her phone is the same phone as mine, too (iPhone 5s).
This seems like a problem with my AT&T account setup through Tracfone. I'd like to verify that. I'm trying to hear from anyone who is successfully (or unsuccessfully) accessing their Verizon (AOL) email account using POP3 and an MVNO. Preferably Tracfone, but it doesn't matter.
Through the Verizon FIOS forum on DSLReports.com I have found someone else having the same problem. He has his wireless service through Cricket, a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T. So, we both can't access pop.verizon.net and smtp.verizon.net over AT&T wireless when we're getting that service through an MVNO, not directly with AT&T.
It surprises me that so few are reporting this problem. Maybe they see it, look for an alternative, and forget about it when they find an alternative that works? An easy alternative is to use the AOL app, but that uses IMAP for access. Or, edit your email app to use imap.aol.com and smtp.aol.com (again, switching to IMAP access). For various reasons, I need to use POP.
So, as far as I can tell now, to see the problem someone has to:
1. Have a verizon.net email address that they want to keep using.
2. Migrate it to AOL.
3. Want to use POP. That is, use the pop.verizon.net and smtp.verizon.net servers.
4. Have their wireless service with AT&T.
5. Get their AT&T service through an MVNO.
Everyone who had service with Verizon used the POP servers since Verizon didn't support IMAP. That's a lot of people. And a lot of them probably use AT&T wireless. The need to have service with an MVNO may dramatically reduce the number of people affected.
I forgot to mention in my original post that email works fine over WiFi. It's only over cellular (wireless) that it fails.
Since my original post I've found a friend who has her wireless service directly with Verizon. Accessing her email via POP is working fine for her. Also a second friend who has direct AT&T service. Working fine there, too. That makes two people I know with direct AT&T service who are not having any problems.
I haven't been able to locate anyone with MVNO prepaid service with Verizon or T-Mobile, for example, to see if the problem also exists with that configuration. So far, I've only seen it happen with AT&T.
I can make this happen on both of my phones: an iPhone 5s and a Galaxy S3. I have downloaded a useful app to my iPhone called "Network Tools" by KeepSolid which has a TCP/IP client function. With that function I can open port 995 on pop.verizon.net -- showing I can get there. But, the port then immediately closes. If I open port 995 on another pop email server (like pop.gmail.com or pop.mail.yahoo.com), the port stays open until the server times me out (typically around 60 seconds). This could be a clue as to what's going wrong. I can get to pop.verizon.net port 995 but the port won't stay open. On all my friends' phones with direct AT&T or Verizon access the same test times out in 60 seconds, just like the other servers pop.gmail.com and pop.mail.yahoo.com. BTW, if I perform the test on either of my phones, with WiFi enabled, it also times out in 60 seconds! So, this low-level TCP/IP test directly predicts email access behavior.
It's interesting that this is happening on two servers which used to have Verizion IP addresses and now, keeping their names, have AOL IP addresses. I'm trying to think of anything out of the ordinary.
Does anyone have any insights as to what may be going on here? Tracfone (AT&T) is blaming AOL (Verizon), and AOL is blaming Tracfone. Meanwhile, the customer is left without wireless email access.