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on being a power email user

This is the first nerdy post I've written in a while.

For the astute, you probably noticed I changed my contact email address. This is an email address I haven't used in some time but decided to use it again because I'm absolutely 100% sick of dealing with the way free webmail does things.

I had my reasons for switching to free webmail originally and I've basically tried them all. Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, AOL Mail, etc. Been there, done that. The two best free webmail services are there are AOL and Gmail because they both offer free POP and IMAP access. AOL Mail was the one I thought I was going to stay with for the long haul, but that's not happening.

Something all the major webmail providers do (and yes even Gmail does this) is this stupid thing called deferred delivery. It happens when someone emails you that the mail server "doesn't know", so it literally makes you wait anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours or even longer before you actually receive the message.

Deferred delivery is an anti-spam countermeasure, but most of the time all it does is serve to be a royal pain in the ass. You're happily going along using your email, and then someone sends you something you know you're supposed to receive instantly, but it doesn't happen. A few minutes go by. Then 15 minutes. Then an hour. Then you think something is totally wrong. Nope. It's the stupid mail server that decided to hold your message hostage while it makes sure it's not spam instead of just delivering the thing.

When you pay for web hosting such as I do, domain-based email is almost always part of the package. And if there's one thing I've always known, it's that nothing is delayed when using old-style email. Someone sends you an email, you get it almost instantly, plain and simple. That's the way email is supposed to work.

I've been sending and receiving a ton of mail recently, and AOL Mail just kept screwing up over and over with its deferred delivery crap. It ticked me off so much that I said screw it and went back domain-based mail.

Webmail just doesn't work for power mail users like myself. To get things done, you need to use a client like Outlook or Thunderbird, and the mail must flow. Having the flow stop is simply not an option.

Most of you who read this probably use one of the major freebie mail providers like Hotmail or Gmail or whatever, and it may work well for you. I'm not telling you to switch, so go ahead and keep right on using whatever you use.

Free webmail is good for casual use, but for anything serious, no way. It will fail.

For the time being I'm done with free webmail. Maybe someday I'll go back to it... but I doubt it.

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