MailStore Home – For Long-Term Email Archival.
You want to save your emails forever – but for whatever reason, keeping them “online” is not an option. This used to be much more of a dilemma before Google brought Gmail on the scene and started offering gobs of free space and forcing most other major email providers to do the same. Still, there are a few reasons you might want to keep emails forever in an “offline” manner:
- Backups – You want to ensure that if Google shuts its doors, you don’t lose the last ten years worth of emails.
- Space – You are an email fiend and manage to consume the vast amounts of free space given you by your email provider.
- Corporate Restrictions – You are part of a corporation that places limits on your mailbox size – and you’ve reached the limit.
- Archival – You want to keep the emails, but don’t really want them showing up in your searches through your mailbox.
The last reason is why I use MailStore Home these days. See, I like to keep all my emails for historical purposes – but I don’t necessarily keep them because I’m going to reference them. When I search my Gmail I don’t need to see these emails in the results – they are historical…but I still want to be able to access them just in case someday I need one. So, I use MailStore Home.
MailStore Home is a nifty and free product available for non-commercial use (e.g. don’t use as an employee of a corporation). It has been around for years and I’ve used it on and off-again for years. It creates a local store of your emails which is searchable and browsable through a friendly and intuitive UI.
There are a few weaknesses to the program:
- Backups – It doesn’t automatically perform some sort of cloud syncing backup, though it does offer the option to backup to Hard Disk Drive or USB. I use SugarSync, so this isn’t really a problem – since SugarSync takes care of the cloud backup for me.
- Automation – You have to run MailStore Home manually – it won’t just automatically pull down all the latest emails from your email account. Bahh humbug. It isn’t a major pain, but something worth nothing.
Granted, there is a reason this is called MailStore Home – namely because it is their lite product for non-commercial use. They do offer a for-pay server product which looks pretty amazing as well and probably addresses some of these problems.
Ohh, and did I mention they have a non-profit discount on their server product?