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Using Telnet to send and check mail

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Opening Telnet

Start >>> Run >>> type "cmd" (without the ").
This will open a DOS window.

From the command line type "telnet".
This will open the telnet client.

You now need to connect to the mail server by typing:-
"open [server dns or IP] [port]"
Normally we use port 25 (SMTP) and port 110 (POP3).

*Note when using telnet, the delete key does not work,
therefore if you make a mistake you cannot backspace to correct it.
Instead, you will have to disconnect and restart again.

Sending Mail (SMTP).

  • Bring up the Telnet Screen from cmd
  • Type "open [mail server address] 25"
    eg open 25 or open 25
    You should now be connected to your ISP smtp server
    The window will clear and you will be presented with a new one titled with the server dns
  • Type "HELO . " (notice the spaces each side of the ".")
    The server should respond and message back "Hello [Your IP address]"
  • Then continue using the following commands: -

"MAIL FROM: (replace this with whatever you want)"
eg MAIL FROM: <>

"RCPT TO: (where you want the mail to go)"
eg RCPT TO: <>

"DATA" (enter).
followed by the message you wish to send.
When you have finished typing your message finish it off by typing "." on a new line.

  • Other commands
    FROM: <>
    TO: <>
    (These complete the to and from fields in the mail client).
    SUBJECT: Subject
    (Completes the Subject field in mail clients).
    "QUIT" to exit the session.

telnet window


Checking Mail (POP 3)

  • Bring up the telnet screen from cmd
  • Type "open (mail server address) 110"
    eg open 110 or open 110
    You should now be connected to your ISPs mail server which will respond by opening a new window and saying hello
  • Type "USER (Your user name)"
    eg USER username.
  • Type "PASS (Your password)"
    eg PASS password.
  • Type "STAT" to get your mail box status
    The server will reply with 2 numbers,
    The 1st No is the number of messages you have,
    The 2nd No is the total amount of space they take up.
  • Type "LIST"
    The Server will reply with a list of message numbers and their size.
  • To Retreive a message type "RETR (message no)"
    eg RETR 1
  • Other commands:-
    "DELE (message no)" Deletes the message from the Server when you quit session.
    "RSET" Resets any messages previously marked for deletion in this session.
    "QUIT" Closes the session with the server.
    "TOP (message no) (no of lines)" Lists the message header and the first # number of lines) eg "TOP 1 20" -


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