Companies offer mail servers in the form of Email Services to individuals & businesses alike for affordable rates or even free of cost. These services are not just limited to personal or business use, they are also used for email marketing services.
Some major names in the game could be spelled out as Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook or ProtonMail if you’re too adventurous.
But, in this review, we decided to cover something that has been around for very long but maintained its core intact from any degrading changes:
Rediffmail is an email service from Rediff.com, a news portal that covers current affairs to sports & entertainment.
Rediffmail has a userbase mainly comprising of India while also having some users in the United States & Japan as well.
Is it worth signing up today, when conglomerates like Gmail & Outlook are crushing any competition furiously?
Well, we gave it a test ride to help you decide…
Pricing & Features
Rediffmail offers services in 3 main variants:
- Standard Plan
- Standard Plan 2 or ‘Most Popular’
- Advanced Plan
- Enterprise Plan
Beginning with the Standard Plan, Rediffmail offers a custom domain name, a Webmail client & a mobile app at ₹270/ ID per year.
Also, 1 Gb of storage & Spam/Virus protection. Although anyone would expect these features to be standard and available for free; they come under with a custom domain.
Not too jarring to consider but, the ‘Most Popular’ or Standard 2 plan comes with the same features as the Standard but except for extra storage of 10 GB.
The extra storage could come in handy, in certain cases like bulk data transmission or cloud storage. Rest is the same features, Rediffmail hails this plan as its Most Popular.
Moving on, the Advanced tier offers more expansive features than the Standard plans.
Starting with 10 GB of Storage, Spam/Virus protection & Custom login page and Branding with cloud storage & DMARC, we felt that this is a more premium service to subscribe to.
The Administrator Module offers an intuitive database to manage tasks like managing user inboxes, MIS reports, newsletters, group email id & much more.
The User Interface Module offers flexibility for mail management from any device with synchronization of data using secure IMAP/POP3 settings.
Core features could be summed up as great customization, security, collaboration tools for word processing and spreadsheets, optimum uptime & customer support for any complaints/queries.
Lastly coming into the enterprise plans, there isn’t really a specific page to go to, in case you would be interested in checking these out.
We stumbled on their enterprise page which asked for a name & email for any further discussion.
After giving them an email, they replied with a response requiring additional details to proceed with.
What seems like an automated response from the website, asks for essential queries to determine a custom plan to be made for our purpose.
Hence, it’s hard to determine the features & prices of the enterprise tier without gathering certain parameters.
Ease of Use
To start off with, we signed up for a free email account, which is, of course, a standard for every email service to include.
The signup page is a very classic looking, barebones, ‘enter alternate email’ kind of deal.
While most services ask for your email or phone number with maybe a captcha here or there & let you in. Rediffmail goes the entire way up to selecting the country and a city with standard birth & gender details.
And, if you tick the ‘Click if you don’t have an alternate ID’, the option to set a security question becomes available.
Although old but proven security measures to resolve lockouts in case if you forget your password or ID.
Fortunately, we have plenty of Password Managers to help you prevent this kind of tomfoolery.
After signing up successfully, you finally get to meet the UI, which is again, very basic but not too complex or uninviting.
Whereas most email services include more colors, bells & whistles to the UI. Rediffmail takes a more conservative approach to email, keeping a lot of colors mute & icons functional.
Rediffmail excludes the makings of a modern email UI due to its stark focus on productivity rather than temporary engagement. So, you can get to work without being distracted.
Turns out, Rediffmail just might not be as boring as you may think.
If you head on over to the settings button, click on the General tab and then click themes…
A total of 18 colorful themes are available at your disposal, like a beach theme, space theme, spring, village side, X’mas & much more. Probably not as boring now, right?
Clicking on the first option ‘Write Email’, opens up a tab right next to the inbox, where you can get to typing right away.
Additional options like Cc, Bcc, file attachment, address book are available along with text editing tools.
The sidebar is always open from the left side, containing standard options for navigation & management.
Thus, Rediffmail relies on the traditional values of an email service. It treats you with a lot more practicality rather than any visual charm.
Millions of emails are sent, received, read or replied every single day. If security isn’t one of your main concerns while considering an email service, you could get under a spam or phishing attack.
Rediffmail has erected more than a few security measures to combat any harmful activity that may occur on their platform:
- Protocols like Advanced Threat Protection & Data Leak Prevention secure your data from specific malware & hacker based attacks that target sensitive data.
- Machine learning could be regarded as the modern equivalent of Alan Turing’s German Enigma code. In simpler terms, AI uses a very complex range of patterns to automatically learn & diagnose problems.
- Rediffmail implies total compliance with all & every company regulations regarding password/email protection, active email monitoring or apply restrictions over certain aspects.
In addition to the above mentioned basic measures, Rediffmail also has a few advanced protection protocols:
- Sender Policy Framework (SPF)
SPF basically, is an email authentication method that detects fake sender addresses when an email is received.
SPF is used in tandem with DMARC to detect the forging of the visible sender in emails which are commonly used for spamming/phishing attacks.
SPF verifies the fact if the sender’s domain IP address was verified by that domain’s administrator or not.
- DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Message)
DKIM is an authorization technique. It verifies if the email received was actually authored by the owner, by checking the digital signature.
DKIM signature & authentication takes place on the server level, so the user never interacts with this method.
DKIM, in practice, defends the user from malicious emails. These emails could be viruses, spam, automated bot programs or phishing attacks to search & steal your personal data.
- Spear Phishing-Guard
Not as fun as it might sound, Spear Phishing is a cyberattack with the main goal of stealing a user’s sensitive credentials in order to manipulate or blackmail a person into extortion.
The attacker could send an email, appearing to be harmless or innocent to fool the user into letting down any guards or suspicions.
Rediffmail incorporates Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning. These help in detecting any spear-phishing attempts in its initial stages to prevent any hint of trouble.
To solve any customer related queries on their website, they offer an FAQ section on Rediff.com. To resolve any popular questions that you may have about the service, which looks, yup, you guessed it… FUNCTIONAL.
Rediffmail has a strange infatuation with this barebones UI, not that they are horrible or anything, BUT come on! At least some styling can’t hurt. Or probably, after years of being nurtured with great UIs, Rediffmail just sticks out like a sore thumb.
As you might see on the left side under customer care. You see options regarding different sections of the website to resolve any issues occurring inside that section.
The questions contain sub-questions to further understand your query in detail. Upon clicking a question, you get redirected to the answer.
The answers are intuitive & easy to grasp to make sure the reader understands just enough to resolve their issue conveniently.
Apart from the FAQ section, Rediffmail offers a fully functioning customer support but only through email.
Things on their Live Chat Support side aren’t really that great.
The live chat client is just an automated chatbot with preset responses available to choose from.
Kinda sucks that they didn’t include a live representative/executive to talk to & typing into the message box makes no difference. It just gives the same typical response.
Selecting an option, it starts to ask for your name, email ID & phone number.
If you try & input some random numbers i.e. not actual phone numbers, it doesn’t object or verify for validation. Instead, it asks further preset questions.
We tried to raise a query for the number of emails that Rediffmail allows us to send out in a day.
It was just a general query that we raised “before” creating an account. But, you see there falls a barrier in communication with a chatbot.
Hence, Live Chat Support isn’t all that great. With automated responses & preset sentences, this might as well be Rediffmail’s weakest selling point.
- Simple UI which doesn’t overwhelm the user. Also including themes to not completely isolate the experience, without sacrificing productivity.
- Premium service charges are reasonable & affordable with great added benefits like Collaboration Tools & Data Localization.
- Plain but effective security measures with the inclusion of the Two-Factor Authentication, a more modern method of verification.
- Ease of Use that would habituate beginners & veterans alike
- Intuitive FAQ section to resolve any bumps along the road, providing precise answers to a multitude of questions.
- Mobile client for easy on-the-go access to your email database at any time as a free service.
- Archaic UI might scare new users away, who are too used to a more engaging UI with more customizations.
- Live Chat Support isn’t all that great with the website chat client being an automated response bot.
- The trash email limit cannot exceed 20MB.
- Deleted Mails are removed forever after 24 hours. If you accidentally deleted something & then forgot, odds are – it’s gone.
Rediffmail can be regarded as ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ kind of service, hence, explaining its archaic but functional-looking interface.
But beyond all its limitations & quirks, is it still worth using today when the above-mentioned competition that’s being crushed?
In 3 words:
Sure, why not.
It depends on what you might be looking for.
If simplicity & rigid security is your utmost priority, you can’t go wrong with Rediffmail.
If you feel like most email clients & services treat you like a toddler. Holding your finger through every step you take, Rediffmail would surely let you run.
It shouts professional while also having the backbone of most modern email services.
Hence, personal or professional, Rediffmail is still relevant today & surely for a long time to come.