Ya? Who else?
November 20, 2017 10:17 AM   Subscribe

I have used Yahoo mail almost since its inception, and used to be quite happy with it. But between ads which hold everything else up while they take too much time to load, and constant urging to change back to the new version (which performed even worse for me), I have had it with the post-Verizon Yahoo. I'm not willing to pay $50 + $20 a month for the ad-free service. So what are my other options?

I would not be averse to a small fee (say, $5/month or less). I would not be averse to ads if they were better-behaved and less plentiful. I do enjoy having Yahoo determine which emails are spam, and being able to block certain senders permanently. I absolutely require web access as I view mail on four different systems, two of which do not allow me to install apps of my own. I am a low-volume user, probably processing on average 40-50 emails per day, only 10-20 of which are of interest, and only two or three of which actually receive a reply.

I have a gmail account, but I don't use it much, as gmail doesn't seem much better. I'm prepared to be convinced otherwise, though. I am a Verizon subscriber (no, I don't like them, but I'm in Baltimore, so it's my only option for cable), so I suppose I also have access to whatever they offer for mail, but I will probably only be with them for another couple of years, and more than half my usage is not at home. Big bonus points if anyone knows how I can get away from Verizon entirely without going to dish. I only use them for internet.
posted by ubiquity to Computers & Internet (23 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not willing to pay $50 + $20 a month for the ad-free service.

According to this page, the ad-free Yahoo Mail Pro is $3.49 a month or $34.99 a year; that page doesn't mention a set-up fee.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 10:26 AM on November 20, 2017

As far as I can tell, there's nothing you could pay extra for that gmail doesn't offer. Unlimited storage, the best sorting/spam detecting algorithms, etc.

If I were you, I'd convert to Gmail!

I also use both yahoo and gmail but I send my "junk" email to yahoo (ie - when businesses ask for it) and my actual things I want go in my gmail.
posted by bbqturtle at 10:27 AM on November 20, 2017 [7 favorites]

Give Google Inbox a shot. You can convert your gmail account to use it. It's free, it works well for me, and there aren't a ton of ads (I went looking for the purpose of answering this question and couldn't even find any). It is a little fussy in that it insists on organizing things a certain way (though I'm sure it's customizable), but its filters are pretty terrific if you don't mind a robot trying to discern which emails are "Promos," which are "Purchases," etc.
posted by eugenen at 10:27 AM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Can't help with alternatives, but last time I checked Yahoo Mail Pro (as it's now called) was $34.99/year, not $20/month. Unless there's some sneaky new Verizon price plan being rolled out. On preview... someone else beat me to it.
posted by srednivashtar at 10:28 AM on November 20, 2017

I don't have any ads when I use Gmail in a browser, and definitely none when I use Gmail through Mac Mail where I normally use it.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:28 AM on November 20, 2017 [4 favorites]

Just use Gmail, it's grand!
posted by DarlingBri at 10:45 AM on November 20, 2017 [7 favorites]

I've had Yahoo and Gmail both for years and I wish people would stop using my Yahoo Address. Gmail is a lot better in all things, including ads. Yahoo accounts have been compromised. Don't use your ISP email for anything, since it might not be usable after you switch.
posted by soelo at 10:48 AM on November 20, 2017

Gmail has no ads, it's free, it can separate out spam and block senders, and it has web access. In other words, it seems to meet all your requirements. I'm not sure why you don't think it seems much better than Yahoo.
posted by Redstart at 10:50 AM on November 20, 2017 [8 favorites]

I'm Google-averse. So I'm always interested in Googlefree options. Here are two free email providers that offer web access and spam filtering, and seem to offer decent features and privacy/security:
Zoho mail
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:57 AM on November 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

I use Gmail for basically the same reasons as mentioned above, but if you're deadset on using something else and paying for it, I've heard nothing but good things about Fastmail.
posted by General Malaise at 11:04 AM on November 20, 2017

I've been using mail.com since 1999 and really like it. There are a few ads, but they're quick to load, small, and unobtrusive. The premium (no ads, tons of storage, etc.) is $14.99 first year and $29.99 a year after that. Try the free account; it's more than adequate for the needs of most.

Be prepared tho - everyone you tell your email address to will ask if you mean gmail instead.

You: my email is moi@maildotcom
Everyone in the world: don't you mean moi@gmaildotcom?
posted by the webmistress at 11:05 AM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Seconding Fastmail. I've used it for well over 5 years, for $20/year. It has been very reliable, and their spam filtering is good. They have several domain names, giving you a better chance of finding a username you like.
posted by jkent at 11:17 AM on November 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

I was on yahoo for the longest time, and got sick of it for the same reasons. I switched to ProtonMail. Secure, client-side encryption so your email isn't stored unencrypted anywhere, nice to use. You can get a free 500 Mb account or pay $4 a month for 5 Gb or storage.
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:21 AM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Seconding Gmail, though as far as I'm aware it doesn't have unlimited storage, but it gives you a hell of a lot for free, plus you can buy more affordably.

Does it have to be webmail access? Gmail and Yahoo both support IMAP access which means that a good mail client (such as Thunderbird or Outlook (to name two I've used) for desktops, and a variety of things for mobile devices) can check your mail on your device of choice 100% without ads from Yahoo/Gmail. I'm a Gmail user; I use webmail on desktop, and the Inbox app on my devices, but I also use Tbird for archiving the email. in an exportable form.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:33 AM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

I was a yahoo fan from way back and recently switched to gmail for good. I resisted gmail for the longest time bc it had labels instead of folders and I didn't like that it took liberties with my messages like threading and putting them in different places based on the content. But all of that can be turned off.
posted by bleep at 11:44 AM on November 20, 2017

believe it or not i am on yahoo with a rocketmail account. i just use ublock origin on my free account and have no ads anywhere on the page.
posted by alchemist at 12:02 PM on November 20, 2017

The OP has some times where they can't install anything and we can assume that includes a browser extension to block ads. I would not advise anyone add their personal account to Outlook or Thunderbird on a computer that someone else owns.
posted by soelo at 12:17 PM on November 20, 2017

Fastmail is the bees knees.
posted by armoir from antproof case at 2:21 PM on November 20, 2017 [2 favorites]

Depending on what constitutes a "small" fee, you could buy a domain and hosting plan and then use something like SquirrelMail. Not super flashy or anything, but you're on Yahoo now, so flashy might not be your thing. (I'm a fellow Yahoo user, and I mean that affectionately.)
posted by kevinbelt at 4:24 PM on November 20, 2017

First thing I'd try is adding uBlock Origin to the web browser, which will just kill everything advertising-related stone dead. Available for Firefox and Chrome.

You have no moral obligation to endure advertising. None. Anybody who tells you different is trying to sell you something.

I would not be averse to a small fee (say, $5/month or less).

Some years ago, having got completely over Google's frequent unannounced downgrades of the Gmail UI, I jumped ship to FastMail. Paid them AU$100 for three years of service, which is well under your $180 budget for the same period.

FastMail is so much better than any of the free providers. I'm not going back.
posted by flabdablet at 9:26 PM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

As far as I can tell, there's nothing you could pay extra for that gmail doesn't offer.

Notable Fastmail features that Gmail lacks:

1. A web UI that's clean, clear, quick, ad-free and stable.

The look and feel has had one major overhaul in the four years I've had my account. They gave me plenty of warning that it was coming, the option to preview it before final release, and the option to revert to the previous version as a sticky preference. I stuck with the old version for a few weeks until I actually felt like exploring the new look; having played with it and found where all the stuff I was accustomed to using had moved to, I kept it, because it genuinely was noticeably quicker to load and quicker and easier to use.

Gmail, by contrast, had imposed multiple UI changes without warning, each of which I experienced as a fashion-driven downgrade with no useful new features whatsoever.

2. Full support for standard client protocols for mail, contacts and calendars.

FastMail's IMAP implementation in particular is streets ahead of Gmail's quirky buggy one and interoperates smoothly with their web client. No crufty buildup of IMAP/ prefixed folders or endless obsoleted drafts here.

3. Actual customer support, because you actually are their customer, not their product.

They also offer referral credits for signing up new users. If you sign up via this link they'll discount all charges incurred in your first year by 10%, and I will donate all the credits they add to my account to Metafilter.

The OP has some times where they can't install anything and we can assume that includes a browser extension to block ads.

As a former school netadmin, I assert that any corporate IT department that is not already force-installing uBlock Origin into the browsers of all employee workstations as a matter of standard IT policy is doing it wrong; if they're actually preventing employees from installing it themselves then they are utterly incompetent and fully deserve the shitty job of needing to clean up after the ensuing malvertising-mediated security breaches.

Not that that's impossible. Sigh.
posted by flabdablet at 3:10 PM on November 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Forgot another feature I've made good use of:

4. "Send a copy" function that allows you to pass a message in one of your mailboxes to somebody else in such a way that they receive it exactly as if it had been bcc'd to them by the original sender: no "Fwd:" prepended to the subject line and no changes made to the address headers or mail body.

I've used this both to flick-pass invoices addressed to me as the school IT technician across to the bursar, and to send after-the-fact bccs of mails I've already sent but forgotten to bcc. Very handy.
posted by flabdablet at 3:18 PM on November 21, 2017

Nth-ing Fastmail. Happy user for over a year.

It’s $60/year for a goodly amount of storage, IMHO worth every penny.
posted by scooterdog at 7:46 PM on November 21, 2017

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