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My ISP (Plus.net) doesn't support SSL connections to their IMAP mail servers. This means that when I check my email (from an iPhone or computer) using a public wifi hotspot I am sending my password in cleartext.

How can I secure my connection? I don't want to connect to a VPN on my iPhone, so I'm guessing I need some sort of IMAP proxy that supports SSL?

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3 Answers 3

First of all if you email provider doesn't support secure protocols there is no way you can have a perfectly secure system, because, at some point, you will have an insecure connection.

But, in your case, there are, at least, two options to solve your problem:

  • You can use a proxy
  • You can redirect your email to another email provider

If you trust the connection you have between the proxy you use and Plus.net email provider this solution is good for you. The drawback is that you need to have a proxy allways up.

For this solution you can use IMAPProxy. Don't forget that if you want to send emails you also need an SMTP proxy like smtpprox. Or you can use nginx that supports both using the MailProxyModule.

The second solution is easier. You can configure your email provider (Plus.net) to forward your email to any other provider that support secure access methods, like gmail or hotmail.

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Another option would be to use VPN connection which encrypts your data at least on the WiFi connection (up to the VPN gateway).

However you need an VPN provider - there are some providers offer free VPN services like HotSpotShield. According to their homepage this can be used with iPhone, too.

The disadvantage would be that if the VPN connection is dropped or you forget to activate VPN the connection still works but it again unprotected.

In your case I would look for a better mail provider, a lot of free/cheap providers support SSL for IMAP and SMTP. And if you don't want to change your mail address you could forward all you plus.net mails to your new account.

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Get a new email address. An email provider that does not support encryption is an email provider you should not use.

I know this does not answer your question but its for your own security that you do this.

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