GMX: Better Than Yahoo! Mail, GMail?

From GMX, a division of United Internet Group, comes a new email service fresh out of beta, which promises to be ‘advanced’, ‘savvy’ and ‘different’, and apparently defies corporate logic by claiming a no ads policy.


Let’s take a look at GMX Mail, its features and caveats.

GMX, with an interface similar to Yahoo! Mail, makes it very easy to import other email accounts and contacts – the wizard only asks for the email address and the password, everything else is automatically configured behind the scenes for you.


There’s nothing exceptional about GMX; Yes, it integrates iGoogle gadgets into the frontpage – Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and more – but do you really want that in your email application? Personally, I prefer simplicity, and the option to disable these add-ons if I don’t require them.

Although I missed the Gmail labels and the ‘conversation view’, I’d switch in a minute from an Yahoo! Mail account.

The usual suspects – an Address Book and an Organizer  – are also present. The File Storage section gives you 1GB of free space, without the possibility to upgrade. Share high-resolution photos with a couple of friends and you’ll risk running out of bandwidth, at just 1 GB/month.

You can use GMX as a proxy to get POP3/IMAP access from your Yahoo! Mail accounts – without paying the premium subscription. Import your account into GMX then set it up in Outlook, Thunderbird or any other email client.

Signing up for GMX now gives you the chance to have a short and personalized email address like “”.


If it doesn’t impress you with its features or interface, will surely impress you with the fact that they don’t show ads. Yes, that blew my mind too. If you’re tired of those annoying credit score banners in Yahoo! Mail or the Adwords in GMail, be prepared to meet GMX.

Here’s an excerpt from an email conversation with Olivia Hine from Groshelle:

Q: I’ve been looking at GMX and it struck me that this service does not have a business model. No ads and no subscription fees? How is this possible?

A: […]UIG was founded in 1988 and has a market cap of $5 Billion US, 4,000 employees in the US, Europe and Asia.  The company has the largest global web hosting service, supports over 10 million domains, and has 50K hosted servers.  They already have a rate of over 5 billion emails a month through their service.[…]

A classic bait and switch, we don’t receive a clear answer regarding the question and instead we get some facts about the company – which, admittedly, is quite large. Pushing the envelope, I tried to bait and switch myself, giving an improbable reason for this no ads policy hoping to get a clear answer.

Q: And still, why would a corporation willingly choose not to monetize a service? My conspiracy mind would suggest a data mining scheme.

A: That is not the case, especially because follows German privacy laws. Data of any kind is simply not available to anyone for any reason. is a service that the company is offering, just as Google is offering Gmail.

Why would GMX, apparently defy logic, and remove any kind of ads from its service? It wants to attract users that need an incentive to switch from their current provider. After they reach a magical number of users, say 1 million, they flip the switch and start making money. At least that’s how I see things – this is not confirmed by GMX.

3 thoughts on “GMX: Better Than Yahoo! Mail, GMail?”

  1. Thanks for your review and for pointing out a question that we are sure others are interested in learning the answer to. Advertisements. Because we want GMX Mail to remain a free service, GMX is not completely ad-free.

    What we guarantee is that we do not and will never scan your messages for ad placement. “At GMX, we treat emails just like sealed letters, and so we will never scan private e-mail content in this way,” says Eva Heil, GMX's Managing Director.

    And to keep GMX Mail as ad-free as possible, we've decided to place ads from our sponsors on the logout page where they do not interfere directly with your use of GMX Mail. This is only place in GMX where you find our sponsor's ads today.

  2. Thank you, heidgro, for your response. I hope you will pardon me for being a liitle skeptical. But I remember a once-free e-mail service called NetAddress or Net@ddress. It was one of the best free e-mail services in the world, at one time. You had the option of using your account as a web-based e-mail account, or as a POP/SMTP account, or as a mail-forwarding service. And when I signed up for my Net@ddress account, they promised me that it would be "free for life". Then, all of a sudden, when I least expected it, the "flipped the switch" and told their users that they would have to either start paying a monthly fee for the service, or they would lose their accounts. I can't help but wonder, is GMX goint to do the same thing?

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