If you’ve ever wanted to find a way to quickly and easily back up all your email accounts and messages to one place for safe keeping, we could have a solution for you. MailStore Home is a freeware program which offers not just archiving, but also restore and search, no matter which account your messages are from.
The first cool thing you notice about the software is the fact that it can install to any drive, portable or on your computer, which means you can keep an archive of your messages on your USB key if you like the ultimate in portability. Nice touch.
The user interface is nice and easy to read, although at times (especially during the setup phase) we could have done with a tad more help on what was needed in each box. For instance what are we supposed to put into the Host box? However, apart from that, it’s very easy to use, with each section clearly marked.
Because the program can access messages from email clients like Thunderbird as well as webmail, the first thing you need to do is set up profiles of all your accounts. This can be the tricky bit, as we couldn’t access several of our test accounts. In the case of places like Yahoo! mail, this was clearly because of a captcha and 2 factor authentication, so if you’re super secure, you’ll find it difficult to get going with MailStore Home.
As long as your account is pretty standard, you’ll be fine though, and we managed to get a Gmail account imported very easily in minutes. The same problem with authentication also arises with exporting (or restoring) your messages back to an account, where again we found it hard to get working. So this is definitely a caveat until they come up with a solution.
With a secure Gmail account however, there was a work around which involved switching the account from POP to IMAP in order to get things working properly, so that’s a better result and the implementation is fine. Once you’ve got the messages archived, you can also take advantage of the great search functionality.
Search is by far our favorite feature, since it provides a fast and very accurate indexing system which can pull up the right messages from anything in your accounts, which is perfect for locating that long lost note from your probation officer. It’s worth the price just for that alone. There’s wild card search and you can create search folders to store results too, which is great.
All in all this is a great email tool for anyone who has problem keeping track of their messages and also wants to make doubly sure their messages are nice and safe at all times. The fact that the program also links to a standard email program – which means you can reply to and forward archived messages in a snap – is also an excellent feature.
In fact the only downside is the fact that it’s more difficult than it should be to connect up to different accounts in the beginning, which is definitely fixable. Definitely one for the toolbox. Nice!