(MoneyWatch) How confident are you that your email will always be there when you need it? Have you ever worried about having access to your mail if it's hacked, the servers fail or you just need to migrate everything to a new account? If so, you might want to consider Dropmyemail.
Dropmyemail is a cloud-based email backup service that securely backs up any or all of your email accounts for easy online retrieval. It supports all of the usual webmail services like Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo, as well as POP and IMAP email accounts, and setting it up is simple -- for Gmail, for example, just enter your email and password, and click once to give Dropmyemail permission to access your account. Configuring a POP account is just about as simple, and requires only knowing the name of your incoming (POP) server, which you can find by checking your configuration in Outlook or whatever mail client you use. Your first backup then kicks off immediately.
A simple dashboard lets you see your backed up email and browse or search for messages, which gives you a second way to access your email in the event of a mail catastrophe. A file manager puts all of your attachments at your fingertips as well -- no need to look through messages in search of a particular document. If you're switching to a new email service, you can migrate messages from an old account with a single click -- though you can only migrate from a particular account once.
Of course, all this happens in a browser window. There's no software to install, and no bits are left on your PC. You can access Dropmyemail from any computer or mobile device.
All this comes at a cost, though. The basic service includes 5GB of email backup for $10 per year; you can choose from other plans, such as 10GB for $20 per year or 50GB for $70 per year. (For comparison, I backed up several years worth of Gmail messages and attachments in less than a gigabyte of space, so I suspect most people can easily make do with the lowest tier of service.) You can try Dropmyemail for free for 15 days without handing over a credit card.