Can you have the full Macintosh experience without .Mac?

“Apple wants everyone with a Mac to have .Mac. So about a year ago, it made subscribing to its Macintosh-based suite of Internet services amazingly affordable,” Julio Ojeda-Zapata writes for The Pioneer Press. “In fact, once users took advantage of Apple’s limited-time half-price offer and cashed in its digital-photo print credits, they got their $100 accounts essentially at no cost for a year.”

Ojeda-Zapata writes, “That was an incredible deal considering all the goodies that came with a .Mac account at the time


  1. My sub is up for renewal any day now. I’m probably going to renew. I use Homepage quite a bit and find it genuinely useful. Naturally the mail service is heavliy used everyday (the online service is particularly nice to use compared with the alternatives).

    The bundled software (Virex, Backup and various games) get very little use. I’m not a big gamer. As we all know, viruses are rare on the Mac and since using .Mac I’ve yet to come across one. I have used Backup, and it has come in useful. But now I have an iPod (30GB) and find it quicker and more convenient to use this for my important data.

    As for iDisk, the bundled space is limited. Mine is used mostly by Homepage. The ability to share a public folder is something I’ve taken advantage of about twice in the past year. So I wouldn’t miss it as a feature.

    The single most useful feature of .Mac has to be iSync. I daren’t even think about how complicated my life would be without the ability to sync my work PowerMac with the home PowerBook.

    Is it worth it? It is to me. I will be coughing up the $100 (�79).

  2. I’m still miffed that Apple requires .Mac to iSync two networked home computers. You don’t need .Mac to sync your iPod or cell phone with your Mac, but if you buy two VERY EXPENSIVE computers and want to sync them, sorry, that’ll cost you an extra $99 clams per year.

    In the end, Apple can do whatever they want, and I of course, can do the same, so I won’t be purchasing .Mac.

  3. Hum… I have been using .Mac since it started. When it was FREE! I actually paid my $100 for a year, just because I’m a big MAC freak I guess, but because I did not have any formation in web publishing. I do now, and I think that the price is simply ridiculous. Beside, I just got the e-mail notification to renew my .MAC account, and to my surprise, there were a link to renew or update your information, but no link to unsuscribe. So I called the .MAC line, which is different from the APPLE line (they did not even transfer me, they gave me the phone number) and they unsuscribed me. I feel like I’ve used .MAC a lot for this past year, but the price is really too high for a poor student like I am. Beside, I think that MAC sold the addresses to public and private services. You should see all the junk mail I get from it, it’s simply insane!
    Bye .MAC, and I welcome MONEY back in my account!

  4. I’ve got 20 days left on my .Mac account. I get constant email reminders from Apple regarding renewing my account. I just don’t think I’m going to do it.

    It seems like Apple will be coming out with a major update for OSX every year. That always cost at least $120. It also costs $100 to renew .Mac. As much as I like both of them, I can’t see myself spending an extra $200+ each year on my computer. I love Apple, but that is getting steep. I think I will just buy Panther when it comes out.

    I also just switched to comcast cable service. It comes with 25mb of web space. That’s only 1/4 of what .mac offers, but I’m sure I can handle a trimmed down website. I was only currently using 50% of the space that .mac comes with.

    I will miss all the neat features that .mac offers, but there are plenty of neat programs out there that can take its place. I’ve been finding more & more of them at

    Anybody else considering not renewing .mac?

  5. You’ve got to have some where to stash the data when doing a sync between the two compuers. So for Apple, the easiest way to implement that is going to be through .mac. Sure it stinks, but it also makes complete sense.

  6. Yes you do need .mac for the ‘full’ mac experience. But that’s not to say anyone really needs it. I use it. I’ve been pleased recently with the bookmarks syncing. I haven’t really used any of the software. Backup was awful when I tried to use it. It kept getting in the way and bugging me. so I just dumped it. I’ve used the iPhoto webpage stuff, which is fabulously easy and I’ve used the idisk to share some stuff too, which wasn’t quite so easy, but I probably did it arse-about-tit. It took me a while to find a folder and work out the URL to give to people. I may have been having an off-day though. I’ve used that folder ever since and have the URL as a bookmark, so it’s just not a problem now.

    I woulc never criticise someone for not having .mac. That would be completely absurd.

  7. Regarding Paul’s note about thinking Apple sold his e-mail address to junk mailers… I would doubt it… I can’t say yes or no for sure. But since I got my address a couple years ago… I’ve guarded the address and only use it with friends, family, and (hopefully) trusted businesses… I rarely get any spam on my mail address. It could be the fact that you’ve been sloppy with who you use the address with.

  8. I used .mac when it was free also. Last year when Apple started charging and changed the name I dropped the service. But in May I was moving and needed an email address in between ISProviders. I figured I’d use the free trial period and then dump the service. Well, I must say I’m hooked. I use iSync, homepage and backup a good bit. If my subscription was up today I’d renew in a second. As long as Apple doesn’t up the cost I’ll still subsribe.

    My question is, when you buy a new mac why doesn’t apple give you a 6 months to a year of full service free? I think this would hook some first time buyers and maybe some Apple loyalists.

  9. here, here, Sean!

    I’ve also guarded my .Mac email address, and I rarely get junk email…less than one a month.

    As for all the programs, I’ve really never used them. Backup is annoying. Virex, worthless. I love the bookmark syncing cause it’s saved me quite a few times. I used the iDisk for an image server until I got my own webspace, but it’s still useful to upload something that you can eventually send to a friend for download. It’s also a quick fix to trade files between multiple computers (say I do something at work then upload it to iDisk to work on it at home)…it beats lugging around a Zip Disk or FireWire drive.

    I decided to renew. I’m too attached to my .Mac email address and bookmark syncing. It’s worth it to me, but that’s what you have to figure out: is it worth it to you?

  10. I was hoping Apple would offer people renewing a discount. “Give us $100 or we trash your email account!” is rather cold for an existing account holder and loyal Mac user of 10 years. I think they should give us a wee break considering we are advertising for them every time we send an email with our “” attached to it.

    Initially, I used many of the .Mac features, probably because of their newness. But now, I rarely use any except for my email account. I like its ISP independence allowing me to switch service provides whenever I want to. Besides, having “” as a short and sweet email address is nice compared to my old cryptic “”.

    I paid an extra $10 for an additional email account. This one I use for all of my non-personal email. You know, stuff like ordering online and meeting others on chat services. With Mail’s excellent filtering, even that account doesn’t generate very much junk mail. But, when it does, I’ll simple change its name, and start all over. $10 per year is a rather cheap solution to quickly eliminate all spam as well as unwanted ex-boyfriends.

    When I renew (I have no idea where to find the spare $100 in a few weeks), I’ll use the $20 Apple Store credit towards an Apple wireless mouse or Panther (if I can wait that long for it to be shipped).

  11. I am also not happy with the price, but I will be renewing anyway. I love and use the iPhoto and other services linked to .Mac. I like the fast and easy web page publishing and screensaver sharing and other things. Sure, some things can be done manually “cheaper.” But my time is worth something and, face it, no other option is any faster for putting some photos on a web page. And for people new to computers, nothing beats it. Such easy integration is not available if you get individual services elsewhere. I also agree with other posters that I basically never get spam in my specially guarded .Mac accounts. I don’t know how Apple has accomplished that, but I it has not gone unnoticed by me. The price is too high, especially if we do not use all the services and freebies. But, it is not too high for me to be without it at this moment in time. Overall, it is a good package. I will renew.

  12. Ditto on synching two Macs side by side via Ethernet. This should NOT require a paid service, or even the Internet! Even if you DO have .mac, what a pain to disconnect one Mac from the ‘net and reconnect the other.

    Apple should ENCOURAGE people to own a second Mac–a laptop companion for a desktop is a great revenue source.

  13. RENEWING. You want innovation? fund it. Who else is doing this? All the “alternative” are ad-choked and clumsy by comparison. Sure, skip it if you like but how is apple supposed to keep making all this stuff you like? They need $$$$.

  14. I considered .Mac and then decided that an independent webhost would be better for my needs. For $100 a year I get 200mb web space, unlimited ftp and pop accounts, 5 mySQL databases, and complete control over my CGI, pl, and PHP scripts. Lets see .Mac beat that. I just feel that .Mac is too hand-holding and campy.

    Now, if Apple were to sell a $20 application that I could load onto my webserver (so it’d have to be in perl or cgi or php) that could sync two macs and do other .Mac stuff, then I’d buy it.

  15. cesjr said:

    “You want innovation? fund it. Sure, skip it if you like but how is apple supposed to keep making all this stuff you like? They need $$$$.”

    Hello? Have you heard of hardware? Apple is in business to sell hardware. They make big profit margins on desktops, laptops and iPods. This is where the $$$$ should be coming from. It’s a lot to ask the loyal customer base to subscribe to an annual OS update as well as .Mac, on top of expensive computers. Like squeezing the last bits of blood out of the turnip.

    Funny. I thought iTools was the added value you got from buying the finest personal computers. How silly of me.

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