Miscellaneous Ramblings

Free POP3 Email Update

Charles Moore - 2002.05.13 - Tip Jar

A little over a month ago I posted a column on free POP3 email services. I've been using several new ones that I signed up for while researching the article, and I thought readers might be interested in some follow-up observations on reliability and performance.

There are also a couple of new free POP3 services that have come on line since the previous article. First the newbies:

Inbox.lv

Inbox.lv is the largest provider of free Web-based email in Latvia, based on the premise that email access should be easy and possible from any computer connected to the World Wide Web. By adhering to the universal HTTP standard, Inbox.lv eliminates the disparities that exist between different email programs.

Inbox.lv offers 8 MB of storage space. If you do not sign in to your inbox.lv account for 60 days or do not sign-in within the first 10 days, your account will be marked "inactive." Stored email and addresses will be deleted, and inbound mail will be refused. If your account stays "inactive" for over 90 days, it may be permanently deleted.

Inbox.lv can be viewed in a variety of languages. You can make the language of a Inbox.lv session match the language of the Sign In page used to begin that session. You currently have your choice of English, Latvian, and Russian.

Inbox.lv offers both Web-based and POP3 access to mailboxes and messages.

I've been testing Inbox.lv for several days, and so far it's been fast and reliable. No SMTP support, though. You have to send mail through your ISP's server.

NewMail

Good news and bad news about NewMail. The good news is that it has the fastest and simplest signup procedure of any service I've ever tried.

Unfortunately, I have been completely unsuccessful at getting NewMail to work, either with POP3 or their Web-based service. I've signed up under two different user names and passwords, but nada.

Based on that experience, I can't recommend this one.


Now for some performance reports on previously reviewed services.

Apple iTools

Mac.com continues to be very reliable. The SMTP facility is convenient, and mac.com account checking is fast.

MyRealBox

Not quite as fast as iTools, but also a rock of reliability. MyRealBox supports SMTP for sending outgoing mail through their servers.

HotPOP

I've had good luck with HotPOP as well. Like iTools and MyRealBox, this one has SMTP support (you must check your inbox before sending).

subDimension

I have to report mixed results with this one, as reliability over the past couple of weeks has been spotty. In fairness, subDimension has notified users that they are doing some server renovations, so these issues are likely temporary. No SMTP support.

E-OmniNet

E-OmniNet is another excellent service. Very fast and completely reliable so far. SMTP support requires checking inbox before sending mail.

GMX

GMX has German efficiency. Nothing to complain about so far. Fast and reliable, and includes SMTP support. Worth the trouble of wading through the signup process in German.

ZapZone

So far no problems with ZapZone, and the custom domain name is fun. No SMTP support.

FreyasLand

FrayasLand is a ZapZone domain that has not panned out so well. This one quit working about a week ago. Not recommended.

HowlerMonkey

I signed up with HowlerMonkey and provided my snail mail address for them to send me my login and password info (this service is very anal about security). Never heard from them. Not worth the hassle when there are so many other good services available.

SoftHome

SoftHome provides reasonably reliable service and includes SMTP support.

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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at Applelinks.com and a columnist at MacPrices.net. If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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