This page provides some basic information about NCF email, how it works and how to configure it.
- 1 Sending and receiving email
- 2 NCF Webmail
- 3 Mail readers (mail clients)
- 4 Customizing SpamFilter
- 5 Zimbra
Sending and receiving email
Email Quick Configuration Info
NCF provides every member with a personal email address. NCF email addresses are simply a member's account ID (eg., 'ab123') followed by '@ncf.ca', for example, 'firstname.lastname@example.org'.
Optionally, you can arrange for an email alias, for example, 'email@example.com'.
Important: If you already have an email address and do not plan to use your NCF email address, be sure to tell us, using Change Preferences at the bottom-right of the StartPage. NCF needs to be able to reach you about your account.
Incoming email for you is stored on NCF's computer until you ask for it. There are two ways to receive email:
- Using NCF WebMail (browser-based)
- All you need to use WebMail is a web browser connected to the internet (eg., home, office, library, internet cafe, anywhere in the world via internet). No set-up is required. You read and send mail from the browser and your mail is stored on an NCF computer. With WebMail, your email stays on the computers at NCF and is backed up there too to protect against loss.
- A disadvantage of using WebMail is that you have to stay connected to the internet while you are reading and composing your email.
- Using an email client (in your personal computer)
- Email client software allows your email to be transferred to your computer and then read there. The size of your mail archive can be as large as your disk.
- A disadvantage is that your mail is only accessible while you are at your own computer.
In the past personal computer-based mail clients were dominant, but in recent years the trend has been away from mail clients and towards server-based webmail, because of the convenience of being able to access the mail from any browser anywhere, even from phones and hand-held devices, as well as automatic back-ups.
Maximum Message Size
The NCF mail system currently allows for messages as large as 20MB to be received. Files sent by email however, are larger in transit as they must be encoded for transport. You may expect the largest size of file you can therefore safely receive to be about 15MB.
If you wish to send larger files, however, there is a better way. There is a new mail system at NCF that is being deployed, called Zimbra. With Zimbra, there is a feature called 'Briefcase', which allows for file storage and sharing. You can upload a file into your Briefcase and then share that file with any number of recipients without any of the limitations inherent in sending messages in encoded email messages.
NCF Webmail allows you to compose, send, receive and manage your email using any browser. It is the easiest way to send and receive email while you are away from home. Your mail stays on the NCF's mail server. To use it all you need is a web browser and connection to the Internet.
You can try WebMail by going to the StartPage and clicking on 'Get your NCF WebMail'. There is nothing to install on your computer.
Up to 200 MB of email can be accumulated and stored in your WebMail Inbox and folders, as of spring 2012. NCF's storage capacity increases regularly as facilities are upgraded.
The NCF Webmail system was upgraded to a new server running the Zimbra mail system. For an overview of the benefits of Zimbra, please visit the Introducing Zimbra page.
Mail readers (mail clients)
Some common current mail readers, all free of charge, are:
If you do not have a mail reader, you can download a copy from free from the developer's website. Once it is installed on your computer, you need to configure it so it knows from where to retrieve/send your email.
- Microsoft Outlook Express is very outdated, has serious security problems, is no longer supported by Microsoft and is not recommended by NCF. See this article for more detail on why you should replace it.
- Microsoft Outlook is commercial software and comes with Microsoft Office.
Setting up a mail reader
Modern mail readers are pretty easy to set up. Typically you just need some of the information in the 'Quick Facts' box above.
For step by step instructions, click on your mail reader below:
Step-by-step instruction for popular mail readers:
- Android Devices (eg. Google Nexus One, Motorola Milestone, or HTC Hero)
- Evolution Mail and Calendar
- iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch
- Mozilla Thunderbird
- Windows Live Mail
Step-by-step instructions for older mail readers, still in use on some systems:
- Apple Mail
- Eudora Mail
- Microsoft Outlook Express
- Mozilla Thunderbird 1.x or 2.x
- Netscape Mail
- Pegasus Mail
I can receive email, but I can't send! (Relay Access Denied)
If your mail account appears to be setup correctly, but you are having trouble sending, it could be that you don't have SSL and authentication enabled.
Step-by-step instructions to update or confirm that your account is correctly configured for SSL and authentication:
Regardless of how you read your mail, you can use NCF's SpamFilter if you have problems with spam.
There is information on that page about how SpamFilter works and Frequently Asked Questions on customizing SpamFilter.
The Zimbra mail system provides many features not previously available at NCF. For a brief rundown of some of those features, visit the Introduction to Zimbra page.
Contact and Calendar Sync
Zimbra provides CalDAV and CardDAV services for 2-way synchronization of Contacts and Calendards. This allows you to benefit from network-accessible calendars viewable in the Zimbra web client while still using your favourite native clients.
Examples of clients that support CalDAV (for calendar sync):
- Mozilla Thunderbird (w/Lightning extension)
- Mozilla Sunbird
- Apple iCal
- Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod
Unfortunately, Microsoft Outlook does not include support for CalDAV. Windows users will need to use a specialized calendar app (eg. Mozilla Sunbird), or consider switching to Mozilla Thunderbird.
Examples of clients that support CardDAV (for contacts sync):
- Mozilla Thunderbird (w/Zindus extension)
- Apple Address Book
- Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod
Generally, the details are as follows.
CardDAV URL: https://firstname.lastname@example.org/Contacts
CalDAV URL: https://email@example.com/Calendar
Note that the final bit of the URL is important, it denotes the name of the Contact or Calendar folder. If you have a Contact folder named "Work", the URL would be:
If you have a Calendar named "Soccer Practice", the URL would be: