Sunday, September 7, 2014

Use PTCL email account to transfer mail via IMAP

I've posted before about transferring chats via IMAP (transferring mails via IMAP is also the best option when you want to keep the labels / folders intact). was offering to transfer mails for free as per my previous mail but now as they are moving towards the end of their beta phase, they only transfer 250 messages for free (you have to pay if you want to transfer more). So I experimented with my PTCL ISP email account to transfer unlimited messages for free without first downloading them all to my hardisk and wasting my own bandwidth.

What PTCL account? Remember those ISP email addresses people used to have way back when internet was a new thing... ISPs still provide those for free. You can email PTCL and ask them for your free account with You have to login to to check your mail where you can set it to forward to any other email account. The thing to note here is, the web interface is actually a web based client that PTCL uses to log in to their servers. This client also has the option to log in to any other server; ie. you can add more IMAP or POP accounts to it (this is a common option in open source webmail clients that you would get to install on your own servers but it's usually available as one way "transfer your mail to us" option at email services available on the internet).

Hotmail, gmail, yahoo etc let you bring your mail from each other to their servers using IMAP, but you might have faced issues while transferring mail from one gmail account to another gmail account. The only option you have is POP. That doesn't keep your labels. Setting up an IMAP client to copy mail from one gmail account to the other is the common most option suggested on the internet (also it is the most automated and easiest).

Knowing that the webmail client is installed on the PTCL server, when we add any IMAP accounts to it and transfer the mail by copying folders from one listed account to another account, the bandwidth that is being used is that of the server. Copy away as many messages as you want. Since you are not copying the messages to the PTCL account itself, the 50MB inbox size they provide doesn't matter. All you are doing is using their bandwidth. ;)

Drop me comments if you have suggestions or queries. Cheers.

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