Sunday, 7 December 2008


I first heard about www4mail through Kabissa, and thought it was a great idea. Recently I heard about it again from Rick Crust, who hosts www4mail at on his server.

The information below is a sample of what you will find if you click on www4mail at


1. What is www4mail?

www4mail is an email browser for people who have an email address, but no access to the World-Wide Web (WWW) or to FTP. Users include

  • people who live or work in a country that has an under-developed or unreliable telecom infrastructure;
  • students and staff of colleges and universities (anywhere in the world) who do not have reliable access to the WWW

www4mail gives you access to the whole Internet — including search and downloads — through your email. All you need is a standard web browser (for example - Firefox, Internet Explorer or Opera) and an email program (for example - Outlook, Thunderbird, Pegasus).

You use an email program to send requests for web pages to a www4mail server. The server emails you copies of those web pages, optionally modified so that hypertext links may be selected and passed to your email program for further browsing.

www4mail is an open source application — the home page is

2. About www4mail at

Our www4mail server is very similar to others. However, we have added a preliminary filter system which operates on incoming requests. Here are some of our new features:

  • Use of www4mail at is a service for members of the ACCMAIL mailing list (which is not a private list — anyone may join it). We update the access control list every week, so members never have to wait long before they can use the server. Access control is handled by the pre-filter, not by www4mail itself.
  • Note that we also operate a 'denial' control list — a small list of email addresses which have been used to violate our terms of service. Denial control is handled by the pre-filter, not by www4mail itself.
  • We do not respond to requests from email addresses at 'yahoo', '', '', '' or '' (those servers reject so much of our content, it is impossible to use them effectively for www4mail).
  • We have made many other changes to the original source code — most of these edits are transparent to users.
I am grateful to Rick for telling me about www4mail at szs net so that I can pass the information on.

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