How can I retrieve my e-mail when away from home or work?

Tip: If you do not plan on reading your e-mail consider setting up a out of office notification.

EmailIn some situations when you're away from your computer for an extended amount of time you may want to be able to access and read your incoming e-mail. Below are some of the different methods you can get your e-mail when away from your computer.

Retrieving e-mail when away from home.
Retrieving e-mail when away from work or school.

Retrieving e-mail when away from home

Note: All of the below suggestions require Internet access. If you're not going to have Internet access while away, there are different locations where you can go to get Internet access.

E-mail client

If you will be taking a laptop with you on the road you can receive your e-mail on the laptop by configuring the e-mail client on the laptop with your e-mail or ISP e-mail (POP and SMTP) settings.

Tip: If you want to have e-mail on both your laptop and your computer at home, make sure to setup the e-mail client to leave a copy of the message on the server, otherwise all mail you receive is only going to be kept on the laptop.

Web e-mail

Today, many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and e-mail providers offer some form of web e-mail. If available, you can access your e-mail from anywhere you can access the Internet.

To see if this option is available, you need to contact your Internet service provider or visit their web page and look for a personal page or online e-mail section.

Forward e-mail or a copy of the e-mail

Rules can be setup on your computer to forward all messages or only specific e-mails you receive to another e-mail account.

Note: In order for this to work, your home computer would need to remain on during the time you're away.  If your computer happened to turn off or reset, this could cause you to not receive your mail.

Below is a basic example of how this could be done using Microsoft Outlook.

  1. Create an alternative online e-mail address with a service such as Gmail or Hotmail.
  2. Open Microsoft Outlook.
  3. Click Tools, Rules Wizard.
  4. Click the New button.
  5. Setup a rule similar to the below rule:
  • Check Messages when they arrive
  • Where my name is in the To box
  • Forward it to people or distribution list
  • Enter your alternative online e-mail address as the person to forward it to.

Retrieving e-mail when away from work or school

Caution: Before trying any of the below suggestions, keep in mind that some companies prohibit any access to e-mail or other company confidential information from outside your office. Ask your employer first; and while asking, see if they have any solutions already setup that allow you to access mail while not at work.

Note: All of the below suggestions require Internet access. If you're not going to have Internet access while away, there are different locations where you can go to get Internet access.

Web mail

Many businesses and corporations have web mail solutions already setup on their e-mail servers that allow users inside the corporate intranet or on the outside Internet to access their e-mail from anywhere with Internet access.

If your employer offers this solution, logging into your company's home page should allow you access to your e-mail.

Again, you will need to check with your employer to see if this option is available; and if available, the steps required getting access to it.

VPN or Virtual Office

If available at your work, connecting to your work through a VPN or virtual office can allow you to gain access to read and send mail from your work computer.

Forward e-mail

Corporate networks with e-mail servers can setup e-mails to be forwarded to alternative accounts if needed. Contact your network administrator or e-mail administrator to see if this is possible.

Alternatively, your work computer could also be setup to forward e-mails to an alternative e-mail address using that explained in the above home instructions.

Additional information

  • See the e-mail definition for further information and related links.