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Palm Connectivity - Getting online with a Palm device

The following article was originally written by one of the FileSaveAs team for the handheld computing magazine PalmUser in 2001. We'd like to thank Palmtop User for allowing us to publish this on our site.

This article discusses setting up a Palm PDA for connecting to the Internet, and is now slightly out-of-date. We're publishing as-is, in case it's of use to web users..

Before reading: See our page on Palm Connecting for a more up-to-date guide

If you haven't already done it, connecting to the Internet with your Palm probably seems like a daunting task, maybe even the most daunting task you'll ever try with your Palm. Although it can all seem a little scary, it's easier than you may think, and it's actually very rewarding too.

With an Internet connection from your Palm, you'll be able to log on when on the move, which opens up a whole host of possibilities:

  • Collect your home and work email on the move.
  • Surf for snippets of information wherever you are.
  • Send messages and files to friends or colleagues.
  • Check in with the office during breaks between meetings.
  • Talk to other users with similar interests and exchange news and information.
  • Impress your friends!


If you've already got access to the Internet, either at home or at work, you'll probably be itching to find out how to get your machine hooked up and online, but for those new to the world of surfing, let's take a moment to explain what the Internet actually is, and how it works.

A history lesson

The Internet started life as a robust network of computers set up by the US military as a method of communicating and exchanging data over wires in the event of a nationwide catastrophe. As time went on, educational establishments and research organisations linked into the network. Having grown considerably, the network was opened up to other organisations and finally the public in the 1980s. At first the network, although large, was fairly unimpressive... chunks of text with its own series of codes and commands to push small bits of data between large host computers. Now, the ‘net has evolved, and getting online is now cheaper (often free), easier, and a much better experience. Instead of plain text, you can now access huge databases, encyclopaedias and telephone directories, view images and video, listen to one of the hundreds of radio stations, use an Internet phone to talk to other users anywhere in the world at next to no cost, play online games and check your bank account.

Sound too good to be true? Whenever the media talk about the Internet, there are always horror stories... it's expensive, riddled with pornography, used by hackers and tracked by the Government. While there's an element of truth to all of these comments, in general, it's a safe and fun place to be, as long as you use it sensibly.

So, who controls the Internet? Well, technically no one and everyone. There isn't one company in charge of looking after the Internet, although there are a lots of big players such as the Internet Service Providers, or ISPs. They own the large computers that make the connection onto the Internet, and provide access to the public. If you're going to get online, you need to get an account with an ISP, who will give you the details you need.

Other companies that have a big stake in the Internet are the telephone companies (e.g. AT&T or BT), companies that make the equipment that forms the framework of the network (e.g. Cisco and Sun), and companies who supply the ‘browsing' software (e.g. Microsoft, Netscape and Opera)

As for what's on the Internet, anyone can add their computer to the network, or add pages of text, sound, pictures and programs. Renting space online is often free, you can update your material whenever you want, and it can be accessed anywhere in the world in seconds. There are certain rules, such as infringement of copyright, and governments have the power to take action if illegal activities occur online, just as with other publishing media.

How does it work?

The Internet is an international network of computer servers connected to each other by high-speed data lines. You dial in from your home or work computer to an ISP's server, and using an Internet address, contact any other server. Servers are just large computers with a unique address, known as an IP address. As an example, the server that PalmUser uses for email and web has an IP address of - It's not very catchy, so these addresses have an alias to a more friendly address, in our case, which is known as a domain. This is made up of a name that your ISP helps you register, and some code abbreviations, in our case, a ‘' , which indicates there the domain is based and what type it is. Other worldwide location codes include:
au Australia
de Germany
fr France
jp Japan
nl Netherlands
no Norway
se Sweden

Codes for certain types of domain, include:

ac or edu - Academic, often a University
com or co - A company
gov - A government body
mil - Military
net - A part of the network such as an Internet host
org - A non-profit organisation

Let's look in more detail at the two main parts of the Internet that you will most commonly meet:

The World Wide Web (WWW)
The Web (and by the way, no-one calls it the Information Superhighway any more!) is the publishing side of the Internet. Companies and individuals publish content to storage space rented from ISPs in the form of web pages. Users can then access this content using a web browser that downloads the pages from the host server and shows them on your screen. Pages contain links to other pages and ‘surfing' these links to other sites and pages is how we navigate. Finding things online can be tricky, but we'll cover this in more detail as we go along. In the case of our address, the letters ‘www' in front of our domain name indicate that ‘' is our web address, but an address can start with either letters or numbers. Computers put the not-so-catchy text ‘http://' at the beginning to tell the network what they want, which generates the full address, which if we're being formal is known as a URL (Uniform Resource Locator), in our case ‘'. Fortunately, you don't need to enter the ‘http://' bit, as most browsers do that for you automatically.


Sending messages and files by email is so common these days that people look surprised if you don't have an email address. I admit to having about half a dozen different addresses, all for different uses which I've accumulated as I've gone on. Most of my friends and colleagues talk to me via email these days, as it's so quick and easy. I can write messages when I'm in the mood, pass on snippets of news, and keep in touch with old friends without having to worry about calling at an inappropriate moment. For me, emailing from a handheld machine, such as the Palm has become so useful, I'd never consider switching to a machine that couldn't handle mail.

Email addresses always have an ‘@' symbol (pronounced ‘at') in them, which again tells the Internet how to route that bit of traffic. An email address, therefore, will be written as ‘' (without the quotes).

Reading and writing email is normally done ‘offline' using special software that allows you to store your messages in special folders for ease of storage. Working offline help to keep the costs down, as you can take your time to compose a message before you dial up and send it.

Also online

You may also encounter other useful parts of the Web, such as:

FTP - File Transfer Protocol. This lets you upload and download data files to file servers on the Internet. Special FTP software is used to publish web page content to the WWW.

UseNet - A huge collection of online newsgroups with people discussing just about any topic you can think , plus lots of very obscure ones too.

IRC - This stands for Internet Relay Chat, and allows you to chat in real time with other users in ‘chatrooms'.

Instant messaging - Services like the AOL and Yahoo messengers, or ICQ allow you to identify when your friends are on the Internet, and establish a private real-time chat with them.


Enough background! How do I connect?

You need four things to get online, which we'll tackle in sequence:

  1. A computer
  2. A modem (with any necessary cables)
  3. A telephone line (either a fixed line or a mobile phone)
  4. An account with an ISP

The pocketability of Palm handhelds makes them ideal for portable connection to the Internet.  With the exception of the M100, just about all of the Palm and Visor range are capable of going online.  Most of these machines have email software installed by default, to make getting up-and-running as easy as possible. We will be taking a detailed look at how to get your Palm and the software set up in the next issue.


Modem stands for MOdulator-DEModulator (which you're not expected to remember!), and is essentially a clever ‘box' that sits between your computer and a telephone line. It makes it possible for your computer to connect and talk to other computers by sending information over the telephone line. Modems come in various shapes and sizes:

1. Internal modems. Like a graphics card or sound card, modem cards can be slotted inside into your PC and allow to you plug a telephone line into your computer in the same way that you would plug in a mouse or printer. These are not a lot of use if you want to get your Palm online, so we'll move on.
2. External modems. These boxes are really designed for use with desktop computers, but can also be useful to Palm users. External modems typically come with three cables: one that connects to the PC. One that plugs into the phone socket, and a third that plugs in to the mains supply.  They normally have an ‘on/off' switch and some flashing lights to let you what they are up to. Useful, but they do rely on mains power to work.  If you wish to use one of these with your Palm, connection is obviously a problem, and you'll need to obtain a special modem cable to do this. These cost approximately $15 USD. Also, be aware that some modems are for use with Apple Mac computers, or have USB connectors. Unless the modem has a 25-pin serial connector on it, you might find it tricky getting the right lead to make the connection, so check before you buy. If your PC has already has a modem, it is possible to make it when you connect your Palm to the PC with the HotSync cradle.

3. Add-on modems.
There are several add-on modems available for the Palm and Visor family.  These battery-powered accessories connect directly to your Palm device and come with a cable to allow connection to the telephone line.  This neat solution takes away the need to be near a mains socket and can give you several hours of online time before a battery change is needed.  See the boxout for details of some of the add-on modems available. Some add-on modems can also be connected to mobile phones using a special cable if required.

4. Mobile phones. Mobile phones are getting very clever these days. Most of the high-end phones from the likes of Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola have built-in features such as infrared, a modem, and now WAP. The most elegant solution for keeping in touch on the move is to get a mobile phone with infrared and a modem, like the Ericsson R320, SH888 and i888, or the Nokia 8110.

5. The Palm VII
You might be mistaken for believing that the wireless Palm VII is a mobile phone with a built-in modem, but that's not quite it. The Palm VII uses a US system called Mobitex to request, and then receive data over the air. It's important to note that which you can get your email messages using this, you can't surf the web, although it does use a service called ‘web clipping' to collect content from the Internet supplied by service providers in an optimised form. If you want full access to the Internet, and not selected snippets, then this isn't the answer.

Choosing the right modem

There are several factors to take into account when modem shopping. Take a look at the following list and consider which issues are important to you.

  • Speed. If you're connecting via a mobile phone, you won't be connecting at a very high speed. The GSM network has a limit of 9600bps (bits per second) for data. New technologies such as GPRS and 3G will go some way to speeding up the world of mobile communications in the near future, but for the moment, a mobile connection works out to around five times slower than a fixed-line connection. It also means that the cost of surfing or collecting emails is higher. If you're not concerned with being in touch on the move, steer away from the mobile phone option, and consider using an external modem, with a speed of 56k (56000 bits per second)
  • Price. The cost of buying a modem varies from around $50 USD for an external PC modem, to around $150 USD for a high-speed add-on modem. Needless to say that if price is an important issue, you should avoid a mobile phone based solution
  • Portability. Best options are either the mobile phone, or the add-on modem solution. If you're likely to be near a telephone line, then an add-on modem. They run off batteries, are pocketable, and with speeds from 33.6 to 56kbps, they run much faster than a mobile phone Internet connection. If you want to email from a train, field or at a client office's, a mobile is the way to go, although you'll be on a slow and possibly expensive call. Remember also that the mobile phone option relies on having adequate signal strength to transmit and receive data without interruption.
  • Style. You can't beat the wireless solution of a Palm and an infrared mobile phone. Yes, it's slow, but with no wires and no adapters to carry, plug in or lose, it's the ultimate solution.

Connecting an add-on modem.

This is possibly the easiest option.  The add-on module connects to your Palm or Visor in a straightforward manner. It is then simply a case of connecting the supplied lead from the module to the telephone socket, or to the base of your mobile phone.

Connecting to a mobile phone.

The first job is to ask your network operator (the people who send you your mobile bill), to allow you to use ‘data' as well as voice. You'll need to phone the Customer Services team and ask them to "data-enable" your SIM card. There's normally no charge for enabling this service. Typically, you need to allow an hour-or-so for this to happen. They will normally tell you that you have a data and fax number. Unless you plan to receive data calls from another computer or want to receive faxes, you won't need them, but keep a note of them anyway.

Next, you have to make the physical connection. If you are connecting to an add-on module, you will need to obtain the correct cable (assuming that there is one of the your make of mobile) from your Palm dealer. Once you have the cable, the connections should be obvious: one end plugs into the connector on the add-on module and the other end to the base of your mobile phone.

Infrared phones with a built-in modem mean that you'll have no worries over wires, but there is often at least one extra operation to carry out. Buried in your mobile phone's menu is an option to either turn on the infrared port, or enable the phone to make a data call. You may need to refer to your phone's manual, but here are some common examples:

  • Nokia 8810: Press 'Menu' and then '9'. Don't close the cover until you see a flashing icon in the top left-hand corner.
  • Ericsson SH888: Use the two-left/right arrow keys on the phone keyboard to enter the menu system. Scroll to 'Activate IR port' and press YES.
  • Ericsson R320: Use the two-left/right arrow keys to enter the menu system. Scroll to option 5 and select 'Infrared Port', press YES, select 'On' and press YES again .

Connecting to an external modem

Assuming you have a standard external modem, two of the three connections you need should be obvious - the mains lead and the lead that runs off to the telephone socket. Some modems have what looks like two small telephone sockets (which are called RJ11 sockets). One will be for the connection to the telephone line, and one for a telephone handset, which you can normally ignore.

The third connection relates to the modem-to-Palm link. You will normally find that there is a 25-pin female pin connector at the back of the modem. To connect to the modem from your Palm, you need to obtain a Palm modem lead from your Palm stockist.  This cable will connect your Palm to the modem's 25-pin connector.


Connecting to the telephone line.

If you're plugging in to a standard ‘landline', it's worth spending a few moments considering your connection. Unless you've got very old telephone wiring in your home, it should be possible to unplug your phone to plug in other telephone handsets and modems. If you obtained your modem from a different country, the connector may not fit your telephone socket and you will need to look for a suitable adapter. Changing the cable from your modem to the phone socket may not be the answer, as some modems have non-standard leads (notably the older US Robotics types).

You may also want to consider a socket doubler, which will allow your telephone handset and your modem to share the same telephone point. These are commonly available from telecommunications shops, computer shops and electrical retailers.

Remember that when you are connected to the Internet, your phone is busy so other calls can't get through. It may be worth considering installing a second line, especially as another line opens up other possibilities such as fax, or the ability to speak to someone while surfing the web or downloading files.

Modems don't like having their connection interrupted. If someone picks up an extension phone while you are online, you are likely to lose your Internet connection. Similarly, if your telephone company supplies you with Call Waiting, note that the ‘beep' that announces an incoming call, disrupts data being sent over a modem. You may want to disable your call waiting when you're planning to be online for a while.

Add-on modems

A range of add-on modem modules are available for both the Palm and the Visor range.  The four modems listed here should be available from most dealers.  See the advertising section in the back of this issue.


Palm Modem

For use with: PalmPilot, Palm III family, Palm VII and Palm VIIx
Speed: 33.6 Kbps
Power: Up to 3 hours connection time on one set of batteries. ??
Weight: 2.8 oz.
Cost: $99

Palm V modem

For use with: Palm V, Vx, Vx LE , IIIx
Speed: 33.6 Kbps
Power: 2 x AAA batteries.
Weight: 2.8 oz. 
Extras: Supports most Nokia and Ericsson mobile phones (Requires optional GSM Upgrade Kit sold separately).
Cost: $129 USD

Handspring modem

For use with: Visor range
Speed: 33.6 Kbps
Power: 2 x AAA batteries.
Cost: $129USD

Xircom SpringPort Modem 56

For use with: Visor range
Speed: 56 Kbps
Extras: Soft includes AvantGo web browser and MultiMail E-mail. Supports most Ericsson, Nokia and Siemens mobile phones (Requires optional GSM Upgrade Kit sold separately).
Cost: $149USD



Internet Service Providers

An ISP (Internet Service Provider) is your gateway to the Internet. Using your modem, you dial a special number given to you by your ISP, and you can then access your email and the World Wide Web, via their infrastructure. It might be that you already have an Internet account; perhaps at work or on your home PC, in which case you may be able to use that with your Palm, otherwise you'll need to pick one from the host of ISPs out there.

Today, there is so much choice that it can be difficult to know just which ISP is right for you.  Some offer free Internet access while you just pay for the calls, while some offer free calls in return for a monthly subscription fee.  There are so many different deals available that the choice may seem daunting.  The good news is that it is quite easy to try a couple of different ISPs at the same time, or to change ISP when a better deal comes along.  When choosing, some factors worth considering are:

  • Cost. ‘Free' Internet does not always mean completely free.  By ‘free', many ISPs mean that they don't charge a monthly fee.  While this does give you free access to the Internet, you may still be paying your phone company for calls.  Most ISPs in the UK have a local-rate telephone number so that your costs are low, but the charges can still mount up if you make a lot of use of the Net.  If you are intending to be online only for a few hours a month, then a subscription-free ISP may be best for you.  If you plan to surf for longer, especially in the evenings or at weekends, then it may be a better bet to look for an ISP that charges you a small monthly fee (usually debited to your credit card) in return for free off-peak calls.  See the boxout for a summary of some of the current deals on offer in the UK.  Note that, as stated in part one of this article, connecting to the Internet via your mobile phone is likely to be slower and much more expensive than a landline connection.
  • Support. With the main ISPs, setting up your account on a Palm should be fairly straightforward, but if you're a beginner, it might be worth checking out their technical support team before signing up. If they've not heard of a Palm or can only help you if you are running their Windows software, then steer clear. Be warned that some ISPs charge for telephone support at a premium rate, so check their small print before signing up. If you find yourself needing a lot of help, it could be a costly business. Some ISPs offer an email-only support service, which is not a lot of use if you can't connect.
  • Extras. Look for features such as ‘webmail'. This service allows you to access to your email from any computer with an Internet connection. This is particularly useful if you're away from your computer, but have access to someone else's, maybe at a Cybercafé or on holiday. With this service, you can log on, enter your username and password, then send and receive messages as if you were on your main machine. Another extra to look for is WAP access - you may be able to access your account with a WAP phone or a WAP browser on your Palm. Also worth looking out for is a generous amount of free web space - 10MB should be ample if you're planning to create your own website at some point in the future.
  • Portability. If you've got a computer at home or at work as well as your Palm, you may want to be able to pick up your mail from any of these locations. While ‘webmail' is useful for reading and writing messages, there's no substitute for having access to your mail with a full-blown email application like the ones found on a Palm or PC. For that reason, don't get caught out with an ISP that relies on you using their software and nothing else. If you install an ISP's software from a CD, you may find that it customises your PC to work with their service in preference to other ISPs, making it difficult to remove, or transport to another machine.
  • Reliability. Network speed and stability may play a factor. Just about all ISPs offer connection at speeds of 56k (or higher for ISDN/ADSL users), but with some ISPs offering free or near-free services, they sometimes suffer from clog meaning that engaged tones are commonplace. Check on the reliability and speed either from one of the Internet magazines or word-of-mouth from other ‘net users.


To connect, you'll need to have an account with an Internet provider. You may wish to use your existing Internet account, or apply for a free account that can be used with your device.

For the purposes of this article, we're going to assume that you are in the UK and that you want to create a new dial-up account with an Internet Service Provider. Here, we're using a free dial-up BT Yahoo dial-up account .

If you don't have an existing dialup account, then sign up for one from BT Yahoo free-of-charge and get a pay-as-you go account. There's no subscription fee, and you only pay standard call rates for the time you're online. BT Yahoo works well for on-the-move access to email and web.

To get an account, first, go to from a PC, select "Pay as you Go" and create an account.


Remember, you can own multiple accounts for different uses, and most allow you to cancel an account without penalty, so if a better deal comes along, then go for it. The only note of caution is that is that if you cancel an account, you lose the email address that comes with it. If you've told all of your friends and colleagues your email address, changing accounts means retelling your contacts, or risking losing new messages. Advanced users tend to have more than one account to get around this, or even get hold of their own Internet domain, such as, so that they can juggle accounts used for connection, without losing their main email address.

Getting your first account is something that you can't do on the Palm itself. The most common way to get an account is over the Internet, which of course can be something of a chicken-and-egg situation. For those who don't have access to another computer (maybe a friend's or a work machine), if you phone a subscription-based ISP, they will normally post the login instructions to you once they have taken your credit card number.



Setting up the software

Before we get into setting up the software, you will need to know the following pieces of information. If you don't know them, you'll need to contact your ISP's Technical Support desk.

  • The phone number to dial (also called the POP number). Look for a free, or local-call number where possible.
  • Your logon (user) name and password
  • Your email address. Some ISPs allow more than one email address, or allow you to use any name you like before the@ symbol, i.e. ‘'.
  • Your mailbox (email) logon name and password (sometimes the same as to your logon name and password)
  • Incoming email server address (POP3) - (i.e. ‘')
  • Outgoing email server address (SMTP)  - (often the same as your incoming address)
  • In rare cases, you may also need to know your IP and DNS addresses. Your ISP can give you these. You may also be told a ‘protocol', either SLIP or (more commonly) PPP.
  • Once you have obtained the above information, take a note of the answers in a safe place, just in case you need them in the future.

Modem settings

  • Before proceeding any further, you need to tell your Palm about the modem that you'll be using to connect. To do this, tap on ‘Applications', and select ‘HotSync'. The HotSync control panel has changed a little over time, and so some of the options we're about to discuss may have a slightly different name. With Palm OS 3.3, the option that you need first is in the menu under ‘Connection setup', but other versions refer to ‘Modem setup'. Select this option, and you should find a list of available modems. If yours is there, select it; otherwise you may have to tap on ‘New' to add yours. If adding a new modem, here are the settings that you will be confronted with:
  • Name - The modem name, for your reference, e.g. ‘Nokia 7110 mobile'
  • Connection method - If connecting to an infrared modem, say a mobile phone, this should be set to ‘IrCOMM to Modem, otherwise, use ‘Serial to modem'.
  • Dialing - Most phone networks are now digital, so select ‘TouchTone'. ‘Rotary' may be needed if you're in a remote area with an older-style telephone exchange.
  • Volume - Controls the setting of your modem's speaker - it makes a noise when making a connection.
  • You may also need to look in the ‘Detail' screen, where you'll find the following options:
  • Speed - The default of 57,600bps is probably best, although if you experience connection problems, or unexpected disconnections, lower this to 28,800 or 14,400. The exception to this is if you're connecting over a GSM mobile phone, where the connection speed is normally 9,600bps.
  • Flow Ctl - This setting deals with the way data is transmitted and received. Leave set to Automatic, but note that with a small percentage of modems, this may need altering to ‘Off'.
  • Init String - When a modem first starts to make a connection, it has to initialise, and on occasions, needs a special code to get started. Most modems don't care, but if you're unable to connect, you may need to refer to your modem's instruction book to see what Initialisation string is required. Init strings will usually begin with the uppercase letters ‘AT'.


Network settings

To get started, you will need to tell your Palm some of the above information. To do this, tap on ‘Applications', select ‘Prefs', and then use the pull-down menu to select ‘Network'. The first box that you should see is ‘Service'. Tap on this, and you should find a list of ISPs that were installed into your Palm by default. If luck is with you, your preferred ISP may be listed, but let us assume that it isn't, and proceed to set up details of a new ISP.

From the menu, select ‘Service | New', and enter the details as required below:

  • Service - This name can be anything you like and is for your reference only. This is most commonly the ISP name, e.g. ‘Lineone'
  • User Name - This is your logon name supplied by your ISP.
  • Password - This is your ISP's logon password. If you chose to leave this blank, you will be asked for your password each time you try to connect. If you are worried about others getting access to your email from your Palm, you may wish to leave this blank.
  • Connection - This is a pull-down list of the available modems. Select your modem, as defined above
  • Phone - The telephone number used to connect to your ISP. As above, always look for a free, or cheap-rate number. This dialog also has options for a dial prefix (This may be required if you are connecting your modem via an office switchboard are need to dial a number for an outside line), and the ability to disable call waiting (as the ‘beep' will disrupt data sent over a modem). If you use a calling card so that your calls are routed via a different telephone operator, the details can also be entered here.
  • The ‘Details' button provides access to a more advanced dialog that contains the following options:
  • Connection type - Normally PPP (if in doubt, check with your ISP)
  • Idle timeout - Useful at keeping your bills down, this will disconnect the modem if it hasn't been used for up to three minutes.
  • Query DNS - Leave this checked unless your ISP has given you specific ‘Primary DNS' and ‘Secondary DNS' settings. If required to enter these, they will be in a format similar to ‘192.123.456.789'.
  • IP Address - As above, normally this will remain checked unless advised by your ISP.

You will also notice another button, ‘Script'. Fortunately, this is rarely used these days, but for connection to some more obscure services, a ‘logon script' may be required. This is a complex process made up of working out what commands your ISP is waiting for at each step of connection, and sending the appropriate reply. If your ISP tells you that you need a script, this is where to type it, but do so carefully, as scripting requires precise typing, and some patience.

Hint: If your telephone company run a discount scheme for frequently dialled numbers, (i.e. in the UK, BT's Friends and Family), don't forget to add your ISP's number, to help keep the costs down.


Getting started with email

The mail application that you'll find built-in to the Palm OS is primarily designed to allow you to HotSync your email with your PC or Mac's email application, and not as a direct way of downloading your email over the Internet. Accordingly, you'll need to download an email appliacation (also known as an email client), to handle this for you. There are several options available to you, and we'll look at two of the main ways:

  • ProxiMail. Until recently, ProxiMail was probably the best option for most Palm users, but in March, the Proxiweb site was been replaced by a site from PumaTech and Intellisync and the ProxiMail application doesn't appear to be available any more. Their ProxiWeb service, for web browsing has also disappeared too. If you are able to get hold of a copy of ProxiMail, this is a free way of making use of the email application built into your Palm. See our extensive feature, "Working with Mail" in issue 6.
  • MultiMail PRO. This is a stand-alone email application, and has the reputation of being one of the best clients around for Palm users. MultiMail allows you to send and receive mails using just a modem, and supports a lot of features that will be familiar to users of desktop email programs including attachments and multiple email accounts. A 10-day evaluation version is available from the Actual Software website (

Configuring the client

Before you can start writing emails, you will need to configure your email client with the details supplied to you by your ISP. For the purpose of this artcvile, we will assume that you are using MultiMail, but if not, you will find that most other Palm-based email clients will have a broadly similar setup procedure.
Assuming you have downloaded a copy of MultiMail to your PC, run the setup application on the PC, dock your Palm in the cradle, and perform a HotSync. This should install MultiMail onto your Palm. When you first run the application, a "Wizard" will appear to help you get set up - follow the dialogs filling in the appropriate information. You can also access the setup information via the ‘Options | Server' menu option if you prefer. Here are the specific settings you will need to enter:

  • Outgoing (SMTP) and Incoming (POP3) mail servers - From your ISP
  • Name - This is the name that the world will know you by, e.g. ‘John Smith'
  • Email address - Your email address (from your ISP). This is so that you don't have to type in a ‘reply to' address with each message.
  • Username and password - Again, from your ISP, see above.

Once you have entered all of the information, you should have completed all the steps needed to connect to the Internet and start sending and receiving emails. At the bottom of the screen, you should see a small icon labeled ‘Get'. If you select this option, your Palm should connect to your modem and start dialling your ISP. If all has gone well, it will connect and check for waiting emails.
If you are familiar with how a desktop email program, such as Microsoft Outlook, you should recognise the concept of Inbox and Outbox and be in a position to start sending and receiving emails. If not, you'll have to wait for the third and final part of this article in the next issue.



To connect, you'll need to have an account with an Internet provider. You may wish to use your existing Internet account, or apply for a free account that can be used with your device.

For the purposes of this article, we're going to assume that you are in the UK and that you want to create a new dial-up account with an Internet Service Provider. Here, we're using a free dial-up BT Yahoo dial-up account .

If you don't have an existing dialup account, then sign up for one from BT Yahoo free-of-charge and get a pay-as-you go account. There's no subscription fee, and you only pay standard call rates for the time you're online. We're rather keen on BT Yahoo for on-the-move access to email and web.

To get an account, first, go to from a PC, select "Pay as you Go" and create an account.


Outside the UK?

The ISPs mentioned in this article are UK-based. If you are outside the UK, then the best advice is to ask around, or refer to a local Internet magazine for details of available Service Providers. If you are intending to travel on business or pleasure, you may wish to look for an ISP that is a member of either GRIC or IPASS, two organisations who provide Global Internet Roaming to travellers wishing to access the Internet from outside their home country. See or for details.


Article from PalmUser Magazine in 2001 - Much of the information is now out-of-date, but we're publishing as-is, in case it's of use to any Palm users.

For more up-to-date Psion Internet connectivity information, see our Palm Connected page


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