Manage e-mail on multiple Macs

In this week's video, I discuss e-mail. More specifically, I discuss e-mail protocols, and how you might optimize your setup if you receive e-mail on multiple Macs and/or phones. I also delve briefly into the world of spam, and how you can minimize how much of the stuff makes it to all of your Macs and/or devices.

Download Macworld Video #111

  • Format: MPEG-4/H.264
  • Resolution: 480 x 272 (iPhone & iPod compatible)
  • Size: 13MB
  • Length: 8 minutes

During the video, I touch on a few different things relative to e-mail, including a brief overview of the POP and IMAP e-mail protocols. Note that, in the interest of keeping things brief and not overly technical, I glossed over many of the details on how IMAP works (i.e. deleted messages aren't really deleted immediately, but instead flagged as deleted). If such things interest you, the above link to IMAP's Wikipedia entry is a great place to start.

I also talk, generically, about converting your setup from POP to IMAP. Please note that there's simply no way to cover all the details involved with such a task during this brief video. If you're interested in converting, I strongly recommend that you have good backups in place first, and that you do further research regarding IMAP with your particular internet provider. Google searching may also prove helpful. The process is generally simple, but it's never good to lose e-mail messages you need to keep.

During my discussion on how to minimize spam to multiple Macs/devices, I mention installing anti-spam tools that integrate with Mail or Entourage. However, due to, um, a production error, I failed to actually name any such products.

Two products that integrate well with Mail (and Entourage) and would work with my proposed solution are SpamSieve and Personal Anti-Spam X5. We have reviews of the prior versions online (SpamSieve 2.6; Personal Anti-Spam X4). I'm actually in the midst of a new anti-spam roundup (which is what inspired this video in the first place), so we'll post new reviews of these apps (and a few others) later this summer.

If you have other methods for avoiding spam across multiple devices, please share in the comments. In addition, if you have any POP/IMAP questions in general, please post them and I'll do my best to answer.

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