Miscellaneous Ramblings

More Free POP3 Email Alternatives to .mac

I've still got a free email address with 'mac' in it

Charles Moore - 2002.10.23 - Tip Jar

Well, my mac.com email accounts (I had several) have been gone for a week now. The withdrawal was relatively painless, since I started phasing out my use of them on July 17, the day Steve Jobs announced at Macworld Expo that the free iTools service, including mac.com email, was being terminated and replaced with the .mac for-fee service.

And what a fee! Like $100 a year ($50 for the first year for existing iTools account holders). Some folks argue that it's still a good value for what you get, but all I ever used was the email. On a slow dialup connection (26,400 bps on a good day), which is all that's available in this neck of the woods, web based services are not very enticing.

I guess a lot of erstwhile iTools users agreed with my take on the issue. There were reportedly about 2,300.000 of us on July 17. Only 200,000 had signed up for .mac by the extended termination deadline of October 14. That leaves over two million of us .mac refugees.

MacMail.com Mac-Friendly Email

However, I still have a free POP3 email account with "mac" in it - to wit: xxxxxxx@macmail.com. A couple of weeks or so back, the always personable Alex Summersby, Editor of the UK-based MacMail.com an online Mac magazine formerly known as MacUnlimited, emailed me:

"Thought your readers might like to know about another alternative to Apple's .mac if all you need is a Mac-friendly email service that gives you an address that proclaims your allegiances: MacMail.com.

"MacMail offers free-of-charge POP3 email accounts which you can access via a Web browser or your preferred email client software. It's based in the UK but offers a worldwide service. I should mention also that the system is not based on an off-the-shelf engine but has been custom-programmed to deliver a range of features that most other such services won't match, including:

  • customizable filters and user-defined spam blocking
  • online mail management, custom folders and Address Book
  • powerful search functions

"It also now hosts the webzine formerly known as MacUnlimited.com."

Needless to say, I surfed on over to MacMail and signed up for an account. I've had it for a couple of weeks now, and so far it's been a great service - fast and reliable. The signup procedure was painless, and configuration a breeze.

I'm an almost total POP3 user, and MacMail works fine with Eudora, but the MacMail Webmail interface is about as slick as I've seen - clean, intuitive, and fast, and it's nice to have as a backup.

As with all Webmail services, you can access your MacMail account, send and receive messages and attachments, from any computer, anywhere in the world, so long as it has a working connection to the Internet and browser software. All you need is your MacMail user name and password.

MacMail basic services are free of charge. Additional MacMail services or "Premium Services" cost a small monthly fee. You get 5 MB total server space with the free service, and if you need more you can increase this by subscribing to the MacMail Premium Services.

This is a very cool email service, and muchas gracias to Alex and the MacMail folks for offering it.

Zapo.net Free POP3 email

Another new free POP3/Webmail email service that didn't make it into my last Miscellaneous Ramblings free email roundup is Zapo.net Mail, which has a quick, streamlined signup procedure, and instant activation.

Zapo Mail features:

  • Easy to remember email address (e.g., xxxxxx@zapo.net)
  • Fast
  • Correct foreign language visualization
  • POP3 access
  • Intuitional interface
  • Mobility - You have access to your email at any time and from any place
  • WAP access (reading messages via GSM)
  • Rich text (HTML) format
  • Drafts/Postponed mail
  • Address book with nicknames
  • 12 MB quota
  • two ways of deleting messages
  • Read RAR and ZIP archives without downloading the attachments
  • Reading Word and Excel content without downloading the attachments
  • SSL encrypted passwords
  • Online password change
  • Address book import from Outlook, Messenger, Yahoo!, GMX, etc.
  • User defined message order; Reply and Forward functions
  • Anti-spam filters; Anti-spam real-time Blocking List (RBL)
  • Unlimited number of attached files
  • Automatic signature
  • Encrypted passwords
  • New mail notification
  • Spell check

And finally, an update to my free and cheap alternative's to .mac article last month, FreyasLand email no longer offers free POP3 service.

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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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