IMAP & Google Apps for Your Domain

Google Apps for Your Domain (GAYD) has become a great tool for our small business clients. One feature they are very happy with is the e-mail, which is based on the GMAIL platform. With the advent of the Blackberry and the Treo phones, the GAYD makes it easy to to keep up with your e-mail.

We are now so entrenched with POP3 that along the way everyone forgot the IMAP. There were several reasons why IMAP fell by the wayside, but one of those reasons was the cost of online storage for mailboxes. GAYD offers 6GB per mailbox on their free service. If I were to equate this to what I have stored in my Outlook, my .pst file is about 2 GB. If you have a version of Outlook prior to 2007, your maximum storage is 2GB, and Outlook starts to “wig out” when you get close to 1.9 GB. So, it would make sense to say that 6GB should be plenty of mailbox storage for the average e-mailer.

GMAIL, as well as GAYD, offer an icon download for your Blackberry that once it is installed on the Blackberry desktop, you just have to click it to view your e-mail. For the Treo, it gets a bit sticker. Verizon’s Treo allows you a PC/Windows based interface or a Palm interface, so setting up your e-mail is a bit different between the two. The Palm website offers a great tutorial on setting up your e-mail account, which requires downloading a program to the phone. You can search the Palm website for the appropriate program.

If you have desktop/laptop and want to be able to send/receive from both your computer and cell phone, the easiest option is to enable the IMAP feature in your e-mail account, then reset up your Outlook according to the IMAP settings up at Google. Then on your phone, you can set up an IMAP e-mail account.

What will then happen is that if you send an e-mail from your phone, when you open up your Outlook on your PC, it will also be there. So, what is the difference between the IMAP & POP3? The main difference is that your e-mail is stored online with an IMAP account and Outlook just “manages” the organization of how you view your e-mail. You can set up folders, etc. just like you do with a POP3 account. You have the advantage of not losing e-mails, or of needing to view or see an e-mail that you already downloaded to your computer if using POP3.

Because GMAIL has great spam filtering, it is in your best interests to disable your spam filter in your Outlook if using IMAP.

The only disadvantage with IMAP is that you still need some way to be able to back up your e-mail should the online system crash. Right now it appears that the only way to save the online e-mails is to set up the POP3 and download them all to your system. Another option is to have your computer use POP3, but your phone IMAP so that at least you will have the e-mails you sent from your phone in your e-mail box.

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One Response to IMAP & Google Apps for Your Domain

  1. Judy says:

    Hmm…since this post, Google has upped the free accounts to 7GB. So, what is the catch here? If you log in the the webmail feature, you will notice as you read your mail that there is a one-liner ad above your message that relates to some keywords within your subject (I haven’t looked at it enough to see if it is also pulling from the subject).

    So, if you have anything really confidential in your e-mail, well, you might want to think twice about using this service.

    It is really one of those many situations in our business where you have to go with the lesser of several evils and in this case the spam was so out of control that it was taking up too much of my time trying to manage the e-mail on my server.

    The Gmail spam filter is really good, and it does not require someone having to send an e-mail back to be an approved sender, it does not require you to wash your mail through a 3rd party service before you get your mail, and it will save all the e-mails you send and receive online if you tell it to keep copies up there. Also, if you are reading your mail on your cell, you don’t have to waste time on the spam downloading or weed through it.

    I figured it would take me some time to fill up my 7gb if I never deleted any mail at all since my Outlook is taking up about 2GB now.

    You do still need to log in periodically to check your spam filter because at the end of its one-month life span it is automatically deleted. I have found a few legitimate e-mails stuck up there in the spam filter.

    Also, It has a great vacation responder that several clients have used.

    If you do want to receive and send e-mail on your cell, but want to keep copies of your e-mail, you can keep your Outlook settings for POP and then enable the IMAP feature to use with your phone (this is actually the recommended setting for the cell phones).

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