Best IMAP Provider? Or how do you share email between 2 computers?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by rolandthomas, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. rolandthomas

    rolandthomas Guest

    Hi all,

    I've seen other posts about the best email program or best POP email
    program, my query is on a different angle ---

    I'm using Thunderbird on both the MacBook (OS X 10.4.8) and the
    Dell desktop (XP SP2) and am looking for the best IMAP provider. Or
    failing that an efficient way to keep my email in sync on both

    I tried to fiddle around with hosting my mail profile directory on a
    Buffalo LinkStation external network storage drive over a SMB
    connection but I could never get that to work.

    (Also apologies in advance about the cross-posting; I didn't know which
    group this was more appropriate to).

    Roland Thomas
    rolandthomas, Oct 13, 2006
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  2. rolandthomas

    Guest Guest

    IMAP is precisely the right way to do that.

    I use, but there are others which are quite good.

    Here - the most comprehensive list of IMAP providers I know of:
    Guest, Oct 13, 2006
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  3. rolandthomas

    Honza Guest

    IMAP is really good way to keep your mails organized when you use
    multiple machines (4 in my case + cell phone). My provider is and I have been using it for over 3 years now - it is great
    and Mac friendly. There are other providers, but I can not say how they
    compare with Fastmail.

    For client I use Apple Mail, Thunderbird and Web access to the mail on
    computers and on my cell phone I use ProfiMail on my Nokia cell phone.
    All work very nicely.

    Honza, Oct 13, 2006
  4. I use .Mac for IMAP via Thunderbird, but don't know if there'd be any
    issues accessing from a Doze platform.
    John McWilliams, Oct 13, 2006
  5. rolandthomas

    Andrew Berry Guest

    I'll add another vote for fastmail (,, etc). I've been using them for about 6 years now. They
    have had some outages over the years, but are very open in their
    handling of these events and are continuously improving the service. has some fastmail forums.
    I like IMAP best for this. Choosing an IMAP provider with a good web
    interface also means you can access all your folders from wherever you
    are without carrying or connecting the laptop. I find this very useful
    for both work and personal travel.
    Andrew Berry, Oct 15, 2006
  6. rolandthomas

    S.Nufkin Guest

    I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "keep my email in sync" but I use to download all my incoming mail from the POP server to both my
    iBook and my desktop Mini by just telling both to 'Remove copy from
    server after retrieving a message [after 1 week]"
    Preferences / Accounts / Advanced.

    It doesn't matter which computer actually does the deletion, after a
    week the other one will have a duplicate copy. If I was inclined to
    occasionally needing to check my mail from an Internet Cafe or such I
    would increase the delay to 1 month, but that hasn't be necessary.

    The biggest problem is bulk 'reading' all the mail that I have already
    read on the other computer.
    S.Nufkin, Oct 15, 2006
  7. rolandthomas

    Guest Guest

    That's kind of a halfway measure which is exactly what IMAP
    is meant to have done right.

    POP lets you leave stuff in the inbox on your server, but
    IMAP lets you actually leave *all* your stuff on the server,
    mark for deletion, delete once, move to subfolders, etc etc -
    all on the server - from more than one computer. Delete
    something on one computer and it'll be gone on the other
    one. You should only have to deal with your mail a single
    time, no matter how many ways you access it. IMAP lets
    you do that easily. POP does not.

    POP is good for some things - especially use of mail in a
    single, offline location. But IMAP fixes many of the
    problems that POP leaves in place, especially for access
    from multiple locations.

    It also makes for effective offline backup - if your local
    machine gets fried, all of your mail is quite safe - it
    all still lives on the server. Even though I do make
    proper backups (and, we all know, most folks really don't -
    but I got a good scare a few months back which has led me
    to be very very good about it), I don't have to worry
    about up-to-date backups of my mail. It's all safe on the
    IMAP server - and on each of the machines I keep synced to
    it, too.

    Unless you have specific reasons for avoiding it (ie. you
    insist on using, say, BB's Mailsmith, which only does POP),
    I generally recommend folks use IMAP, and generally, as
    well, to avoid their ISP's mail services, which are usually
    half-assed anyway.

    Like a couple of other posters here, I use Fastmail and
    have generally been happy with them. Like anyone, they've
    had some glitches (including one especially bad one) but
    they are very open about what's going on, their web interface
    is just about the best webmail client I've used (though I
    use it relatively infrequently unless I'm travelling without
    my notebook), and for the amount of storage and services
    they provide (they'll host your MX record if you have a
    domain, they offer WebDAV file storage, etc), they really
    are quite a bargain.
    Guest, Oct 16, 2006
  8. Hi Thomas,

    I recommend you 4 IMAP mail providers:

    -Mandic <>
    That's the best IMAP mail provider I've ever known. They have lot's of
    nice stuff, an excellent webmail which has support for digital
    certificates (e-mail digital signing and encryption --indispensable
    under the fiery dictatorship here in Cuba), unlimited storage, very
    good antispam system, account polling (you can configure it to download
    messages from other POP and IMAP services --but not through SSL, so
    that excludes Gmail), support for your own domain (your e-mail as
    ""), secure IMAP connection (w/ssl) and anti-virus
    (as if we needed it :p). They don't stop and keep improving and adding
    new features/services --last month they added a feature called "Secret
    Mission" which allows you to send completely anonymous e-mails through
    their webmail. And all that as low as US$30 an year!
    The problem with them is that they have the service only in portuguese.
    Although they can answer your support inquiries in English, the webmail
    interface and services are in Portuguese.

    -Fastmail <>
    Maybe the most famous paid mail provider, and they actually deserve
    their fame. Good prices, lots of features, fast webmail. No real

    -Runbox <>
    In my opinion it's better than Fastmail and cheaper (10 GB cost US$50
    while "FM" 2GB cost US$40 an year), but they lack some nice stuff like
    the many different domains options. But still I'd would choose it w/no

    -Bluebottle <>
    If you don't really need a professional e-mail nor much disk space but
    instead a reliable simple service I would definitely go with
    Bluebottle. They have a very nice webmail interface and their IMAP is

    And finally, as a Mac user, I would mention .Mac mail. If you already
    have a .Mac account then you have an IMAP mail. But sincerely, I hate
    So, check each service, see their features and make your choice. Runbox
    and Mandic offers 30 day trials so you can decide using them wether you
    like them or not.

    Carlos Alberto Pinto Peixoto Bastos Santos
    Version: 3.1
    GCS/MD d--(++) s+:(+) a-- C++(+++)>$ UBL*+>++++>$ P L++>$ !E W++ N++ !o
    K? !w w-- O- M+>++>$ V? PS+ PE-(+) Y+ PGP++ !t !5 X R tv b+++ DI++++ D
    G e+>$ h---- r+++ y+++(++++)
    ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
    Carlos Alberto Santos, Oct 16, 2006
  9. rolandthomas

    Beth Guest

    I see fastmail also has a free webservice as guest whatever that means.
    Beth, Oct 16, 2006
  10. It's too crippled in features to truly test the service. Runbox and
    Mandic maybe limit you on storage and quantity of messages sent during
    one day, but all the other features and services are available to test.

    Bluebottle also has it's free service that you can feel how the webmail
    works but you can't test their IMAP nor service support for example.

    Carlos Alberto Pinto Peixoto Bastos Santos
    Version: 3.1
    GCS/MD d--(++) s+:(+) a-- C++(+++)>$ UBL*+>++++>$ P L++>$ !E W++ N++ !o
    K? !w w-- O- M+>++>$ V? PS+ PE-(+) Y+ PGP++ !t !5 X R tv b+++ DI++++ D
    G e+>$ h---- r+++ y+++(++++)
    ------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
    Carlos Alberto Santos, Oct 16, 2006
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