It is now the rule rather than the exception that port 25, the normal port for outgoing mail (SMTP) is blocked. This creates big problems for users like me that moves around a lot. I have to find out what SMTP is available in the network where I am connecting. And if that one is only available to people that work in the company, I have to use a webmail solution.
But today I found a neat solution that will help a lot. If you have a GMail account, you are in luck. GMail has their SMTP servers on different ports than the usual 25. If you check this link, you can see that the ports are 465 or 587. I set this up in Thunderbird and had no problem bypassing the SMTP block in the network I was using at the time. Just remember to use SSL and authentication when you set it up.
There are a couple of things to be aware of. GMail rewrites the from-address of your mail to your GMail address as well as the reply-to address. According to Lifehacker it is possible to go to the settings of your GMail account and change the default address to change this. In addition, GMail stores all outgoing mail (and thus indexes it for it’s own use…). This probably does not appeal to everyone, but for many people is a minor issue.
If you really need to get that mail out and don’t have any other way of doing it, GMail might just save the day for you.