Recommendations and Advisory Information

Users must be aware that computer networking is inherently insecure, and that all traffic that they place on the network (including electronic mail) is capable of being read by third parties, and conduct themselves accordingly.

For e-mail, users are very strongly recommended not to use a Telnet connection to Hermes (or whatever official e-mail server they use). They should instead use an e-mail client on their machine which uses the IMAP (preferably) or POP3 (tolerated) protocols to exchange e-mail with servers such as Hermes. Recommended IMAP clients are:

  • Apple Mail,
  • Microsoft Outlook,
  • Microsoft Mail
  • Mozilla Thunderbird

There are sound technical reasons for this recommendation, relating to the ability to handle attachments, and network traffic and load on Hermes. E-mail users should therefore regard the installation of one of the above on their machine as a priority. Many Windows machines come with Microsoft Mail already installed.

As an alternative to using an e-mail client on your own PC, you may use the Hermes web interface at This is particularly useful if you wish to check your e-mail while you are away from Cambridge.

Users should publicise their e-mail addresses in the form and not in the form (for instance). This will permit the easy diversion of your e-mail to other servers should you move your allegiance away from Hermes to departmental e-mail servers. This is particularly important for postgraduate students.

In order to implement the above recommendation, users should specially configure their e-mail program so that:

The former option is less likely to cause confusion.

Hermes e-mail users should configure their e-mail program as follows:

Address for outgoing SMTP mail:

Address for IMAP connection: (Recommended)

Address for POP3 connection:

User identifier for IMAP/POP login:

(your CRSid)

User's e-mail address:

See here for configuring email clients.

For more detailed information on the above, see Leaflet IS5: IP Networking Software Configuration


All traffic to or from outside the University of Cambridge is chargeable, and costs generated by your use of the network will be billed to the College. The College will pass charges on to your traffic usage exceeds your quota (see Network Traffic Charge).