Help! Can't send or receive email

Installed the firewall a couple days ago. At first it seemed like everything was working. I could send email, and I could receive email.
Today when I started Outlook (running on XP, if that matters), it asked me about 5 different IP addresses. I have no idea who those addresses belong to. One of them was 199.224.86.15.
My ISP is AT&T, and they say it’s not their IP (not in their block, is that they told me).
I opened the firewall software and went into Application Monotor, and it says Outlook is “trusted”, but I don’t see anything about IP addresses there, nor how to tell it to always allow Outlook to work. And why did it stop working, after it had been working?

Other odd behavior I notice is that some web sites I try to visit simply will not load until/unless I shut off the firewall, but other sites load fine. To me, that’s odd behavior.
For example, yesterday I tried to go to espn.com to check sports scores, and the page would not load, AND there was NO explanation - no pop-up from the firewall, nothing. But as soon as I shut off the firewall, the page would load. Later, even with the firewall on, the page would load. But then I tried to go to wikipedia, and THAT page would not load, and again NO indication of any kind about why it was blocked. Simply would not load.

As a novice user, I find this really annoying (poor design, in my opinion), and way too complicated. If anything is being blocked, the software should say so, AND it should ask for permission to block it.

Any advice on how to get my email working again without shutting off the firewall?

Sorry, didn’t see this earlier…

  • The version of Comodo Firewall Pro Installed
    2.4.18.184

  • Your Internet connection type (dial-up/cable/Direct connection/LAN etc)
    ISP is AT&T, via wireless “broadband” (1.4mbps)

  • Operating system and Service Pack Level
    XP Home w/SP2 and all critical patches

  • How you are logging in to the OS (Admin, User)
    admin

  • Other Security applications installed (AV, AS, HIPS etc)
    NOD32

  • Security related applications which have been removed/disabled before installing CFP.
    Sunbelt Kerio firewall, had expired and no longer worked.

  • Security related application which have been removed/disabled after installing CFP.
    None.

  • Detail the problem, such as which applications are running when you have the problem.
    Can’t send or receive email - was working, then stopped. No idea why. It no longer asks me to allow/deny the IP addresses when it receives mail, like it did every other time I used it (only a few days now)

  • Please inform us if you have created any custom rules.
    No - would have no idea how to do that.

Thanks!

The IP address mentioned in your post resolves to the details mentioned in the image. Does Frontiernet ring any bells? I noticed that there’s a link on their homepage to espn.com, but it takes me to espn360.com.

I think your best bet in the beginning is to go to Activity → Logs, change the setting to “Last 7 days” and then right click anywhere in the list and choose “Export HTML”. Then open that file and look for items which have been blocked and see how they relate to Outlook. There may also be files which are listed as needing approval. Add those to the Component Monitor, click “Apply” and then “Refresh”.

To check who a particular IP belongs to, download IPNetInfo from IPNetInfo: Retrieve IP Address Information from WHOIS servers It’s a stand-alone program, so no installation required. Type in an IP, click OK and then double click the results. You’ll get the same kind of info seen in the image.

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