31 October 2007

Now using Google Apps

Up until now I have been accessing my iwankerl.com e-mail through the POP protocol. At work, from Gmail, and on my iPhone, I fetched the messages and read them but still keep a copy on the server. At home, I fetched them and deleted them from the server. Essentially this setup made my home computer the master database of my e-mails. However there were several things I didn't like about this. First, on heavy e-mail days, I would read through fifty or so messages from friends at work and then when I got home, I would download those same messages which showed up as unread. Then I would quickly go through them either deleting or saving as needed. The second pain was reading my e-mails on the iPhone. There is no spam filter on the iPhone and I was relying on Microsoft Entourage's client side Junk Mail filter when at home and work. So every time I checked e-mail on the iPhone, I ended up deleting 80% of the messages which were spam. Third, this meant that if I received an e-mail at home and later needed to access it from the road, I was out of luck. I thought about using IMAP with my e-mail account, but I really wanted to be able to use Gmail for web based access and Google didn't provide IMAP support... until last week.

When I started reading about Google and IMAP, I noticed that also offer a service called Google Apps. If you have your own domain name, then you can setup your e-mail to be hosted on Google's servers for free. With Google's very extensive documentation and help, it was almost painless to switch iwankerl.com over to this setup. Now I can check my e-mail using IMAP from my iPhone, work, home, or use Google's web based client and everything stays in sync with the added bonus of very reliable spam filtering.


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