SMTP Travel Server

Click here to set up your SMTP Server


Finding a new SMTP server when traveling shouldn’t be difficult. But sometimes it is! I’m here to make things a little easier next time you need to find an alternate SMTP server. There are several good providers of SMTP travel servers around. Check my recommended links in the sidebar for suggestions.

It’s easy to set up. Just provide your email address, and after you receive a confirmation email, you merely put the server name in your SMTP settings. They provide clear and easy to follow instructions for getting set up, and support is excellent. You can see an example of the SMTP setup instructions for Outlook 2007 here.

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Find an SMTP Server


Late arriving flight from Dallas (I despise that airport!) and by the time I got to the hotel I found out I couldn’t check email. Outlook just hung there and nothing was happening. The business center was closed so that wasn’t an option either. I was stressing out because I needed to send out a budget reforecast to my boss that was due that day. Finally I was able to get my IT guy on the phone and he said I needed to use a global SMTP sever. Now why couldn’t IT have set me up with this before I left the office? I have no idea, but I’m glad we were able to work things out.

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Solve SMTP Problem


Why can’t I send email from the hotel? We see a lot of emails with this question, and although it seems complicated, solving this communication problem is actually quite simple.

You know the grumpy IT guy? He configured your mail with SMTP settings that work locally to your office (and didn’t tell you how to change them when you travel. Nice). That means when you travel, your email application is unable to find its usual mail server. As a result, you’re unable to send or receive email.

Any time you’re out of the office, you need to change the email settings to a new SMTP server. If you don’t happen to know one (does anyone?), don’t worry — global STMP servers work worldwide (check out my recommend links in the sidebar).

Once you make this change, you can check email from the home office or anywhere you travel without worrying about having to reconfigure your SMTP settings.

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SMTP Server Address

At the hotel trying to find an SMTP server address? I’ve been there — I knew I needed a new SMTP server address but had no idea how to change my SMTP server settings. Fortunately I discovered how to use a global SMTP server — thought I’d spread the word since it worked so well for me.

Find a global SMTP server provider (see a list of recommended SMTP Servers in the sidebar) — many have free trials so you can get up and running at no cost — and follow the instructions to replace your SMTP server with theirs. Good providers generally provide detailed setup instructions for a range of email clients and offer some kind of support whether it’s email support or help forums. Once the free trial ends, you can expect to pay under $5/month for access, more if you need a high volume of email. Not too expensive and you can usually bill your company for the expense. It’s also nice because once you replace your SMTP server with a global one, you don’t need to make the change again.

The service also has instructions for changing your SMTP server address for lots of different email applications whether it’s Outlook 2000-2010, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Eudora as well as Blackberry and iPhone.

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How to change Email SMTP Settings

business-centerI found a quick and easy way to change SMTP settings for Outlook and other email clients. It’s a simple process and once you set yourself up with a global SMTP server, you won’t have to go through the process again. I documented some step-by-step instructions for Outlook 2007 here with links to other email applications too. I’ve been stuck in the hotel on a business trip with no email before, so I know what a hassle this is. I hope this saves someone some time and frustration!

Keep in mind you can actually change your SMTP settings to a global server permanently, not just when you are traveling. That lets you change SMTP settings only once, and then your email is available in your home office as well as when you travel. That’s an easier way to do things — one change and you are set.


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Vacation Email Tips and more

email-travel-settingsI have traveled a fair bit both for business and pleasure and thought I would share some tips, observations and advice for others who like to or have to travel. I was a corporate slave for many years, working for powerhouse Fortune 50 companies on the East coast. I have also worked for start-ups in the Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 worlds. I even took a year off with my wife to travel Southeast Asia and India in 2003. So among all these experiences I’ve traveled quite a bit, both for business and pleasure.

As a corporate worker, most companies have standardized on using Outlook as their email client of choice. I actually grew to hate Outlook, with its bloated application structure and archaic archiving system. I much prefer a webmail solution when traveling, and this approach allows you to avoid messing with the SMTP settings or servers you often encounter when trying to use Outlook on the road.

If your company insists on using Outlook, and your IT staff is clever, they can set up the POP3 server for Outlook using a webmail solution like Gmail. That way you won’t have to mess with the outgoing SMTP server name when you’re traveling. If you are still stuck with a dedicated email server, you will have to find and change your SMTP server settings when you travel. See other blog posts on this site for reliable global mail servers to accomplish this task.

If you’re able to use a smartphone to check mail through a webmail interface, that’s the best solution of all. Just remember to set up your mail client so when mail is read through webmail, the same status is passed on to your mail client.

How to pack? Of course this advice is different whether you’re traveling on business or pleasure. For business, I prefered a garment bag because it fit nicely in the overhead compartment, and kept dress shirts and suits relatively wrinkle-free. Make sure to keep clothes in plastic dry cleaner bags before packing. This can go a long way towards reducing wrinkles. Either way, you will have to iron before dressing, so make sure your ironing skills are up to par. And, don’t iron your suit!

With the new airport security rules limiting liquids to 3 oz., you need to be sure you’ve got travel sizes of all the items you need. Consider using shaving soap instead of shaving cream. Shaving cream containers take up a big footprint in your 1 quart size allowed ziplock, so opting for shaving soap can free up valuable space. Did you know prescriptions (eyedrops, etc.) are exempt from the quart size bag? You can pack those separately, freeing up more valuable space.

Don’t be afraid to use your briefcase as a supplemental packing device. I like to put all my reading material in my briefcase for easy access, and it frees up my garment bag for other items. I also like to load up on reading material I haven’t gotten to yet on trips. Print out that research study you’ve been meaning to get to, and stuff it in your briefcase for airplane reading.

Avoid using the hotel business center if you can. They’re usually expensive, and you can accomplish the same tasks at a ubiquitous Kinko’s/Fed Ex or the like. Don’t forget your computer’s power supply! I’ve seen this happen to countless coworkers, and more than one has asked the home office to overnight their power supply to the hotel so they can check email. Again, the smartphone has eliminated a lot of this hassle, but I still made it a practice to buy a 2nd power supply for my computer — one for the office that never left — and the other for home and travel situations.

Personal travel is another area to explore. Whether you’re going to a highly Westernized location like the Yucatan Peninsula or a more remote location like the islands of Indonesia, you still need to prepare and plan before packing.

Obviously you can get by with more casual clothes when traveling personally. I usually travel with technical gear like “jungle” pants and shirts, in addition to shorts, and t-shirts. Resist the temptation to overpack. I end up wearing about 50% of what I thought I would wear, so pare down your packing piles before you depart. Wear your heaviest shoes on the airplane and pack the others. This will save you from lugging a super-heavy bag through the airport. If you can get by without bringing your computer, do it. Internet cafes are common throughout the world — you see them much more frequently than in the US. They are also quite inexpensive. This makes it very easy to check email and stay in touch when you are traveling. Get in the habit of putting your important documents, photos and videos in the “cloud”. For example you can put all your photos in Picassa and your MS Office documents in Google Docs. Google Docs has really made using a PC and Windows almost unnecessary. Read all your email through a webmail account like Gmail (no messing with outgoing mail servers, POP3 servers or SMTP server settings) and your photos and videos will be secure and easily accessible. This approach also keeps the risk of theft of your valuable personal property down. Of course, if you need to use an application like Final Cut Pro or CSS you will need a computer. If you’re just checking email or creating and reading personal MS Office documents, the solutions I’ve mentioned will work just fine.

In today’s virtual world, it’s quite possible to work while on vacation. Many self-employed people or business owners are able to live anywhere in the world they want and still keep in touch and up to date on business matters. Again, the smartphone makes this task much easier that in the past, but it can easily be done with a computer and reliable Internet connection, too.

I have heard that making flight reservations is cheapest on Tues. and Wed., as that’s when airlines make their cheapest fares available. Consider making travel reservations then — you might save yourself or your company some money.


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0x80042109 Error Message in Outlook

Confused about an 0x80042109 error message while using Outlook? You may see a message like this:

Task ‘SMTP server name – Sending and Receiving’ reported error (0x80042109): ‘Outlook is unable to connect to your outgoing (SMTP) e-mail server. If you continue to receive this message, contact the server administrator or Internet service provider (ISP).’

What’s happening? When you try to connect to your email provider to send mail, the outgoing SMTP server can’t be reached. This usually happens when you are traveling and try to send email from your laptop from your hotel room or another office. Here’s how to troubleshoot the problem and solve it:

1) Make sure you can connect to the Internet. Launch a browser and navigate to or some other large site. If you can’t reach the Internet at all, you obviously won’t be able to send email. If you can connect, it’s time to focus on the configuration in Outlook.

2) Do you have the option to use webmail? Many companies give you the option of sending and receiving email through a webmail interface. This can be a quick and easy solution to sending email, so if you have the option, try it.

3) Check your SMTP settings. You may need to use a different SMTP server. Outlook is configured to connect to a specific outgoing mail server (SMTP server) and many times, you won’t be able to reach that server if you are traveling. You’ll need to replace the SMTP server with one that works in your local area, or better yet, works globally.

We have a list of Free SMTP servers you can try. We also recommend using a global SMTP server (SMTP2Go is a good one and they have a free 7 day trial — click the banner at the top of the page for access).

Once you get the name of the new SMTP server, you need to reconfigure Outlook to use that server instead of the one that’s there now. If you go with one of the SMTP server providers, they’ll send complete instructions. You can also use the instructions on our SMTP settings page.

Good luck, please leave a comment with additional questions or problems and we’ll reply here.


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Email Setup on Outlook


If you’re having trouble with email setup on Outlook, it may be an SMTP server issue.

When you’re in the office, or working from home, your SMTP server works just fine because it’s set to a local ISP (internet service provider).  Once you leave your local area, your SMTP settings may no longer work. One clear indication this is happening: when checking mail, you get a server error code (like a 550 relaying error code and others). That means your email in unable to connect with its usual SMTP server and can’t send or receive mail.

If this is the case, you’ll need to change your SMTP settings to a national or global SMTP provider (we recommend SMTP2Go).

It’s a straightforward process, and I’ve included the instructions here for changing the email setup for Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2007.  There’s a link to additional mail client settings on that page, too.  Good luck I hope this helps you!

Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2007 setup instructions

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Travel Tips?

Want travel tips? We’ve got ’em — go to our handy Travel Tips page. Before you travel, it’s a good idea to develop a checklist of items you’ll need. That includes a packing list, but also documentation and immunization requirements if you’re traveling to countries that require it. Check several weeks ahead of time for immunization requirements. You’ll need to schedule an appointment and you don’t want to find yourself trying to schedule something at the last minute. See more details on our Travel Tips page.


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SMTP Servers for Travel


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Top 10 Business Travel Tips

find-smtp-serverI enjoyed this post from the New York Times on the Top 10 Business Travel tips. This is a fairly pared down approach to traveling, but there are some common-sense nuggets like:

-Don’t rush to board or de-plane. This is a favorite of mine and one I’ve adopted because invariably, you rush to wait. Let the stressed-out passengers jump up to get off the plane while you stay put and get up when the aisle clears.

-Look for a back row seat. If the plane is lightly booked (unfortunately that happens less and less nowadays) you can often find a seat in the back and get a row all to yourself.

-Pack everything in a backpack. Admittedly, this is going to work better for IT types than executives, but I like the idea of paring down what you bring on a trip.

Check out the rest of the article and let us know what you think!



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