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ViRGE

Spamcop Alternatives?

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With yesterday's announcement from CESmail that they're going to be winding down their email hosting business, it looks like all of us are going to be in need of a new email host in the not too distant future.

The question now is: who would be the best Spamcop alternative? I've done some research after the system problems we experienced earlier this year, and admittedly I'm shopping based on my own needs here. But honestly I haven't gone shopping for a new email provider in nearly 15 years so I'm not sure who and what to look for.

These days I'm not seeing a particularly high volume of mail, so beyond 1GB or so of storage it's less about the capacity and more about the reliability and services. Really I just need an email service that can stick with me through ISP changes for another 15 years.

What I'm looking for, in no particular order

  • Excellent spam filtering
  • IMAP/SMTP Access
  • Domain name that isn't shared with a free email service
  • STMP service that isn't likely to get blacklisted (i.e. hosting right next to a rented VPS spambox)
  • Reliability
  • Webmail access
  • Not run by an advertising firm (e.g. Google). I don't need paranoia levels of privacy; just not having all my mail scanned to build a profile on me would be nice

A bit of digging has come up with several email providers. I'd be curious if anyone here has worked with any of these guys previously, and/or has heard anything that would be of use in picking one.

If anyone here has any thoughts on the matter, I'm greatly interested in them. If I'm going to get thrown off of CESmail, then the people most likely to know of a good similar service are the other people here using CESmail. :)

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I have a Fastmail account but currently configured as just one of the several accounts which forward to SC Mail for filtering before my PC mail pops it out of SC, not sure I fancy having to go online always to read my mail. because with SC Email at least mail comes through still showing which email it was sent to, I doubt you could distinguish between them in Fastmail, although as it's my standby for emergencies I haven't used it much I must admit.

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How do we set up forwarding? See http://www.spamcop.net/ces/setup_forwarding2.shtml , noting that whoever wrote the text doesn't know that "setup" is a noun and that the VERB is "set up." An all-to-common goof.

(Sorry, even though I can't read (like reading the instructions in the original email), I work with words all day long and can focus on minutia. I can't help myself.)

Edited by svanslyck

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I am in a similar situation: I have several email accounts that are forwarded to an account in Spamcop (this SC email has never been used, in spite of which is lately receiving spam directly addressed to it, which makes me think that the SC user list has been compromised in some way, but that's another matter).

With respect to alternatives to Spamcop, I'm considering Hushmail.com, although it is hard for me to 'digest' its interface, used as I am to the clean Spamcop interface.

Anyway, I still hope that the Spamcop actual 'issue' can be resolved satisfactorily for the users. Perhaps Cisco can take over the email service from Cesmail or subcontract a webmail service with a company in a way that it result transparent to the end user.

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Something I'd like to know...How do we set up forwarding?

That was mentioned in the official notification, as follows:

To register a forwarding address, please login via https://webmail.spamcop.net; click "Options" > "SpamCop Tools".

Which isn't quite correct, BTW, as you need to click on the "Mail" icon in Options too find SpamCop Tools, and then you'll need to click on "Manage your email forwarding, password, mail report, and greylist settings."

DT

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>- winding down their email hosting business

They didn't say that.

- Don D'Minion - SpamCop Admin -

- Service[at]Admin.SpamCop.net -

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Several months ago I migrated most of my email usage to the email functionality provided by a web hosting service, Hosting Matters.

Since I already had the account, it was an obvious thing to try, and it's worked out well. But that's probably overkill for most people.

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What's mystifying me as their email wasn't very clear, is apparently all mail can still be forwarded to SC Email and filtered, but will we still be able to look at the webmail to check if legit mail has been caught in error and if so, release it?

If it can be then everything continues as before except I'm going to have to do some adjustments with one of my email clients and forward all SC filtered mail to it and in turn use IMAP to pull it onto my computer from that email client.

If the above is the case, I don't understand why they are changing anything because mail will still be using their servers, and all they really are doing is reducing access.

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What's mystifying me as their email wasn't very clear, is apparently all mail can still be forwarded to SC Email and filtered, but will we still be able to look at the webmail to check if legit mail has been caught in error and if so, release it?

If it can be then everything continues as before except I'm going to have to do some adjustments with one of my email clients and forward all SC filtered mail to it and in turn use IMAP to pull it onto my computer from that email client.

If the above is the case, I don't understand why they are changing anything because mail will still be using their servers, and all they really are doing is reducing access.

I posted this in the other thread (I don't know how tightly it is tied to webmail server) - If you log on to http://mailsc.spamcop.net (same as your webmail log on - looks like no https) there is an option to see the held mail and forward those that are wrongly caught. Now the question who generates the emails about held emails as I rely on that to check incorrectly caught emails

Edited by JohnM

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Hopefully they will clarify it soon.

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I like reading my email online [at] SpamCop. I also have lots of saved emails organized in folders.

I hope they change their mind. My spamcop email address is all over the planet.

I created a GMail account. Ugh. They're very proud of not having "Folders" and you can't turn off "keep a copy of sent mail in Sent Mail". Where else are y'all going to go?

Edited by cherrick

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What's mystifying me as their email wasn't very clear, is apparently all mail can still be forwarded to SC Email and filtered, but will we still be able to look at the webmail to check if legit mail has been caught in error and if so, release it?

If it can be then everything continues as before except I'm going to have to do some adjustments with one of my email clients and forward all SC filtered mail to it and in turn use IMAP to pull it onto my computer from that email client.

If the above is the case, I don't understand why they are changing anything because mail will still be using their servers, and all they really are doing is reducing access.

My interpretation is that all remains as before except the webmail "inbox" tab goes away, and we have to forward mail from SC no more pop or imap.

My concern is why is SC doing this. It looks like some sort of a phased winding down of services leading to the complete elimination of the email service.

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>- winding down their email hosting business

They didn't say that.

- Don D'Minion - SpamCop Admin

I guess it depends what is meant by "email hosting." To me, that includes storage and/or POP/IMAP access, all of which are being discontinued. "They" said this:

we have decided to retire the SpamCop Email System and its webmail service

Perhaps "winding down" wasn't entirely accurate--they'll actually be terminating most of the services that I use (I was using webmail and IMAP, and formerly SMTP, until they took that away from us). Providing "filtering and forwarding" only (neither of which are of much interest to me) is not a full "email hosting business" in the commonly-accepted sense of those words.

DT

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>- winding down their email hosting business

Come September 30th they'll no longer be hosting our email, just filtering it and forwarding it. That seems an accurate description to me, though if you have a better one I am all ears. :) Edited by ViRGE

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Come September 30th they'll no longer be hosting our email, just filtering it and forwarding it. That seems an accurate description to me, though if you have a better one I am all ears. :)

As others have asked, since the Held folder will vanish, what happens to mail filtered as spam ?

Could just have *** spam *** added to the subject of course

Edited by michaelanglo

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As others have asked, since the Held folder will vanish, what happens to mail filtered as spam ?

Could just have *** spam *** added to the subject of course

Yes but....will you get it or will it be reported then deleted? All the controls are on that Held Mail tab. At least at the moment they are.

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>- winding down their email hosting business

They didn't say that.

- Don D'Minion - SpamCop Admin -

- Service[at]Admin.SpamCop.net -

I will be sure to file a complaint with the BBB and the Consumer Protection in state against Cesmail and Cisco for offering a site that defrauds people.

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>- winding down their email hosting business

They didn't say that.

Well, it sounds (to me at least) like they're winding down the spamcop email side of their CESmail business at least (although maybe not their corporate side).

This is all a bit depressing - been using the spamcop email since roughly 2000 (give or take, I forget the exact year).

This is my email setup ---

* Various domains forwarded to my ISP

* My ISP has a unique subdomain for each user, so email is of the form <xxxxx>[at]myuserid.myisp.net

Therefore I have a LOT of unique email addresses (I register on every site with a different email)

* Spamcop email then POPs my ISP email. I read & write emails from spamcop webmail.

Some email gets sent direct to spamcop (although a minority).

I used to archive email to my PC every year or so but haven't for a long while (so now I have 5 years of email online).

So I really need to find two things. Firstly a domain-friendly webmail service (ideally one which can auto-create folders based on the TO: email address, hence categorising them by each registered website), and secondly a new email client for my PC which I can use to download & archive the emails (preferably including the sent mail).

I heard 'thunderbird' client mentioned in one of the threads, is it any good?

Edited by mikemars

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I heard 'thunderbird' client mentioned in one of the threads, is it any good?
I have used Thunderbird for years. In general it is very good. The only problem I particularly have with it is that "they" don't perfect a major revision before starting on a new one. But that is a problem I have with all open source projects.

Thunderbird for Windows will always be more robust and mature, and pretty, than Thunderbird for *ix.

I have just folded space from Ix. Many machines on Ix....

Edited by svanslyck

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Please keep coming the suggested alternatives.

I've signed up on GMail.com. I am looking at Fastmail.FM, which looks promising. I first will purchase my own domain (firstname-lastname.com) so I can begin to isolate my email address from my email provider, which frankly I should have done long ago. I never figured this would happen.

Edited by cherrick

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...

If anyone here has any thoughts on the matter, I'm greatly interested in them. If I'm going to get thrown off of CESmail, then the people most likely to know of a good similar service are the other people here using CESmail. :)

This email service is just like cesmail.net

https://www.vfemail.net/vfemailaccts.php

Excessive backquoting removed

Edited by Farelf

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The Thunderbird client is great. Been using it forever. You still need an IMAP email account somewhere.


Some alternative email providers not yet mentioned:

1. Office365 Email (Microsoft is "never" going to go out of business)
$48 per year (just email)
$150 per year (included in Office 365 Small Business Premium with full Office Suite) -- This is the option I'm using for my mom since she was interested in subscribing to get the office apps anyway

2. MarxMail (great spam filtering, been around forever, but is mom+pop so who knows how long it will last)
$30/year - http://www.marxmail.net/

3. IMAP/SMTP though webhost such as DreamHost (often including hosting, domain registration, and email) for various prices

4. Yahoo Business Email $34/yr. for 1 account - https://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/email

Note: I never give/gave out my [at]spamcop.net email address. I use aliases/forwarders on my webhost to hand off the mail to the spamcop.net account instead. I highly recommend this method because it makes it (a bit) easier to switch mailbox providers. I am very sad that the well-integrated [at]spamcop.net mailboxes are going away. I am fairly certain this means I'll stop reporting spam.

(Also, I use name-of-store[at]example.com when some company wants my email address, so I can shut off the name-of-store[at].. alias if it starts getting spam).

(edit: added 1 more option and some more background info)

My Final Decision (final edit to this post, no need to bump thread)

  • I'm using FastMail's 60-day free trial, and so far it seems I can use it just how I use SpamCop today (minus the built-in Held Mail reporting)
  • I like the webmail, but I mostly use my phone or Thunderbird
  • I like that I can use their "Personalities" feature to create multiple "From:" addresses to match any of the mail forwarded from any of my domains
  • Their SMTP server (just like CES/Spamcop) has no problem if I want to specify an arbitrary "From:" address in Thunderbird
  • It seems like it can POP external accounts, but I haven't tried yet. If it doesn't, I'll just add them to Thunderbird. It's not as important now since I'm not trying to report spam on my Hotmail/Yahoo/Gmail accounts.
  • It works well with the iPhone email client and with Thunderbird
  • It looks like the $20/yr. account is fine for my needs. I remove all mail from the server and keep it in Thunderbird when it's six months old, so 1GB should be fine.
  • I see no need to spend money to filter/report spam. I need to take a look again at the free SpamCop offerings. It still might be too much of a hassle to report now, even if the increased hassle if very minor.

I've moved a cousin and my wife off to Gmail over the years. That's where my dad's going to.

It would be pretty cool if, at this point, spamcop offered a service where it could log in to external IMAP accounts to access a Held or Junk folder for reporting like we used to have. Also, it would be nice if the reporting site was https -- not related to this, but it has always bugged me.

I see no need to bump the thread for this...

Update 2014-11-15: I have been on fastmail.com since the posts above. I use it by forwarding in from my domain hosting company (DreamHost). I then use free spamcop.net reporting by forwarding any spam mail as attachments. I would happily pay for a spamcop.net feature where it would log into 3rd part IMAP servers (preferably the spam folder on the account), so I could report without having to forward. I am happy with fastmail.com's reliability, IMAP&SMTP support, webmail interface (even on mobile, it's great), spam filtering, and price. Only thing that was lame is the 60 day trial got cut short as soon as I paid. So, if you want to save a little money, wait until the very end of the trial to pay for your account.

Edited by zachariah

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As an aside to the hunt for new email services I think that "never going to go out of business" is an unjustified expectation for any service provider.

Examples:

* In 1996 I hosted my first domain with, at that time, an established east cost ISP. In 2013 when they closed down, I was given 45 days notice to move 5 domains, email etc. Until that moment my total down time was a countable number. Service calls were always met with "Yes, Mr King what can we do for you today?"

* Is anyone using an unsupported version of Windows OS? (Just asking.) How about support for a cell phone that is not cutting edge?

* This year I was notified by the providers of the software accounting package I have used for over 15 years for both personal and business that effectively their business model has changed and the cost of their supported software will basically double.

My intent is to point out that "s**t happens" We all learn, right after a disk crash, that backups are a good idea. I'm slower than most, I have learn that lesson more than once.

Not to pick on "Uncle Bill" but no doubt Windows will around a long time to come ~~ any given service however, may vanish in the whim of a business decision.

From this side of our relationship with JT we can only guess as to why or the timing of current events. Things change and we should plan accordingly.

JMHO

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Does anyone know of a provider who offers the ability to use blacklists to filter mail, like CESmail did? As long as I'm contributing to the SC blacklist it would be nice to be able to use it as well to filter my incoming mail.

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