Thursday, June 04, 2015

Email Port 995 Blocked on Wireless by BitDefender

I am posting this because it took me a few hours to fix and I could not find any solutions for it on the internet.

I use Outlook 2013 as my email client for both Verizon and Gmail (Google Apps). I have them both set up as POP3 using the recommended port 995 (SSL) and the recommended incoming mail servers - pop.verizon.net and pop.gmail.com.

The issue I had was an interesting one. Everything worked perfectly when my ethernet cable was plugged in via a wired connection directly to my FIOS router. But when I unplugged the cable and connected via wireless, my incoming e-mail stopped working (outgoing was still sending fine and I could connect fine to the internet).

Initially, I figured the problem must be my FIOS router blocking traffic on port 995 only when I was connected via wireless (perhaps they thought this was a less secure environment). So I logged in to my FIOS router configuration (192.168.1.1 in my browser and admin credentials) and set up a port forwarding rule to forward both TCP and UDP on port 995 to my ip address (which I looked up via "ipconfig" command on the command line). Surprisingly this had no effect.

I called Verizon and after 30 minutes they said yep there is something blocking port 995 but they could not help beyond that.

Next I added an incoming rule on Windows Firewall to allow port 995, but that didn't help either.

Finally, I disabled by "BitDefender" virus protection and that fixed the problem. So BitDefender was blocking port 995 only when I was connected via wireless. I called our BitDefender administrator, and he had to log in to the BitDefender admin console and create a rule to allow port 995 traffic on my IP address. After he did that everything was working.

You may be wondering why more people are not affected by this issue. I thhink most people these days are using IMAP and  not POP3. IMAP uses port 993, so maybe that port is not blocked. And I don't think that many people use BitDefender either.

Hopefully this will help other people with this issue - and even if you don't have BitDefender, you may be able to use a similar troubleshooting process.

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