Frequently Asked Questions

What are the server settings for Western's mail system?

The recommended server settings to connect to the Western mail system are;

Incoming Mail Server:
Encryption Method: SSL
Port: 993
Outgoing Mail Server:
Encryption Methods:
Port: 465
TLS Port: 587

For specific documentation on popular email applications e.g. thunderbird, outlook or MacMail refer to our How Do I... documentation or contact the Customer Support Center.

What is SPF and why are my messages being rejected because of it?

This policy introduced on July 20, 2009, is a measure to reduce forgery of Western mail by limiting sent mail from an address to our outgoing mail servers. Additional reasons for adopting SPF include:

  • Part of being a good e-mail provider.
  • Improve our world-wide reputation as an e-mail sender.
  • Reduce the likelihood of individuals or entire domains blacklisting
  • Reduce global and incoming spam, phishing and other illegitimate mail that forges addresses.
  • Reduce bounces to innocent Western users whose addresses may otherwise be forged by spammers.

We have seen some side effects from this change in the following areas;

  1. Improperly configured mail clients
  2. Mail servers acting as a forwarder
  3. Automated messaging from web forms

To resolve the first issue individuals can reconfigure their mail clients to use Western's authenticated SMTP service. The solution to the remaining two problems are outside the control of the university. We are willing to work with external sites to facilitate mail delivery from a Western e-mail address. The following links are reference materials to become SPF compliant.

For more information on SPF, please see

Why can't I send a survey messages using 3rd party services?

To be certain a copy of the bounce or undeliverable message should be sent to  However, you are likely running into a problem with SPF records.  Ideally we would like to see the application re-written so that it is SPF compliant.  Please refer the technical support of the survey application you are using to

If they are not able to re-write the send mail feature then we do have some flexibility to allow for this type of service. We would need to know the IP range they are using to send the survey message and the univesity email address being used to send the survey.  Only once we have added the IP range to our SPF records on the sub domain, and have communicated the email alias back to you would you be able to sent out the survey message.

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