Openmailbox Alternatives after owner change

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 7, 2017
Updated • Sep 27, 2021

Openmailbox, a popular cloud storage and email service provider, began to update its service a couple of days ago which led to a two-day long outage.

After the site went back up, users of the service noticed that ownership changed hand, and that the new owners of the service made a drastic change to the service.

Update: ownership did not change, the owner of the service changed it from a non-profit organization to a Limited.

Free users of Openmailbox could use IMAP/POP to connect to their mailboxes previously. The new owner of the service, French company SASU Initix, disabled the option without prior notice for all free account owners.

This blocked the use in all email clients for free users, and left them with no choice but to use the web interface instead to do their mailing.

Related to that is the removal of the mail aliases feature. The available aliases were removed completely and stopped redirecting any messages.

According to the new pricing page on the website, IMAP, POP and SMTP access to Openmailbox accounts is only available to PRO users.

The company posted an update on the official site about the removal of the IMAP service.

The reason for this limitation is the cost of offering this protocol. In fact, due to the nature of the protocol, great loads are experienced from our side. Sadly managing all this load for free is hardly sustainable.

It acknowledges however that the transition did not went as smooth as it should have been. All free users that used the service before August 4, 2017 get one month of PRO account access.

Reactions were not pleasant to the changes. Most disliked the feature removal. Some customers stated that they understood the reason behind the change -- as the company stated that it was not viable financially to offer IMAP to free users of the service -- they disliked that the new owner did not notify customers in advance about the upcoming changes.

Openmailbox alternatives

  • Disroot -- Offers access to email. cloud, forum, Dispora social network, Pastebin and more based "on principles of freedom, privacy, federation and decentralization. States no tracking, no ads, no profiling, no data mining.
  • Mailbox -- Accounts start at €1 per month. Comes wihtout ads, tracking, encryption, custom domains, POP/IMAP, 2 GB of storage, aliases.
  • Mailfence -- Email provider that promises no tracking, privacy protection, end to end encryption. Free account is available limited to 500 MB of storage for email and no external access. Paid accounts start at €2.50 per month.
  • Posteo -- Secure, ad-free email service with 2 GB, IMAP/POP access, calendar and address book sync, data encryption, and access to calendar, contacts, document editing For €1 per month
  • Protonmail -- Secure email provider, open source. Free account good for 150 messages per day and 500 MB storage. Paid accounts for €5 per month / €48 per year.
  • Startmail -- By the company that runs Personal accounts for $59.95 per year. Get you 10 Gigabyte of space, IMAP support, custom aliases, unlimited disposable aliases, PGP encryption.
  • Teknik -- Offers email, file storage, pastebin. Free, donation-based service.
  • Tutanota -- Free encrypted email box, end to end encryption, and open source. Free account with 1 GB of storage, paid accounts for €1 per month get aliases, custom domains, inbox rules and more.

Now You: Which email provider do you use, and why?

Openmailbox Alternatives after owner change
Article Name
Openmailbox Alternatives after owner change
Openmailbox, a popular cloud storage and email service provider, began to update its service a couple of days ago which led to a two-day long outage.
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  1. Ralgren said on September 30, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    As a postscript over a year later . . . the Openmailbox website has gone down. As of this writing, it has been down for at least a week, probably longer. It’s safe to assume it is not coming back. No warning, no notice. What a crappy way to do business. I feel sorry for anyone who used it as their primary address or for business.

    1. OMBXuser said on January 16, 2019 at 12:40 am

      In case anybody cares: Openmailbox is back ! Thanks to a former post on this page, I could retrieve all my mails using IMAP. (Just create an application password under “compte” – doesn’t have to be a real app, a fake name will do – and copy the whole stuff – app name : 16 digit password- before it disappears when you click “create”, then paste it in your client. Server name & port are ok.)
      Seems to be still blacklisted, though. Retrieve your stuff if you hadn’t yet, and fly away !

  2. Holly Bishop said on July 28, 2018 at 3:03 am

    I made donations for their service 3 years in a row and stopped using them because just trying to get to the mail took 20 minutes. I’ve been trying to just forward the mail I have left in there and it’s freaking impossible. I have no problem with a service going paid…I do have a problem with a functioning service that was free becoming a still free but non-functioning service. I feel like my mail was hijacked without a choice. Basically the service went from being fine to plain crap in a real hurry and I feel like I wasn’t given a choice to pay and get better service or get clear…the inability to forward my mail or do any kind of multi message service (I’m only talking 5 at a time, I figured that that was a functional maximum when I couldn’t get ANY forwarding done) was just plain piss poor.

  3. Odor said on July 23, 2018 at 6:17 am

    I’m pretty sure the people upset by losing IMAP were not customers of Openmailbox. That is precisely the reason they dropped IMAP as a free service. If you want IMAP from Openmailbox, become a customer.

    Now, if it is true that IMAP was pulled without warning, that is a stupid business decision because it aggravates potential customers and harms their goodwill. They aren’t “bad” or “wrong” in any moral sense. Just poor execution of a valid business model.

    If e.g. Twitter decided to launch a pay email service with IMAP support, they will get paying customers on day one because people won’t worry that it’s purely a scam, because that would destroy the company. But if some random site called Twatter advertises paid IMAP email, they will get zero customers on day one, except for possibly hackers looking to attack it.

    I must be getting old. The current zeitgeist of entitlement (e.g. that providing a service for free creates a moral obligation to always provide it for free) makes me want to yell at kids to get off my lawn and submit long rambling comments no one will read to 11 month old blog posts.

  4. Holly Bishop said on March 25, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    okay so when all this shite with openmailbox was going on, I was in mid-move. No sooner unpacked (somewhat) when hurricane Irma spun in. I noticed serious issues with OMB around that time, like taking forever to load. Opening another folder? Pack a lunch. So now I’ve figured I’ve got to get the hell out, but I have some important tax related emails on there plus others, somewhere around 250 messages that I need to export. I’ve just spent an hour trying to figure out how to do this, lo and behold NOTHING works! Then I found this lovely page, although the last few visitors haven’t had any response I’m going to try again. Has anyone figured how to move mail en masse from OMB to oh, say GMAIL. Yeah, crappy and unsafe but reliable enough for me to get the info I need (I don’t need to save every one of those messages, but I have to be able to look at them and in the time it takes OMB to open a mail, I could give birth) Oh do please help….

    1. Alex said on April 11, 2018 at 9:25 am

      Are you able to transfer your mails? OMB is not working anymore…

  5. Justshutup said on March 18, 2018 at 1:25 am

    Openmailbox does not work properly for me… Why would I waste my time with unreliable servic, when there are other better alternatives. Mailfence all the way for me!

  6. tony said on November 5, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Was anybody ever able to remove their account? There is an UI option, but it does nothing.

    Not only is not allowing users to remove their account highly offensive but I wonder if it is in line with legislation. But maybe french law is broken?

  7. Kmaccy said on August 30, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Further agreeing with everyone and with what GUIIe recently mentioned – this new overhaul has practically made the service nearly unusable in navigating through the sluggish interface and forget about even trying to find your past emails with the search function (it does not work despite even going into the advanced search options and checking all the appropriate fields!).

    From a visual standpoint of your inbox and other folders, it has taken many steps back. It takes more than triple the time to scan through what is displayed in comparison to the older openmailbox format.

    The old interface and functionality was enough to get by with but these new changes and management team are definitely out of touch with their audience – I feel that this service is destined to lose more users and deemed to fail in time.

  8. GUIle said on August 30, 2017 at 3:37 am

    This has to be one of the worst changes to a service I’ve ever seen. Other have already said enough about the basic, necessary features disappearing and the abysmal way in which the change was executed, but the redesign is at least as egregious as everything else already mentioned. Sure the UI might have a more modern look compared with the original one, but it is literally unusable unless one has industrial quantities of patience or an irrelevantly small email traffic not going above 5 daily emails. The UI works as if it was explicitly created to annoy users, because it is hard to believe that someone, anyone could think it was a real improvement over the old one. Whereas the old one was a workable, low key car that brought you from point A to point B, the new one is machine that purports to be a car, but it throws in reverse unexpectedly, tries to veer off the road on its own accord and doesn’t let you switch gears if you have wipers on. So turn wipers off, switch gear and turn wipers back on. But I guess that’s all worth it, because of a few pieces of chrome prettifying this monstrosity. Unbelievable.

  9. Machion said on August 25, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    I agree with all the comments on the net about the relaunch of ombx, that is a total disaster.
    Started to use IMAP one month before they shut it down (haha).
    One feature I miss the most is “mail-filters”. Now all my mails only go to the one inbox flooding it and I don’t know, if they reimplement filters for free again.

    Looking for an alternative I realise, that filters often only come with a pro account (tutanota, protonmail). So I will try and hope for disroot. But how big is their mailboxsize?
    Does teknik has filters?

  10. sambob said on August 20, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    The UI overhaul has been a disaster for users

    Emails won’t send “please specify a recipient”
    Drafts vanish
    bookmarks needed to be reset

    And all this came without any warning at all for users.
    I feel like we were sold out, and learned NEVER to donate instead of paying for a service.

  11. Annoyed said on August 12, 2017 at 11:42 am

    First off, here’s a link to a list with “Privacy-Conscious Email Services” (the data are not 100% correct, but the list is useful):

    Here’s my view on the disgusting Openmailbox dilemma (I used and donated to that service). Someone correct me if they think I’m wrong:

    The French guy behind Openmailbox kept appealing for years to the “spirit” of the community and to open source enthusiasts. He made the community donate for most (or all, or even more) of his logistic expenses (servers, certificates, etc.). On the average he asked for about € 30,000 per year. The counter on his site showed that he most likely always got the money together towards the end of the year.

    On his former forum he discussed bugs and issues with users and kept the enthused community going (and donating) with promises of a substantial update (that NEVER happened) …until he, about a year ago, closed down the forum WITHOUT prior notice! It could have had to do with some people trying to get answers to their pesky questions, such as whether he himself could read the emails saved on his servers or not. He always REFUSED to answer that. When he closed the forum like that I got suspicious and no more donated, though I still received one or two emails from him asking for donations.

    Then, a few days ago, probably because he thought his email service was largely bug-free (thanks to the feedback and the donations of an enthused community), he decided to go commercial. He left the former community -again WITHOUT any prior notice- with a largely unusable webmail account (it doesn’t work for me at all), demands a hefty price for POP and SMTP and even removed all alias features. I have to add here that the SMTP feature NEVER worked 100%. Quite often I had to wait for up to an hour or longer to be able to send off an (sometimes urgent) email, but I was willing to accept that bug. I doubt he got that bug corrected, even in his new commercial version. It’s because of bugs like that that it’s not unlikely that he will fall flat on his face with his latest move.

    So, how can anyone trust a person’s assertions of “privacy”, “security” and “reliability”, if that very person refuses to answer simple questions (about whether or not he can read the emails on his servers) and who CHEATED and ABANDONED an entire community TWO times?

    It’s idiots like him that give the Internet a bad name.

  12. Jehan Delacfroix said on August 9, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Just migrated to Mailfence. Great service offering much more than secure and private email. I love their calendar and document management and great snappy interface. In addition I experienced a very reactive personalised support.

  13. Persia Man said on August 9, 2017 at 12:12 am

    i used OpenMailBox is for years i think.
    2-3 day Ago after i saw che change … i changed my account and used “”
    Domain Names : + De +

    i think its great service.

  14. glow said on August 8, 2017 at 9:40 pm
    Reply has a lot of email choices and they are all free.

  15. Alex said on August 8, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    I have decide to go for a payed service. Posteo beeing opensource and with respect for privacy and environment by 12€/year sound quite promising. I like that they donate to social causes and they publish exactly what they give and to whom.

  16. wybo said on August 8, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Apart from GMX I also use Qwant’s I think it is still in Beta mode. Works fine

  17. wybo said on August 8, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Apart from GMX I also use a email service from Qwant I noticed a few months ago that they were advertising this on their startpage. So I signed up. As far as know it is still in the Beta stage.
    I also use free Proton mail which I managed to get last year.

  18. Mike said on August 8, 2017 at 4:07 am

    Never have been able to sign up for Proton Mail. Won’t signup for any supposedly private service that requires connection to google, such as Disroot. Can’t find any acceptable free email service anymore. Miss old days when isp provided email account.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 8, 2017 at 11:32 am

      Does your browser settings meet ProtonMail requirements?
      Maybe this can resolve your issue to sign up for ProtonMail :
      “Why do you need JavaScript, Session Storage, and Cookies”

      Otherwise my experience has been this : even with above conditions fulfilled I couldn’t first sign up for ProtonMail as well. This concerns Firefox only. I believed it was due to a Firefox setting modified by me or by one of my add-ons. What to do then?

      Well, create a new profile, temporary (name it “dummy”, and from there open ProtonMail and sign up.
      Then exit Firefox, delete the newly created “dummy” profile, and start Firefox with your usual profile.

      To create a new Firefox profile : once Firefox closed, run the following command :
      Firefox 32-bit : usually : C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe -ProfileManager
      Firefox 64-bit : usually : C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe -ProfileManager
      Create/delete profile (take care!).

      Hope that helps.

      1. Anonymous said on August 8, 2017 at 9:32 pm

        @Tom Hawack, I have had this problem with an old version of Pale Moon too. They are probably aware of that, maybe that’s why the link below the login “Having troubles? Try an older version”..

      2. Tom Hawack said on August 8, 2017 at 7:31 pm

        @Anonymous, I know that, that’s what I wrote : all requirements fulfilled (including I STILL had a problem to sign on (to create the account) and I never knew why. So I made a new profile, created Protonmail account from there, deleted the new account, returned to the default one, and no problem. The issue was only for creating the account, not for logging in afterwards. I had spent hours trying to find the culprit so rather than wasting time I used the new profile workaround.

      3. Anonymous said on August 8, 2017 at 11:58 am

        One of your add-on or your user.js > ProtonMail needs in about:config “” to true

  19. nimroad said on August 7, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    There’s no talk about Riseup ( ), but I’ve been using it for some years and the service is great. The main focus is security and they provide a very reliable free service, and if you like it you can become a donor with the amount that best suit you.

    1. Email Seeker said on August 8, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      It looks pretty good, but apparently you can’t register without an invite. Would you mind sending me one to ?

  20. Emil said on August 7, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Gmail? Well it’s the NSA, duh. And three dozen other spying agencies. And whoever pays for the advertising profile. Besides google itself building an avatar of you.

    Personally, I’ve not had to change from GMX since the beginning, that must have been 20 years ago. I’m still using some freemail accounts registered in the late 90s with them and never had a complaint.

  21. why said on August 7, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    why not use gmail? I’ve been using it for 10+ years and have no problem until now

  22. Tim2 said on August 7, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    3 letters here – GMX, I have been using this for 15 years now.

    Advantages: POP3S SMTPS with my old email client
    Decent size inbox and good spam filtering ability

    Disadvantages: Only 5 SMTP sends per hour (SPAM measure)
    Need to run an ad blocker for the website

    Comes in at least 2 flavours – .com for the English language users
    .net for the German language original. I have been using ,net since the
    beginning and find the interface to be fine for my needs.

    Oh and it’s free as well.

    1. kalmly said on August 8, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      I also have a GMX account. It’s kinda ugly (looking) online, where I’ve used it for the last few years, but I’m thinking of turning it POP3. It has been dependable. The one complaint I had was responded to – not to my satisfaction – but quickly, and the problem only occurred once. Very Nice for a freebie.

  23. Clairvaux said on August 7, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Typical handling of client relations by French businesses, as I commented on this very blog a few days ago. I wasn’t even aware of the existence of that company (and I’ve researched email providers quite a bit), but that does not surprise me in the least.

    Vaporize a lot of marketing babble about your “values” and “ethics”, then screw the customer as soon as you get an opportunity. Also : if he complains, tell him he won’t find better service elsewhere. When it’s relevant, don’t forget to remind him that American competitors are evil incarnate (maybe because they actually care about service ?).

    Lots of people say nice things about Fastmail (Australian). Glad to see Tim Parsons confirms this. Their service is often praised : there are actually human beings making themselves available to customers. Very reasonably priced at entry point (30 $/year).

    Proton Mail (Swiss) has critical mass for encrypted mail, however their paid plans are expensive, they don’t do IMAP or POP yet (they have been promising it for a long time), and while they do offer a significant amount of privacy, they are far from enforcing anonymity.

    On that respect, Tutanota (German) is better : less features than Proton Mail, but completely anonymous if you want it to be, plus their paid plan is very cheap (you can also use it for free).

    You could also try Zoho (California, Indian management), which is a business-oriented, Google-like provider (not meaning tracking, but email plus cloud-based office software). Free and paid plans alike.

    Your colleague Leo Noteboom, of Ask Leo, says : do have free email accounts, but never think you can rely on them. If they are hacked, or otherwise become inaccessible, it’s a sure bet you won’t be able to get any help at all from the provider.

    1. Robin said on August 7, 2017 at 7:43 pm

      Please, please guys, take this dispute elsewhere. I live in France, I know there are ways businesses there could improve, but at the same time their workers are better protected. It’s a complex thing. Let’s not generalise too much; let’s not screw up a good discussion about alternatives to OMB.

      As an aside, I think OMB was providing a good service, but with crap management.

      Let’s stay focussed on good alternatives …

    2. Anonymous said on August 7, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      “Typical handling of client relations by French businesses”

      @Clairvaux: just this assertion discredits everything you say or said. Please avoid insulting people in general next time.

      1. Anonymous said on August 7, 2017 at 8:55 pm

        @Tom Hawack: alcohol no, his French Bashing makes me vomit already.

      2. Tom Hawack said on August 7, 2017 at 7:45 pm

        @Clairvaux, “most” is not a generalization, it’s giving the intensity to a “some”.
        Generalization is a handicap, a mental restriction. Forget morality and focus on intelligence : generalization is meaningless. To have a rational basis we’d have to consider that a 50%+1 — at least — of the items’ population satisfy that generalization and, still, what about the other 50%-1? Believe me, you don’t validate an argument with axioms.

      3. Tom Hawack said on August 7, 2017 at 7:40 pm

        @Anonymous, lack of dialog is a modern scourge.
        I’ve read Clairvaux’s comments for some time, I don’t think he’s psychotic or nationalist (which would be a disease and a choice). He does happen to shoot intensively but I haven’t noticed it’s ever been holding the flag of a country, be it his. He has his opinions and his character. On the other hand, on whatever side it be, maybe trying to avoid harsh words is a good condition for dialog, and especially when it concerns the other’s very person. We all know that discrediting someone, whatever the arguments, is not a demonstration of our opponent’s mistake, if mistake there is. That’s theory, because I happen to loose my nerves as well. Doesn’t mean I’m right.

        Now come on, you two guys share a hug, say you love each other (we’ll stay at the friendship level!) and but me a beer :)

      4. Clairvaux said on August 7, 2017 at 7:35 pm

        @ Tom

        You’ve just “generalised” yourself by saying “most French companies”. Inserting the magical word “most” might make you feel more politically correct, but surely you realise it does not make anything of a difference.

        People have been brainwashed into thinking that it’s bad form to generalise, because “racism”. It’s not. It’s just called thinking. Besides, everybody “generalises”. You yourself do it all the time : I’m sure you “generalise” by avoiding drinking from a vat of sulphuric acid instead of beer for dinner, because “generally” sulphuric acid is bad for your health.

        You might “generalise” by saying Ghacks is a nice place to be a regular, because it’s informative and useful, and the conversations (barring the odd troll) are “generally” illuminating and well-behaved. I certainly do.

        You might also “generalise” by saying that such and such other site is not a nice place to hang out, for very good reasons that you could explain.

        Same thing for companies, animals, peoples… you name it.

        I objected a while ago to a generalisation you made, not because it was general, but because I believed it was wrong. There are wrong generalisations and there are true ones, and the point is to make the difference. You said companies were generally dishonest unless they were reined in by the state, and I said no : French companies are dishonest, and American companies are honest. And I provided facts to support this. And now we have one more fact exposed by Martin which, again, proves my point.

        The sad thing is, the world is now infested by do-gooders with a mission, who think they have a right to verbally assault people out the blue, because they pretend criticizing groups of people in public is insulting. It’s not. It’s those do-gooders who are the trolls, insulters and badly-behaved individuals. Talk about projecting…

      5. Anonymous said on August 7, 2017 at 7:18 pm

        @Tom Hawack: personally I would not waste my time talking with such a psychotic nationalist who probably forgot to take his pills, but your choice.

      6. Clairvaux said on August 7, 2017 at 7:11 pm

        Really, Anonymous ? And how does that assertion “discredits everything I said or said” ? Could you elaborate on that deeply stupid, and offensive, assertion of yours ?

        And how about you taking pains to, at least, prevail yourself of a pen name before trolling people ?

      7. Tom Hawack said on August 7, 2017 at 6:04 pm

        You don’t know what you’ve started by criticizing Clairvaux :)
        But I agree with you : generalizing ain’t good. To counter such a hard wording as that of Clairvaux I’d say that most French companies exercise that French touch when it comes to communication. As always, exceptions. Clairvaux stated another generalization a few topics ago, that time it was aimed at Americans. By the end of the year we should have all countries condemned by Clairvaux for this or for that, LOL! But he did at the same time recognize that it was a matter of persons rather than of a whatever global approach, which is why his comment above surprises me.

  24. TianlanSha said on August 7, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    I’m using the free version of Protonmail, because Outlook is garbage. It forced me when creating an account, to use another e-mail as fallback if I fail to log in and it will send me a code. I made the mistake to link 4 different Outlook e-mails like this.

    When I forgot the password of the first one, it asked me to type the second e-mail (by giving me a hint), so I typed it and went to log in and get the code, turns out I forgot that password too, and I repeated this process 4 times till I got locked out of 4 of my e-mails. Which later caused a lot of trouble for accounts registered on them.

    Protonmail doesn’t ask you to to provide a second e-mail as a fallback measure, I really like that. It’s fast and simple and you can use CSS to create your themes.

    1. Clairvaux said on August 7, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      It depends. Proton Mail says the following :

      “In order to prevent the creation of accounts by spam bots or human spammers, ProtonMail uses a variety of human verification methods. You may be asked to verify using either reCaptcha, Email, or SMS. We have an intelligent algorithm that determines the required verification method based on a number of factors. Generally speaking, attempting to create multiple accounts will trigger more difficult verification methods such as Email or SMS.”

      As for forgetting passwords, you are the sole responsible party, and should take measures to protect yourself. Primary one is using a password manager, with multiple backups of its database. Another one, which is not as stupid as it may seem, and is even recommended by a star security researcher such as Bruce Schneier, is to… write down your passwords in a paper notebook. And secure that.

      The best online services are those that won’t help you recover a forgotten password, by technical design. If they can give you back your password, or reset it, it means the feature might be abused by hackers to take control of your account.

      You should keep a local backup of your emails by retrieving them through a piece of client software. This way, if you’re locked out of your account, you won’t lose control.

  25. b said on August 7, 2017 at 2:42 pm
    Reply I’d never choose a free service.

  26. Martin said on August 7, 2017 at 11:53 am

    I dont blame them for becoming a paid service. That doesnt even bother me.
    The worst thing is that they cancelled the aliases even for the pro accounts and without any notice.

    If you used these aliases for accounts, like me, you cant change them because in order to change them i need to click on a link in a verification email send to the adress that i cant access.

    They dont even give you a chance to change your emails.
    I will switch to a paid email now but surely not

    First they pretend to be this “open source”, “free” type of good site and then they just fuck their users like this.
    I wish i never had an account with them.

  27. Francesco Ragazzi said on August 7, 2017 at 11:38 am

    The owner hasn’t changed, it’s still the same, Pierre Barre. He changed the legal status of his operation, from Non Profit to Limited Company.

  28. Tom Hawack said on August 7, 2017 at 10:55 am
    Reply with Thunderbird e-mail client (12€/year),
    ProtonMail on website only, doesn’t handle email clients at this time (free plan).

    So, ‘SASU Initix’ is it? Yet another company adding incompetence (two-day long outage after it got the place’s keys from Openmailbox) to a total lack of respect for its users when not notifying them *before* of its new rules. Openmailbox, now? One-way ticket to trash. Excellent alternatives as mentioned in the article.

    I just cannot understand new owners remaining silent about what their policy is and what incidence it will have on users. Is it that hard to communicate? ‘SASU Initix’, a name to forget. Like grandma used to say “Either he’s bad either he’s sick” : whatever, avoid.

    1. Anonymous said on August 7, 2017 at 11:13 am

      “New owners” > I don’t know if they are really new as they have exactly the same behavior as the old, these last years lack of communication was his “marque de fabrique”.

  29. insanelyapple said on August 7, 2017 at 10:28 am

    I’m wondering about ProtonMail for some time but does it comes with imap access or at least pop3 or its solely web interface in every plan variant?

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 7, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      Protonmail and email clients : whatever plan, free as paid :
      “Unfortunately at this time, ProtonMail does not integrate with third party email clients.”

      Protonmail plans:
      The free plan includes no more than 500MB of storage. Considering email clients are not (at this time) integrated, either switch to a paid plan either reserve ProtonMail for highly confidential emails, as I do. If I add all my correspondence with FBI, CIA, NSA, Army & Airforce Intelligence, GRU, Mossad, DCRI, DCRE and Swiss Intelligence, I hardly fill 1MB of storage. see what I mean?

    2. Robin said on August 7, 2017 at 10:57 am

      AFAIK it is webmail only, plus mobile apps. The support thread is here ( but not sure how up-to-date it is (the latest user comments are Dec 2016). My guess is they will not offer POP3 or IMAP without a major rewrite because of the way they do the encryption in the browser. Greta shame, as many users on that thread observe.

  30. kavar said on August 7, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Openmailbox has been listed by the blacklisting services on and off for years now. Its a crap shoot trying to email someone else on another service. Many times my email is returned as spam. Even worse – and not mentioned in this article is their new web interface will not allow access to accounts with the “_” character in the account name. So they lock me out with no prior warning and want me to pay to have imap access to my existing email account because of an “_” in the username? Forums down – contact support don’t work. They are the worst service I’ve ever seen. Going to Proton Mail.

  31. Tommy said on August 7, 2017 at 9:02 am

    I was a free user and now I’m trying IMAP/SMTP with the new settings, but it doesn’t work, it says wrong username and password. Does it work for anyone?

    1. Pedro Lino said on August 25, 2017 at 5:45 pm

      I’m also an unhappy openmailbox user. IMAP/SMTP works. You need to create a “Application password”.

      Go to “Compte” (last button on the left column), then on Settings (fourth button on the top row) and then on Application passwords. You need to Add a password (blue button) on the right

      Of course this is not explained anywhere and email/form support by Openmailbox staff is ZERO.

    2. M said on August 23, 2017 at 4:37 pm

      The main password for the account is no longer the password you should be using in the email client. There are now separate passwords for applications that you should set up in Settings>Application passwords. SMTP and IMAP server addresses changed as well.

    3. Robin said on August 8, 2017 at 11:30 am

      Have you managed to get it to work yet? I’ve failed and would welcome any hints. I have followed the instructions for the IMAP server access, as offered by OpenMailBox. I’ve added the Application password for Thunderbird – although it’s not clear exactly what should be used as the password. The text that appeared briefly in the textbox on clicking ‘Add’ was:


      Does the password include the name “Thunderbird”?, Is the semi-colon included? Are there spaces? I’ve tried a lot of variations, none work.

      Very frustrating experience and getting worse.

      1. Annoyed said on August 23, 2017 at 11:18 pm

        Finally worked out how to use the new POP/SMTP settings with an email client:

        POP configuration:

        POP server: Port 995 !!! (yes, for POP you have to use the imap server “”, but instead of port 993 use 995)

        SMTP configuration: Port 465

        SSL/TLS in all cases
        About the NEW password that you will need for your email client:

        You HAVE to get a NEW password for your email client in the webmail account under “Settings”. The password will get generated for you. You can’t create it yourself.

        The ENTIRE text in the password field is the new password. I.e. the name of your email client together with the colon (:) and all the following numbers. Just copy & paste the entire long line.

        Good luck everyone using your POP/SMTP accounts for another remaining free month! ;-) Let’s hope the guy behind openmailbox will have a change of mind and at least offer POP/SMTP for free again.

      2. Tommy said on August 8, 2017 at 5:42 pm

        No, it still doesn’t work.
        But now they have a message that says: “Some users are experiencing issues to login, this should be fixed between today and tomorrow”.

        So hopefully they’re fixing it.

    4. Martin Brinkmann said on August 7, 2017 at 9:04 am

      They stated that you need to sign off and on again.

      1. Tommy said on August 7, 2017 at 9:21 am

        I did that, several times. Still doesn’t work.

  32. Robin said on August 7, 2017 at 8:54 am

    I’ve started using “Net Courier”( Definitely worth a look. Lots of features (cloud/calendar/etc), free accounts and several paid tiers. The basic paid tier is only 1eur/month and is good for personal use with IMAP/POP, aliases, personal domains, ad-free. Some family-friendly features as well. Response times and support responses great at the moment.

    It claims to respect privacy (read their charter), is multilanguage and European based which for me is more and more important. The servers are based in France and the site is regulated by French law on data protection, so could be better from this point of view but at least it’s not the US or UK.

    Downsides: the payment scheme is via PayPal which I try to avoid; the aliases have a minimum of 4 characters which is a pain for me because my personal email address has only 3.

  33. Tim Parsons said on August 7, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Fastmail has a free service and several paid tiers. I’ve used them for years. Their webmail interface is brilliant — tons of functionality, no unnecessary bloat — and imap and pop are both supported for mail clients. Can’t praise them highly enough — their backend team are world class.

    1. Don said on August 7, 2017 at 11:36 pm

      I joined FastMail a few months ago, and I’ve been happy with the service. I also love the web interface. And IMAP support allows me to have a local backup just by running Thunderbird occasionally.

    2. Alex said on August 7, 2017 at 9:43 pm

      Fastmail no longer offers a free service.

      However, their handling of the switch was very well executed, with advance notification, painless migration, discounts, and the ability to migrate elsewhere.

      I have been a Fastmail customer for many years, starting from a free account and moving up to a $40/year “enhanced”, and I highly recommend them.

    3. Anonymous said on August 7, 2017 at 8:49 am

      “Fastmail has a free service”:
      Where please?

      1. Tim Parsons said on August 7, 2017 at 11:41 am

        Sorry, my bad — it looks like it went away without me noticing. :(

        It WAS relatively limited. I bought into the paid service in 2003 and stopped paying close attention soon afterwards :)

        It’s all about resilience, for me. They’re not my only email service but they’re the place I choose to manage my email because they just do it better than any other I’ve tried — and I’ve tried most of them, over the years. As always, YMMV.

      2. Heimen Stoffels said on August 7, 2017 at 11:24 am

        More like “had a free service”:

  34. Robert said on August 7, 2017 at 8:21 am

    This scheme happens more and more frequently recently. It is either:
    – introduce new app with plenty of free features – catch as many users as possible and tie them with service – change pricing plans (Evernote and many more)
    – begin as above and then sell free service to other party who changes ‘free tier’ rules (popular lately, especially with browser extensions)
    – catch a lot of users for free product destroying competition in the process, then close service (Google and their News Reader)

    If any of new free app or services seems enough interesting for me to rely on it more seriously – I tend to check it’s business model. Nothing is free and sometimes it’s better save time and avoid of being locked down in some app with important data or reading that your data is being sold to third parties or analyzed / data mined.

    1. Bruno said on August 7, 2017 at 8:40 pm

      Well, not advocating what Openmailbox did, but when you’re a freeloader, you should expect it won’t last forever. It’s hard to beat free so companies go along but the free to paid ratio isn’t good, they have to react.

      1. Justshutup said on March 18, 2018 at 1:23 am

        “freeloader” lol ! stopped reading there!

      2. Nebulus said on August 7, 2017 at 11:17 pm

        And if you are not what you call a “freeloader”, is there any guarantee that this kind of things won’t ever happen? I think not.

    2. Bruno said on August 7, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      Well, not advocating what Openmailbox, but when you’re a freeloader, you should expect it won’t last forever. It’s hard to beat free so companies go along but the free to paid ratio isn’t good, they have to react.

      1. Martin said on August 10, 2017 at 9:12 pm

        I can only repeat what i said. Im totally ok with paying for some features.
        But paying wont help. right now doesnt work wether you pay or not.
        And if people need a new email anyway because they drop the aliases, why not choose a cheaper and more reliable alternative.
        Its just a bad business move to introduce paid accounts right at the moment when nothing works.

        Right now they claim that the aliases will work again:
        although that was 2 days ago and no update since then.

      2. Don said on August 7, 2017 at 11:33 pm

        That was my worry when Verizon dropped their email service. I feel email is too important to trust to a free service. I migrated to FastMail.

    3. Martin said on August 7, 2017 at 11:57 am

      Its even worth.
      This is the way:

      1. introduce new app with plenty of free features – catch as many users as possible and tie them with service
      2. drop service without any notice just for fun

      The aliases arent included in the pricing plan, they were just completely dropped.

  35. Anonymous said on August 7, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Thanks for the article Martin. When OpenMailbox has begun to no longer function properly 6 months ago I registered on ProtonMail when it was still in beta, which have made significant progress since the beginning, now “One Password Mode” and translated in my language + 1.0 Go instead of 500 MB storage. I just registered on with imap4 to keep FossaMail working. Note about OpenMailbox: “Social reason: SASU Initix”, but the old owner is still there as ” Publication director”.

    1. Anonymous said on August 7, 2017 at 8:44 am

      I forgot to say what I would like to know is if its a bug or if the owner decided to prevent users from deleting their accounts?.

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