Looking for web-based email forwarding product
May 24, 2019 2:04 PM   Subscribe

I have an email account that I need to forward temporarily to a different address while I am on a boat using a sat phone. My host sucks and will only allow me to do a forward if I delete the inbox. I have imagined a service that would pull down mail using POP or IMAP and forward it to my temporary email address, but I’m unable to find it myself.

Bonus difficulty factor: in order to access the internet at any reasonable speed in my current location I have to relocate to a nearby bar with WiFi, so something that I could configure in an hour or two max would be a bonus. I’m willing to pay a subscription service or buy an app, but the pull and resend of the emails has to happen on a hosted service somewhere, because anything I run over the sat connection is S...L...O....W. Moving to a new host isn’t practical because of the time constraints and data access.

My host won’t let me near their procmail or other server side configuration and a .forward would forward all accounts in the domain which I very much don’t want.
posted by Lame_username to Technology (4 answers total)
Maybe I'm missing the hitch, but gmail can check other accounts via POP or IMAP. You could then use the web interface of gmail, or set it up to forward to another address. As I recall, gmail checks your other account at varying intervals based on the normal volume of mail you get. In my experience, with a very low mail volume, gmail only checked for new mail every 10-15 minutes, with an option for manual re-check buried deep in the settings. The delay proved to be problematic for my scenario, but I had the ability to forward out of the other account instead. It may be tolerable for your use case.
posted by yuwtze at 2:33 PM on May 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

The solution above was the first that came to mind, but also: does your current mail solution not come with any kind of web interface? I'm pretty sure I've done this with Squirrelmail (which is what my host offers as a basic webmail interface for domain mail). I'm just wondering if your host is assuming you want your mail forwarded before it hits the inbox, which I can see them not wanting to get in the middle of, but a rule/filter that says "forward all emails where to: is me@me.com" should be feasible from nearly any interface.

But gmail is probably the easiest solution. Mine is checking an additional 5ish addresses along with the gmail address, has been for years, and the only time I've ever had to touch it was when the passwords for those other addresses needed changed.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:11 PM on May 24, 2019

I think GMail can do this.

1. Create a GMail account
2. Go into "Settings" -> "Check email from other accounts" and set it up to retrieve email from your current account.
3. Go into "Settings" -> "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" and set it to forward all email to whatever address you want.

Hope that helps.
posted by jay2dadub at 8:59 PM on May 24, 2019

That worked splendidly. I did look at gmail briefly, but it was on the iPad and it hid those features from me. Went to the desktop site and it worked brilliantly. A boating forum recommended a service aimed at sailors for $70/month, so you saved me some cash! Thanks, all
posted by Lame_username at 3:35 AM on May 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

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