Cheap POP3 Email Service?
August 16, 2005 10:15 PM   Subscribe

Looking for recommendations for free/cheap imap or pop3 mail services...

So we're giving comcast broadband the boot and going with DSL for a big monthly savings. Thing is, while I have a .mac account, my wife's been using the comcast address for pop3 email. Now she's facing changing her address, and I'd like this to be the last time she has to do that for awhile.

I googled 'free email service' and got a bunch of hits. We wouldn't mind paying a nominal fee to eliminate ads, but don't want to get near the $100/yr I'm paying for .mac. Likewise, I'd really like to use a company that's solid, stable, and unlikely to disappear for awhile... any recommendations?

Oh, and I know I could rent a domain name and direct mail from it to whatever ISP-supplied email we were currently using. In theory. In practice, I probably won't do this 'cause I'm not sure exactly how to go about it. Any pointers?
posted by carterk to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
Speaking of google, Gmail offers free pop service and claims they won't bait-n-switch and start charging for it.

I sent an invite to the email in your profile so you can test drive it if you'd like.
posted by O9scar at 11:10 PM on August 16, 2005

Not free, but relatively cheap. Have you considered getting a domain and having it hosted? I use VizaWeb to host my site and there is no limit on email accounts, which are IMAP. If you end up not liking your host, since you own the domain, you can just move it later to someone you do like and never lose the email address.
posted by qwip at 11:29 PM on August 16, 2005

I have both .Mac and Gmail accounts, and have both set up as POP (I liked the POP setup better with my .Mac account than the IMAP setup - just personal preference). I like Gmail because you can actually use all that storage as a backup by emailing large files to yourself, but I think .Mac is a tad more reliable right now.

Once you've had a Gmail account for a while, you'll get invites, and then you can invite yourself, your wife, your cat, and whoever else you want as many times as you want. I've got something like 400 Gmail invites left, and that's a lot of convenience and service for free. You can also read Gmail with an RSS aggregator such as NetNewsWire, although I haven't tried it yet.
posted by lambchop1 at 12:09 AM on August 17, 2005

I get pop3 service through for something like $20/year.

They have a wide variety of domain names to choose from, and they do an excellent job of filtering spam for me, as well. (I've never gotten email from anyone in Nigeria or Burkina Faso at that adress.)
posted by dersins at 12:11 AM on August 17, 2005

The best is FastMail. There are several options, including a free account.
posted by yclipse at 2:55 AM on August 17, 2005

Ditto what yclipse said. FastMail.

Fastmail has POP3, IMAP, even their own SMTP servers.

The web-based client is a bit geeky-feeling, though. If she's comfy with your client program, stick with that.
posted by sol at 6:56 AM on August 17, 2005

Response by poster: Yeah, she actually has a gmail account but prefers to use OSX's Mail client. I'll look into fastmail, but I'm also thinking maybe a year of .mac might be worthwhile (maybe she'd actually get around to posting photos online, something I never get around to.) Apple has a family plan, maybe they'd cut us a break...
posted by carterk at 10:03 AM on August 17, 2005

You might want to seperate the POP aspect from the mail address. I pop my mail from earthlink, who I have an old $10 a month account for mail purposes as well as the rare dialup need when traveling. My email address is and simply forwards to where it's configured to. I could change it every day if I so desired.

The ACM address is a gimmie with my professional membership but there are other companies who offer mail forwarding. My brother uses and I have seen others. also has traditional accept&store to POP/IMAP if you like.
posted by phearlez at 10:21 AM on August 17, 2005

I use these guys - they have a basic $36/year package which, combined with $7/year domain name would give you your own email address(es) - totally portable. You could ignore the web hosting service if you don't want that. They provide pop3/smtp and a browser interface for times when you're away from your own machine. There are competitors that you could also try but I've found them to be fairly reliable and if you decide you don't like them, just move on to another host.
posted by egilmore at 2:54 PM on August 17, 2005

Best answer: Yeah, she actually has a gmail account but prefers to use OSX's Mail client.

Then why not enable POP on the Gmail account so she can use it with Mail?
posted by jack_mo at 3:41 PM on August 17, 2005

Response by poster: Oh. Um. Right, I didn't know you could do that. Yay, askme!
posted by carterk at 4:55 PM on August 17, 2005

Response by poster: Oh, and for the benefit of others who may be in a similar position, I discovered Apple lets .mac subscribers purchase email-only accounts for $10/yr. It's only 50mb of storage, but unless you're leaving it on the server, so what?
posted by carterk at 5:05 PM on August 17, 2005

As a former Vizaweb user, I will STRONGLY recommend avoiding them. When my page was hijacked around 9/05, I learned that they're no longer answering customer emails, have shut off their phone, and turned off their customer forum.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 3:28 AM on October 9, 2005

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