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free email without frequent login requirement - recommendations?

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i've been asked if there is a free email service that does not require frequent (monthly) logins to keep it active. it's for an elderly couple that always spend summer abroad for several months and wouldn't have a clue how to access their email unless it is on their own computer at home.

they have lost their email accounts several times because of infrequent use, and they are using a dial-up pay as you go service that does not provide an email account.

is there an email service that anyone can recommend, is free, and doesn't have the restrictions that yahoo and hotmail has (i don't know what gmail's service implies)?


edit: i see that gmail's period of inactivity is 9 months. this might be enough but i believe it will be safer to use something that doesn't expire for at least 12 months.

Steven Avery:
Hi Nudone,

You might try the smaller and friendlier services like Fastmail.

They are likely to have a longer period, although their free accounts may
be online only, without forwarding and you would have to check about
POP3 access.  That is the possible rub in the free accounts, however
you have good discussion forums for questions. host some forums where folks know all this
stuff well .. post the question there and you should get active response :-)

Such email biz folks are more likely to give you a personal response, or to do
an override if you ask.  Another to check is GMX, although they are larger,
they are making a USA push, and maybe 5-10 others, like

Try emaildiscussions, I think you will get informed answers, I used them
when I was trying to find better email.  And I am using Tuffmail on a
trial and Polarismail (domain email) as well as a free Fastmail account.

This is not to diss Gmail, it has a place, however specialty uses, such
as special attention, is not possible.  Very convenient also for those
'throwaway' (temporary) web accounts if you don't want to give out
your normal email.  However on a private account I have been pleased
with their keeping out spam, possibly because of using a long name
that is not advertised.  Another possibility would be for you to check
in your friends or families mail every month or two, if they don't mind.

Steven Avery

I'd recommend Gmail with POP access.

Or DonationCoder accounts. :-D

I have a gmail account and checked the first time for mail about 2 1/2 years after opening, and it still worked.



For that matter, I'm sure any of us here (myself included) with hosted plans would be glad to offer an e-mail address. I have google apps on -- and I'm pretty sure I am the final word on account deletion, there. I have pop3/imap/squirlmail available on a number of other domains as well, with no account deletion going on.


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