Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I use multiple computers through the day, some at work, some personal.

I also presently use Outlook 2010 to receive most of my email, and a variety of webmail interfaces for the rest. For my personal email I am not rigidly locked into this software, but I do prefer to find a solution that would work with it.

I want to consolidate all my email in one place (simple) but be able to read it from (at least) a subset of the computers I use.

I am not looking for a solution that leaves my mail on the server (doesn't synchronize sent messages or doesn't consolidate all my mail), nor am I looking for a "forward it all to a gmail account" type solution (since I want my replies to come from the appropriate, corresponding email address).

I have heard about putting my PST file on a web drive, but I have concerns about being able to access it offline.

All of the machines that I am concern about receiving/sharing my email on are Windows Xp or Windows 7 machines. If a solution could also be applicable to Linux or MacOS that's a bonus.

How can I best address these concerns?

share|improve this question
    
I use Mailwasher, unfortunately its Windows only. Marketed as a spam blocker but makes an excellent multi PC mail popper and can be used to reply to email but requires an installed mail client to allow it. Free version is limited, I use paid version. –  Moab Feb 11 '12 at 2:22

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I know you didn't ask for this but I want to clear some misconceptions.

I am not looking for a solution that leaves my mail on the server (doesn't synchronize sent messages or doesn't consolidate all my mail), nor am I looking for a "forward it all to a gmail account" type solution (since I want my replies to come from the appropriate, corresponding email address).

IMAP, which would leave your messages on the server can synchronize your sent mails (as long as the clients share the same folder for the "Sent Items"), and you can use a provided with sufficient space, e.g. Gmail, to consolidate your email. Since you mention the opposite, you should know that Gmail can be used to sent mail from various accounts (Settings > Accounts and Import > Send mail as). Finally, the web-based interface allows you access from anywhere.

In any case, I would recommend against using PST since it's not an open, portable format, in addition of being very cumbersome, and prone to file corruption (you'd be loosing a lot).

Edit: if you don't trust Gmail with your content, you can always set up your own server, or host one somewhere.

share|improve this answer
    
This certainly clears up some misconceptions. If I were to consider gmail, can it directly retrieve messages from other servers or would I have to set up forwarding rules on each of the other serves? –  Stephen Feb 10 '12 at 17:00
1  
You can certainly tell Gmail to access mails from other servers, if you provide the passwords. Have a look here: support.google.com/mail/bin/… –  Karolos Feb 10 '12 at 17:50
    
Turns out that this is much better than I originally thought. I am concerned about Google's privacy policy but it will serve what I need it to do ... share between my laptop, pcs and iphone. Thanks! –  Stephen Feb 11 '12 at 2:36
    
The truth is that they did a neat job with Gmail. Honestly, I doubt that they would share much of your email (you can encrypt sensitive mails need be); I'd be more worried with Plus and other features. –  Karolos Feb 11 '12 at 12:36
    
Now that it's all under one privacy agreement, I'm sure they'll use keyword searches from emails to fuel advertising, but oh well, I can ignore advertising regardless of the format. –  Stephen Feb 11 '12 at 14:57

If I was you, look for a solution that leaves it on the server!... please read on!

I get my mail on my home computer, my work computer, my ipad and my phone - for this, I use IMAP on my own server and it syncronises everything to everywhere (including sent mail).

For my work mail, I get it in the same places using Exchange Active Sync.

As for your concerns with this option, all I can think is that you have either used Pop3 on your devices (with the leave it on server option) where syncing doesn't work at all well, or you have used IMAP but set it up incorrectly.

Putting your PST on a shared drive or similar is an extremely bad idea and I would recommend that you follow the above and just use IMAP (which most providers give) and you shouldn't have a problem - if your only concerns were not synchronizing/consolidation.)

share|improve this answer
    
I have never set up my own IMAP server, but have used it through work. I was aware IMAP will sync sent folders, but had dismissed it because most of the email accounts I have could easily have storage size issues. If I set up my own IMAP server, will I get the ability to pull the mail from all my secondary sources without going to each one and setting up forwarding? IE could I have each remote POP account polled into its own folder? –  Stephen Feb 10 '12 at 17:03
1  
@Stephen: You could certainly do all that, but how would depend on which operating system you're using. –  Karolos Feb 10 '12 at 18:19

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.