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I already have an email address - do I need my Hermes account?

Last updated: August 2013

Most University and College staff, for example Tutors, Directors of Studies and supervisors communicate with their students by email. It is therefore important that you read mail sent to your @cam address (this is your userid@cam.ac.uk, e.g. abx12@cam.ac.uk, address) regularly as this is the address they will use.

You can either read your @cam mail on Hermes, or you can forward it to another address. @cam addresses, delivery options and the public directory has information on how to to do this. If you choose to forward your mail to an address outside Cambridge you should make sure that you are using a service, whether an ISP mailbox or a webmail service such as Hotmail, that provides a reasonable size quota.

Hermes offers some significant advantages over many external systems. These include a default quota on the mailstore of 2 Gbytes. You can use Hermes Webmail, or a mail client that uses IMAP. With these mail is kept on Hermes and not downloaded to the local machine so that if your own system fails you do not lose all your email. In addition the central email scanner protects against two kinds of undesirable message: spam and viruses.

Warning: There may be issues of privacy and/or reliability with external email systems which you should consider. Support staff within the University and Colleges will not be able to help you with email problems if you forward your email outside Cambridge and the problems involve the external systems. University and College administrative and teaching staff are unlikely to be sympathetic to problems arising from such forwarding.

You should also ensure that mail you send to University and College staff is clearly identified as coming from you, whether you are using your Hermes account or another account. It is not reasonable to expect University and College staff, who receive large volumes of mail each day, to be able to find mail from you if only your first name or nickname is shown.