It is brought to my attention that Hotmail is presently blocked in China. I can access it everyday (I don’t know why, but it just works for me.), but I saw a lot of complains on my old post: Does Hotmail Work in China?. There are 52 comments so far. Why? Because it is the first result for Hotmail China in both MSN Search and Google search.
Well. It seems I need to do a little bit homework to find ways to help people out. Here is my analysis.
When you type http://hotmail.com or http://www.hotmail.com, you will receive DNS error, as if the site never existed. You may experience long waiting time, before it reports the error.
When you type in http://hotmail.com, it reports DNS error, like the screen capture. Created at 21:40 May 10, 2006 at China Telecom FTTB+LAN in Pudong, China
When you type in http://www.hotmail.com, it also return error, but this time, it return the default error page from China Telecom: advertisement from Yahoo! China, including Yahoo! MP3 search, Baidu.com and Sina.com.cn. Created at 21:40 May 10, 2006 at China Telecom FTTB+LAN in Pudong, China
It seems the domain name DNS service is blocked.
The same problem happens with the Windows Live services, http://live.com.
When you type in http://live.com, it returns this error. Created at 21:40 May 10, 2006 at China Telecom FTTB+LAN in Pudong, China
Since recently, MSN transformed its passport services (the familiar hotmail logon page) to live.com. When live.com is blocked, as shown above, all Microsoft services related to authentication dies. For example, the popular MSN Spaces, a blogging service, becomes instable because it requires authentication. Other services, like http://download.microsoft.com is also reported to be impacted.
I chatted with my friends who may know the situation. None of them really have any suggestions, except asking me to use a proxy server.
Let me try to give several workarounds I collected. It may work now, but no garrentee it works in near future. Just let me know if any method works or stop working. At least at the time I write this article, I personally tested all the methods. They work at least for me on China Telecom FTTB+LAN home broadband in Shanghai.
Option 1: Use Mobile Version
Only the domain names are blocked. The server is live. If you have ways to access the servers without using the hotmail.com or live.com domain, you have a chance. Here is a backdoor:
MSN Mobile logon interface
This interface is designed exclusively for Windows Mobile cellphones. You can login to check your emails. The interface is very simple and small – to fit into mobile – but it is better than nothing if you urgently need to check your Hotmail messages.
The reason it works is because, the link I provide will redirect you to this URL:
It does not use the hotmail.com or live.com domain
Thanks for this article to share this methods with me.
Option 2: Using MSN Messenger 7.0
If you have MSN Messenger 7.0 or 7.5 (I am using 7.5) on your computer, you can simply click on the Mail icon to enter Hotmail. It is still using the old passport service, not live.com. Please make sure you are using these versions, not MSN Messenger 8.0.
Option 3: Logon to Passport First
If you feel the mobile version is not acceptable, try this.
Passport logon page
Also live.com is not accessible, https://login.live.com is OK. Please note the URL is https:// instead of http://.
After you enter your Hotmail username and password, you will see the MSN Account Services page. Click the hotmail link on the left top of the page, and you should be able to access hotmail.
Option 4: Direct URL
This URL works for me. But I have no idea about whether it works for you. Let me know your feedback.
Option 5: Use Outlook Express
Just configure Outlook Express to check emails from hotmail.
If you haven’t done it before, here are the steps:
Go to Start -> All Programs -> Outlook Express.
Tools -> Accounts -> Add… -> Mail
Display Name: Your real name, click Next.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, click Next.
Accept defult HTTP as server, Hotmail as provider, and click Next.
Enter your user name and password, click Next.
Click Finsih. Then click Close to close the account tab.
Then you will have all your mails in your hotmail in your mailbox.
I’d like to hear your feedback about what option worked and what didn’t. If it didn’t work, please post comments and let people know what you have tried, where are you, and which provider you use.