i invoke the lazyweb

I’ve had it with Ureach. Their free email sucks — it’s a spam magnet with no filtering capacity to speak of, and anyway mine has simply stopped working this morning — and their intrusive attempts to get me to pay for the “full” version ensure that I will never do so. (My favourite — “we’ve upgraded you for free, all the features will go away in two weeks so pay up!”. The “features” were shouse anyway.)
So I’m looking for an email service. I’m willing to pay a reasonable amount, although I’m not really sure what constitutes “reasonable” in this context — a hundred dollars a year? A couple of hundred? Anway, features:

  • web based, of course
  • some kind of SpamGard that keeps the more obvious bulk mail at bay and learns by allowing me to define something as spam — and get rid of it — with a single click; unlike Ureach’s version, this should actually work and keep my inbox relatively free of crap
  • several Mb of space, the more the merrier
  • the ability to archive when space fills up (I keep, for instance, every email between the spousal unit and myself)
  • said archive to be in a database format so that I don’t have a series of humongous textfiles to deal with; something compatible with, say, Eudora, or Communicator (does that even still exist?), or — well, anything really, but ideally with a downloadable version of the webmail app
  • decent address book — meaning easy to add addresses to the file, easy to add recipients from the file when composing mail
  • ability to organise stored mail into folders (bite me, Google)
  • No advertisements. None, ever.
  • POPmail, and ability to retrieve mail from other POP accounts
  • catch-all addressing, so that I can sign things as “senn-Fredsblog@wherever.whatever” to see whether Fred is selling addresses
  • decent search function (once more, Ureach, you suck)
  • decent range of customisation in re: layout, format of messages, attachments, and so on — or, you know, one unalterable layout that happens to match all my preferences
  • “send copy to self” that actually does, that is, works like a bcc:; none of this bizarro “it’s in the Sent folder and you can’t ever move it” bollocks (Novell Groupwise, you virus masquerading as software, I’m looking at you); likewise, no symbolic linking, if I move something I want it moved already

That’s about all I can think of for now. The easiest way to do all this would be to buy a minimal hosting package from a company with a decent webmail app, but all the webmail-with-hosting I’ve ever seen was utter crap. All info and advice much appreciated.

2 thoughts on “i invoke the lazyweb

  1. I use webmail for quick access to new email, but do most of my regular mail via a single machine mail client (currently mail.app in MacOS X, but Mozilla’s mail client is very good too). The only issue there is when you want to travel a lot AND have access to all your archived stuff. A few weeks or so is fine, because you can set most clients to leave mail on the server for x days, so going home (or wherever) and pop’ing it all into your client every night gives you time.
    I’ve looked at web-only mail in the past, but http is great for text transfer, not GUIs… That’s not to say a very clean system couldn’t be designed of course.
    Domain hosting with popmail is pretty cheap now…
    I’ll have a bit more of a look into this though, as it interests me greatly 🙂

  2. Thanks to web pal jedi, I’m currently trying out fastmail.fm and liking it much. It doesn’t do absolutely everything I want (yet), but it’s really fast and I like the interface and none of the paid versions are expensive (unlike, say, buying hosting just to set up webmail). I’ll almost certainly switch my regular mail to the fastmail account in the next week or so. I’m just not interested in using a single machine client ever again; at the very least I want to be able to get mail at home and at work, without taking the work computer home or doing the leave-on-server, download-at-home thing.

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