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Fastmail logo since June 2019
The inbox in Fastmail's web client
Type of site
Webmail, POP3, IMAP4
Available in36 languages
OwnerFastmail Pty Ltd
Launched1999; 25 years ago (1999)
Current statusOnline

Fastmail is an email hosting company based in Melbourne, Australia.[1] In addition to its Fastmail-branded services, the company also operates Topicbox, a mailing list service, and Pobox, an email service it acquired in 2015.[2]

The company was acquired by Opera Software in 2010 but became independent again in 2013 through a staff buyout.[3] Its servers are located in Bridgewater, New Jersey and Seattle, Washington.[4]


FastMail old logo before June 2019

Fastmail was founded in 1999 by Rob Mueller, Bruce Davey, and Jeremy Howard, to provide email service for customers of the Optimal Decisions Group.

The provider's sole product line is email services (and included accessories), but it was owned by Opera Software (best known for its web browser) from 2010 to 2013.[5][6][7][8] Through a staff buyout, the company became fully independent again.[9]

On 18 October 2012 Fastmail announced that new signups for the free service level had been discontinued.[10] Existing free Fastmail accounts would not be discontinued, but if a free account was deactivated because it was not logged into in over 120 days, it would not be reactivated. The company stated that they had decided to focus Fastmail as a "premium brand" with only paid accounts.

When first established, the service was intended to differentiate itself through providing features that were not yet available from other market players. Early on, this included the ease and speed of email transport and access, personalities and IMAP[11] and SSL[12] support, and an independent public forum[13] and wiki among user support options. Over the years, these features became commonplace, but features such as WebDAV, secure LDAP, opportunistic inter-server encryption, reliability via minimization of single points of failure, and customizable filtering via Sieve are current differentiators.

In 2003, mail servers were moved under the domain name messagingengine.com.[14]

On 23 October 2014, Fastmail moved their primary domain from fastmail.fm to fastmail.com.[15]

All existing "guest" and "one-time payment" member email accounts were discontinued on 31 July 2017 as Fastmail transitioned into a subscription-only email service.[16] Existing users were given the option to subscribe to Fastmail with a discount or to request a refund of their one-time payment.[17]

As of December 2018, Fastmail and all other Australian companies are subject to the Assistance and Access Bill, which compels them to assist law enforcement in accessing encrypted communications if warranted during an investigation. Fastmail stated that while their services were not "materially affected" since they already complied with warrants per the Telecommunications Act, concerns have been shown by customers over the bill's effects.[18][19]

On 24 June 2019, Fastmail launched refreshed look, with a new logo, app icon, colors, and website. The logo now reads "Fastmail" instead of "FastMail".[20]



Fastmail offers multiple domains (all but one of them starting with "Fastmail", and then different top-level domains) which users can choose from, while also allowing customers to use their own domain.[21] Users are also able to create calendars and notes in the web mail environment and sync them over the IMAP and CalDav protocols.[22][23]



The site developers are among active contributors to the widely used Cyrus IMAP open source software project[24] and include the lead developer and maintainer of Perl module Mail::IMAPTalk.[25] Fastmail supported the development of the free software webmail interface Roundcube[26] and developed JMAP – a new open email protocol.[27]

YubiKey inserted into a USB port

Fastmail also provides for two-factor login using a YubiKey. While associating one or more YubiKeys with a Fastmail account will not prevent normal logins, it allowed for logging on to an email account with just a YubiKey and its auto-generated one-time passwords, making it suitable for accessing email on public machines. The YubiKey-only login feature was discontinued in July 2016, as it was rarely used, according to the Fastmail team.[28]

The email service also supports the U2F and the TOTP protocol as a secondary sign-in factor, allowing users to sign in with their password and a security token as an extra security feature.

See also



  1. ^ Wright, Charles (7 October 2002). "FastMail reinvents a slicker, quicker wheel". The Age. Melbourne. Archived from the original on 24 February 2008. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  2. ^ Horstmall-Allen, Helen (3 November 2015). "Exciting News about Pobox and FastMail". Pobox. Archived from the original on 3 October 2022. Retrieved 30 September 2022.
  3. ^ "FastMail became a privately held independent company". CEOWORLD Magazine. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  4. ^ "How Fastmail provides a secure service". Fastmail Help & Support. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  5. ^ "Opera targets mobile with email acquisition". The Register. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
  6. ^ "Opera Software purchases Melbourne-based email provider". Arnnet.com.au. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
  7. ^ "Opera acquires Fastmail.fm". Opera.com. 30 April 2010. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  8. ^ "FastMail.FM has been acquired by Opera Software". Blog.fastmail.com. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  9. ^ "Exciting news: FastMail staff purchase the business from Opera". Blog.fastmail.com. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Changes to FastMail service levels". Blog.fastmail.com. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  11. ^ Wright, Charles (17 October 2002). "The host with the most". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 September 2010.
  12. ^ Fleishman, Glenn (2005). Take Control of Your AirPort Network. TidBITS Publishing, Incorporated. p. 106. ISBN 9780975950357. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  13. ^ "Welcome to the Fastmail.FM General Discussions Forum".
  14. ^ Jeremy Howard (8 February 2003). "mail.messagingengine.com". Archived from the original on 6 October 2022. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  15. ^ "FastMail has moved to fastmail.com, @fastmail.com email addresses now available". Blog.fastmail.com. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  16. ^ "Guest and Member subscriptions being discontinued". emaildiscussions.com. 17 January 2017. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  17. ^ "EmailDiscussions.com - View Single Post - Guest and Member subscriptions being discontinued". www.emaildiscussions.com. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  18. ^ "FastMail loses customers, faces calls to move over anti-encryption laws". iTnews. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  19. ^ "Australia passes encryption-breaking laws". BBC News. 7 December 2018. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  20. ^ "A new look, logo, and website for Fastmail". Fastmail Blog. Archived from the original on 25 June 2019. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  21. ^ "Fastmail". app.fastmail.com. Retrieved 25 December 2022.
  22. ^ "Dec 24: Note to self — IMAP notes are go!". FastMail Blog. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  23. ^ "Announcing the FastMail Calendar". FastMail Blog. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  24. ^ "Emailserviceguide.com". Emailserviceguide.com. Archived from the original on 1 July 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  25. ^ Blank-Edelman, David N. (2009). Automating system administration with Perl. "O'Reilly Media, Inc.". p. 288. ISBN 978-0-596-00639-6.
  26. ^ "FastMail supports Roundcube Next development". Fastmail blog. 5 June 2015. Archived from the original on 23 May 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  27. ^ "JSON Meta Application Protocol Specification (JMAP)". Jmap.io. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  28. ^ "Two-step verification and other new security features". FastMail Blog. Retrieved 21 October 2016.