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    Email alternatives

    This is a discussion on Email alternatives within the Sky Email and Portal Log-in forums, part of the Sky Broadband help and support category; Like many of you, I have used a number of email systems over the years. Does anyone remember Telecom Gold ...

    1. #1
      Martin's Avatar
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      Email alternatives

      Like many of you, I have used a number of email systems over the years. Does anyone remember Telecom Gold or Easylink? Worse than the stress of signing-up for broadband is the nightmare of "broadband migration" and one of the key factors preventing anyone leaving their existing internet service provider (ISP) is the need to retain their email address. I'm sure Mr Murdoch would like us to be Sky BB customers for many years but the fact is we don't yet know how much we can depend upon Sky BB email for reliable communication with our family or business associates.

      WEBMAIL
      Webmail services are usually designed with easy of use and low maintenance in mind. You can access your webmail account from just about anywhere with internet, e.g. office, library, cybercafť, etc (although there are some privacy and security issues). Most offer only basic services but some do stand out and offer a good service.

      (a) Yahoo! Mail offers both free and paid-for mail services. Yahoo! Mail is childsplay to use. Free accounts get a respectable 1 GB storage and attachment size is limited to 10Mb per email. Yahoo does a fair job at filtering spam from your inbox. Your Yahoo! ID will give you access to Yahoo's other online services which as calendar, briefcase, My Yahoo, etc.
      Pros: free, easy to use
      Cons: sometimes a little slow, POP3 needs upgrade to paid-for service
      Goto: http://mail.yahoo.co.uk

      (b) Gmail or Google Mail has really stirred up the free webmail market and continues to innovate. Online storage is currently 2.76Gb and is likely to continue to grow. Attachment size is limited to 10Mb per email. Google's anti-spam filters are very effective. It has a huge community following with dozens of sites offering tips, hacks, browser plug-ins, etc. Google Mail is one of the few webmail services that can be used as a productivity tool and has features to match.
      Pros: Huge online storage. Free.
      Cons: The concept of "tags" may take some getting used to
      Goto: http://www.gmail.com

      (c) Goowy is a relative newcomer and uses Web 2.0 technology. The designers have balanced ease-of-use with a good set of communication and collaboration tools. This free service gives 1 GB email storage and 2 GB file storage. Attachment size is limited to 10Mb per email. Other features include address book, calendar, rss, mini's (widgets) and IM. Goowy's anti-spam features are good however it does not currently filter polled email accounts. Goowy has proven itself to be a reliable service. Unlike more saturated services (e.g. Hotmail) you are more likely to find your preferred username/email available here.
      Pros: Free. Online storage for emails and files
      Cons: No POP3 access
      Goto: http://www.goowy.com


      DESKTOP EMAIL
      Desktop email usually means access to a SMTP/POP3/IMAP4 mail server host using an email application such as MS Outlook/Outlook Express, Mozilla Thunderbird, Entourage, KDE Kontact, etc. In general, desktop email clients offer much more powerful features than webmail services and often integrate with other applications, e.g. MS Outlook and MS Office. If you are going to be serious about desktop email then you need to take full control.

      To establish a long term solution for your desktop email requirements you need to:-

      1) Take ownership of an internet domain name
      2) Find a suitable email hosting service

      Thankfully, this is quick, easy and very cheap to achieve.

      1) Your Own Private Idaho

      It's important that you own your own domain name so that you can control how it is used and to guarantee its existence independently of which ISP you are actually using now or at any time in the future. If you leave or change ISP's then your mailbox will live on regardless. Although there are thousands of Domain Name Registrars from whom you can buy your domain name I would recommend you stick to a UK (or EU) Registrar and only buy domains ending .uk for privacy and security reasons. Currently, my preferred Registrar is http://www.123reg.co.uk although I can also recommend http://www.ukreg.co.uk. Domain names can cost less than £5/yr.

      Take time to pick your domain name carefully. Beware of "fashion" or "vanity" names. You need to look good with your domain name over many years. Remember, the classic tuxedo or "little black dress" will always stand the test of time. Do you still have that shell-suit? Will you use the domain name for family or business emails? Or both? If you are stuck for name ideas, try the Name Machine for inspiration. Provided you maintain payment of your registration fees, the key fact here is that you own the domain name (not your ISP). It's rather like taking your mobile number with you when you change to a new network.


      2) Email Hosting

      The cost of hosted email services has dropped dramatically in the last 12-18 months. However, remember "cheap" often means "nasty", too. What you need is value-for-money from a reliable .

      (a) 1&1 have been around for many years and have built up an excellent reputation for professional hosted services. You may already know them for their web hosting services but 1 and 1 also offer stand-alone Mail services. The comprehensive Webmail/SMTP/POP3/IMAP4 Mail service offers 5 x 1 GB mailboxes with both spam and virus filtering for around 81p per month! Total email size (message+attachments) is limited to 10Mb via SMTP/POP3/IMPA4 and 2Mb via webmail interface. That should be enough for most families.
      Pros: Comprehensive service
      Cons: Average attachment limit
      Goto: http://www.1and1.co.uk

      (b) 4smartphone specialises in hosted email services for mobile devices but, in fact, it's a fully fledged hosted MS Exchange service with both Outlook Web Access (OWA)(a powerful webmail-type interface) and MS Windows Mobile Push Email (used on PocketPC's). The service is ideal for anyone who needs access to email whilst on the move and so will suit professional users, too. Hosted MS Exchange services release the full power of MS Outlook 2003 onwards (in fact, 4smartphone give you one copy free) and is definitely the solution for heavy or serious email users. Spam and virus filtering is included. I recommend the "Professional" service plan at $6.99/month with gives a 1 Gb mailbox and attachment limit of 10Mb per email.
      Pros: Email on the move, powerful hosted MS Exchange service
      Cons: Suitable only for MS Windows / MS Windows Mobile users
      Goto: http://www.4smartphone.net

      I am aware that some of the solutions Iíve outlined above may seem quite complicated. Donít be daunted. If you want any further help or advice please drop me a PM or an email.

      Martin
      martin@skyuser.co.uk
      Last edited by SatDish; 02-09-06 at 08:19 PM. Reason: made it sticky


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    3. #2
      NewsreadeR's Avatar
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      awesome - thank you Martin
      ~ Never, ever, argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience ~

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      excellent work Martin
      "To help would be a great adventure"

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      Waz
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      I can add a good alternative for those of you seeking web based email, but also want the option of POP/SMTP access via your desktop.

      Bluebottle is a free email service that also offers good anti-spam protection via its trusted delivery anti-spoofing mechanism. The free account offers up to 250MB storage space and up to 10MB attachments, along with POP/SMTP access via its servers. The trusted delivery settings may need a tweak on first log on so that you can approve email addresses being sent to you, but it does trap spam as well, so it's often useful.

      Pros: POP/SMTP desktop access, even with the free account
      Cons: Account needs initial tweaking so that mail comes through rather than all be held awaiting approval
      Goto: http://www.bluebottle.com/

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      1&1 e-mail service

      On 1&1 can you take out the e-mail serice without having your own domain name. Couldn't work out from their website as the sign up process asked too much personal info before I could see an answer. If so how are addresses formulated?

      Also don't you think the 10mb per e-mail limit is a bit small considering the file sizes of some photos taken with hi res cameras nowadays?

      I'm starting to think that I need to pull my finger out and opt for another e-mail provider before my activation date (13/9) so that I'm not jumping from BT to SKY and then on to someone else. I know that I lose patience with people who constantly keep changing their addresses and don't want to end up as a pot calling the kettle a dot com.

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      If you want to send people large files you should use a service like https://beta.yousendit.com/ it is much better than email as you can send files upto 100MB and you don't have the worry of clogging up someones mailbox.
      Annie 🦋..........
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      Email alternatives

      Martin, that was a very helpful explanation of the different types of e-mail service. I've been using e-mail for several years, but still get confused by the different terms etc. I am wary of using the Sky e-mail service, since it seems to be an unknown quantity. And if it doesn't work out, one will have to change one's email addresses (again!).

      Am I correct to assume that I can get a domain for myself, and a server (eg from www.1and1) and hook up Outlook to this, using the Sky Broadband service.

      The prices for that seem too good to be true.

      I only ask because on reading other threads, I got the impression that there were restrictions in that the router could not be configured independently.

      Any advice would be gratefully received!

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      davidb's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by pauljgoodman View Post
      Martin, that was a very helpful explanation of the different types of e-mail service. I've been using e-mail for several years, but still get confused by the different terms etc. I am wary of using the Sky e-mail service, since it seems to be an unknown quantity. And if it doesn't work out, one will have to change one's email addresses (again!).

      Am I correct to assume that I can get a domain for myself, and a server (eg from www.1and1) and hook up Outlook to this, using the Sky Broadband service.

      The prices for that seem too good to be true.

      I only ask because on reading other threads, I got the impression that there were restrictions in that the router could not be configured independently.

      Any advice would be gratefully received!
      I use 1&1 with Mozilla Thunderbird and it works on sky a treat, I like the fact that I've set up the accounts in Thunderbird as IMAP rather than POP3, meaning - if I read a mail via webmail or on Thunderbird they both sync to show that mail as read. Sadly I've got 7 email addresses with four different providers and Thunderbird collect mail from all of them and allows me to send from any of them. If only I was as in love with Firefox

    10. #9
      Martin's Avatar
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      There are so many good reasons to switch from POP3 access to IMAP. Jennifer Berger has written a great article outlining the main reasons - goto http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/edit...imap/index.php

      Yes, the 1&1 package is very cheap. I would recommend using your own domain name as the 1&1 email addresses are not very elegant. Unlike some providers, if you use 1&1 to register a new domain name it will be registered in your name, i.e. you will be the owner, not 1&1. Aside from the great price, 1&1 has a superb reputation amongst web professionals. They have been around for years so it was "price + reputation" that convinced me to go with them.

      (If you already own a domain name you can still use 1&1 by updating your MX records or set forwarding for emails to your 1&1 account. 1&1 email addresses are in the format name@subdomain.1and1.co.uk. You can optionally set-up a catch-all mailbox.)

      I access email on the 1&1 servers via IMAP from a variety of workstations. I use both MS Outlook 2003 (on WinXP) and KDE Kontact (on Suse 10.1). You can also access your 1&1 server mailbox via their webmail interface. The 1&1 servers support secure SMTP/IMAP/POP connections using SSL/TLS. I've been using 1&1 for around 18 months now and it's been 100% reliable.

    11. #10
      organic's Avatar
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      there is a good free email service @ http://www.organiclive.co.uk
      Last edited by organic; 02-10-06 at 12:23 PM. Reason: to now include free email service

     

     
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