I'm always so pleased when I find a way round some exasperating computer problem that I thought I'd share my moments of triumph ...

Saturday 29 December 2012

BT broadband - sending non-BT account email - solved

Whew! what a struggle!

In spite of bad past experiences with BT broadband, I was tempted by their current offer.

Their website support for email settings etc is the absolute pits. It is unbelievably poor. I spent a whole day and more struggling to set up my non-BT outgoing email. Judging from their discussion forums this is quite common, http://bit.ly/Tpv9uj.

Another user describes the problem:

I switched to BT Infinity earlier this month, but want to retain my existing non-BT email account. I'm continuing to receive emails, but cannot configure the outgoing server. I've searched the forum postings ... with no success. 
I'm using Mozilla Thunderbird.
I myself found that: 
BT's standard help page is absolutely useless. It only gives partial information and quickly dumps you into BT's misnamed 'technical help'; beware, it costs you £15 a call and the help don't even know what you are asking them.
Two steps into the help sequence meant to tell you how to set up your non-bt email account, BT provides the curt message, "Sorry, but we can't help with email accounts that we don't provide." Love it.
A forum expert explained that BT uses Yahoo! email to provide its email service. To use a non-BT email address for sending, you have to register the extra email address with Yahoo!. Yahoo! says this reduces spam etc.  http://www.btyahoo.com/verify  
It is complicated but just follow the instructions.

Once you've registered your non-BT email address(es) with Yahoo!, you need the settings for the outgoing email server. Here are the settings I used, in Thunderbird, but most email clients need the same stuff:

Outgoing server (SMTP): I called it "bt outgoing"
Server Name:  mail.btinternet.com
Port: 465
Connection security: SSL/TLS
Authentication method: Normal password
User name: just your user name, for instance, fluffypaws

[the first time you send you will be asked to input your bt internet account password, which in my case is the same as my bt internet Yahoo! password]

Whoo! finally I can send email, with my normal non-bt email address.