Yandex.Mail Review: The Good and Bad - Free Email Service


Yandex. Yandex

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The Bottom Line

Yandex.Mail offers a full, rich and usable email experience with powerful web access, mobile apps, POP as well as IMAP access and unlimited storage.
Functions such as message templates, reminders, e-cards and keyboard shortcuts help handle mail with efficiency and fun in Yandex.Mail; still, its rules could be more versatile, text snippets would support templates, and Yandex.Mail could function as a full we-based IMAP client.


  • Yandex.Mail lets you schedule mail, get reminders if you receive no reply
  • Online storage is unlimited, and POP as well as IMAP allow for flexible access to Yandex.Mail
  • Yandex.Mail makes it very easy to find related emails by thread and contact


  • Yandex.Mail cannot access IMAP accounts like a desktop email program
  • Yandex.Mail lacks filters and text snippets that learn by example


  • Yandex.Mail offers free email with unlimited online storage (starting at 10 GB and increasing in 1 GB steps as needed).
  • Offering both POP and IMAP access, Yandex.Mail accounts can be set up conveniently in desktop and mobile email program (as well as in other email services).
  • Yandex.Mail includes an RSS news feed reader; the RSS feed reader operates separately from email, though, and does not treat news items like messages.
  • Yandex.Mail is accessible via secure SSL/TLS connections and keeps a log of activity you can check for spurious use. You can log out remote clients from the web interface.
  • Various themes make Yandex.Mail a colorful and lively affair.
  • Yandex.Mail can fetch mail from POP and IMAP email accounts, and you can send messages using these accounts' addresses from the Yandex.Mail web interface.
  • A built-in translator helps you read and send mail in languages you barely speak and write.
  • Integration with Yandex.Disk lets you send bigger files without having emails grow too big. Files received in several common document formats (including PDF, Doc, XLS, PPT and RTF) can be viewed right in Yandex.Mail.
  • You can have Yandex.Mail remind you about messages to which you have not received a timely reply (within 5 days).
  • Yandex.Mail can request standard DSN delivery notifications for messages you send. (Do keep in mind these are often not honored and do not go beyond a note that your message—probably—has been placed in the recipient's inbox.)
  • Keyboard shortcuts help operate Yandex.Mail with efficiency and speed.
  • Using filters, you can set up Yandex.Mail to perform tasks automatically, such as deleting certain mail, forwarding it to another address, sending automatic replies (say, while you are on vacation) or file in a Yandex.Mail folder.
  • Yandex.Mail lets you save messages as templates for easy re-use.
  • You can also schedule messages to be delivered automatically by Yandex.Mail at a later date and time.
  • E-Cards built right into Yandex.Mail make sending rich invitations, wishes and everyday greetings an easy thing to do.
  • Yandex.Mail finds emails fast with free-form search; you can narrow results by folder, status, label, field (such as sender or subject) and date.
  • Labels and folders—with each email in one folder but possibly carrying many a label—let you organize messages in any way that suits you.
  • You can focus any folder on messages exchanged in just a certain month fast.
  • Yandex.Mail finds and makes easily accessible for each message's sender previous messages exchanged, attachments received and links shared by them as well as messages in the current thread (no matter the sender).
  • A spam and virus filter (Dr.Web) classifies and moves out of your Yandex.Mail inbox's way junk as well as virus-laden and phishing emails. You can use custom black and white lists of senders, too.
  • A simple task manager built into Yandex.Mail lets you keep a to-do list (with due dates) right at hand.
  • Yandex.Mail is available in a version that uses but simple HTML, which may perform better with certain browsers and internet connections.

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When a search engine's company creates an email service, you can expect plenty of storage, universal access, labels and solid search options. What is true for Google and Gmail also applies to Yandex and Yandex.Mail.

Yandex.Mail Offers Online Storage Aplenty

A Yandex.Mail account starts at 10 GB and grows as its usage increases. You should never run out of space, even though you may start with your email archive filled well already: Yandex.Mail offers to not only to collect new messages from your existing accounts (both POP and IMAP) but can import your old mail, too.

Finding and Organizing Mail in Yandex.Mail

The more messages stored, the easier it may be for email search to return something, but the harder it becomes to spot just the right email. Yandex.Mail fares reasonably well.

Its simple search field yields typically useful results fast, and results can be narrowed by certain criteria (such as sender or date). More control and more search operators as well as regular expression search may be useful at times, though.

If you do not want to rely on search, especially to find groups of emails, Yandex.Mail offers both folders and labels. While each message is always only in one folder, you can assign labels freely to group the in any configuration that makes sense. Via IMAP, only folders are available; the mobile Yandex.Mail apps offer access to labels as well as folders, though.

Using filters, you can have Yandex.Mail perform certain actions automatically: file, flag and delete among the essentials; forwarding to another address and replying with an automatic answer among the more intricate.

Still, more filter criteria and actions could be useful.

Of course, you can set up a filters that forward all mail you receive or send a vacation auto-reply to everyone (or, for example, one for people at your company and one for all others).

Writing and Sending Email in Yandex.Mail

Most messages you organize will likely be received; chances are, you write some as well, though.

Here, Yandex.Mail gets particularly helpful and a tad creative even.

You can, of course, compose both new emails and replies using both plain text and rich formatting. For perhaps even richer messages (and much faster a way to compose them). Yandex.Mail includes e-cards right with normal email composition. To, let us hope, ease conversation in languages you do not write, Yandex.Mail includes an electronic translator that lets you compose in a tongue you know and have the text replaced with a translation.

If you believe you may send an email—or one very similar—again later, Yandex.Mail offers to save it as a template. Templates are easily employed for new emails; unfortunately, replacing all text in a message, they are less useful for replies. Variables and the addition of text snippets could probably help.

Writing of utility, Yandex.Mail comes with a simple yet very handy function: when you send an email, you can tell Yandex.Mail to watch for replies to it; if five days pass without an answer, you will be reminded to follow up if necessary. (Yandex.Mail can also engage DSN, an early internet standard, for delivery notifications; note that these are unreliable, however, and do not really indicate a message has been read, merely delivered.)

Writing a reply immediately but don't want to establish too strenuous expectations for future answers? Want to make sure a birthday email arrives just in time? Yandex.Mail lets you schedule emails for later in very convenient a manner (up to a little less than one year in advance).

Attachment Handling and Large File Sending in Yandex.Mail

Email is not all e-cards and text, of course; it is also for sharing documents, pictures and other files. Yandex.Mail lets you attach any file conventionally, of course (up to 22 MB individually and 30 MB in toto per email); you can also very easily insert a link to a file you've put on your Yandex.Disk, however, which raises that limit to 2 GB per file.

For attachments you receive, Yandex.Mail offers a convenient document viewer that displays Office documents as well as PDF files in your browser—and lets you save them to your Yandex.Disk, too. Oddly, Yandex.Mail itself does not provide a shortcut to do that saving. You can, however, download all an email's attached fils zipped into one (in addition to saving individual documents, of course).

Security and Spam Filtering

Yandex.Mail scans all incoming mail for both spam, phishing and malware. The filtering is reasonably accurate but a tad overzealous in my tests; reporting both spam and good mail is easy.

Unfortunately, Yandex.Mail does not offer two-factor authentication for enhanced security. A strong password will be key.

A detailed activity log, thankfully, makes it possible and easy even to detect suspicious access. Whether Yandex.Mail does try to catch such access automatically, I do not know.

(Updated June 2014)

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