What is a good IMAP email program for business use?


I'm looking for business-class IMAP email programs to replace the traditional Outlook/POP configuration. Key features needed: the ability to access your email from any device without sacrificing features / speed. Also, the solution needs to be able to handle email for several different addresses at multiple domains.

Have you found anything good? So far the programs I've tried have been too slow, haven't had some of the automatic rules/sorting I want, etc. What would you recommend to replace a POP solution?

Software Outsourcing IT Infrastructure Backup

asked Oct 11 '09 at 13:18
Julie King
871 points

6 Answers


Use Google Apps for Business: http://google.com/a It's inexpensive, scales like crazy, tons of space, and you can use either IMAP or of course the excellent web-based mail system.

As a bonus you also get your own calendar, doc-sharing system, etc., just like Google has anyway. If you don't need all that (I don't), it doesn't matter -- the email alone is worth it.

answered Oct 11 '09 at 13:22
16,231 points
  • Thanks - I've only tried the free apps from Google so far but will give this a try. Is it easy to do an off-line back-up (I would rather be a bit paranoid and have a second back-up, even though Google has plenty of redundancy built in and is unlikely to fold -than wish after the fact that I had my data in 2 places)? – Julie King 15 years ago
  • With any IMAP system you can always back up. The simplest way is to just configure an email client (like Outlook or the free FireBird) to keep all emails locally and just let it suck the server. There's also "real" IMAP backup systems out there if it comes to that. – Jason 15 years ago
  • Thanks. I just signed up for the trial account with Google Apps, but there is one problem ... it looks like it is an all-or-nothing option for the rest of my staff (who won't be happy on Tuesday to arrive at work and find I've moved everyone to Google). It looks like I'm going to have to put a few layers in place with another address to test this out before I make any kind of final move. We do have IMAP with our current web host, but the storage limitations are terrible as are the webmail features. – Julie King 15 years ago
  • It's all or nothing with ANY provider because the mail for a domain has to get delivered somewhere. You could have Google forward mail back to the other accounts.. maybe.. not sure. – Jason 15 years ago
  • @Julie Jason's assumption above is correct, you can have Google forward your email to any account, any domain. You could basically start using Google today and then start forwarding all the email from Google to your current provider. During these time, your staff can check their email the same way as always and at the same time start looking at Google until they get familiar with it, once everyone is comfortable then you make the switch final. – Ricardo 14 years ago


Gina Trapani has a nice post about how to use GMail with your domain.

The Google Apps Standard Edition includes Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Google Sites (for simple web pages).

For small groups it's free, as already stated by Chris.

answered Oct 15 '09 at 20:06
111 points


For a small set of users (< 50), you should be sure to use the standard edition, which is free. It's pretty well hidden as of late, but here's a link:


answered Oct 14 '09 at 14:20
Chris Henry
111 points


I would have added this as a comment to Jason's response (but I still cant...)

If you read the Google App's documentation it has a process to follow to facilitate the migration of all of your mail/accounts from an existing service to Google Apps.

Here it is: http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=61369

answered Oct 11 '09 at 14:45
470 points
  • Thanks Anthon. I'll probably do my test with a different domain and if I decide to use it I'll make sure everyone has time to set things up so they can collect their email via Google rather than our current provider. – Julie King 15 years ago


I'm using Rackspace Email and it's pretty good, excellent support and service, and a good price. Effectively you pay $10US / month for up to 10 mailboxes, and $1/mailbox thereafter. You don't get all of the Google applications (or equivalents) but you do have some other features such as shared calendars etc.

I did investigate Google Business Apps, but in the end I just wanted to have email, so Rackspace won out.

answered Oct 14 '09 at 15:18
323 points


Digital Dandelion uses Google Apps for Business. It's fantastic. I use Apple Mail and iCal perfectly with Google Apps.

answered Oct 11 '09 at 13:31
Jeremiah Lee
151 points

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