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How-To: Test POP3 Authentication with ModusGate


Product: ModusGate

Version & Build: All


With ModusGate's web interface, users are able to access their personal quarantine and scan settings and domain administrators are able to manage and configure server, domain and user settings.  Users and administrators log into the web interface with their eEmail address and password.
If POP3 is selected as the authentication option, ModusGate immediately queries the mail server to validate the email address and password combination, instantaneously grant or deny access.
NOTE: The Web Quarantine program does not allow end users to send or receive mail.  It provides access and control of the quarantine contents, as well as access to the scan settings configured on the mailbox.  Users can change their scan settings only if the administrator grants them permission to do so.
Testing the POP3 communication between ModusGate and the Email server
Configure POP3 authentication:
  • In the Console, go to Connection - Properties - General
  • Click on one of the routes (e.g. an incoming route for
  • Click the route for (not the domain name) and the connection and authentication information is displayed in the upper portion of the panel
  • At Authentication requests, use the pull-down menu to select POP3
  • Enter the IP address of your mail server and the POP3 port  - 110
Assumption: The POP3 connection to is configured for IP address:, Port: 110

Goal: Test to successfully open a POP3 session on the server and to properly authenticate a valid email address

  • On the ModusGate server, go to a Command Prompt
  • Use the telnet command to open a connection to the destination mail server (e.g. type: telnet 110 <enter>)
    • If using Windows 2000, go to a DOS prompt and use the following to see what you are typing:

Type telnet <enter>

Type set local_echo <enter>

Type open 110 <enter>

    • Remember that telnet does not allow for backspaces so, if you make a typo, you must start over
  • In the telnet session screen, the mail server's banner will appear with a message similar to: 

OK MailServer POP3 Server 4.1.361.0 Ready

  • If you don't get a banner, check the IP address and firewall configuration and start the test again
  • Type user followed by a valid email address
    • e.g. user <enter>
  • The mail server should reply OK...
  • Type pass followed by the mailbox password
    • e.g. pass mailboxpassword <enter> 
  • The following is this transaction as it appears in the telnet session:

>Telnet 110

+OK ModusMail POP3 Server 4.1.370.0 Ready

+OK mailboxname is welcome here
>pass mailboxpassword
+OK mailboxname's mailbox has 1 message(s) (541 octets)
+OK POP3 server signing off (1 messages left)


·         If the mail server replies OK, you have successfully logged into the mail server from the ModusGate server using the POP3 protocol

o        The Web access via the WebQuarantine or WebAdmin screens should also be successful using the email address / password combination

·         If the mail server replies Invalid mailbox or password, the server likely does not accept the full email address as a login

·         Without closing the telnet session, proceed with the following:

o        Type user (without the domain name)

§         e.g. user mailboxname <enter>

o        Type pass followed by the mailbox password

§         e.g. pass mailboxpassword <enter>

·         If the mail server replies OK, you have successfully logged in using only the username and password

§        * See below for the required configuration change

·         Type quit <enter> to end the telnet session to the POP3 connection

o        No email will be collected


* IMPORTANT: If the mail server requires only the mailbox name for login, you must make the following change in the Console:

  • Go to Connection - Properties - General
  • At Authentication requests, enable the option Strip domain name for authentication requests
  • Users and Administrators will still be required to enter their full email address when logging into WebQuarantine and/or WebAdmin (e.g.
    • ModusGate will strip the domain name and forward just the 'mailboxname' and password to the mail server for authentication
  • Once mailbox validation is configured properly, WebAdmin and WebQuarantine logins will be successful
Modified 12/20/2006
Keywords: authentication, POP3, strip domain
Article ID: 1415