12 Replies Latest reply: Sep 12, 2012 12:39 PM by jjg1udi87
Scott Newman Level 2 Level 2 (220 points)

I'm one of the people affected by the iCloud Mail outage.  On the other hand, I've been with Apple since 1984 and specifically has used dotMac, MobileMe and now iCloud.

 

Because of that long history, I long ago came to the conclusion never to reply on Apple's supplied email as either your only email account or else it if's mission-critical email--such as the main contact address for a business.

 

About 14 years ago I purchased a domain name (based on my family's surname) stictly for email use.  It's linked to a plain POP3 account from Network Solutions.  It's been completely reliable during that time.  My address associated with that domain name as always been my primary email address.  However, iCloud IMAP is nice.  When things are working, I've got my POP3 account set to automatically foward all mail to my iCloud account.  When iCloud is not working, I turn off forwarding--like I did yesterday.  My mistake yesterday was to wait too long to turn off the forwarding, thinking that iCloud email problems would be short-term.

 

I always send important email via my POP3 account so that the address associated with that account is the one that's in the outside world.  I also have a rule set up to sweep sent email from my POP3 account to my iCloud account so that those sent messages are available on all of my devices.

 

Yes, it costs a small amount to keep my domain name each year and it costs another small amount for the POP3 accounts for my wife and I.  But I do like iCloud syncing and do like the IMAP email that's always available on all of my Apple devices.  I think this setup works pretty well.  Every time I think about canceling my POP3 account, something like this happens.

 

Don't flame me.  There are many messages in the various threads in this forum describing situations where someone's iCloud mail is not working and that email account is critical for that person.  There are obviously other approaches, including canceling iCloud.  My approach is just one of many.


Mid-2011 13-inch MacBook Air, Mac OS X (10.7)
  • Payam Minoofar Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)

    I concur wholehearteldy. Even a bargain hosting provider like bluehost.com has been infinitely more reliable than Apple. I was hoping to use the iCloud mail service to replace my gmail service, which I use for making purchases and for receiving marketing emails into which I opt.

     

    So far, iCloud Mail service has been thoroughly unimpressive precisely because of the long outages. In a world where a bargain hosting provider like my hosting provider provides flawless service for a song--and in which Google provides the same flawless service for free!--Apple is rapidly and effectively eliminating itself from contention.

     

    I may withdraw my files from iCloud as well, and rely strictly on Google Docs.

     

    This does not bode well for Apple.

  • Payam Minoofar Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)

    I should add that I'm among the many who has not had iCloud email servce for the past 24 hours.

  • jjg1udi87 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    How do you know you are one of the people affected by the "iCloud Mail Outage"?  Maybe you cannot get any mail for a completely different reason.  Point being, I can't get mail either, and I am not assuming that my problem is part of the 1.1% that Apple has identified.  Why doesn't Apple give us enough information for us to understand if our problem is the one they have identified?

     

    So Scott, do you know you are one of the 1.1%?  If so, how do you know?  I want to understand if I am part of the 1.1% too.

  • Michael Black Level 6 Level 6 (17,955 points)

    To be honest, a domain name and a full featured hosting account, with IMAP email typically can be had for under $200 (or even under $100, depending on the features you want or need) per year.

     

    I have my own domains as well (use different ones for different purposes) and even owning multiple domain names my total hosting bill is about $153.00/year.  For that I can host multiple web sites, have up to 2000 IMAP mail inboxes each with a unique email address, get something like 200GB of mass storage (not sure actually what the limit is now, it keeps growing each year), have blacklisting and whitelisting on the emails.  And, I get 24/7 uptime and support - in the last 5 years, my email has only been down once, and that was for an announced scheduled downtime late at night.

     

    If you need mission critical email, then get a service that fits the bill - it is cheap relative to what you've already spent in computer hardware and other costs of creating and running a business.  None of the free services, not one of them, promises anything about uptime, and all of them have terms of service that explicitly obsolve them of any responsibility for loss or damages due to downtimes.

  • Payam Minoofar Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)

    Let's do some trouble shooting right now. This is the error that Mail reports when trying retrieve me.com email:

    "The server “p02-imap.mail.me.com” cannot be contacted on port 993."

     

    And, when I try to access my email via icloud.com, icloud also fails to access my mail. I get the attached error message. Reporting it to Apple has not improved service.

     

    The problem seems to be Apple's own token authentication scheme, but that's only a guess.

     

    icloud_outage.jpg

  • jjg1udi87 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Nice Payam.  I cannot validate what you see because I am away with only my iPhone.  My iPhone error says:

     

    Cannot Get Mail
    The connection to the server failed.

  • GeorgeN Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    I can understand an outage, but not one that lasts over 24 hours. That smacks of incompetence and would never have been tolerated in SJ's time. Cannot reach iCloud email through my Mac, my Windows PC Outlook, my iOS devices. I'd be more understanding if some explanation was offered, but there's none that I could locate.

  • jjg1udi87 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Scott, I agree these are good things to consider when mail comes back up.  But, it is still down.  Perhaps I should consider now even more so.

  • kristieAZ Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I switched from MSN to ME about a year ago.  Unfortunately, this is now the email address I use for all personal correspondence.  I am experiencing the same issue as defined in these posts and from what I have read it has happened in the past.  Does anyone have insight into what the issue is or some ETA on a resolution?  Is mail delivering during this time and we just cannot connect or are there delivery issues?  Similar to previous comments, an outage is one thing, but I have been down for about 2 days now with the only update being that only 1% are affected.  Is there anything that 1% of us could have done to manage our mailbox better so that we wouldn't be affected?  Could we have new mailboxes set up where there is no affect and then receive our old data later?  Are their any work arounds at all other than just 'wait' and cross your fingers?

  • Allan Eckert Level 8 Level 8 (46,040 points)

    I have three accounts each with a different provider. This seems to have kept my mail working. If I do anything where a reply is critcal I request that the reply be sent to all three accounts. I find it better to have to delete two rather then miss something that is critcal.

     

    First rule of IT: never depend on one of anything.

     

    Allan

  • Payam Minoofar Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)

    I was considering switching from Gmail to me.com, but I feel vindicated in waiting long enough to test Apple's competence first. Even MSN has had more experience than Apple providing such services. So, don't ever put all your eggs in one basket until you've made sure the basket is safe!

     

    Ultimately, paying a reliable provider, as mentioned above, is the way to go. All of my critical email addresses are with my web provider and backed up on my computer. If that provider goes belly up, I just point the domain (which is registered with a registrar, not my hosting provider, to the new provider, whose service I can start in less than 30 minutes.

     

    Google and Microsoft have demonstrated a much better understanding of how reliable such services have to be, even if they are "free" to the user. I'm wondering if Apple is overextending itself, or using us as guinea pigs while they tweak and refine OS X server.

  • jjg1udi87 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Oh!  I just received two emails (both ads though, even though I am on the Nat'l Do Not Email List).  According to the email I just received, it was sent/received on 9/11.  This is a good sign that perhaps not all the email was lost during the down time.  Additionally, my email system is telling me my local mailbox was updated.  So it is connecting to the server now.  However, I know I sent myself several test emails while the server was down from another system.  I have not received these test emails.