WELL Email

NOTE: Having trouble sending/receiving email through your email client? If it’s a very old client (like Outlook Express or Eudora), you may be unable to use it due to security issues. Though these clients have been deprecated by their developers and are not officially supported by The WELL, some users have continued to use them.

(TL;DR: Your ancient email client is not secure, and you can’t use it to access WELL mail anymore, so you need to upgrade.)

Internet security has changed significantly in the time since these clients were in regular use, and continues to do so. One result of these changes is that, from time to time, certain SSL and TLS ciphers are found to no longer be strong enough to prevent decryption. When this happens, we deprecate those ciphers on the WELL email server. Since these email clients are no longer being supported, they do not get updated with newer, stronger security fixes, which leads to problems when ciphers get disabled.

Recently a handful of users had difficulty accessing their WELL email. This was as a result of us deprecating some older, no longer secure ciphers, at which point our security software started preventing customers using these old clients from accessing iris.well.com. Furthermore, the Qualys site that rates the security of sites was giving us a C grade indicating that we were vulnerable to SSL related issues. When we disabled those ciphers, ESET started allowing access again and the Qualys site once again gave us a grade of A.

About WELL Email

Your WELL membership includes your own @well.com email address with 500MB mailbox storage.  Your email address is the same as your user name. For example, if your user name is puffball, your WELL email address is puffball@well.com. The WELL does not track your email, show you advertising in your email, or sell or rent your email address for any purpose.

The WELL’s email server (iris.well.com) is powered by Zimbra, an open-source platform for email and collaboration.  With Zimbra you can read and reply to your email in a web-based interface (either on a desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device), or add your WELL account to a desktop or mobile client mail program.  Zimbra supports both POP3 and IMAP email protocols.

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. 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.)

Your use of our email system is governed by the WELL Membership Agreement. The WELL does not permit the sending of unsolicited bulk commercial email or spam from your WELL email account.

Additional Email Addresses

You can add additional well.com email addresses (with their own logins and mailbox storage) for a small additional monthly fee.  Additional WELL email addresses are for email only — they do not have access to conferences.   They are also attached to your primary WELL membership and will end if you cancel that membership.

Mailbox Quotas

Each of your WELL email addresses (your membership email and any additional email addresses) has a mailbox storage quota (limit) of 500MB. If your mailbox fills up new email will not be delivered until you delete or archive email to bring your mailbox back under quota.

You can increase your mailbox storage quota for an additional yearly fee, starting at 2GB for $30/yr.  See Pricing for more information on the prices for additional mailbox storage.

Here are some quick set up tips.

Step One: When you set up the mail programs on your own computers or phones, choose either IMAP or POP3, and then stick with it. Almost without exception, the more modern IMAP is the set-up you want for all of the mail clients you will be using. However, some members who use an external webmail service such as Gmail to fetch their well.com emails for reading and replaying there must only use POP3 or a direct web login any time they do not use the fetching mechanism.

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 connected directly to iris.well.com you do not need to concern yourself with IMAP or POP settings on other devices.)

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. Mailboxes are not open for Members until requested.