iMail vs Gmail

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by rocknpop, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. rocknpop macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2009
    I am very confused as to whether or not I should use the iMail that came with my MacBook.

    1) Is it always free?
    2) Is it SAFE? Even though I hear people cannot hack or get into Apples I have to ask
    3) What type of file does it download the mail as and is it compatible with PC?
    4) Is there any impact on the online Gmail account?

    Thanks guys
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    If you mean the software Mail, that came with your computer:

    1. yes, you already paid for it, so it will cost no more.
    2. I think so.
    3. It has its own format - mailboxes. I don't know if they can be opened by another software, but you can export your mailboxes to another application.
    4. What do you mean by impact? Gmail uses IMAP, and Mail understands that.

    Or do you mean MobileMe?

    1. The trial period is free, after that you have to pay. Look here:

    2. to 4. I dont know.
  3. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
  4. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    Maybe it'll be easier to understand if I say this:

    Mail is the equivalent to Outlook on Windows.

    Well, except the fact that it doesn't suck, of course.
  5. JustGretchen macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2008
    IMAP basically is a complex term that means all of your email will be saved on your computer AND on gMail's server forever. So no matter where you check it from, you will always get those messages on your Mac as well as on gMail's web interface.

    As far as compatibility w/ Windoze, you need not worry about it. Simply attach files and they will work.

    As far as exporting your entire mailboxes if you ever need to switch to another Mail program, mail uses a format called .mbox which is compatible w/ Mozilla Thunderbird (firefox's email counterpart)

    To Set up your gMail account to use IMAP you need to do this:

    login to your gmail account
    click settings at the top right
    click the forwarding & pop/IMAP tab


    look at that link for how to set up your gMail account in

    Use, it's GREAT. I manage 6 accounts with it.
  6. rocknpop thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2009
    Thank you guys, I was talking about

    I have one more question about security

    Basically I will need to set up my to be IMAP because otherwise I will lose it online. And yes, it seems to be safe.

    My only fear is: Since the emails are now saved in your computer, they are accessible there as well -> In case someone hacks into your computer your privacy is broken...

    Or... if I get a virus and it learns my password... it can start sending emails from my account?
  7. JustGretchen macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2008
    You won't get viruses on the mac. Don't sweat it. This isn't windows where viruses do hack your email and send spam to everyone in your address book.

    The likelyhood of someone "hacking into your computer" are also EXTREMELY low. You have a better chance of it getting stolen than hacked.

    Most Mac users use mail. You don't need to be so paranoid. You sound like my pc-using uncle that I had to hear for the last 10 years...he would run 3 antivirus apps and 3 anit-spyware apps on his pc all at the same time and turn off his cable modem when he went to sleep at night. I told him all of that pretty much counter-acted itself because you can't run that many av/as apps at the same time and have it be actually protecting the computer.

    I finally got him to get an aluminum 24" imac 1.5 years ago and he couldn't be happier and safer online. Just use your Mac and be happy.
  8. rocknpop thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2009

    I don't want to diverge here but - if macs don't get viruses, do they eventually start running slower if I install / uninstall applications?

    Thanks for your patience, I'm a mac noob... :)
  9. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Mail the application doesn't give you free e-mail. It is merely a way to conglomerate your existing e-mail addresses.

    And no, no viruses and no slowdowns from applications.

    This is UNIX. It's better. :cool:
  10. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    just to clarify: there are currently no known viruses for OS X, this does not mean that there will never be. being safe with your computer is still needed, but a virus just has not been existent yet does not mean it cannot happen.

    there are a few known trojans out there, which mean that you download and install it yourself. but if you are getting software from a trusted source you should have no issues. (the big one was propogated via torrents recently.)

    as for your computer slowing down, no that should not happen except when future software demands more out of your machine. there is no registry like there is in windows and apps are much easier to uninstall than in windows leaving behind perhaps one or two negligible files. but there is no sense of 'decay' in OS X that some feel happens in Windows using the same software. etc.
  11. JustGretchen macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2008
    and if you are worried about those one or two negligible files that were mentioned, I'd recommend the free and very useful AppTrap to run in the background.

    If you uninstall an app by putting it into the trash, apptrapper automatically asks if you want to move the other files that have to do with that app, usually a preference list (.plist file), straight to the trash so the uninstallation is nice and clean.
  12. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    Personally I don't trust "autoclean" applications like AppTrap. The reality is you don't know what they are doing, and I don't see how they can be smart enough to know what they are doing all the time. If you decided to throw away one of your iLife applications, for example, the files it has in common with the other iLife applications could get trashed at the same time.
  13. robo456 macrumors 6502


    Mar 3, 2008
    New Jersey
    I'm not sure if Mail's handling of IMAP is different, but I thought the purpose of IMAP was to keep mail on the mail server and NOT on your personal machine. That way it can be accessed from anywhere.

    It sounded like POP with the save message on server option was being described above?

  14. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    in the account preferences of Mail you can set it...
    Keep messages for offline viewing: and then there are different options for what works best for you.
  15. JustGretchen macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2008
    yeah I just keep all mine for now, thats why I spoke of it as I did. I probably shouldn't, but I do. Maybe when I'm pressed for hard drive space i'll worry about it, but between the 3 gmail and one MobileMe account I have in Mail, I'm using about 3gb of hdd space and i have every email since 2003.

    There's options where I could use less, but that's ok. Doesn't bother me.
  16. rocknpop thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2009
    So I moved to :)

    Actually REALLY cool because I am used to Outlook because of work so I can better manage my email... delete the not needed and extract the huge files to my computer.

    I have 5,280 emails online... thank God for gMail. :) I remember those aggrevating messages from hotmail and yahoo saying we had eached our limit a long time ago.

    I also downloaded iAntivirus and it works well (I guess)... not sure what it checked for but I'm clean so far (480,000 scanned items so far and no infected Objects **Crossing fingers***)

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