February 27th, 2009 No Comments

Convenient backup for Google Gmail

We have been proponents of Google’s mail service almost since the day it was announced. Low cost (or free), huge storage space, secure IMAP, plus all the resources of Google to keep making it better. Over the past couple of years we’ve helped a number of companies move off of costly private mail systems, and everyone has been happy with the result.

When Gmail is offline

But, no matter how big Google, Amazon, Yahoo, or anyone else gets, or how much money they have, their services will eventually go down. Volumes have been written in just the past week about Google’s Gmail outage. Read the official Google blog post, or yesterday’s Wall Street Journal story.

So this seems like a good time to encourage our readers to take time this weekend to pick up some new ideas to help make your e-mail more reliable, and use a nice free program to back up all of your Google mail.

First, everyone should understand that there are several different ways to access your mail on Google’s system. These are all completely separate systems so if the Web interface is not working try Thunderbird, or some other IMAP client. If you normally use an IMAP client try switching to POP. Here’s a helpful blog post describing this in more detail.

Second, Google now has a way to use their Web interface while offline. So if you really like using a Web browser for your e-mail you can continue using that even when Google, or your Internet connection goes down, or when you hop on a plane. The basic idea is that any messages you write while offline will get synced to the mail server the next time you find an Internet connection. Here’s a good description. Google calls it Offline Gmail and you can read the official announcement here.

Finally, no matter what else you do, you should always have regular backups of your e-mail (and all other important documents for that matter). For Gmail there is a convenient new (and currently free) program to do backups. It’s called Gmail Backup and all Gmail users should grab a copy. There were some problems that prevented us from recommending this before, but with the latest release (0.107) the developers have something that works really well even with 10,000 messages to be backed up. If you start using Gmail Backup remember to keep an eye on their Web site and upgrade to newer versions as they come out. The program is evolving/improving quickly.

One Response to “Convenient backup for Google Gmail”


August 14th, 2009 - 10:42 pm

I’ve seen Gmail Backup but I’m looking for something that’s free. I’ve seen other solutions like using Thunderbird to download “All Mail” but I’m not sure I like that solution either.

Is there any freeware alternative to Gmail Back or Gmail Archiver?

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