Fix E-Mail and SMTP problems for Time Warner Road Runner E-Mail Accounts

This is an article I wrote in 2009 that I have reposted as many folks have found it helpful and requested I repost it.

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Recently, check I’ve had to intervene to help some clients access their Time Warner Road Runner email accounts while they are not connected to the Time Warner Road Runner network (outside the Time Warner Road Runner network). While they could use the web mail provided by Time Warner, they were looking for a solution to keep using their Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Apple Mail, and iPhone when outside a Road Runner connection. There is a ton of confusing misinformation about this issue on the internet, so here we go…

First of all, Time Warner should change their policy that blocks outgoing mail from authenticated users that are not on Road Runner at the moment. However, at least they have provided access, although it is non-intuitive, by offering alternate settings that you can plug into your e-mail program or iPhone.

The problem is not incoming e-mail. You can probably already see your incoming e-mail. The problem is outgoing mail through their SMTP outgoing mail service. The solution is to use the following customized settings for outgoing SMTP e-mail:

The outgoing SMTP server setting will be something similar to smtp-server.<your location> where <your location> will be something related to your geographic area. Here is an example for central NY:
(Check your incoming (POP) settings to see the geographic portion of the server setting if you are not sure, or contact your local Time Warner Road Runner office.)

The SMTP server requires password authentication, but not SSL.

Unlike the user name for incoming (POP), you will need to use your entire email address (including the @ symbol). In contrast, the incoming (POP) user name setting only requires the first part of your email address.

Your password for SMTP will be the same as your normal e-mail account password.

The port setting for the SMTP server will need to be changed to 587. Even if your e-mail program states that 587 is one of the “default” ports, it works best to choose to specifically designate port 587.

That should fix your outgoing SMTP access issues. You may need to save your settings and restart your email application before it works.

Please note that these settings may or may not cause your outgoing e-mail to stop working while you are actually connected to a Time Warner Road Runner network. Does that make sense? Not really, but that’s their policy.

Some Road Runner users skip all these settings and instead opt for something like a gmail account which they use for SMTP and have their gmail messages forwarded to their Road Runner account. They also set the “reply-to” setting in their e-mail application to be their Road Runner address. That’s another strategy.


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Finally, I should say that I do not use a Road Runner e-mail account so I can not vouch for the long term usage of these settings. If your e-mail account is critical to your business, I recommend that you start using a different e-mail account with your own domain name. Otherwise, if you choose to cancel your Road Runner service in the future, it will likely mean that your Road Runner e-mail account will be canceled as well. E-mail addresses that are tied to internet service providers like Road Runner are not very portable.

Again, this is an article I wrote back in 2009, but it may still help folks in 2014.