Or a Hotmail or Yahoo Mail account, or some other free web email service. It'll save you a whole lot of time and effort.

The problem you're having is likely due to the fact that the cable Internet companies have sold access to their networks far in excess of what they can handle. Rather than do the smart thing long-term and start upgrading the infrastructure -- a time consuming and expensive prospect -- most of them are resorting to cheap tricks to try and buy themselves as much time as they can.

Comcast is probably the worst. They have secret bandwidth caps, which they refuse to talk about. No one outside of Comcast knows what the threshold figure it on usage. Personally, I don't think it should matter. If I pay for X amount of bandwidth a month, I should be able to use X amount of bandwidth a month. Anyway, they also have taken to blocking pretty much any incoming connection attempts to systems. I have a friend who runs a web server on his own system, just so he can remotely access files on his computer. Since moving and using Comcast Internet service, he can no longer connect to this server anywhere else. There are some other things Comcast has done, but you can read up on those yourself if you're interested.

The main point here is that Comcast is not alone in these actions, they're just the one getting all the attention over it at the moment. All the major cable Internet companies are doing similar things. So the likelihood of you ever succeeding in your efforts is probably hovering right around zero. If you ask RoadRunner about it, they'll probably just try to sell you a more expensive connection package which will won't guarantee you much beyond a larger bill every month.

So, the way I see it, you can either just get a free webmail account from the likes of Google, Microsoft or Yahoo... Or you can switch to DSL if it's an option in your area. The phone companies haven't been quite as active in defrauding their customers, unless you count Verizon making off with millions of PA citizen tax dollars a few years back.... Never fulfilling their contractual obligations with the state, but keeping all the tax breaks and other perks the government used as enticements. Or Verizon and AT&T being all too willing to help the government out with that illegal wiretapping idea that's made such a big fuss in Washington.