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[SOLVED] Advice on switching from POP3 to IMAP with Comcast

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tomdkat
 
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Post Posted November 19th, 2018, 9:46 am

Hi! I'm a long time Comcast customer and have used Thunderbird with POP3 access to my Comcast email accounts for a *very* long time. This morning (November 19, 2018), Thunderbird 60.2.1 on Ubuntu 18.10 refuses to connect to Comcast's POP3 mail servers. Thunderbird 60.2.1 on my Linux Mint 18.3 system can connect just fine. What I did notice is Comcast's POP3 mail server address (mail.comcast.net and pop3.comcast.net) now point to IMAP server addresses.

Anyway, on to the point of this: I have a few *hundred* folders and almost 300 message filters all setup to organize my mail, in my primary POP3 mail account. I conducted a test and created a new Thunderbird profile where I could successfully access my Comcast mail via IMAP. So, I figure Comcast will be dropping POP3 access. Given the number of folders and message filters I have setup, all geared around POP email access (I know the folders and filters don't use POP3 directly, but my email management plan has been POP3-centric), would the transition to IMAP be a painful one?

I wouldn't want all my folders uploaded to the server or anything. Would it be as "simple" as creating a new email account, in my default Thunderbird profile, and copying my folders from the old POP3 account to the new IMAP one, somehow *not* uploading the folders to the server in the process?

Thanks in advance!
Last edited by tomdkat on November 21st, 2018, 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

lasardo
 
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Post Posted November 19th, 2018, 10:53 am

According to here https://www.xfinity.com/support/article ... nity-email
Comcast will continue to support POP3, but you need to change the port from 110 to 995
Incoming Mail Server Name: pop3.comcast.net
Incoming Mail Server Port Number: 995 (POP3 With SSL)
Please note that beginning in November 2018, Incoming Mail Server Port Number 110 will no longer be supported. If you wish to continue to use POP, please update your configurations to Port 995

If you switch to IMAP, the world crumbles. IMAP is not designed to keep a local copy of your messages on your computer, they are all off in the cloud and what you have locally is only a virtually useless "cache."
Comcast will probably support POP3 forever, if you make the changes above. If it does not, personally I would find another provider instead of trying to use IMAP.
More explicit settings are shown here: https://www.xfinity.com/support/article ... p3-110-995

WaltS48

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Post Posted November 19th, 2018, 11:17 am

On my Ubuntu 18.04 and Linux Mint 19 no matter what the settings are for POP3 they don't work.

Using the Account Wizard to create the account in a new profile fails, and it finds the correct settings. Found them when I first switched to Comcast from Verizon last year.

Found the settings, created the account when I tested Thunderbird 60.3.1 on a LiveCD of Fedora 28. :?: :?:

So far all my Thunderbird installs on Windows 10 still work.

I will probably switch to IMAP and follow the instructions at https://www.xfinity.com/support/article ... hunderbird
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tanstaafl
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Post Posted November 20th, 2018, 7:55 am

If you don't want to upload your old mail to the IMAP account why not just move it to folders in "Local Folders"? That is one of the main reasons that special account exists. See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Importing_folders for how to import mail using the ImportExportTools add-on.

See http://kb.mozillazine.org/IMAP_backup for several suggestions about how to backup a IMAP account. The IMAPSize utility (under Windows) for example backs up messages as .eml messages . You can use it to restore them or import them using the ImportExportTools add-on. The utility does incremental backups - it won't backup a message again if its already backed up. That will work even if you disable offline folders (the mbox files) in synchronization & storage.

The terminology in https://www.xfinity.com/support/article ... hunderbird has a few errors. You don't want to delete your POP profile when you're done, you want to delete the POP account. Big difference. http://kb.mozillazine.org/Convert_a_POP ... AP_account deals with several other issues the Comcast article ignores.

I've had a Comcast IMAP account for many years. A little slow, but no problems.

tomdkat
 
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Post Posted November 20th, 2018, 9:05 am

lasardo wrote:According to here https://www.xfinity.com/support/article ... nity-email
Comcast will continue to support POP3, but you need to change the port from 110 to 995
Incoming Mail Server Name: pop3.comcast.net
Incoming Mail Server Port Number: 995 (POP3 With SSL)
Please note that beginning in November 2018, Incoming Mail Server Port Number 110 will no longer be supported. If you wish to continue to use POP, please update your configurations to Port 995

If you switch to IMAP, the world crumbles. IMAP is not designed to keep a local copy of your messages on your computer, they are all off in the cloud and what you have locally is only a virtually useless "cache."
Comcast will probably support POP3 forever, if you make the changes above. If it does not, personally I would find another provider instead of trying to use IMAP.
More explicit settings are shown here: https://www.xfinity.com/support/article ... p3-110-995
Thanks for the reply! I actually had port 995 configured for SSL/TLS access to the POP3 mail server and it was working fine until Monday morning. :(

I also read that information at the XFinity website but changing from "mail.comcast.net" to "pop3.comcast.net" didn't make any difference.

Thanks again!

Peace...

tomdkat
 
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Post Posted November 20th, 2018, 9:10 am

tanstaafl wrote:If you don't want to upload your old mail to the IMAP account why not just move it to folders in "Local Folders"? That is one of the main reasons that special account exists. See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Importing_folders for how to import mail using the ImportExportTools add-on.
Yes, I thought about that last night. That's definitely an option and I'll look at getting my mail organized under "Local Folders". I've got 3 or 4 Comcast email accounts being impacted so I could create "master" folders for each account in "Local Folders" and move the related sub-folders to the related "master" folders. I could then update my message filters to route the mail to the new folder locations. By chance, if I moved the mail folders to "Local Folders", would the existing message filters still work without modification?

See http://kb.mozillazine.org/IMAP_backup for several suggestions about how to backup a IMAP account. The IMAPSize utility (under Windows) for example backs up messages as .eml messages . You can use it to restore them or import them using the ImportExportTools add-on. The utility does incremental backups - it won't backup a message again if its already backed up. That will work even if you disable offline folders (the mbox files) in synchronization & storage.

The terminology in https://www.xfinity.com/support/article ... hunderbird has a few errors. You don't want to delete your POP profile when you're done, you want to delete the POP account. Big difference. http://kb.mozillazine.org/Convert_a_POP ... AP_account deals with several other issues the Comcast article ignores.

I've had a Comcast IMAP account for many years. A little slow, but no problems.

Thanks for the info!

Peace...

tomdkat
 
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Post Posted November 20th, 2018, 9:11 am

WaltS48 wrote:On my Ubuntu 18.04 and Linux Mint 19 no matter what the settings are for POP3 they don't work.

Using the Account Wizard to create the account in a new profile fails, and it finds the correct settings. Found them when I first switched to Comcast from Verizon last year.

Found the settings, created the account when I tested Thunderbird 60.3.1 on a LiveCD of Fedora 28. :?: :?:

So far all my Thunderbird installs on Windows 10 still work.
Sounds like we're in the same boat. On Ubuntuforums.org, I started a thread seeking help with the networking aspect of this issue.

Thanks!

Peace...

lasardo
 
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Post Posted November 20th, 2018, 9:23 am

Comcast would have tech support you could email or call, even if POP3 is not working they still claim they are supporting POP3 so they should help you set it up or fix it so you can connect.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted November 20th, 2018, 9:31 am

"By chance, if I moved the mail folders to "Local Folders", would the existing message filters still work without modification?"

If you had the same folder layout in Local Folders, and each POP account used identical message filters you could copy the "msgFilterRules.dat" file from any one of the POP accounts to the Local Folders account. If you created master folders in Local Folders that would create problems. You can enable a account column in the folder listing to help distinguish what email address a message was sent to. You could also assign a custom tag for messages for each account and click on the tag column to sort messages by tags (accounts). There is also a account colors add-on at https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-US/th ... nt-colors/

However, only POP accounts support a global inbox. If you want to emulate one for IMAP accounts you'd need to have message filters in each IMAP account that moved the messages to folders in Local Folders. You wouldn't be able to hide the IMAP accounts in the folder pane, but you could just keep them un-expanded and ignore them.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted November 20th, 2018, 9:32 am

Perhaps you are seeing issues with a local server, Comcast still works fine with a POP account.

Settings should be the full email address for user name, port 995, connection security set to SSL/TLS and Authentication to Normal password.

WaltS48

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Post Posted November 20th, 2018, 9:42 am

DanRaisch wrote:Perhaps you are seeing issues with a local server, Comcast still works fine with a POP account.

Settings should be the full email address for user name, port 995, connection security set to SSL/TLS and Authentication to Normal password.


You are on Windows. My account in TB works on Windows 10.

We are on Linux, where it died yesterday when I booted up the computer and started Thunderbird.

Doing a ping of mail.comcast.net failed on Linux, showed an imap.ge.xfinity.net address result when pinged on Windows. I think it was .ge. Don't have access to the Windows laptop to double check.

Would I be going to different servers from the same location, through the same router/modem with different computers?
Linux Desktop - AMD Athlon(tm) II X3 455 3.3GHz | 8.0GB RAM | GeForce GT 630
Windows Notebook - AMD A8 7410 2.2GHz | 6.0GB RAM | AMD Radeon R5

tanstaafl
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Post Posted November 20th, 2018, 9:49 am

I have a Comcast IMAP account. However, I was able to add a Comcast POP account (you can have a POP and IMAP account for the same email address at the same time) using the new account wizard in 60.3.1 using the data in the Mozilla ISP database. I did not need to change anything except to click on the POP radio button. It worked fine, and has downloaded all of my mail.

"What I did notice is Comcast's POP3 mail server address (mail.comcast.net and pop3.comcast.net) now point to IMAP server addresses."
Its not unusual for a email provider to have their POP and IMAP servers on the same host. POP and IMAP accounts typically use different ports, and use different protocols, so there (normally) is no problem making a connection to the right server.

WaltS48

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Post Posted November 20th, 2018, 6:21 pm

Try creating a Comcast POP account with a Thunderbird on Ubuntu 18.04 Linux or Linux Mint 19 with the systems fully updated.
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tomdkat
 
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Post Posted November 21st, 2018, 10:32 am

Thanks for the discussion, everyone. :) So, I think this is what's going on:

Ubuntu 18.04 (and later) use systemd for many things, including DNS resolution. systemd-resolved is apparently having a problem with Comcast's DNS entries for mail.comcast.net and pop3.comcast.net. As a result, Thunderbird can't contact this mail servers. The IMAP mail server addresses don't pose a problem, so those work fine.

My Linux Mint 18 system isn't impacted because it doesn't use systemd. :)

At this point, I need to decide if I'll work on getting the systemd-resolved issue resolved or simply change my Ubuntu systems to use IMAP. tanstaafl posted above POP3 and IMAP accounts for the same email address can coexist, that might be my "saving grace". I can simply add an IMAP account for my affected Comcast accounts and update my message filters.

I started a thread on Ubuntuforums.org to get help with the systemd-resolved aspect of this.

Thanks again for the tips on changing from POP3 to IMAP. :)

Peace...

tomdkat
 
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Post Posted November 21st, 2018, 10:33 am

DanRaisch wrote:Settings should be the full email address for user name, port 995, connection security set to SSL/TLS and Authentication to Normal password.
Yep, that's how my settings have been for years. :)

Thanks!

Peace...

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