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Gmail without the cloud: tips for next time

Yesterday’s Gmail service outage is a hot topic on just about every news site right now. For so many of us that have always taken the reliability of Gmail for granted it was a real shock to lose all of the functionality of the web based system. Now that we’ve learned our lesson, here’s a couple of tips to help you out the next time there’s an outage.

Setup POP and IMAP access now
Your Gmail can be sent and retrieved via IMAP or POP. These protocols were still working through the outage yesterday but unfortunately you need to use the web interface to enable them. Even if you are not going to use a separate email client regularly, now is the time to set this up so it works for you during the next outage.
Use Offline Gmail

Yesterday’s outage prevented most users from even logging into the Gmail interface and when they could, the compose message feature was not functioning properly. Offline Gmail, a feature of Google labs, allows you to access the Gmail interface offline. This doesn’t mean that you will be able to send and receive during an outage because this feature still uses the web interface for that. What it does mean is you will be able to read emails that you have cached locally and compose messages to be sent as soon as Gmail is back online. Take a look at what Offline Gmail is all about and see if it will get you through next time.


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