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Ad-Free Web Mail option now available - 06/12/08

From: Email Guy
Subject:       Ad-Free Web Mail option now available
Date: June 12, 2008 8:28 AM
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Yesterday we added a new option to allow Ad-Free Web Mail for any account.

Click on MyAccount at the top of any EarthLink page and log in there using your master account or primary email address. Then on the left side of the page click on "My Plan Details".


You'll then see all your upgrade options displayed on the right, and Ad-Free Web Mail is the first one at the top. Just click on Enable or on More Info and follow the instructions.


Regular readers of the blog know this is something I've been working on for a while but didn't have specifics of how it would ultimately come out. Many users have asked for this option and have been eagerly waiting for it. I got you the best deal I could (details below), and I know many users will find it attractive. EarthLink allows you the freedom to access your mailbox using any email software of the your choosing, and Web Mail is one convenient way to manage your email. Web Mail doesn't require you to install any software and it can be accessed from any computer and any browser. But Web Mail has always displayed banner advertising and some users object to that. See the FAQ for more discussion on that topic.

If banner ads cause you any trouble or slowness when using Web Mail, or you just find them annoying, or you have a small display and would benefit from recovering that extra screen space, now you can. For 99 cents a month, all Web Mail advertising will be turned off for all your mailboxes, no matter how many mailboxes you have on your account. Most users have 2 or 3 mailboxes, many have 8 or more. The upgrade is just one flat price for all your mailboxes, and it's $0.99. You can make a couple of clicks on your MyAccount page and turn the ads off, and if at any time you want to discontinue the upgrade, you do that the same way.

When you upgrade to Ad-Free, all advertising banners that appear in Web Mail after you log in are removed. This includes the little one at the upper left of the page too, not just the large banners. Ad-Free means Ad-Free. Of course the one on the login page remains because we don't know who you are until you log in to Web Mail. After login, your Inbox will use the full browser page to display without any space taken up by advertising.

On Friday of this week users with banners turned on will notice a change to the banner layout in Web Mail, which is coincidental and unrelated to the new Ad-Free option. About a year ago the main banner on the Inbox page was moved from the top of the page to the right side of the page. At the time that move was made, 15% of our users were running an older 800x600 display size on their computer, and those users benefit from the side placement. There are fewer of those users today, but it is now being put back for two other reasons as well. We now think it is more intrusive on the side for most users, after having it for a while and getting feedback. And, the banner industry is fickle and they are moving away from that skyscraper style now, and they prefer the top placement again.

Again, to choose the Ad-Free option click on MyAccount at the top of any EarthLink page and log in there using your master account or primary email address. Then on the left side of the page click on "My Plan Details". You'll see all your upgrade options there, and Ad-Free Web Mail is the first one at the top. Just click on Enable or on More Info and follow the instructions. Note that if you are already logged into Web Mail when you browse to MyAccount, you'll be automatically logged in under the same email address. If that is not your master or primary address, you'll have to log out and then back in using the master before you can make account changes.

Please continue to provide feedback and we'll continue to make Web Mail better for you. Lots of things are coming up this year.


    « Previous   |   Showing Comments 76-94 of 94

Posted by: David   |   August 13, 2008 9:17 AM    |   (76)

I've always wondered why Earthlink webmail had ads when I'm paying for monthly internet service with them, and now you want to charge a buck to get rid of something that shouldn't be there in the first place!!! I expect ads when I use a free email service such as Yahoo or Hotmail, but not when I'm paying for it.

Posted by: Bradley Warner Tompkins   |   August 18, 2008 12:48 PM    |   (77)

Hello, e-Mail Guy!

Today I'm following up on "GNU Privacy Guard (GPG) and PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) by MIT":

Realizing I don't fully understand it yet (but I will eventually), it appears that Mozilla Thunderbird (available for Linux, Mac & Win) has built in facilities so I can send & receive protected e-mail without having to be an expert. From my perspective this would be most excellent. Instead of having to explain to potential correspondents the grisly details, I could just tell them to get Thunderbird and follow the directions. And best of all, it wouldn't matter which system they're using: there would be a version that works for them.

When I fired TB up, I realized it was going to empty my web mail box if I continued, so I have some preparation to do and some decisions to make about old mail first. (I've already tossed 30 MB of old mail this week with likely another 30 MB next week...)

Would you happen to know, without having to look up anything, if Apple Mail provides a similar encrypt and decrypt function? I've never particularly liked Apple Mail, but if it did *that* I might just learn to like it... (Mac owners are notorious for never reading the directions... Personally I live by the motto "if all else fails, read the directions".)

BTW, I've made progress towards converting to the special plan that only has two mailboxes and no dial-up access. I now only have to ditch one more mailbox and I'm ready.

Your prompt attention is sincerely appreciated,


It appears Apple Mail has an encryption option, but of course it would be only for correspondents both using Apple Mail, or both using software that supports the same scheme and can share key certificates (like all encryption schemes).

Email Guy

Posted by: Bradley Warner Tompkins   |   August 24, 2008 5:31 PM    |   (78)

Hello, e-mail Guy!

I'll give Apple Mail another (much more careful) look, but the majority of my correspondents are running Windows. Perhaps Apple has forseen that and made some sort of clever provision...

Meanwhile you could do me a huge favor. Somehow an extraneous letter "H" magically appeared on the end of my name in the previous post. It would be great if you could make it go away! (BTW, it happened on my end. It appears in the original that I sent to you.)




Email Guy

Posted by: Jimmy   |   August 27, 2008 7:58 AM    |   (79)

I have a list of people that I send jokes to on a regular basis but can't put that list in the blind copy section of the email to protect them. What can be done about this?



Why can't you? The Bcc line works exactly the same as the To line. You can use the autocomplete, you can type in addresses, or you can click the link to add from your address book (including lists). Putting addresses on To, Cc, or Bcc is done the same way in all cases.

Email Guy

Posted by: Roy Lahar   |   August 31, 2008 10:59 PM    |   (80)

Comment on fresh topic.

When I want to go to a particular page in email archives, I have to go step by step, as "to the last page", then "next last", then "next last". That is very tedious if you have just under 100 pages in the archive.

Any simple way to navigate, such as "straight to page 57"?

Currently there is not a "jump to page" feature, but I have a couple of suggestions.

You can increase your messages-per-page setting in Preferences, from the default of 20 to as high as 200. That might solve the problem, but know that over dialup the pages will be slower.

You can also use a trick to sort of have a jump-to-page feature. After you have navigated to the second page, look at the URL displayed in your browser and you will see something like "?start=101" and the number will be in increments of your messages-per-page setting, plus 1, referencing the first message on that particular page. So you can just type over that and hit enter to go to a particular page. In my example, the messages-per-page is set to 100, so I could type 101, 201, 301, etc to jump to any page.

Email Guy

Posted by: john Donahue   |   September 2, 2008 10:35 PM    |   (81)

Why don't you have a 'priority' check mark column on your web mail. That way, when we check our mail on line, we can mark those that we deem more important.

Thank you,


If you are asking about marking messages you have received, then just click on More Actions / Flag Message. This puts a red flag beside the message to mark it for attention.

For new messages that you are sending out, there is not a way in Web Mail to mark the message high priority for the recipient.

Email Guy

Posted by: mari kornhauser   |   September 3, 2008 12:24 PM    |   (82)

The MOST important change you need to do is ADD MORE STORAGE to webmail. Not all of us keep our emails on computer. All my other FREE emails give much more storage ...which begs the question, why am I paying $21 a month for this?

PLEASE increase webmail storage.

Thank you.

I believe you are paying $21 a month for Internet access, and email and other services come with that Internet access subscription. That said, we are working on increasing the default storage space for Web Mail users. For now, there are some options in MyAccount to add more storage to your mailboxes, but there is a small charge for now.

Email Guy

Posted by: Anne Marie Lardeau   |   September 8, 2008 6:37 PM    |   (83)

I have been an Earthlink customer for 10 years. I had written in the past about my extreme annoyance with all the ads in Web Mail. My security settings turn them into a daily nightmare.
Totally by accident, a Google search sent me to this blog and I learned about the dollar fee to get rid of the ads. You have been offering this service for almost three months and I had no idea!
I immediately signed up for the new service and went back to Web Mail. What a blessing! All the visual pollution is gone.
I am both elated and upset.
Elated by the availability of the upgrade – and upset that it was kept a secret.
Why did I have to suffer even one more day beyond the introduction of this upgrade?
Why were customers not notified of this valuable option?

Posted by: Donald Coleman   |   September 8, 2008 7:52 PM    |   (84)

While it's nice to know there is a new option, what I am EXTREMELY interested in for Earthlink to do is:
1.) Get busy upgrading the original Earthlink Mailbox software to make it compatible with ALL versions of Windows Vista. I can't believe this hasn't been done already although I've been being told by your reps for months now that "it's being worked on and will be released SOON". Is this just another "fairytale" and you're just trying to drive us old time users away or forcing us into using WebMail which would be OK if it would incorporate ALL the features of the original Earthlink Mailbox and not limit users to such a small memory box.

2.) Also, I don't seem to be able to do an on-line update of my WebMail Mailbox addresses with Earthlink!! What's going on here???

There will not be an EarthLink Mailbox version for Vista. However, you are certainly not limited to Web Mail, as you can use any email software of your choosing including Vista Mail. See the support site for instructions to set that up.

I would need more information to help with the address book update problem. But you could try doing an export of the address book into a csv file, from your email software, and then use the Import feature in Web Mail, and see if that gets things back in sync.

We're working on increasing the default storage space available in Web Mail. There are also some options in your MyAccount page for you to add more storage for a small fee now.

Email Guy

Posted by: Dan   |   September 17, 2008 11:10 PM    |   (85)

I just spent quite a bit of time chatting with the Earthlink Support Center about Mailbox's incompatibility with Vista. The techs there claim that a Vista-compatible Mailbox is being developed. Then, I read here that there will be no Vista-compatible version. What's the real story?

Thanks for the information!

There will not be an EarthLink Mailbox version for Vista. You can use any email software of your choosing on Vista, including Vista Mail, or use Web Mail.

Email Guy

Posted by: Keith   |   September 26, 2008 11:19 AM    |   (86)

I appreciate that there is FINALLY a way to turn off those annoying adds that freeze Win98SE. Finally!

However, I'm not signing up because I find a CHARGE for this service to be insulting. Earthlink should be giving this service for FREE. Period.

There are many of us who have been very loyal Earthlink customers for a very long time who deserve a reward.

'nuff said.

Posted by: loren   |   September 27, 2008 7:12 PM    |   (87)

I was wondering if you could add an option when sending emails to get notification when the email is read by recipient? I hace still not completely switched over from my Optimum Online account because I am able to verify when people read the emails I send them...

See this FAQ.

Email Guy

Posted by: Terre Spencer   |   October 6, 2008 5:01 AM    |   (88)

Thanks goodness for this! I just found your newest improvement---the ability to block ads, (months after you released it) and am so grateful. was sick of bouncing smiley faces and women wriggling over credit scores (or something equally as unlikely).

Posted by: sharon   |   October 16, 2008 11:00 AM    |   (89)

I think the advertisements you have on your front page are disgusting and they make me angry. I did not come to this web site to see an r-rated movie. I request that you seek a higher quality type of advertising from those who are paying you to advertise for them.

We have no such advertisements coming from our site. There are browser "hijacks", kind of like a virus, that will take over your browser and substitute advertisements like that in place of the legitimate ones. You need to scan your computer for spyware and viruses. Also check your browser add-ons and you may find the culprit. Content like you describe (if that description is accurate) is not coming from us.

Email Guy

Posted by: Robert Greene   |   October 20, 2008 10:43 PM    |   (90)

I just read about the 99 cent charge for removing ads from mail boxes. Is that 99 cents per month, per letter, per screen or per what?

Say, I would also like to have a SAVE to file button along with MOVE and DELETE so that I can handle my mail enmasse.

Also, I would like to sign on by using just my email handle and have the "@earthlink.net" part complete automaticly. Saves keystrokes and time when you misspell, "yearthink."

Finally, how about the signoff button at the top of the page to save keystrokes for having to scroll to the bottom.


The charge is per subscriber, and covers all mailboxes you own. See your MyAccount for more details.

To save messages, see this FAQ.

Web Mail supports many domains and not just @earthlink.net so it is required. But your browser can save form entries for you so that you don't have to type it in. Check your browser settings or see this FAQ.

See the post about Web Mail 6.0, which includes moving the Sign Out link to the top.

Email Guy

Posted by: Chris   |   October 24, 2008 3:02 PM    |   (91)

funny how the great new featue has a cost associated with it. For how much money we pay a month for internet , Thanks but no thanks.

Posted by: S. Parker   |   October 8, 2009 4:23 PM    |   (92)

Now the never-ending Acai, "work at home" and dubious tooth whitener ads via Pulse 360.
Thank you for putting the spammers themselves over your customers.

Posted by: a.e.e.   |   December 6, 2010 7:23 PM    |   (93)

There are EXCELLENT responses here.

I thank you for this easy to understand instruction manual for how to access the feature and appreciate the attempt at general explanations (though I'm noting the removal of certain explanatory concerns regarding paying for said feature).

S. Parker has a very valid point. As does Anne Marie Lardeau, I only found out about this because for the millionth time or so, the ad was eating up valuable bandwidth as well as taxing my poor less-than-new computer, and I googled the issue. I've considered calling, but was never looking forward to getting into a word battle with someone who was either a company tool and/or simply did not have language skills to grasp my problem. I did fear that there was no way to turn off the ads despite paying a decent enough fee for the service (earthlink is not the cheapest out there). However, like many above, I've been a customer for almost 10 years, and agree it should be free. This option is clever, I'll give you that, but it doesn't endear me to the company for it (and considering there is a fee anyway, do not understand why the option could not have existed sooner).

For the record, ADVERTISEMENTS have crashed my computer in the past. I know it, and I suspect it was a coding error or such. It was naturally irritating to have to start everything up again. My machine may not be the newest, but she doesn't crash easily at all.

Thank you again however, for allowing me to see other people's responses and for an opportunity to offer my own response.

Posted by: Byron   |   September 11, 2012 10:22 AM    |   (94)

Howdy email guy,

A few issues I hope you will address.

1) While reading the latest update to your blog I ran across a recent post which states Premium Mail accounts qualify for ad-free webmail at no extra charge ( http://mailblog.earthlink.net/webmail/2006/11/ask_email_guy.php?page_section=473260#comment-473260 ). This contradicts what I was told during my most recent online chat session with support (about 3 weeks ago), ie it would cost me $.99/month to get ad-free webmail. Being charged a monthly fee for no advertisements also corresponds with several of your comments starting @ http://mailblog.earthlink.net/webmail/2008/06/adfree_web_mail_option_now_available_1.php?page_section=387324#comment-387324

Which is it - $.99/month or no charge for Premium Mail customers?

2) While researching the above issue I ran across a post from 2007 where you state larger mailboxes were coming later in the year - http://mailblog.earthlink.net/webmail/2006/11/open_thread_2.php?page_section=179207#comment-179207 . Any update on if/when larger mailboxes will be available?

3) Any further update on the long-promised but yet to be implemented customer configurable TLD blocking?

I ask because I get many SPAM messages daily from ThreeRandomWord.info TLDs. I have never gotten any legitimate messages from a .info TLD. I have also noticed the spammers have recently added ThreeRandomWord.us TLDs to send SPAM from. Not really interested in blocking the .us TLD but would love to be able to specify certain country TLDs as well as the .info TLD in my block list.

    « Previous   |   Showing Comments 76-94 of 94

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