Using WELL email

The WELL's mail server on iris.well.com is powered by an open-source platform called Zimbra. You can either use your favorite email program and/or simply use your web browser to read and send mail. With your browser, you can also manage your mail quota (storage limit), your shared documents and a private calendar. You can also use Zimbra to forward all or just some of the emails that come to your well.com address away to read at your other email address, as you please.

Web browsers on mobile devices that point to the iris mail server should automatically go to the mobile version of the web based Zimbra platform, if you like to use your web browser for email, or you can use the FAQ below to configure the Mail program on your phone or tablet, just as you can for your computer. (Some older desktop/laptop browser versions may also work better with the direct mobile Zimbra link.)

Before we get to the FAQ, here's quick set up tips.

Step One: When you set up the mail programs on your own computers or phones, choose either IMAP or POP, and then stick with it. Almost without exception, IMAP will be the modern set-up you want for all of these mail clients. However, some members who use an external webmail service such as Gmail to read their well.com emails must only use POP. If that is not enough to decide, see "Is IMAP always best?" below. (If you will only use your web browser to directly manage, read and send all mail while at iris.well.com, or if you simply wish to set up forwarding at iris.well.com, you do not need to concern yourself with IMAP or POP settings.)

Step Two: Confirm you are now active on the Iris server and you know your password by logging in to iris.well.com with your web browser. If you can't connect, contact helpdesk. See the footer of this page.

Step Three: Find your settings in the FAQ below to configure the mail programs on your desktop or mobile devices.

Frequently Asked Questions:


Where can I learn about new features in Zimbra8?
What are the basic settings to configure IMAP or POP?
What programs can I use to manage mail on my computer or mobile device? (IMAP or POP)
Is IMAP always best?
What is my quota for mail left on the server, and will my incoming mail bounce if I exceed it?
Can I read my mail with my iPhone or iPad?
Where do I change my password?
Can I forward my well.com mail to another address?
Can I add more email addresses to my WELL account?
What can I do about spam?
Can I whitelist or blacklist addresses?
How do I read my mail at iris with a Web browser?
How do I remove mail copies from iris.well.com?
How do I use the older UNIX-based mail programs?
Why am I seeing a mostly blank page when logged in to iris.well.com?
Is there a manual for the mail system?
Is email even included with my membership plan?


Answers:

Basic configurations. Select and stick to just one incoming mail method to avoid damaging your email files.

Incoming mail-- IMAP method

  • If you wish to use IMAP to retrieve and delete email, you must use the following settings:
    • Incoming Mail Server: iris.well.com
    • Use SSL (Secure Socket Layers)
    • Authentication: password
    • DO NOT enable "Secure Password Authentication" if present - it is not needed with SSL, and may cause problems if enabled.
    • Incoming server port: 993

Incoming Mail-- POP3 method:

  • If you wish to use POP to retrieve email, you must use the following settings:
    • Incoming Mail Server: iris.well.com
    • Use SSL (Secure Socket Layers)
    • Authentication: password
    • Incoming server port: 995
    • We suggest that you choose the setting to not leave copies on our remote server, or watch carefully to ensure they are deleted as specified.

Outgoing mail settings (Both outgoing choices will work with either IMAP or POP for incoming strategies, and you may switch back and forth between outgoing methods)

  • For sending your WELL mail out using your ISP's outgoing server: You may use the ISP's designated SMTP (outbound) server. All the rest of your settings should be WELL settings, with either the IMAP or POP configurations for iris.well.com, and your mail will work smoothly. Most ISPs and phone carriers will either allow, or in some cases (often Comcast, for example) will require this choice.
  • For sending your well.com mail out using The WELL's outgoing server:
    • Outgoing or SMTP Mail Server: iris.well.com (yes, the same server handles incoming and outgoing mail, via different ports.)
    • If you have a choice between TLS and SSL (Secure Socket Layers), select TLS. Otherwise, select SSL.
    • Authentication: password
    • Outgoing server port: 587 or 25 (you may need to try both to see which works on your device)
    • You do NOT need to check for mail before sending via iris.

See also specific detailed configurations for specific popular email programs on the Settings for IMAP and POP Clients page.

What programs can I use to manage mail on my computer or mobile device? (IMAP or POP)

You may use any up-to-date desktop email application to pull in mail using either IMAP or POP connections. "Thunderbird," "Outlook Express," Apple's "Mail" and other email applications will accept settings for either IMAP, or for POP. Please be sure you have an up-to-date version.

Is IMAP always best?

Choose IMAP settings if:

  • you need access to your new email at different devices and multiple locations, e.g., office computer, home, smart phone, plus webmail, or
  • you might ever want the option to use Pine (aka Alpine), a UNIX mail program, while you are logged in via ssh directly to well.com, or
  • you like keeping some of your mail or attachments saved where you can access them with any of your email devices at any time, or
  • you want to synchronize the state of your email between any and all email clients you use and the server, so that deleting a message means it is gone, rather than having to purge things separately from multiple places.

Choose POP settings if:

  • you always use a secondary webmail service (such as Gmail) to "fetch" your mail from well.com, OR
  • you work with your well.com email only on a single computer or only on a single mobile device, and
  • web mail at iris.well.com works fine for you when you need to check new email from a computer that is not your own, and
  • you backup email messages you wish to save and archive it on your own computer or on another remote site, and do not wish to keep any of your perviously-read messages online at The WELL.

What is my Quota for mail left on the server, and will my incoming mail bounce if I exceed it?

There is a limit for the amount of email you can leave on the server. Most modern email services allow a set "bucket" of disk space by using a quota, and when the quota is reached, the mailbox is "full." Your default quota is 500MB. Up to 500MB in disk space on the iris.well.com server is exclusively reserved for your email. This quota may be increased if you choose. (Note to long time WELL members: For many years we charged a surcharge that sometimes caught people unawares. With a quota, you will never get a mail storage charge that you have not pre-authorized. The old storage surcharge scenario will still apply for files in your home and web directories if you still keep some there, but not for files on the mail server, where quota is now in place.)

  • If you exceed your quota, your mailbox is full and your mail will bounce. After 500MB, unless you either increase your quota or delete/download some mail, new incoming email will be refused rather than piling up. You will get multiple email warnings as you gradually approach your quota. You can see how much of your quota you are using at any time by logging in at iris.well.com, and looking at the visual graph under your name. By mousing over your name, you will see the actual amount. If you check in now and then to pay a little attention you won't risk bouncing email due to a full mailbox.
  • You may purchase even more quota if you want more space to leave your mail on the servers, at much better rates than on the old mail system where unexpected surcharges were possible. Enhanced disk quota rates start at $30, which quadruples your disk quota for email for a full year. Additional levels are detailed on the plans and pricing page.
  • You may still keep 100MB in storage for files in your well.com home directory, personal web pages and any legacy system email that you may want to keep in your home directory. That 100MB does not count towards your quota use, and excess storage after 100MB there is still charged under the old pricing. If you have old email stored there, you may want to transfer it to Iris where it is under the better rates of the quota system.

Can I read my mail with my iphone?

On a mobile device with a mail application, usually you will set it up using the IMAP instructions for Apple. In many cases you can also point your device's browser at https://iris.well.com/, and you will be shown the mobile browser version. If not, try manually selecting the mobile version of Zimbra at login time to read your mail. IPad users will do better using their Mail application with IMAP settings rather than logging in to iris with their particular version of Safari.

Where do I change my password?

To change your password for email and all services, log in to the Billing Information Page. If you don't know your current password, generate a link to make a new one at https://www.well.com/newpass/. The link will be sent to your off-well email address that you have provided.

Can I forward my well.com mail to another address?

If you want to forward your WELL mail to any other Internet mailbox, log in to iris.well.com via your Web browser, go to Preferences in the top toolbar, select Mail, highlighting the closed envelope icon in the left-side column. Return your cursor to the center pane, scroll down to Receiving Messages. Enter the email address you want to forward to in the appropriate box. (Check the box instructing Zimbra not to leave a copy on the server unless you plan to pick up and sort through the same batch of mail a second time.) Save using the small disk icon above. Note that if you play around with creating Filters from the choices to the left, you may forward just part of your email, from some addresses and not others, for example.

You can instruct another Web email service like Gmail to pick up your mail from The WELL's iris.well.com mail server using the instructions on their site. The second party site will pick up mail by popping from your inbox at Iris, and allow you to reply to it at gmail or a similar service using your well.com email address. See Gmail's help pages, privacy policies, etc. or that of whichever service you use

Can I add more email addresses to my WELL account?

If you would like more email addresses at The WELL, sign in to the Billing Information Center Billing Information Center to sign up for an ExtraMail account. Discounted introductory plans are not eligible for ExtraMail addresses. If you wish to add an ExtraMail address, first contact Helpdesk to convert from an introductory-priced plan to either a full-priced monthly Complete plan or an annual Complete plan.

What can I do about spam?

When you decide a message in your list of mail is spam, highlight the mail and hit the SPAM button in the Mail toolbar. The mail goes into your Iris Junk folder and our mail service learns quickly to move similar future mail into your Junk folder. Zimbra builds individualized spam rules for your inbox. Complete the custom "training" of the mail program by occasionally looking at the Junk folder to catch any good mail it may have misfiled. Mark any mistakes as Not Spam if appropriate. If you know a piece of email is legitimate but you don't just want to read it, Delete it rather than pressing the SPAM button to keep the training as accurate as possible.

Greylisting is still available from our Utilities tool set if you want to bring out even bigger guns against spam.

How do I read my mail with my Web browser?

Wherever you are, if you can get to the Web, you can read your mail by logging in to iris.well.com, powered by Zimbra. You may use this secure service as a stand-alone web email service if you choose. It is also where you can make adjustments, see how close you are to your mail quota, start forward your mail as you wish, or set up a vacation message and manage your mail filters.

Can I whitelist or blacklist addresses?

Whitelists and blacklists are available. Log into Iris with your Web browser. Choose Configure from the tabs above the main email reading pane. log in to Iris via your Web browser, go to Preferences in the top toolbar, select Mail, highlighting the closed envelope icon in the side column, returning your cursor to the center pane, scroll down to Junk Mail Options. Enter the email addresses of people from whom you either never want to receive mail or always want to receive mail. You can also whitelist or black list entire domains with the format: @domain (Note that if you use whitelist with a whole domain, that could sometimes allow spam with forged return addresses that might otherwise be detected.)

How do I remove mail copies from iris.well.com?

When you go to iris.well.com with your Web browser to view your mail, mail you can see and respond to in your inbox is actually on The WELL's Iris mail server. Watch the quota bar just below your name in the upper right corner of the application. If you hold your cursor over your name, you'll see the percentage of your disk space quota. If you exceed the quota, your email will bounce until you download and delete or bump up your quota level. Simply delete on the web, or launch your desktop program in order to download into a "local folder" with your IMAP configured mail program. Making the special "local folder" allows you to drag email around, to free up space on iris.well.com and avoid charges.

If you download your mail using a desktop mail program set for POP3 retrieval, you should be certain that you are not instructing the program to leave a copy on the server unless you intend to download or delete some mail before you reach your disk space quota. Otherwise your incoming mail will eventually start to bounce.

How do I use the older UNIX-based mail programs?

One older UNIX program has been upgaded and configured for ongoing use. That is Pine, now Alpine. If you ever intend to use it you must set up all other email programs and devices as IMAP. Here's the scoop.


Why am I seeing a mostly blank page when logged in to iris.well.com?

We have conformed reports that some older versions of Safari will not display content properly when logged in to iris.well.com. The work-around is to point your old Safari browser directly at the mobile version of the web based Zimbra platform, or to use a mail program instead of a browser.

Is there a manual for the mail system?

When you log in to iris.well.com, you will find the generic Zimbra help near the top of your screen, as well as the link to WELL email help under The WELL logo, leading here. Click Help in the upper right corner of your the Zimbra web page to go to an extensive online Zimbra manual. Note that some of the features in use at other sites are not in place at The WELL, but the resource will be very useful for all those that are.

Is email even included with my membership plan?

Every Complete Plan membership includes an email address at The WELL. (To determine which membership plan you have, log into the Billing Information Center.) Your membership plan is shown at the bottom of the Personal page.

Where can I learn about the new features in Zimbra8?

A summary list of Zimbra8's new features can be found in the WELLtech Conference.


For Further Information...

For information about The WELL or for WELL Customer Support, use the Helpdesk contact information on the footer of this page.

* Utilities page

* Notes from the system-wide email upgrade of 2011

* Get help using alpine with IMAP



public-facing WELL pages.

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