AOL puts Mailblocks out to pasture
well, it finally happened - AOL has decided to mothball my beloved mailblocks email service and is attempting to move people over to AIM mail.
The mailblocks homepage tells the story:
"Mailblocks Announces Service Discontinuation
Per the email sent to all current Mailblocks customers, the Mailblocks email service will be discontinued on November 16, 2005.
We hope you’ve enjoyed your spam-free Mailblocks account and thank you for your continued support. We apologize for any inconvenience this transition may cause and we hope you continue enjoying our free spam-free and virus-free email service from AIM Mail. "
Mailblocks was great because not only was it a great spam deterrent with challenge/response, but more importantly, it was a rock solid POP3/IMAP server.
Now, i am an atypical user of most software.
Email is no different. i use email as follows:
1) i only use POP. IMAP is way to slow for me, and i'm on the go all the time so i want to make sure i have full copies of all email and attachments. i always leave mail on the server, and have my clients (see next) delete stuff every 30 days or so. I forward a copy of everything to gmail for safekeeping.
2) at any given time, i have 4-5 email clients hitting my mail server. my main laptop, a few computers at home, my blackberry.net service, and whatever phone/PDA i am carrying at the time (sometimes more). This is not trivial!!! Try this with any out-of-the-box Linux or Outlook server and you will get tons of connection timeouts, lost mailbox lock files, and connection kick-offs as multiple clients access the server.
3) i get a LOT of email, and my mailboxes are BIG. I can't have a server that slows down as the mail piles up.
4) i do use the webclient a lot. it's important to have a good webclient as well that i can respond from different email addresses with.
So i am trying out some different services - here are my choices as i see them:
1. Gmail - gmail has free POP access, but it's only on secure ports over SSL. I also hate their threading on the web client. their spam filter doesn't seem to really do the job for me either.
2. Yahoo! Mail - I love the new beta Yahoo! Mail interface, but POP access is a premium service. might be worth it if nothing else works.
3. AIM Mail - AOL is making a resurgence - perhaps i should put my eggs in the hands of the same team that created Mailblocks. They do have free POP.
At any rate, I plan to do a bake-off and see who does best to meet my needs. I'll keep y'all posted.