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GMX 2018 logo.svg
description Freemail provider
owner 1 & 1 Mail & Media GmbH
Published 1997

GMX is a German web portal founded in 1997 , which now mainly acts as a provider of e-mail services. The company, along with its former competitor, is part of 1 & 1 Mail & Media GmbH with headquarters in Montabaur and a branch in Karlsruhe , which in turn is a subsidiary of the United Internet Group .

The acronym GMX stands for Global Message eXchange (in German " Global Message Exchange "); however, this term is no longer used today.


The company was set up in 1997 as one of the first German internet portals. In April 1998 the GMX GmbH was founded by Karsten Schramm, Eric Dolatre, Peter Köhnkow and Raoul Haagen, which among other things was supposed to promote the offer of advertising-financed and commercial e-mail accounts . At this point in time, GMX had 250,000 registered user accounts, at the end of 1998 it was half a million, and by May 1999 the number had risen to one million. GMX is one of the offers with the greatest reach on the German-speaking Internet .

Also in 1998, 1 & 1 Beteiligungen GmbH & Co. KG , which later became United Internet AG, acquired a 50 percent stake in GMX GmbH. In order to take into account the new structure of the company, GMX GmbH changed its legal form to a stock corporation in 2000 . In the same year, the company canceled its IPO on the Neuer Markt, which was scheduled for May 25th. The reason was "the bad mood for Internet stocks," writes the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on May 23, 2000.

At the beginning of 2001, the company entered into a cooperation with Tomorrow Focus , who in the meantime supplied content for the Internet portal and took over a large part of the marketing. At CeBIT 2001, a revised offer was presented under the name "New GMX" , which made a clear distinction between e-mail service and news portal.

In 2002 the number of accounts exceeded 10 million. The reason for this is also that GMX offers the use of a personal domain for the e-mail inbox. In addition, GMX appeared for the first time as an Internet provider and offered dial-up and DSL tariffs. At the same time, the legal form changed again to a limited liability company .

In order to be able to cope with the growth of the accounts, GMX moved into its own data center in Karlsruhe in 2003 under the roof of Schlund + Partner , which also belongs to United Internet. In the years that followed, the cooperation with Deutsche Telekom was expanded in order to increase the business with DSL connections without having to maintain a separate backbone .

From spring 2007 to December 1, 2014, XMPP- compatible instant messaging software was available under the name GMX MultiMessenger .

At the end of 2008, the company began expanding into Switzerland and prepared its Internet portal specifically for this. A download portal for free and shareware was also presented. In October 2009 GMX and WEB.DE took part in a pilot project to introduce De-Mail in Friedrichshafen .

In August 2015, GMX integrated the PGP security standard into its email services. Users of the service can use it to encrypt emails in the browser and in the GMX app so that only the sender and recipient can read them. The computer magazine c't describes the integration as a “good combination of convenience and security”.

In November 2017 GMX introduced an encryption function (“GMX Tresor”) for the cloud storage “GMX MediaCenter”.

In May 2019 the “GMX MediaCenter” was renamed “GMX Cloud”. Since June 2019, GMX users can also protect their access using two-factor authentication .


In addition to the Internet portal, which contains, among other things, news from a wide variety of categories, GMX focuses on e-mail inboxes. There are three variants available to users, with GMX ProMail and GMX TopMail being fee-based tariffs. Cloud storage for photos and files is also available in all tariffs . The cloud storage space can be expanded in all variants for a surcharge.


In 2000, the company was awarded the Big Brother Awards in the communication category of the negative data protection award,

“Because the company has insufficiently secured the electronic mail of its users. Two incidents in the summer of 2000 give rise to this. "

After the company had sent invoices and subsequent reminders and debt collection claims to customers of their free FreeMail accounts who had accepted a 30-day test offer for paid services on the grounds that they had "ordered" a paid service, and affected consumers contacted one The Austrian Association for Consumer Information sued for legal defects and was right. In 2010 GMX undertook to refrain from using illegal clauses and to inform consumers in accordance with the law when concluding contracts on the Internet. See also the judgment of the European Court of Justice in the article Distance Selling Law .

In July 2011 it was reported that a change from the fee-based ProMail and TopMail offers to the free FreeMail was "only possible with considerable effort".

In July 2012 it became known that a hacker attack on GMX, which was confirmed by representatives of the company, had spied out numerous user accounts. It had apparently succeeded in bypassing the protection mechanism of GMX through distributed registration attempts. Critics complained that GMX leaves users in the dark about how well their account is protected and whether it has been hacked by third parties.

In August 2012, the Federation of German Consumer Organizations issued a warning against GMX because they saw the button solution (in accordance with Section 312 g of the German Civil Code) not being implemented correctly. The warning was also directed at the brand . had taken over the designation "payable order" for the order button, but important parts of the contract were not placed directly next to it.

In February 2014, the company launched a campaign against ad blockers, known as the "fear campaign", which aimed to deceive users.

When the ad blocker is active, it is currently (as of February 18, 2018) displayed despite the current browser that it is out of date, and it is recommended to install the "GMX browser", behind which, however, only Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer with GMX-specific plug -hide in .

Until June 2019, it was not possible to protect your GMX access using two-factor authentication, as is the case with other e-mail service providers such as Gmail , Yahoo , or Posteo .

Web links

Wiktionary: GMX  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Imprint. November 14, 2018, accessed December 12, 2018 .
  2. GMX imprint , accessed on November 10, 2016
  3. a b c Background and History. GMX, archived from the original on May 27, 2012 ; Retrieved August 15, 2012 .
  4. GMX PressLounge - history. May 27, 2012, accessed December 12, 2018 .
  5. All functions at a glance. GMX, accessed on August 14, 2012 .
  6. Further security level for e-mail - professional technology can be used by everyone -. August 20, 2015, accessed on December 12, 2018 (German).
  7. Holger Bleich, Axel Kossel: GMX and integrate PGP into their mail services. Retrieved December 12, 2018 .
  8. heise online: GMX and offer encrypted cloud storage. Retrieved December 12, 2018 .
  10. a b
  11. GMX MediaCenter: Expand memory. GMX, accessed on June 13, 2018 .
  12. Winner in the “Communication” category. Eulogy., June 28, 2006, accessed May 14, 2014 .
  13. GMX gives in!, November 16, 2010, accessed on May 14, 2014 .
  14. Marc Kessler: GMX: Changeover to FreeMail only with considerable effort., June 22, 2011, accessed on May 14, 2014 .
  15. Annika Demgen: Hacker attack at GMX: Apparently numerous accounts affected., July 10, 2012, accessed on July 11, 2012 .
  16. Urs Mansmann: Consumer advocates warn GMX and In: heise online. August 28, 2012. Retrieved August 29, 2012 .
  17. Torsten Kleinz: "Page manipulating add-ons": United Internet starts campaign against ad blockers., February 27, 2014, accessed on May 14, 2014 .
  18. Stephan Dörner: GMX and start fear campaign against ad blockers. Dow Jones News GmbH, February 27, 2014, archived from the original on March 22, 2016 ; accessed on May 14, 2014 .

Coordinates: 48 ° 11 ′ 17.2 ″  N , 11 ° 35 ′ 12.5 ″  E