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Introduction to Hermes webmail

Hermes Webmail allows you to access your email using a web browser, making it is accessible from an Internet-connected system anywhere in the world. It provides a convenient alternative to the use of a dedicated email program.

The current webmail system is based on Roundcube with some local modifications specific to Cambridge. These modifications include password changing, ways to filter your email, use of the Cambridge web style, integration with Lookup (the University online directory). Both this, and the original webmail system, have inline help text.

Various administrative tasks to do with your Hermes account require you to use Webmail, for instance: changing passwords, setting up mail forwarding, central spam filtering or vacation messages. However, for actually reading and sending mail you can choose between using an email program (for example Outlook, Apple Mail, Thunderbird) to read your mail, or using Webmail for everything. You can switch back and forth freely between the two methods; provided your mail program uses IMAP and not POP, which almost all can do, all the same mail folders are available whichever method you use. Note that your personal Webmail addressbook is separate from any personal addressbook you use with an email program, though the University addressbook (Lookup) is available to both.

Advantages of Webmail

  • Can be used from any reasonably modern web browser anywhere in the world;
  • Used in any case for changing passwords, forwarding or filtering mail, or setting up vacation messages;
  • Functions as an IMAP client; that is, mail is kept on Hermes and not downloaded to the local machine. This is the same as most email programs in use in Cambridge, but different from POP mail (as used by most commercial ISPs and available as an alternative with most email programs). IMAP is generally more convenient than POP for users who may not always use the same machine to read their mail.

Disadvantage of Webmail

The main disadvantage is that, in general, it is slower than an email program. If you do not get much email this is not too much of a problem but if you are a heavy email user, you may find that using a dedicated email progam lets you deal with your email more efficiently. If you choose this, then see the pages on Email program settings for Hermes.

Starting up Hermes Webmail

Start up your Web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.) and go to
https://webmail.hermes.cam.ac.uk/

A login page is displayed asking you for your user identifier and UCS password (this means your Hermes password if you still have separate passwords). Fill these in and select Login.

If you still have separate Hermes and Raven passwords you can, if you choose, login using your Raven password. To do this select the Login using Raven link to the right of the Username box.

Once you have logged in you will see the Mail screen, with the messages in your Inbox listed. Help is available by selecting the The ? Help icon Help icon.

The original webmail system remains available at https://old-webmail.hermes.cam.ac.uk and the introductory document for that system is available here.

Last updated: August 2014