You bring your laptop from home to work in a coffee shop. You connect to the Wi-Fi service, start the web browser to check the news, and then go to Outlook to check email. You read what’s arrived and write a quick note to a friend to make plans for lunch next week.
Up pops this message:
A normal, English-speaking adult would see a block of more than 700 undifferentiated ASCII characters.
If you happen to guess that that it might be related to your Charter email account and stumble over to the Charter online help, you may find a message such as this:
Do you feel helped?
The short explanation is that Charter has a stupid policy that doesn’t allow people to send mail through Charter email servers when they are not connected to the Internet through Charter.
If you go to one place around Worcester, you might be lucky and find that they use Charter for business, in which case you can send your message. Most places, though, have their own national ISP configurations and so block connections to Port 25 used to send email.
The workaround is to use Charter’s webmail service, the one that welcomes you with email that includes the following message about the message:
If you have a VPN back to your home and can make a connection through a service there, you might be able to connect.
The other alternative is to use the mobile device settings (mobile.charter.net) and SSL for the IMAP and SMTP servers.. These settings are intended for smartphones, but appear to work with Outlook.