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Practical Computer Advice
from Martin Kadansky
Volume 7 Issue 5May 2013
The Biggest Myth About Gmail

Myth: Using Gmail means that you must use the Gmail web site for your email

Many people think that getting a Gmail email account means that they are required to use the Gmail web site (www.gmail.com) for their email. This is not true!

While you do have to use the Gmail web site to create an account, and you can certainly choose to use the web site to access your email whenever you want, you can also just use any regular email program running on your computer to operate your Gmail account, including Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail, Apple Mail, Thunderbird, Eudora, etc., as well as smartphones and tablets.

How is this possible? The Gmail system not only provides a clever, free (and in my opinion, flawed) webmail interface at www.gmail.com, it also provides a free POP and IMAP email server "behind the scenes" which any regular email program can easily talk to.

So, if you like the idea of getting a free Gmail account, you can access it using either a regular email program or the www.gmail.com website (or both, but that's tricky). It's entirely your choice. You don't have to use the web site to operate your Gmail account.

This is also true if you run a business and use the commercial flavor of Gmail known as "Google Apps" to host the email accounts for your domain.

The technical details
After you've created your Gmail account using their web site, here are the technical settings you'll need to set up access your account in your regular email program:
  • POP server (incoming): pop.gmail.com, use the SSL option with port 995
  • User name or Account ID: Enter your full email address (e.g., johnsmith@gmail.com)
  • Password: Enter your Gmail account password
  • IMAP server (incoming): imap.gmail.com, use SSL with port 993
  • SMTP server (outgoing): smtp.gmail.com, use SSL with port 465 and SMTP authorization
You would choose either POP or IMAP, since you can't use both protocols at the same time.

Where to go from here
How to contact me:
email: martin@kadansky.com
phone: (617) 484-6657
web: http://www.kadansky.com

On a regular basis I write about real issues faced by typical computer users. To subscribe to this newsletter, please send an email to martin@kadansky.com and I'll add you to the list, or visit http://www.kadansky.com/newsletter

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Copyright (C) 2013 Kadansky Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved.

I love helping people learn how to use their computers better! Like a "computer driving instructor," I work 1-on-1 with small business owners and individuals to help them find a more productive and successful relationship with their computers and other high-tech gadgets.

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