Does Gmail Really Have IMAP?

Edit: Gmail now has IMAP officially

Free IMAP

Sync your inbox across devices instantly and automatically. Whether you read or write your email on your phone or on your desktop, changes you make to Gmail will be seen from anywhere you access your inbox. Don’t fret if you don’t see “IMAP Access” yet under the Settings menu. We’re rolling it out to everyone over the next few days.

Check it out here: http://mail.google.com/mail/help/about_whatsnew.html


In some experimenting I found out that Gmail has a valid IMAP server… it looks like it is testing IMAP at “imap.gmail.com.” I did a ping and got a positive response:

 

PING gmail-imap.l.google.com (66.249.93.109): 56 data bytes
64 bytes from 66.249.93.109: icmp_seq=0 ttl=236 time=163.492 ms

Then i did a trace:

traceroute imap.gmail.com
traceroute: Warning: imap.gmail.com has multiple addresses; using 66.249.93.109
traceroute to gmail-imap.l.google.com (66.249.93.109), 64 hops max, 40 byte packets
1 unknown (192.168.1.1) 3.679 ms 1.012 ms 0.978 ms
2 <host hidden>.sasknet.sk.ca (216.197.140.2) 6.944 ms 6.726 ms 6.939 ms
3 207-47-190-197.ngai.static.sasknet.sk.ca (207.47.190.197) 12.771 ms 12.252 ms 12.243 ms
4 142.165.60.154 (142.165.60.154) 12.645 ms 12.626 ms 12.720 ms
5 142.165.60.38 (142.165.60.38) 40.396 ms 40.602 ms 40.104 ms
6 iar1-so-2-3-0.toronto.savvis.net (208.175.169.21) 40.928 ms 41.865 ms 40.698 ms
7 bcr1-as0-0.toronto.savvis.net (208.175.171.129) 42.430 ms 41.795 ms 41.754 ms
8 bcs2-so-1-3-0.newyork.savvis.net (204.70.1.22) 310.864 ms * 58.825 ms
9 204.70.197.9 (204.70.197.9) 52.272 ms 52.199 ms 54.989 ms
10 204.70.151.178 (204.70.151.178) 56.115 ms 56.312 ms 57.144 ms
11 72.14.236.217 (72.14.236.217) 167.140 ms 149.810 ms 72.14.236.213 (72.14.236.213) 56.937 ms
12 72.14.233.63 (72.14.233.63) 162.681 ms 161.908 ms 64.233.175.212 (64.233.175.212) 157.596 ms
13 64.233.175.246 (64.233.175.246) 163.118 ms 163.076 ms 209.85.248.80 (209.85.248.80) 156.781 ms
14 72.14.233.81 (72.14.233.81) 162.021 ms 161.545 ms 209.85.248.79 (209.85.248.79) 161.254 ms
15 216.239.47.229 (216.239.47.229) 173.826 ms 165.123 ms 175.817 ms
16 ug-in-f109.google.com (66.249.93.109) 163.796 ms 72.14.233.83 (72.14.233.83) 161.558 ms ug-in-f109.google.com (66.249.93.109) 164.256 ms

For the fun of it I set Apple Mail to connect to “imap.gmail.com” and got this:

“The server error encountered was: IMAP is not available for your account. (Failure)” 

Hmm… “The server error encountered was: IMAP is not available for your account. (Failure)” Sounds like it’s another Trusted Tester program or part of the next planned Gmail update.

I hope this gets implemented for the average user… it would simplify multi-computer use with Gmal and email clients.

  • Do you really need to know

    imap.google.com seems to be part of enterprise email services.

  • Do you really need to know

    imap.google.com seems to be part of enterprise email services.

  • Hey Chris-

    FWIW, IMAP showed up in my (normal/non-enterprise, etc) GMail account about an hour ago (logged out then logged back in)… it’s working great in Outlook for me now!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/samharrelson/1719807541/

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  • Hey Chris-

    FWIW, IMAP showed up in my (normal/non-enterprise, etc) GMail account about an hour ago (logged out then logged back in)… it's working great in Outlook for me now!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/samharrelson/17198

  • bob

    It was working for me for a while, then it started giving me the same error as it is giving you.

  • It was working on 2 of my accounts for a while too….

  • bob

    It was working for me for a while, then it started giving me the same error as it is giving you.

  • It was working on 2 of my accounts for a while too….

  • It’s appearing on various accounts now. I guess it’s being rolled out over time to distribute the load from so many people downloading years’ worth of email at one go.

  • It's appearing on various accounts now. I guess it's being rolled out over time to distribute the load from so many people downloading years' worth of email at one go.