best IMAP email?

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Original poster
Mar 20, 2003
10,599
2,723
Bay Area
since getting my iphone, I've been hankering for IMAP email so that my web interface, iphone, and mac all stay in snyc. It's a pain dealing with messages 3 times each.

I've thought about .mac, but I don't think I'd use many of the other features. So what are some free IMAP programs that play nicely with mail.app and that people enjoy using?

Thanks!
 

clevin

macrumors G3
Aug 6, 2006
9,097
1
there isn't many free imap service out there, due to the heavy load of imap servers.

AOL is most famous free imap service provider.
 

EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
10,591
31
San Francisco, CA
I have AOL, but it has it's limitations. Nonetheless, it's the best free IMAP I've been able to find.

AOL is quickly removing many of the limitations of their previous system, so that the "new AOL" will have one single inbox (no more "new" and "old" mail), and removing all of the storage limits (unlimited storage!).

Unfortunately, this is taking awhile due to the complexity of their previous setup.
 

ab2650

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2007
714
0
thanks guys. Any suggestions other than aol?
Your own domain at GoDaddy + A Dreamhost account.

Together about $20/year... Less if you find a deal. Plus you can do a lot more than just IMAP email. I understand the OP asked for free, but at less than $2/month its almost free.
 

ksmith80209

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2007
801
17
Your own domain at GoDaddy + A Dreamhost account.

Together about $20/year... Less if you find a deal. Plus you can do a lot more than just IMAP email. I understand the OP asked for free, but at less than $2/month its almost free.
Why dreamhost? I can't see where you can buy just an IMAP email account. It looks like it kind of duplicates what you get with Godaddy but adds IMAP...

I've used godaddy for the domain + both fastmail.fm or everyone.net in the past. None of these is free but all are inexpensive.
 

ab2650

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2007
714
0
Why dreamhost? I can't see where you can buy just an IMAP email account. It looks like it kind of duplicates what you get with Godaddy but adds IMAP...

I've used godaddy for the domain + both fastmail.fm or everyone.net in the past. None of these is free but all are inexpensive.
I just said Dreamhost becuase it gives a buttload for what you pay; Plus you get a good amount of configuration for your email. I personally have installed my own spamassassin filter and feed it my spam to learn, as well as am able to use webmail through their interface. I also have a few procmail filters filing mail away for me in various folders.

But you also get nearly 150 gigs of storage and the ability to split that amongst any number of domains. In terms of scale, that will save you the most money over IMAP-per-domain at GoDaddy.
 

bentley

macrumors 6502
Mar 20, 2005
252
0
I forward all my GMail to AIM mail and use that as IMAP in Apple Mail, all my mail gets sent back from my Google account and GMail's SMTP so the AIM part is completely transparent.

I really like this set up (at least until GMail supports IMAP).
 

ksmith80209

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2007
801
17
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 Sprint:MotoQ (compatible; MSIE 4.01; Windows CE; Smartphone; 176x220))

ab2650 said:
Why dreamhost? I can't see where you can buy just an IMAP email account. It looks like it kind of duplicates what you get with Godaddy but adds IMAP...

I've used godaddy for the domain + both fastmail.fm or everyone.net in the past. None of these is free but all are inexpensive.
I just said Dreamhost becuase it gives a buttload for what you pay; Plus you get a good amount of configuration for your email. I personally have installed my own spamassassin filter and feed it my spam to learn, as well as am able to use webmail through their interface. I also have a few procmail filters filing mail away for me in various folders.

But you also get nearly 150 gigs of storage and the ability to split that amongst any number of domains. In terms of scale, that will save you the most money over IMAP-per-domain at GoDaddy.
150 gb of mail storage sounds great. How much are you paying for that?
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Original poster
Mar 20, 2003
10,599
2,723
Bay Area
I forward all my GMail to AIM mail and use that as IMAP in Apple Mail, all my mail gets sent back from my Google account and GMail's SMTP so the AIM part is completely transparent.

I really like this set up (at least until GMail supports IMAP).
Believe it or not, the idea of keeping Gmail and having it forward everything just occurred to me not 10 minutes ago (which reminded me to check this thread). Sounds like a great idea, and I think I'll try that route out!

edit: Ok, scratch my previous questions (if anyone actually saw them) - I figured all that out. I have one remaining problem, though.

So the mail will be forwarded from gmail to the IMAP server, and then I can respond with the gmail account - at least when I'm in mail.app. But then the email won't appear on the IMAP server (and therefore won't be in sync), will it? Rather, it will be on my mac, and on the gmail server, but not on my iphone, or on the IMAP web interface. Thoughts?
 

Mac In School

macrumors 65816
Jun 21, 2007
1,290
0
I don't have an iPhone, but I do have 2 computers and a Blackberry.

I simply set my Email clients up to leave the mail on the server for a week before deleting it. This doesn't give me all the features available with IMAP, but it does give me all my mail on every device.
 

ab2650

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2007
714
0
So the mail will be forwarded from gmail to the IMAP server, and then I can respond with the gmail account - at least when I'm in mail.app. But then the email won't appear on the IMAP server (and therefore won't be in sync), will it? Rather, it will be on my mac, and on the gmail server, but not on my iphone, or on the IMAP web interface. Thoughts?
That's correct; Sent through Gmail, your 'intermediary' IMAP server will have no knowledge of it. It may be a price you pay for using free services, but it's not too big of a price.

I prefer (and have preferred) IMAP over POP for the last, gosh, 7 years or so. For me, IMHO, it's worth it to pay for a service to have IMAP rather than rig something that forwards mail all over the place.

I think it boils down to this; If you have more than one mail client (desktop, laptop, iphone, blackberry, etc..) you should be using IMAP.
 

ab2650

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2007
714
0
150 gb of mail storage sounds great. How much are you paying for that?
I totally goofed the prices before. Musta been tired!
Anyhow, 150gb is for the FULL account, so as many domains as you want, as many email accounts*, web sites, subdomains, etc. Their base price is $10 a month (not year!). However, I used an affiliate link and prepaid for 12 months for around $60.

I use it for far more than just email, but even if I didn't, I'd consider it an option.

* OK, the limit is technically 3000 email accounts, so... yeah.
 

bentley

macrumors 6502
Mar 20, 2005
252
0
So the mail will be forwarded from gmail to the IMAP server, and then I can respond with the gmail account - at least when I'm in mail.app. But then the email won't appear on the IMAP server (and therefore won't be in sync), will it? Rather, it will be on my mac, and on the gmail server, but not on my iphone, or on the IMAP web interface. Thoughts?


You can set Mail to sync the Mail sentbox with the AIM sentbox.
However the iPhone Mail client wouldn't be able to do this I don't think (not enough flexibility).
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Original poster
Mar 20, 2003
10,599
2,723
Bay Area
That's correct; Sent through Gmail, your 'intermediary' IMAP server will have no knowledge of it. It may be a price you pay for using free services, but it's not too big of a price.

I prefer (and have preferred) IMAP over POP for the last, gosh, 7 years or so. For me, IMHO, it's worth it to pay for a service to have IMAP rather than rig something that forwards mail all over the place.
Well, I don't think it's an issue of price. Paying for .mac (or some other IMAP) would give the same results as using AOL's free IMAP. The way around it, if I understand correctly, is to just take gmail out of the equation and use the IMAP email as my primary (only) email. Shouldn't matter whether that IMAP is free or a paid service.

You can set Mail to sync the Mail sentbox with the AIM sentbox.
However the iPhone Mail client wouldn't be able to do this I don't think (not enough flexibility).
Oh, that's great. That wouldn't be 100% perfect, but definitely good enough for me. How did you manage that?
 

bentley

macrumors 6502
Mar 20, 2005
252
0
Oh, that's great. That wouldn't be 100% perfect, but definitely good enough for me. How did you manage that?

Ah sorry I made that sound different to how it is.

Basically because of IMAP, the AIM online client and the Mail client have their own Sentboxes which appear as folders on the opposings system. So you have a 2 Sentboxes in Mail (Mail's and AIM's online folder) and the same is reflected when you log into AIM online.

It's confusing but basically there's a folder for each so you'll always have your sent mail. In fact if the iPhone uses the same Sentbox structure as Mail then they'll all be in the same place. So you'll be fine.

I know how muddled that sounds so ask me to clear it up if you want.
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Original poster
Mar 20, 2003
10,599
2,723
Bay Area
Basically because of IMAP, the AIM online client and the Mail client have their own Sentboxes which appear as folders on the opposings system. So you have a 2 Sentboxes in Mail (Mail's and AIM's online folder) and the same is reflected when you log into AIM online.
Hang on. In the mail client, you'd have 2 sent boxes, just like you said. But in AIM online, there wouldn't be a copy of the mail client's sent box, would there? And that sent box would be the only place that you'd have an email sent with gmail's smtp - right?
 

bentley

macrumors 6502
Mar 20, 2005
252
0
Basically if I send an email from Apple's Mail client it appears in 3 places.

It appears in Mail's sentbox.
It appears in GMail's sent items
It appears in AIM's copy of Mail's sentbox (which it treats as a seperate folder to it's own sent items).



I've attached a picture of the AIM clients copy of Apple Mail's sentbox. All those items are emails I've sent from Apple Mail.
 

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QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Original poster
Mar 20, 2003
10,599
2,723
Bay Area
ah ha, that's brilliant. However, I notice that the second "sent box" (the one with the arrow in your picture) does not yet exist in my aol web interface. How did you get it to appear there?
 

davidg4781

macrumors 68020
Oct 28, 2006
2,246
174
Alice, TX
I know everyone's talking about everything else, but I had the same problem about a year ago.

I decided to go totally to IMAP email. I'm using a FuseMail personal account (www.fusemail.com). I don't think it's offered any more, but you can email them and ask. They're quick to reply and very helpful.

The web interface leaves much to be desired, but I access it with Thunderbird and Mail, and the only time I have to visit the website is when it puts a legit email into the spam box. I can turn their spam filters off, but it happens once in a blue moon, and I haven't seen a blue moon lately.

I'm paying $20/yr, which isn't too bad, considering how easy it is to handle everything. I don't get much mail, so I was thinking of dropping it, but the auto-renew snuck up on me, so I'm with it for another year.

So far it's been great. It went down once, for about 3 hours, but that was it.
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Original poster
Mar 20, 2003
10,599
2,723
Bay Area
Thanks very much for all the help, Bentley! I think I have almost everything working now.

One last question - how do you prevent messages sent to gmail from appearing twice in the mail client? What I'm doing is having the gmail account not included when mail automatically checks for new mail... but when I hit the little "get mail" button, gmail downloads messages that have already been forwarded to AIM. I can't disable gmail because that would prevent me from sending email from that server, and I can't disable POP because then I'd get an error message every time I tried to get new mail in the mail client.
 

bentley

macrumors 6502
Mar 20, 2005
252
0
You don't have to create a POP account in Mail just the IMAP one.

The attached picture shows how I have it set up.

I put in the IMAP retrieval settings for AIM but say my email is my gmail one and put in the SMTP (sending) details for GMail.


So it retrieves from the AIM and sends from the GMail.
 

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QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Original poster
Mar 20, 2003
10,599
2,723
Bay Area
WOW, I didn't know you could do that. :eek: Thanks once again Bentley, that's really the icing on the cake. I'm in your debt!