What is the point of email forwarding?

Email forwarding makes it possible for you to separate where you read your email from your email identity. Forwarding takes mail sent to one address, and redirects it to another, without the sender having to know.

Your email address, your identity, is how you keep in touch, what you use to access many websites... indeed, it's how you're known. Email forwarding lets you easily change where you read your mail, without getting a new address.

It breaks the tie between your mailbox and your address.

If your email provider introduces a new policy you dislike, you can move. If your ISP changes its name, your email address is unaffected. If a new service starts up that you'd love to try, you can.

With Pobox, email forwarding also provides a second layer of access. Pobox accounts can forward mail to multiple addresses, so if one of your providers is down, or your workplace doesn't let you access webmail providers, you know you have a copy of your mail at more than one location.

Couldn't I have all those same problems with Pobox?

You could. We've been a profitable business for 19 years, so we have an ever-growing track record. And, in that time, we've gotten pretty good at what we do. But, it could happen.

That's why we recommend people getting a personal domain. The best way to protect yourself from that problem with us, or any provider, is with your own domain. When your email address is at your own domain, you know you can always move it.

I just closed my account with AOL/Gmail/other service. Can you forward mail people send to that address?

In short, no. Only the service provider who owns a domain can forward mail sent to addresses at that domain. If you need to capture email sent to an address at a particular domain, you would need to re-open your account at that provider.

When you're switching accounts is a great time to start using Pobox, though. Make it the last time you ever need to send out "I'm changing my email address" messages. For extra confidence, get your own domain, and know you can always move your address.

Why would I pay you for email when I can get it from Gmail, Yahoo, etc. for free?

Email is never free. Like all other services, it costs money to provide. If you aren't paying for it, someone else is. Sometimes that someone is the service developer. Most frequently, that someone is advertisers.

Charging for service aligns our goals with what you want (better services), instead of what advertisers want (more of your personal information), and reduces the possibility that we will close our doors for lack of funds. We're proud to say we've been entirely customer-supported for 17 years.

Don't get us wrong. Lots of Pobox customers forward their mail to free accounts — even customers who have their inbox with Pobox! But, with a free account, you're likely to find out how much support you have (none) at the time when you need it most — when there's a problem with your email.

A Pobox account is kind of like an email insurance policy. Most of the time, everything will just work. But on the days when something goes wrong, we're here to answer your questions, come up with options, and do what it takes to make sure you have access to your email.

How do Pobox's spam filters work?

We use a number of blacklists to provide you the best range of coverage. Most of them check the sender IP. A couple check the message headers and content. We let you specify two things: the geographic areas you wish to receive mail from, and your desired level of aggressiveness. We automatically adjust the checks that run on your mail based on that information.

If you are forwarding mail to us from another ISP, please let us know! Because your other ISP is *not* a spammer, most forwarded mail will pass all sender checks. We can put a rule in place to check the computer that send the mail to your other ISP, instead of the computer that sent the mail to us.

How can I use my own domain with Pobox?

There are two ways to use your domain with Pobox.

If you have a domain, and you're happy with the web or other services you're getting, you can still use Pobox for email. Domains don't need to have all their services hosted at the same place. The place where you registered your domain is called your registrar. (In most cases, that's also the same company that provides your web services.) Just ask that company how you can change your MX (mail exchanger) records. They can usually point you right to a web page where you can change it, and we'll give you all the details you need.

If you don't have a domain yet, or you don't use web services with your domain, you can use Pobox as your registrar. To register a domain with us, you need to have an account. Then, log in, and register a domain.

If you have a domain that you want to transfer to us (note: you don't need to, but if you only use your domain for email, you may want to), just let us know. We'll talk to you to make sure none of your current services are interrupted, then we will initiate the transfer on your behalf. Your existing registrar will have to confirm the transfer request, so please let them know.

What's the difference between an alias (Pobox address) and a forwarding destination?

An alias (Pobox address) is the public address that you will give out to people. It can either be an address at one of our domains, or an address at one of your personal domains.

A forwarding destination is where we send mail that people send to those public addresses, after it has been filtered. For most people, your forwarding destination would be your Pobox Mailstore, or the place or places where you read your mail today.

What is your SMTP service for?

We started offering SMTP service when some providers starting requiring mail sent through their servers used their email addresses. Using Pobox SMTP, you can use any of your Pobox addresses, including your personal domains.

Pobox SMTP service is for personal, individual correspondence. It cannot be used for bulk messages (of any kind, commerical or non-commercial) or transactional messages, and will be suspended if used for these purposes.

How can I start using your SMTP?

Instructions on how to set up most major email clients to use our SMTP server can be found in the Help section. Only active Pobox accounts can use the SMTP server, so please make sure you've created and activated an account first!

How can I get webmail?

Sign up for a Mailstore account. If you already have a Pobox account, upgrade to Mailstore.

How much mail can Mailstore hold?

Mailstore includes 50GB of storage. You can double it for $10/year. How many messages that includes depends on how big your messages are, but for most users, it would be over a million messages.

How can I pay for multiple accounts?

Once you have an account, you can add more accounts to your billing group. Just go to http://www.pobox.com/user/dashboard. You'll have two options: add an account at a Pobox domain, or add an account at your own domain. Accounts you add there will automatically be added to your bill.

If you'd like to let someone use a domain you control, but have them pay for their own account, just invite them to use your domain.

How many addresses can an account have?

Mailstore and Pobox Plus include 6 Pobox addresses; Pobox Basic accounts include 3.

You can also have more addresses at your own domains. Mailstore can have a total of 100 addresses; Pobox Plus can have up to 50; Basic accounts can have up to 20.

Can I upgrade my account if I need more services?

Absolutely! You can change your account type at any time, and new services will be available immediately. We'll send you an invoice for the pro-rated upgrade cost to keep your current expiration date. If you choose not to pay that invoice, your account's period will simply be shortened according to funds remaining in your original payment.

What happens if my account gets deactivated?

Accounts will be deactivated at your request, or if your account is more than 2 weeks overdue (we start billing you 4 weeks before it expires, so you have 6 weeks' notice.) When your account is deactivated, access to send or receive mail will end immediately. Mail sent to any of your addresses will begin bouncing with the error "User Unknown".

Your addresses and any mail in your Mailstore account will be held for you, in case you wish to reactivate, for 30 days. Your settings will be retained for 60 days.

How can I reach Pobox?

In order to provide you with helpful, but cost-effective, support, customer service for indivdual accounts is via email only. We hope you'll find that the quality of the help you receive makes up for not being able to call.

If you have a corporate account, and you have lost your account contact's telephone number, please email us, and we will send it again.

Email: pobox@pobox.com
Fax: 888-762-6922 (US only) or +1-215-701-0665 (international)
Postal: IC Group
1100 Vine St., Suite C8
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Have other questions about Pobox services? Check out our Help pages for more details on how our services work.


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