How to Send Email When Traveling or Using Public Wi-Fi

Last reviewed on September 12, 2014   —  7 comments

One of the first questions I’m asked when I travel and someone finds out I support Microsoft Outlook, is:

How do I send mail from the hotel?

They can download their email just fine, but replies won’t send and they have no idea what’s wrong.

This is usually the result of authentication issues. In order to prevent strangers from using their SMTP server to send spam, many ISPs require users to authenticate when they try to send email while accessing the server from outside the network. In many cases, users will also need to use a different port number and may need to use SSL.

Check Outgoing Server Authentication

authenticate with smtp server

To check or change the outgoing server authentication, you need to open the Account settings dialog. In Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013, this is on the File tab, and on the Tools menu in Outlook 2007 and earlier versions.

After opening the dialog to the list of email accounts, double click on the email account then click the More Settings dialog and select the Outgoing server tab to check the authentication settings.

Enable My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication and select Use the same settings as my incoming mail server. These settings will often work both at home and when traveling.

You’ll also want to check the port and SSL settings on the Advanced tab. Commonly used port numbers are 587, 465, and 1025 but if these don’t work, you’ll need to check your mail providers support pages for the correct port number. You may also need to select SSL or Auto for encrypted connections; again, this information should be on your mail providers support website.

Once you make these changes, you should be able to send email from home, coffee shops, or hotels.

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlookforums.

7 responses to “How to Send Email When Traveling or Using Public Wi-Fi”

  1. Brad Quon

    Worked for me. Thanks.

  2. Maria Angelini

    I have had this same problem for years, and am happy to say I have just implemented your recommended changes and it has worked.......thank you!!

  3. John fitzgerald

    Thank you. I have been having this trouble for a while and your solution worked for me.

  4. Zhenya Chausheva

    Huge gratitude ! This problem always made me feel nervous during the holidays.
    It is now in the past :)

  5. David Williams

    Great! My Outlook wouldn't work on wifi so had to use webmail (bit of a nuisance). Switched to "use same settings as incoming server" which enabled incoming mail to Outlook, then switched outgoing port from 25 to 587 which then enabled my outgoing mail!

  6. Rob Ellis

    Okay for YEARS I've had trouble on one particular email account where I couldn't send emails out, however it was only on random networks so I was stumped! I just went in to settings and changed my outgoing port number to 587 and it works fine - I'm happy I'll never have to deal with this issue again. Thank you!

  7. larry

    i found out I can use my Gmail account for all my email accounts. Yay!

Leave a Reply

If the Post Coment button disappears, press your Tab key.