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MailMyWeb – Browse Websites via Email

mailmywebThis is a service for people who are blocked from surfing the internet by their organisations, so it will be somewhat controversial but will no doubt be popular among those wanting to surf freely at work. It employs an ingenious method so that users can browse the web via their email client, as email is permitted by most employers. My question would be how secure people will feel about using their email to do this as it’s a deliberate breach of their employment conditions and could be spotted by IT admins. Setting that aside, it could be a useful way of accessing the internet via email in other situations too.

It’s a free service, once you fill in registration details, including the email address you are permitted to use. To start surfing the web it’s quite simple: you send an email to robot@mailmyweb.com with ‘help’ as the subject to get instructions by reply email. After that it’s possible to access any website, including videos and search engines, by sending an email to robot@mailmyweb.com with the URL as the message subject. An email comes very quickly in reply with the webpage in the body of the text. If you click on any of the links they are automatically sent as an email to MailMyWeb and the new page appears in a reply email. For search engines the same method is used, with the URL of the search engine as the subject of the email and the key words included in the text preceded and followed by ###.

Although it looks and feels like surfing the internet it is all actually going through the email client. It’s a little bit more fiddly than straightforward web browsing, but not much, and only a few of the links didn’t work for me – not bad considering it’s still in beta. The links that didn’t work were complex ones, and most straightforward links did work. As it all goes through the email client the result is a long list of emails you have used to access pages, so remember to delete all of these before they get spotted! I’m busy thinking of other ways this can be used to access the internet in places you only have email access, as I’m sure it’s also useful in ways that aren’t job threatening! Leave your ideas in the comments.

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MailMyWeb – Browse Websites via Email
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