It seems like there is an influx of email aggregation web sites that work similar to GMail in the way that they can aggregate emails similar to a traditional Desktop email reader application but that it is all done on the web (Sorry, I refuse to use the buzzword cloud here).

These services are great especially for those who are not too concerned with privacy and who do not have the technical skills to manage a home server. For the rest of us it seems that there should be a product around that basically offers the capabilities but can be installed on your own server so that your server acts much like a web-based email reader and so that all data collected is pulled off off the public servers as quickly as possible and then only retained on your private server.

I've been keeping my eye out for such a product but I haven't found anything reasonable yet. My guess is that such a product would be perfect for regular users who may have bought into the Windows Home Server or for more technical users that generally have either a full server or a desktop which can be designated at home as a server for running such software. I'm interested in any solutions you may be aware of regardless of OS or technology but I would prefer if the solution had a nice web based front and also the ability to aggregate email from some non-pop3 sources.


There's a long-standing Linux-based app called fetchmail that can pull email from other servers; I have used it successfully to amalgamate mail from various GoogleMail accounts and elsewhere.

Coupled with a standard mail setup (Postfix etc.) and Webmail package (Squirrelmail, AtMail, Roundcube...take your pick) You have an aggregation service - albeit you have to do a bit of setting up!

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  • Neat, I don't mind doing the setup if the result is something stable and that can pull from all necessary sources (Hotmail, GMail, regular Yahoo, and other IMAP/POP3 sources). – jpierson May 11 '11 at 21:12

A powerful mail server that includes this capability is David Harris's Mercury/32 (for 32-bit Win systems). David is a pioneer in internet email and his tools are extremely robust. Mercury has been around since 1993. Among the features is:

Distributing POP3 Client features

Can be configured to download mail from an unlimited number of remote POP3 mailboxes and to process that mail into any number of local mailboxes (so, you can have four remote mailboxes all downloaded into one local user, or each remote mailbox being downloaded to separate users).

It's a full-fledged mail server (supporting POP, SMTP, IMAP, mailing lists, etc.) so you can put any web-based mail front-end or mail client you like. There's also a strong community you can turn to for support - David's also very responsive in answering queries.

You can learn more about it at (and download it from) http://www.pmail.com/overviews/ovw_mercwin.htm

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Zimbra is open source and supports external mail accounts. It's web based and supports mobile devices.

Also not quite a server, but quite a few email clients support mail retrieval from multiple accounts. You've go two basic options. 1) Configure each account to leave the mail on the remote service or 2) pull all the email to the local server. Each has it's advantages and disadvantages. Retaining their current location allow you to change clients and minimizes the impact of a mailstore loss. Pulling them all down allow you to keep one repository; however, all your email is in one basket.

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  • Good points Xenoactive. My thoughts are that it is probably best privacy-wise to remove mail off of the servers as soon as possible do reduce the risk of somebody (employee, hacker, ...) from gaining access to it. – jpierson May 11 '11 at 21:15

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