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Does Web Mail support mobile devices? - 07/31/07

From: Email Guy
Subject:       Does Web Mail support mobile devices?
Date: July 31, 2007 9:01 PM
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Users often ask if they can access the EarthLink Web Mail site (webmail.earthlink.net) using the browser on their mobile phone or other hand-held device.

Generally the answer is no, as the browsers on most mobile devices are not supported by Web Mail. It may work for you in some cases but we don't really support it, and the display format of Web Mail is not set up for small screens. However, your mailbox IS accessible from most mobile devices using the email software (POP3 application) that comes on the device. If your device has email software, then the settings to use are:

  • Outgoing server set to smtpauth.earthlink.net

  • Port for outgoing server set to 587

  • Authentication is required for sending (outgoing), and enter your full email address for the login, not just the username part.

  • Incoming server set to pop.earthlink.net (or pop.mindspring.com or pop.otherdomain). Account type is POP.

If your address is not @earthlink.net then you can look up your exact server names here for any domain we support.

If your software does not allow setting the outgoing port to 587, you can try entering the server name as
      smtpauth.earthlink.net:587
all on that line. If that doesn't work, you will have to use the outgoing mail server provided by your phone provider instead of smtpauth.earthlink.net.

In the future we may provide a WAP site for accessing email from mobile browsers. In the meantime, use any email program on your mobile device instead of the browser.


Discussion

Posted by: Justin   |   August 3, 2007 6:25 PM    |   (1)

I'd just like to add the request for some sort of ultra-lite webmail to be used on mobile devices. I have a Tapwave Zodiac which fits my needs perfectly and has some decent web browsing capability, but it's a bit of an unusual device and I don't expect it to ever be an officially supported device. Some sort of stripped webmail would be absolutely perfect for me, since I'm not big on downloading/storing mail on my PDA...

Posted by: Byron   |   August 4, 2007 10:44 AM    |   (2)

Thanks for posting those settings. While I don't use a mobile device, I have looked for those settings on the support page. They are not easy to find and despite numerous comments left in the comment area at the bottom of KB pages, the settings have not been placed on a prominent, easy_to_find page and one can forget about getting useable results with earthlink's search feature.

I'm saving those settings to a local document so I can have them handy when evaluating third-party mail applications (QMail, Sylpheed, Pegasus, etc) to see if any offer all the features I'm looking for. Once again, thanks for posting those settings in a concise manner.

Posted by: Bruce Neft   |   August 10, 2007 11:08 AM    |   (3)

I use two email addresses; one for the office to which my Blackberry is set, and my home email, which I often access by webmail. I look forward to the day when webmail can be accessed through my PDA browser.

Posted by: Avrum L. Katcher   |   August 23, 2007 4:47 PM    |   (4)

Just want to say that this afternoon is the first time I have looked at this earthlink department about web mail, and I am delighted to read it. Whoever you are, e-mail guy, you come across as a very decent fellow/lady. Appreciate your efforts.

Thanks for your kind comments. You can read a little bit about me in the About link on the main page of this blog.

Email Guy


Posted by: tenaciousk   |   August 24, 2007 3:18 AM    |   (5)

Yeah, well, it's always surprised me that Earthlink wouldn't support at least Windows CE. I can access/send email through msn, google and yahoo mail through the web browser on my phone, but not earthlink? You guys are way behind the curve on this one.

BTW, I can access webmail with my phone, I just can't send any. So that leaves me with hotmail, I guess, if I want to send anything to anyone.

Bad business, I'd think - especially these days.

Posted by: Rob   |   August 26, 2007 12:39 AM    |   (6)

I, too, would really like to see a WAP-enabled webmail directly from Earthlink.

I tried having my (Sprint) cell phone provider's email service access my Earthlink account (by pointing it to Earthlink's POP server), but I kept getting errors--it didn't work well at all.

In the meantime, here's my workaround (and it actually works pretty well for me--but it does require use of a POP email client, such as Outlook, on your computer).

If you don't understand what I'm talking about, you may want to offer a beverage to your neighborhood computer geek to help you set things up because the folks at Earthlink may not be keen on trying to figure out how your cell phone service works. :-)

Caveat: I have Sprint PCS--I can't say how this will work for other cellular service providers. Also, check the terms & conditions for your cell phone service, particularly the fees they charge--you don't want to get nailed with an expensive data charge if some of the following things aren't included for free with your service.

First, set up your Earthlink Webmail account to forward a COPY of all email to your cell phone provider's email address (e.g., "1112223333@sprintpcs.com"). This will let you receive email from your cell phone using the cell phone provider's cell phone-enabled email program. Two issues I've found: 1) email will pile up in your cell phone email account (see below for the solution), 2) Email that is very large (e.g., with large attachments) may get bounced back to the sender (you'll still have it in your Earthlink account, but it won't make it to your cell phone and the sender will see an error coming from the cell phone provider).

To prevent email from accumlating in your cell phone email account, use your main computer's email program to purge it. To do this, add an additional email source to your main computer's email program. You'll need to determine the name of your cell phone provider's POP and, optionally, SMTP servers (try Google--for Sprint, it is pop.sprintpcs.com and smtp.sprintpcs.com). When setting up the new cell phone source in your email program, select the option to delete messages from the server once they are retrieved (this is what keeps things from piling up in your cell phone account). Also, you should set up your email program to authenticate when sending messages (via SMTP). Note: the cell phone account typically should not be set up as your "default" account and you probably don't really need to worry about the SMTP setup (since email you send from your main computer should usually be sent out using your primary Earthlink email account rather than your cell phone account).

Once that is done, every time you start the email program on your main computer, it will purge the email off your cell phone account (depending on how you set up the "delete messages" option, it will either delete the messages immediately or after a certain number of days--this is a matter of your personal preference).

Because your email program will now be retrieving the email messages from your primary email provider AND your cell phone provider now, you will probably see every email twice. The solution to this depends on your email program--see the next paragraph for a solution for Outlook.

If you have Outlook, you can create a new folder (e.g., "Cell Phone") then create an email rule that takes all email received from the cell phone source and moves it to that folder. If you want, you can alternatively create a rule that automatically deletes email from your cell phone account (as long as nobody sends email directly to your cell phone account, you'll just be deleting the extra copies). Still, just in case, consider creating a rule that only deletes email from your cell phone account AND which contains your primary (non-cellphone) email address in the "to" or "cc" lists--that way, email sent to your cell phone account directly won't be deleted.

A couple other tips:

1) Consider setting the "Reply to" address on your cell phone's email service to your Earthlink email account if that option is available (so people who reply to email you send from your cell phone will end up sending their reply to your primary Earthlink account).

2) You may be able to set up your cell phone to notify you when email arrives (you may even be able to select what email it will notify you about).

For most users, connecting directly to the EarthLink POP server from any mobile device should work fine, using the settings described in the main article above.

Email Guy

Posted by: Steve   |   September 6, 2007 9:52 PM    |   (7)

Thx, I'll re-post with another "how to" get to ELN web mail or Mac Mail (POP) when I activate my new LG w/WAP.
ELN seems to be the trailing edge in techno re: easy access to mobile web from what I have read on the net.

Posted by: Franklyn Brown   |   September 8, 2007 3:57 PM    |   (8)

Great Blog..very informative and easy to read.

Unfortunately outgoing on my iPhone does not respond to any of suggestions for e-mail. Tried various changes, portings, work arounds and still get path failure. Incoming email seems great.

I have posted this issue on live chat question...but Sat so no one working I guess.

Thanks for any pointers

I did not try the work around posted by Rob as it hurt my head.

Oh, here is what I have tried.

1. add port 587 to addy
2. add port 465 to addy
3. Tried gmail account (sorry)
4. ATT account cwmx.com

Thanks again.

IPhone settings for earthlink.net mailboxes:

Incoming
Hostname - pop.earthlink.net
username
password

Outgoing
Hostname - smtpauth.earthlink.net:587 (note the colon)
username (use full email address here)
password

Advanced
Incoming SSL - OFF
Outgoing SSL - OFF
Authentication - MD5 Challenge-Response

Email Guy


Posted by: Julie   |   September 10, 2007 6:25 PM    |   (9)

Rob's solution works, but is not ideal, since nowadays most email that is sent to a cellphone is handled as a text message, which limites the size of the message (so messages are truncated), and most text messages involve some kind of fee, unless you've signed up for unlimited text messages.

Posted by: Ralph   |   November 20, 2007 8:04 PM    |   (10)

Opera's web browser seems to handle the web based mail system. I use it to access my suspect mail folder. Mobile Internet Explorer can't access all the command buttons, but it can flub up on other sites too.

I've set up the basic pop server on several handhelds successfully but a true lite PDA specific setup like virtually all other systems have would be sweet.

Posted by: George   |   January 13, 2008 9:41 AM    |   (11)

I use the email program on my Treo 755p (Sprint). It accesses and sends well with my Earthlink account. HOWEVER, even though I delete email from BOTH my device and the earthlink server (at least that's what the email software on my Treo says it's doing) ... the email DOES NOT get deleted from the earthlink server.

So that when i go to check my email again x amount of time later ... the email I "thought" got deleted, isn't and redownloads on my Treo. True, this has advantages, ie, when I'm back at my computer, the email is there. But it's mostly aggravating.

Any solution?

Posted by: TonyW   |   February 22, 2008 7:12 PM    |   (12)

This information is getting stale. Many mobile devices have real browsers and many of us are using them to access the web using WiFi. The walled gardens of the mobile network operators are going away quickly. More and more of us will be reading our mail with mobile devices -- as opposed to downloading mail to the device. So Earthlink should redesign the rich user interface of Webmail to support these devices better than is currently done. The design of the Webmail page is less than optimal for accessing email from a small display. I have successfully accessed the page from both a Nokia N95 phone and a Nokia N810 Internet tablet, but the poor design of the page makes for a lot of navigation. First, the server site of your site can capture information about the browser and therefore sense use of a mobile device. You could use XSLT to transform the server side output and reformat it for mobile devices; technically, this is not difficult, and is the approach followed by Flickr, for example. Alternatively, you could create a different front end to support mobile devices, as does the NY Times for their site. In any case, the current Earthlink webmal approach needs to be updated to reflect the changing character of the user community.

Posted by: Vague Nomenclature   |   April 17, 2008 2:13 AM    |   (13)

I agree completely with Tony. It's very easy to access Earthlink's Webmail from my iPhone, but a serious pain in the butt to use it.

Gmail, on the other hand, is super simple, has imap integration and is specially formatted for my iPhone. Currently, the only reason I'm still paying $50 a month for Earthlink is so I can keep the email address I've had for 10 years. If Earthlink doesn't modernize soon, I'll be saying bye bye.

Stop thinking so much like Microsoft and more like Google. Evolve!

Posted by: Dr B   |   August 22, 2008 6:14 PM    |   (14)

I will 3rd this. All your major competitors have simple WAP-specific web pages designed for mobile devices. Google. Yahoo. etc. Not to mention commercial sites like ZipCar, my bank, American Express, an eBay. It is nothing but a "cop out" for Earthlink to say it cannot (read will not) design a mobile-device optimized site.

As Rob and others above have mentioned, I can access my Earthlink mail from my mobile device (I use a Nokia N95, my wife has an iPhone). But there are times when the software on the device does not offer the full access (ex. save to folders) that you might want, and this is where a web interface is very convenient.

Earthlink needs to consider what it will do to keep its existing paying customers (like those of us using mobile devices) instead of dreaming up great new revenue sources like dial up service ... I have had nothing but positive experiences with Earthlink's customer service and have been an EL/Mindspring customer for about a decade, but their lack of "moving forward" is getting stale.

We realize the need for a web-accessible email for mobile browsers, and it is something that I want to have on our roadmap for next year, but we won't be able to do anything sooner due to other priorities.

Email Guy

Posted by: Morris St   |   February 2, 2009 9:36 PM    |   (15)

This post finally resolved the problem of accessing from my Samsung Rant with pop3 email. I was formerly a pre-earthlink account holder with legacy @mindspring.com. No other instructions yielded the information about changing to the pop.mindspring.com server name. Thanks!!!

Posted by: Andrew   |   February 16, 2009 9:25 AM    |   (16)

Can I add my request for a WAP version of webmail?

I use a Blackberry 8830 WE from Sprint. The Blackberry email works OK with Earthlink for text based messages. The problem is any email that is HTML intensive. This includes working with the Spamblocker. Trying to authorize an email to pass the spamblocker is a slow and frustrating task.

One of the major reasons for moving to a Blackberry for me was that my company blocks access to personal email due to previous issues with viruses. The BB provides me with an access during work. I am the email point of contact for a non-work related group and I prefer to have that email come to my personal account. As I cannot anticipate the names of people contacting me for information regarding the group, I cannot authorize them to pass the spam filter in advance.

Is it possible to at least provide a WAP page for logging in to our accounts so that we can authenticate to the web mail system over a web browser? I think this would address a major portion of the issue.

Posted by: TonyP   |   April 21, 2009 9:08 PM    |   (17)

It's kind of crazy that Earthlink is behind the curve on web mail access from a Blackberry. This is a major shortcoming.

Posted by: Brandon   |   April 30, 2009 3:45 PM    |   (18)

I'd like to see Earthlink webmail on the Blackberry, too. Earthlink POP mail works great on it. I can sync my Blackberry deletions back up to webmail which is cool. But that's about it.

GMail has a nice app for Blackberry to stay in sync in both locations, but I'd prefer to have a solution from Earthlink. Is something being planned for 2009? Thank you.

Posted by: Connie   |   May 8, 2009 12:04 PM    |   (19)

Earthlink webmail app for iphone? Absolutely and soon, please!

Posted by: David in LA   |   August 3, 2009 6:24 PM    |   (20)

I'd like to add my voice to the chorus asking for some smart iPhone app for Earthlink email. I can get my webmail fine on my iPhone by setting it up as described above, but the mail doesn't update centrally, meaning I have to read it all over again on the web (and vice-versa on my iPhone if I first read it online). At the very least there should be a fix for this.

Right now, the only thing useful from earthlink is the DSL coming into my house so I can have my Apple Airport Plus hooked up and get wireless. The email functionality is way, way out of date.

Posted by: Ken   |   September 7, 2009 3:04 PM    |   (21)

Over a year ago, Email guy posted the following statement. So where is the mobile formatted page or a BlackBerry app to connect to EarthLinks mail servers. The BlackBerry Tour will display the standard WebMail page but it can best be described as a crap experience. Like a number of others my phone is a corporate email platform but I still have a need and desire to access my personal email from the phone. Earthlink please get with the program.

We are currently working on the Web Mail for mobile browsers (WAP) and it will be ready in a few months. For now you can check your mailbox using the native email application on any mobile phone using server pop.earthlink.net.

Email Guy


Posted by: Hunter   |   January 17, 2010 7:30 PM    |   (22)

So we are now into 2010 - what is the status of Web Mail for mobile browsers?

Posted by: todd   |   January 24, 2010 1:22 PM    |   (23)

useful info. i chatted with tech support about hooking up an android to download mail because the webmail page was not very pleasant to use on a small screen. The support person asked if android was an email program.

anyway these settings were sufficient, along with indicating in the account set up on the android that it should do a hard delete. Can access the email the same as gmail in the ui.

so for 6 bucks a month to keep an email addy i've had 11 years not bad. can't say i'd expect them to change the webpage when i pay peanuts to rent the address.

Posted by: Pamela   |   January 30, 2010 10:25 AM    |   (24)

I too have been an Earthlink customer for over a decade. I was also an authorized Reseller for hosting, domains, etc. Earlier this year I moved all my clients over to Godaddy because I could no longer justify the price difference, and the tech support at Earthlink is no longer the exceptional service it used to be. I still have my DSL service through Earthlink, however, and I'm looking for a "cloud" solution to the email issues ya'll have been discussing in this forum, so last night I logged on in hopes that Earthlink had a solution. Sorry to say, it's still the same, tired old stuff. David in L.A., the webmail has been out of date for YEARS. It is, at best, early 1990's technology. In my research, I am finding that the IMAP protocal is supposedly the solution; finding a service provider who can implement it well is the trick. I've already evaluated half-a-dozen providers, and they are all limited in some respect, or they are so complicated that the top of your head will blow off if you delve into the setup. If you can tolerate gmail, they have a free and a paid email solution that works, but the client interface is awful. This is a huge business opportunity for someone. I wish I had the skill to address it. The ability to check email from any device at any location is a problem waiting for a solution, and whoever does it right will get rich!

Posted by: Clark Savage Jr.   |   January 30, 2010 12:29 PM    |   (25)


Get an iPhone.

It takes less than 3 minutes to set up a connection to webmail.

I use that AND can go direct to Webmail on my Safari/iPhone browser.

Another example of iPhone's superiority to BlackBerry and other mobile devices.

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