Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Find software for web mail interface ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Find software for web mail interface
Category: Computers > Software
Asked by: jamiedolan-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 24 Jan 2004 16:07 PST
Expires: 23 Feb 2004 16:07 PST
Question ID: 299848
Web Mail Interface --

I am looking for software (free -- GPL or Paid) that will offer
services simlar to or's e-mail service.  The
software can run on NT, or UNIX, Unix is perfered.  The software
should basically have the following at a minium:  Completly
customizable web based login, online e-mail checking, automatic
account creation, spam filtering, space limiations, etc, pretty much
everything you find that yahoo is offer in there service.  I would
like a comparison of the features / benefits of the available
solutions, and the cost of the solutions.  Please be as detailed as
possible, and provide links to sites that offer the software.  I am
not necesarly looking for a solution that is hosted somewhere for me,
but if there is something you find that is really exceptional, feel
free to show it to me, but that is not what I am really looking for. 
I would much perfer a unix based script / program that I can run on my
own server that has the features of or, and
support a large number of users.  Please ask if you have any

Request for Question Clarification by shiva777-ga on 24 Jan 2004 20:44 PST
Hello Jamiedolan. It would be helpful to know what your budget range
for this project is.


Clarification of Question by jamiedolan-ga on 24 Jan 2004 21:04 PST
Well.....  I guess at this point I would like to see what the options
are, but lets start out by saying that the cost should be below
10,000$ usd.  Below $2000 would be excellent

Request for Question Clarification by joseleon-ga on 25 Jan 2004 04:46 PST
Hello, jamiedolan:
  Well, the most famouse webmail interface is SquirrelMail:

It's GPL and it has a lot of plugins and with that budget be sure you
can contract someone to modify it to fit your needs.

Tell me if you want more info.


Clarification of Question by jamiedolan-ga on 26 Jan 2004 15:32 PST
Thank you for the information, I believe this squirrel mail will work
for situation.  Thank you for your time in posting this is a comment /
question, I do appreciate it.

Request for Question Clarification by joseleon-ga on 26 Jan 2004 22:51 PST
Hello, jamiedolan:
  Nice it was helpful to you, could I post a full answer to this question?


Clarification of Question by jamiedolan-ga on 27 Jan 2004 10:45 PST
Yes.  If you could also include places that I could host the mail
solution, that would be really helpful.
Subject: Re: Find software for web mail interface
Answered By: joseleon-ga on 28 Jan 2004 11:52 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello, jamiedolan:

  To provide a webmail interface, the best option available is
SquirrelMail, you can find it here:

"What is SquirrelMail?

SquirrelMail is a standards-based webmail package written in PHP4. It
includes built-in pure PHP support for the IMAP and SMTP protocols,
and all pages render in pure HTML 4.0 (with no JavaScript required)
for maximum compatibility across browsers. It has very few
requirements and is very easy to configure and install. SquirrelMail
has all the functionality you would want from an email client,
including strong MIME support, address books, and folder

Here you have some screenshots of the working tool:


Many of the features you request are implemented out-of-the-box but
SquirrelMail supports plugins which allows you to add more
functionality and in any case, the code is GPL, so you can hire a
developer to customize it to fit your needs.

SquirrelMail Features


To find a developer to customize it, you can look here

To host squirrelmail, any PHP webserver is valid, check out the requeriments here:


In any case, here are some hosting companies that provide squirrelmail
as an option or built-in:


But you don't need to be constrained to a hosting company that offers
squirrelmail, in fact most hosting companies supporting PHP will be
able to run it.

I hope this is the information you were looking for, in any case,
please, don't hesitate to request for a clarification.


Request for Answer Clarification by jamiedolan-ga on 28 Jan 2004 15:48 PST

I understand that I can run squirrel on and host that support php,
however, do I need to have a e-mail account on the system for every
account I have in squirrel mail?  I would assume I do.  Do you know of
any hosts that can do this costeffectivle for a large number of e-mail


Clarification of Answer by joseleon-ga on 29 Jan 2004 07:50 PST
Hello, jamiedolan:
  Yes, you are right, squirrel mail is just an interface to a mail
server, in the same way a normal e-mail client is, that is, it's not a
server itself, so you need to add mail accounts to your server to be
accessed by squirrel mail. For what you say, you are planning a big
project in which you will give away many e-mail addresses, so I
suggest you the following:
-Contract a dedicated server, is a machine you can do whatever you
need and there are no constraints imposed by the host, just traffic
and disk space.

-If you can, setup an stable debian distro, is the most easy option to
configure for novice users

-If you are novice to linux, contract a managed dedicated hosting, is
a machine you can do whatever you need, but they manage all setup

-If you plan to give your users a mail account which can be read using
a normal e-mail client (i.e. Outlook) and also using the webmail
interface, I suggest you to use an IMAP server, instead a POP one.
This way, your users will have synchronized both clients, but the
e-mails will be stored on the machine, so prepare a big hard disk.

I can recommend you:


Just tell me what do you think and don't hesitate to request for any clarification.


Request for Answer Clarification by jamiedolan-ga on 02 Feb 2004 15:25 PST
One last question.  Do you have any idea how I can estimate the
monthly usage in terms of bandwidth, it seems that almost everyone
offers X amount of bandwidth, the one you showed me seems very
inexpensive, and genourous offering 200 gig's.  I am just wondering if
you can find a ratio anywhere that show how much bandwidth you should
plan per 1000 user accounts.

Clarification of Answer by joseleon-ga on 03 Feb 2004 07:35 PST
Hello, jamiedolan:
  The transfer is very hard to calculate, because it depends on how
much traffic is going to cause a single user, for example:
-Do you have downloadable files on your site?
-Do you stream video or music?

Then, if you are just going to offer webmail:
-Do you allow files attachment?
-Do you limit the size of those attachments?

Having all these answers, you can make up a very roughly stimate of
how much a normal user will consume, and then, you can multiply this
value by 30 days and by 1000 users.

But in any case, this information may not be real, it depends on a lot
of factors you cannot control.

I hope it helps!


Request for Answer Clarification by jamiedolan-ga on 15 Feb 2004 14:42 PST
I am not too concerned about the traffic on the mail part of thesite. 
There seem to be plent of reasonably priced web hosts that will offer
virtually unlimited traffic for just html and graphics, however, when
you get to runing the scritps and such, it seems that everyone is much
more sensitive, due to the processer power it can consume.  Dir you
run across any stats regarding usage of just web mail when it is
offered on a fre site like yahoo?

Clarification of Answer by joseleon-ga on 16 Feb 2004 05:37 PST
Hello, jamiedolan:
  Unfortunately, it's also very hard calculate how much resources a
PHP application needs, because it also depends on a lot of factors,
but in any case, in a PHP application which doesn't perform many
background processes (like SquirrelMail) is more important the RAM of
the server, because apache eats a lot for each instance it spawns.

In short, the answer to your question is:

-Setup a basic system
-Upgrade as you need

Or if you want to avoid some upgrades, just rent the higher system you
can pay, the bigger the system, the best will perform.

Maybe you think is a dumb solution, I have heard of systems to test
webservers in stress conditions, but according to my experience, the
best you can do is to upgrade when you need it.

A starter configuration can be:
Pentium 4 2.4 GHz
512 MB RAM
80 GB HD

And change to a dual processor when you think the site goes slow.

jamiedolan-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Find software for web mail interface
From: friendlyfolk-ga on 25 Jan 2004 20:31 PST
Have you tried to search
Great resource for developers.
Just a friendly comment.
Good luck

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy