General Question

snowberry's avatar

What is a good free or very cheap e-mail forwarding service?

Asked by snowberry (17061 points ) October 24th, 2012

I am working with someone who is in recovery from a life of abuse. Her current e-mail address is not a good identity for her (it sends a very negative message). She wants to have the e-mail from the old one forwarded to a new one.

She prefers a free forwarding service for e-mail, but she is willing to pay if it’s not too much. She doesn’t want a new e-mail account, just a service that forwards from one free e-mail account to another. She needs to know the parameters (limit of e-mails per day, MB allowed per e-mail, etc.)

We live in the USA, if that helps.
Thanks!

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13 Answers

glacial's avatar

She can open a gmail account, then set it to receive and (if she wishes) send under the original email address. Gmail is free, and there’s no limit of emails per day. I can’t remember the MB limit for attachments, but it’s pretty high.

Edit: I should clarify, she would set up the account with a new email address, then can either choose to have oldname email forwarded to that account, so she can respond with the new email address (effectively switching her contacts to use her new email address over time) OR she can choose to have gmail quietly operate under the oldname address, while she doesn’t use that address for her login, etc.

tom_g's avatar

Gmail

wundayatta's avatar

She is stuck with her current email service. Either it provides free forwarding, or it doesn’t.

She should set up a gmail account, which is free, and forward her mail to that account, if her current service allows her to do that. Most services do, afaik. From gmail, she can forward it anywhere else she wants. You can have multiple gmail accounts.

glacial's avatar

@wundayatta You can adjust gmail’s settings so that it collects mail from the original address – it is not necessary to do this from the side of the original provider (i.e. specifying “if her current service allows her to do that” is not correct). Of course, this requires giving gmail the password for the original account (hardly troubling if you want them to handle all incoming and outgoing mail anyway).

snowberry's avatar

OK, this is great information. Thanks folks! If you have further suggestions, keep them coming!

Buttonstc's avatar

Fastmail.fm is another you can try if for any reason Gmail is not acceptable.

wundayatta's avatar

@glacial Good to know. Obviously I didn’t know that gmail could collect mail from elsewhere. That’s it then. Perfect solution to the problem, assuming you can get gmail to do what you want it to. It’s not always easy to figure that out, but you can usually get it if you stick to it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

A mail.com account will collect mail from another account as will yahoo.com.

Jeruba's avatar

I’m not quite clear on what she’s trying to accomplish. If she still has e-mail coming into the old address, that’s the one people are seeing and using. Having messages forwarded to a new address that no one sees isn’t going to change that external identity unless she uses it to reply.

If she wants to transition her mailing list to the new address, why not send one message to those she wants to keep up with (maybe not everybody in her address book) and give them her new, more positive address? Then she can let the old one go or just access it privately if there’s stuff there that she wants to keep.

glacial's avatar

@Jeruba People are terrible at responding to email “change of address” updates. They will forever dig up old emails for addresses, rather than look in their contact lists – even if they bother to update them. If the former email is free, it makes sense to have it automatically forwarded to a new address one wants to use. It’s analogous to the forwarding service you can request from the post office after you move.

As people receive replies from the new address, that address will replace the old over time. Even if some people don’t pick up on the change, the email still ends up in the right place, and the user doesn’t have to deal directly with the other address ever again.

Jeruba's avatar

@glacial, I understand that. My point is that if this person’s correspondents continue to use the old address, they’re seeing and using the one she wants to eliminate. Forwarding to another address that she sees won’t change what they see.

glacial's avatar

@Jeruba Well, she can choose to do either… the new email address can be used on outgoing messages, or the new one can be used. When I’ve changed my email address in the past, I would do the latter. So if my third cousin sends email to my old address, I receive it under the new one, and respond using the new one. My third cousin will then reply to my new address. Eventually, that’s the one they’ll be familiar with. So, in that case – yes, they would see what she sees.

augustlan's avatar

I use Gmail, and it picks up all the email sent to my very old AOL address. I alerted everyone I know personally about the change, but since I used the AOL address to sign up for many websites, I kept it active (until it was hacked and used for spam).

It takes a couple of steps to set it up. Once you have a Gmail account, click on the ‘gear’ icon and choose ‘settings’ from the drop-down menu. Then click on ‘accounts and import’. You should be able to figure it out from there.

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