The Pop Links screen allows you to configure external POP3 mail servers. You can then retrieve email from these external servers to your FastMail account.
Go to the Pop Links screen and click the 'Add New Item' button. This will present a list of mostly blank fields that you have to fill in:
- Display name: A name of your choice. Used in the popup menu on the Mailbox screen and in any feedback or error messages.
- Server: The internet hostname of the POP server (eg mail.yourisp.com). You'll have to check the documentation of your ISP/email provider to find the right value here.
- Port: The port the POP server lives on. Almost always 110. You can use port 995, if your POP server works over SSL
- User name/Password: Your server/ISP user name and your server/ISP password.
- Leave on server: When messages are retrieved from a server, you can either have the messages deleted from the server immediately or left on the server for 1 week, 1 month or 6 months. See below for more details. Please select 'Delete immediately' or '1 week' if possible to ensure your mail checking completes as fast as possible.
- Scheduled check: You can configure FastMail to automatically check a link every 3 or 12 hours to retrieve messages back to your FastMail account.
- Disabled: If 5 POP/Hotmail connection errors occur in a row, the link will be automatically disabled and you'll be sent an email to that effect. This usually means that the link was incorrectly configured (eg wrong user name, password, etc). If this occurs, you should come back to the Pop Links screen, confirm the entered details, and then make sure this box is cleared to re-enable the link.
Once you have filled in all the details, click the 'Save' button to add in the new server. After this, you can test that all the details are correct by clicking the 'Test' button. This will attempt to connect to the remote POP server and see that it can login, but it will not retrieve any messages.
To do a manual retrieval of messages, you can go back to the Mailbox screen and select the POP server from the list of actions in the drop down box near the top of the page.
Listed below are the settings for a few large providers.
- Server: pop3.live.com
- Port: 995
- User name: email@example.com (you need to include the @hotmail.com)
- Server: pop.gmail.com
- Port: 995
- User name: firstname.lastname@example.org (you need to include the @gmail.com part)
Yahoo (only available for Yahoo! Mail Plus users)
- Server: plus.pop.mail.yahoo.com
- Port: 995
- User name: yahoousername (don't include the @yahoo.com part)
When you set the 'Scheduled check' option for a link, FastMail will connect to that link every 3 or 12 hours automatically and retrieve any messages according to the other options specified for the link. It will do this even when you're not logged in.
This can be useful if you use FastMail as a central email store. This way all email you get from any account will be retrieved to FastMail which you can then read through IMAP or the web interface.
FastMail keeps track of messages already retrieved from a server and when it retrieved them. Each time you check a link, it checks each message on the server and determines how long it was since it retrieved the message. If it's greater than 1 week/1 month/6 months, it deletes the message.
If you leave messages on the server, we have to keep track of which messages were already retrieved so they aren't retrieved again next time. This slows down access to your account and uses up FastMail resources.
When you download email from an external POP or Hotmail account, you may choose not to immediately delete messages from the external server. However, when you next get email from that account, you do not of course want to download those same messages again! Therefore, FastMail keeps a log of every message ID that you download through every link, and uses that to avoid downloading the same message twice.
If you click "Clear retrieved msg id", the message ID log is removed for that link, so that next time you download from that link, every message will be downloaded again (unless it has been deleted from the server, of course).
This is useful if you need to download a message again, because for instance you accidentally deleted it the first time.
Depending on the error, you'll either get a message immediately on the next screen when doing a manual retrieve, or you'll be sent an email that describes the error.
Errors that appear immediately include:
Link 'xyx' is disabled - go to the Pop Links screen and re-enable the relevant Pop Link. Pop Links are automatically disabled after 5 errors in a row. This usually is a sign of a bad server name, incorrect login, etc.
Pop retrieve on link 'xyz' already in progress - you will get this error if you recently initiated a retrieve that is still in progress, or if a scheduled retrieve is currently occurring on a link.
Errors that you can receive by email:
Connection failed, no messages retrieved - this means FastMail encountered some error connecting to the remote server. Check the 'Extra' field for more details. The most common problems are:
Timed out connecting to pop server - FastMail will allow up to 60 seconds to connect to an external server. If it takes longer than this, you'll receive this message. This usually means there are network problems between FastMail and the server you are trying to retrieve from. Try again later.
Pop Server does not support the UIDL command - Some rare POP servers don't support the UIDL command. To retrieve correctly from these servers, you must set them to Delete Immediately otherwise you will receive this message.
There were some errors retrieving messages - this means FastMail encountered some error trying to retrieve a particular message from the remote server. Check the following text for details. The most common errors are:
Could not retrieve msg 'xyz' from server - this is a generic message when there are problems at the POP protocol level. The 'Extra' field usually provides more technical error details. This usually means some low level error occurred. It's best to just retry the retrieve.
Could not deliver msg 'xyz' to mailbox - this is a generic message when an error occurs trying to deliver a retrieved message to your mailbox. The 'Extra' field usually provides more details. The two most common reasons are 'over quota' accounts, and some 'bad headers', which some Hotmail messages tend to have. If you receive a 'bad header' message, please forward it to the support team
A timeout occurred trying to download a pop message - FastMail will allow 30 seconds to download each message (plus 30 seconds per 500k of message data). This is normally sufficient for most connections, but some particularly slow ones may have problems. When a timeout occurs, FastMail will leave the message on the server, but depending on your settings it may or may not try and retrieve the message again. Read the error message for more details.
Yahoo!Mail allows POP access if you signup for their Yahoo!Delivers program, which basically means you allow them to send you spam.
Most other webmail providers only provide POP access as a paid option, and we currently don't have ways of 'screen scraping' these accounts.
However, you can get a program you can run on your PC to do this called web2pop. NOTE: We don't actually use this program ourselves, we've just heard that people have had some success with it.
When you create a POP Link, you can specify the folder you want the POP Linked mails filed to. Just choose the folder from the drop-down menu next to the field "File into folder".
You can also do this using rules in the 'Define Rules' screen. Every email retrieved through a POP link has an "X-LinkName" header added to it. This allows you to effectively sort your mail according to the Pop Link it was retrieved through. The header looks like this: "X-LinkName: FooBar" where FooBar is the name of the Pop Link as specified in the Pop Links screen.
In order to file mails in a folder according to the Pop Link they were retrieved from, go to the Define Rules screen and create a new file into folder rule. Use the 'Advanced' type from the pop up menu and use the following criteria:
header :contains ["X-LinkName"] "ISP Mailbox"
Just copy and paste this into the 'For text matching' area of a new Advanced Rule. Replace ISP Mailbox with the name of your Pop Link, and set the 'File into folder' option so that it points to the folder you want to file this Pop Link's mails to.