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Perform an SMTP Telnet to test an outgoing Exchange server connection

Learn how to perform an SMTP Telnet to test an outgoing Exchange server running on Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2003.

We are using Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2003. We are having issues with our outgoing Exchange Server email, but our incoming email is working just fine. When we ping the outgoing email server, we get a timeout response. Is the outgoing server supposed to reply?
VIEW MEMBER FEEDBACK TO THIS ASK THE EXPERT Q&A.

If you are using Exchange Server as part of Windows SBS, then both your incoming and outgoing email servers are...

probably the same, meaning that Exchange handles both. However, if this is not the case, then where is the outgoing email server? Is it also on your local area network (LAN)? Or is hosted offsite by an Internet Service Provider (ISP)? If the latter is true, then it's possible that the ISP does not permit pinging to that server and has intentionally disabled it.

You can test the outgoing email server by opening a command prompt and then typing:

TELNET <IP ADDRESS OR DNS NAME OF SERVER> 25
For example: telnet outgoingserver.isp.net 25

If the Telnet connection fails, then you have a problem. But if you receive a message that indicates a server name, date/time, etc., then you are good to go.

MEMBER FEEDBACK TO THIS ASK THE EXPERT Q&A:

This works perfectly; thank you very much.
—Simon M.

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This was last published in December 2007

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