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Outlook Express - general account setup (for new mail servers) - updated 15Oct11

What future for Outlook Express? - none beyond XP

The technical (short) answer to replacing it is Mozilla Thunderbird!

Anyone who has business (OR personal) correspondence that is important to them for any reason should at the very least consider (perhaps every 2-3 years) keeping their incoming and outgoing e-mails on their own PC rather than solely using WebMail services such as Hotmail, Yahoo, MSN etc. or even worse those provided by their Internet Provider - these on-line services often have no agreed service levels because very often they are free!

Trying to get anything but trivial actions from a free provider when certain events occur is a disaster and we have had enquiries many times from users of them asking if we can help! Typically there is little we can do retrospectively whereas we can provide excellent products and services to support e-mail activities, including our Zero-Spam, Zero-loss and Zero Administration! service to keep your e-mail pristinely clean and free of the scourge.

This web page is maintained for those customers who are still using Outlook Express - it will be replaced by an equivalent page for those that are increasingly using Thunderbird even though I have usually (personally) set-up those e-mail clients over the past 3-4 years.


Getting into the 'account settings' - NB per account unlike Options!

The first steps are:

  1. Open Outlook Express and wait until any startup activity has finished (e.g. Send and Receive Mail)
  2. Select the Tools option from the action list just below the Window title bar (bright blue at the top of the window)
  3. then choose Accounts... as shown to the right. This option is usually the second from the bottom in the 'Tools' list


Of the Tabs across the top - all but the 'Mail' Tab are irrelevant for average users. Clicking on it will display all of your e-Mail accounts as shown to the left.

You should then double-click on the account you want to change. FYI that is equivalent to selecting the account (single click) and then clicking upon 'Properties'.


General tab - Names and your e-mail alias for replies

The first (top) item you can change is the name that only you see and it is only shown when doing a 'Send/Receive' and when Exporting and Importing Internet account files.

Under 'User Information' you should fill in the Name and E-Mail address to whatever degree of anonymity (or otherwise) you choose. Obviously if you want to receive replies then the E-Mail address needs to be at least an alias at a domain where you can pick up mail.

Leave the 'Include when...' blank IF you have more than one outgoing E-Mail address that you want to be able to select when sending but the Incoming address is already in an account that IS included - i.e. box ticked.


Servers tab - lets Outlook Express know where to collect your mail from

The Servers Tab will always be unique to the server that you are using to send and receive mail. For our servers we keep it simple by having the names of both Incoming and Outgoing servers the same. Your account name MUST have the '@' and domain name appended to your User Name.

'Secure Password Authentication' must be UN-checked and conversely:

'My server requires authentication' must be CHECKED as shown to the right.

As of April 21st 2011 the physical server name is: ventura.xssl.net (was mentor before first '.') which can be used in both boxes (POP3 and SMTP) as shown to the left. If you want to CONNECT SECURELY - this is VERY IMPORTANT if you use insecure (e.g. Open Wireless) networks and/or Internet Cafés - see below!


To keep your connection to our server secure even when your connection isn't

The Servers Tab has to name the physical server name: ventura.xssl.net (was mentor before first '.') which MUST be used in both boxes (POP3 and SMTP) as shown to the left AS WELL as changes on the Advanced Tab BELOW!


Connection tab - was important before Broadband, not often used now

On the Connection Tab it will depend upon how you connect to the Internet but as a rule of Thumb:

  • Dial-Up users should have the box UN-checked
  • Users with real LANs (Local Area Network) should probably have the box ticked and the LAN selected.
  • Broadband users will depend upon their suppliers (of Broadband) and the technology they have used. If it is working without problems then 'leave it'. If users are getting disconnected and the 'Disconnect after Send/Receive' ISN'T CHECKED in Outlook Tools -> Options -> Connection (Tab) then try unchecking it.


Security tab - very, very unlikely to be needed

The Security Tab (not illustrated) is for advanced users only everything will be unchecked and '3DES' will be displayed as an algorithm. If anything IS filled in then it is far beyond the scope of this short Web page to explain what needs to be filled-in.


Advanced tab - SECURITY post-2002 plus mail retention at the server

The Advanced Tab (shown to left) CAN be left with everything unckecked and Out/In ports set to 25 and 110 as shown UNLESS you use any INSECURE WiFi networks such as Internet Cafés. See below for what needs to be done to apply security over insecure networks.

If you use SquirrelMail (The name for WebMail on our servers) you MAY wish to keep temporary copies of Incoming e-Mails on the server for use when using Squirrelmail - offsite for example. Another reason is when more than one device retrieves your e-mails - e.g. many modern (smart-) phones.

If you choose this option then you will need to manage within your disk quota as exceeding it will cause e-Mail delays and even rejection. So please:

  • Do not use an expiry period of greater than 22 days - ideally 11 or less
  • Remember to delete your 'Trash' folder on the server very regularly if you delete e-Mails in Squirrelmail prior to opening Outlook
  • Ensure that e-Mails with large attachments are deleted as quickly as possible - for instance - when the attachments have been detached and a reply (with original text perhaps) has been made.
  • For more guidance and/or a more specific web page - see Web-mail management.


Making the connection to the server (ventura.xssl.net) secure using (SSL) encryption

The Advanced Tab (shown to the Left) should have the Out/In ports set to 465 (or 26 if that fails) and 995 as shown if you use ANY INSECURE WiFi networks such as Internet Cafés.

This will only be secure if you ALSO CHANGE the SERVER NAME to 'ventura.xssl.net' - see ABOVE.


I hope that has been useful. Any Comments, suggestions or corrections to: Contact us please. This would be especially useful if the software environment you have is different to mine and the headings, text or prompts are different.


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