9+ BEST Virtual Mailbox Services [2022]

virtual mailbox - get your postal mail anywhere

Virtual mailbox services are a must for the digital nomad and remote worker toolbox. If you work from anywhere – you have to have a way to get your physical mail. Fortunately, you can have a permanent street address and get your postal mail online.

I’ll walk through the ins and outs of virtual mailbox services, what they are and how they work. Also, how to choose a service that’s right for you, with several virtual mailbox companies to choose from.

Whether you are a digital nomad, frequent world traveler, student abroad, expat, snowbird, online business owner, or you want to take a month-long workation and work remotely on some remote island with Wi-Fi – you need to be able to access your paper mail.

The last thing you want is when you come back from vacation and or an extended stay and you’ve missed a check, a notification from your mortgage company, insurance, Christmas card, note from a loved one, a package…

You’ve probably experienced this more than a few times. Having a check reissued is a pain. Not being able to deposit a check when you’re on your remote island is frustrating, especially if you need to book another night in that lovely beach hotel (or order another drink), and can’t. Missing a notice from a bill collector and now you’re getting notices from collections. If you’ve already been on the road or if you’re just looking to go on the road it’s very important to not miss a beat so that you can enjoy your time, keep your focus, not add to life’s stresses, and simply just make life work!

Of course, you need to make sure you’re set up to be mobile and work remotely and that you are able to communicate while abroad – and you can’t overlook postal mail. Instead of using your energy trying to figure out who you trust to manage your mail when you’re gone (and you can still miss those important items) you don’t have to worry about that when you can have a virtual mailbox. Virtual mailboxes provide peace of mind and allow you to stay on the road.

I’ve had virtual mailboxes for several years and it’s a pure lifesaver if you travel often. It’s getting even easier now to manage your virtual mailbox even from your phone (there’s an app for that!). I’ve used several different services and I’m sharing my experiences as well as features and benefits from the best virtual mailbox providers for long term travelers, digital nomads, remote workers, etc.

Also if you’re an online business owner and would like to have a real physical street address for your mail other than your own house, having a virtual mailbox is a necessity. It’s only a small business expense to feel anonymous in your home and your personal address.

There is no doubt that the world has gone digital, and in as much as this brings with it convenience and the ability to work from anywhere at any time, there are still restrictions that may add to a rise in stress levels.

One such restriction is your mail. Frequent travelers, digital nomads and remote workers alike have access to almost every tool required to fulfill their responsibilities in the work sphere. But often run a risk of losing track of important mail delivered to their physical mailbox. The solution to this is a virtual mailbox service.

What is a Virtual Mailbox?

In layman’s terms, a virtual mailbox is simply a digital mailbox service that is accessible from anywhere in the world. Standard virtual mailbox services allow users to receive both postal mail, and packages, anywhere you are located. In short, one physical address associated with a mail center that provides you with mail scanning services as well as mail and package forwarding.

You just need a smartphone, laptop, or tablet (which, as a remote worker or digital nomad, you already have) and an internet connection to access your mail from anywhere in the world!

How does a Virtual Mailbox work?

Virtual Mailboxes are set up with physical or post office box addresses that are managed by virtual mailbox handling services. You set up an account through a virtual mailbox provider like Anytime Mailbox. You choose a real physical address from their list of addresses. This becomes your new physical mailing address, technically your virtual mailing address, for your personal or business mail. You can have multiple virtual mailbox addresses.

Is a Virtual Mailbox the same as a P.O. Box?

To be clear, it’s not a P.O. Box, however, it works the same way in that there’s a centralized location where your mail arrives. The difference between a local post office and third party mail centers is that virtual mail centers offer a mail scanning service. All your mail handling is provided by a third party.

Once your mail is received by the third party mail center (i.e. Anytime Mailbox), your mail is scanned, and a notification is posted to your mailing inbox. You can now access all your mail and manage your postal mail via an inbox! Cool, right? Your new virtual office, minus the vending machine (a virtual vending machine would make a great addition to a virtual office… hmmm, someday).

Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like when new mail arrives.  You can see my current inbox.  Also, you can see what happens if you don’t open your email on time (see storage fees that are about to apply, I’d better hurry. .).

Anytime Mailbox inbox

When you open your mail, you can see the actions you’re able to take – open and scan mail, forward mail, shred, recycle, deposit check, etc.

Actions to take virtual mail

 

Once you view your scanned mail, you get to decide what step to take next.

Is it an offer for a free car … aka spam mail? You can request to have your mail shredded and recycled.

Is it your remote worker W-2 or 1099? You can request to open and scan it. You can then either download it as a PDF or have it forwarded to your current home address.

Is it a package? Maybe you ordered a new backpack from Amazon and you need a new one asap. You can forward mail, including packages, to your current address.

How can you get a Virtual Mailbox?

Given that many online businesses are run from lounges, bedrooms, garages and internet cafes (in short, anywhere with a reliable wi-fi connection), virtual mailboxes have been largely used by businesses, but are extremely beneficial to remote workers, digital nomads and long term travelers alike.

Selecting a Virtual Mailbox Provider

Armed with a valid email address, your first step would be to select the best virtual mailbox service that can meet your need from a business or personal perspective. You’ll want to note things like: number of monthly mail scans, mail shreds, storage limitation, and monthly fee. Fees can quickly stack up if you aren’t checking your online postal mailbox frequently and telling the mail handler how to manage your mail. Speaking of, I need to check my inbox!

Pick a new mailing address in your city of preference

A virtual mailbox is, well, virtual, meaning you get to select an address wherever you choose. If your business operates remotely, you can choose a virtual business address in any city as your remote headquarters.

Addresses in premium cities, and premium areas, will cost more than those in less-dense cities. For example, if you choose New York or San Francisco for your new virtual mailbox address, you will pay more than cities like Cincinnati or Oklahoma City. If you choose Menlo park versus Oakland, also expect your monthly fee to be a bit higher.

Complete required documentation/notarization

You will need to provide some form of identification to authorize a company to receive mail on your behalf. If you’re located in the US, this means filling out a USPS 1583 Form. This provides authorization for your service provider to receive and open and scan your mail on your behalf (so you check your postal mail from anywhere).

It may sound like a hassle to do a bunch of paperwork. It used to be, but not today. I switched from Traveling Mailbox to Anytime Mailbox because they offer an online notary (and also for their global network of over 1,400 locations). I was able to fill out my USPS 1583 form and get the form notarized online within 30 minutes, versus taking several days.

Forward your postal mail to your new address

Now that your virtual mailbox is set up, all that’s left to do is to forward your mail to your new virtual mailing address. Or, fill out a change of address form. I use a virtual mailbox both for my personal mail and my business mail. I receive mail in Seattle and San Francisco and open it from my smartphone.

How do you choose a virtual mailbox service

Below we’ve listed the best virtual mailbox services for long term travelers, digital nomads, and online business owners.

TLDR; The best virtual mailbox service: Anytime Mailbox

The best Virtual mailbox services

1. Anytime Mailbox

I mentioned this above and why I switched – primarily because of the online notary service, smartphone app, and large selection of locations.

Anytime Mailbox has over 1,400 street addresses across the United States and internationally, giving you the freedom to select the perfect location.

There is a range of plans with prices starting as low as $5.99, depending on your chosen location and services. You get full control of your virtual mailbox service since you get to select your required features such as mail scanning, incoming mail forwarding, check deposit, and mail shredding.

Each account gets free unlimited online storage as long as your account is active. Anytime Mailbox is one of the most global virtual mailboxes for digital nomads and their online interface is user-friendly.

Ease of use:

  • Mobile app
  • Access from PC, tablet, laptop or smartphone, on Apple, Android and Mac

Prices:

  • Range from $5.99 to $79.99

Features:

  • International mailboxes (over 1,400)
  • Mail scanning
  • Free secure mail shredding
  • Mail recycling
  • Smartphone app

Pros:

  • Online notary service for quick setup
  • Lower starting rates
  • Unlimited cloud storage
  • Large global network of virtual mailbox addresses
  • Good support

Cons:

  • No physical locations, Anytime Mailbox providers are a network of locations and partners

2. Traveling Mailbox

Traveling mailbox provides virtual mailbox services to thousands of businesses, digital nomads, remote workers, travelers and families. They offer a flexible, affordable and simple to use the virtual mailbox for digital nomads.  I used Traveling Mailbox for many years without any issue after switching over from EarthClassMail. Read my earlier comparison of Traveling Mail vs. EarthClassMail.

Ease of use:

  • Takes time to get set up, but once you’re set up, it’s straightforward
  • User interface is outdated

Prices:

Prices range from $15 to $55 per month, and there are 3 plans to choose from, each with its benefits.

Features:

All plans include the following:

  • Junkmail filtering
  • Unlimited digital storage
  • Free mail shredding

Pros:

  • The freedom to change plans at any time
  • Trustworthy service

Cons:

  • Poor user interface
  • Longer setup
  • Scan rollovers not available on the basic plan

3. PostScan Mail

PostScan mail offers over 400 virtual mailbox addresses for online business owners and personal use, across the United States and internationally.

Ease of use

  • Mobile App
  • Available on all Android and Apple devices

Prices:

Prices range between $15 and $30 per month, based on the 3 plans offered.

Features:

All PostScan Mail plans offer the following benefits:

  • Unlimited digital storage
  • Shipment and delivery tracking
  • Local mail and package pickup
  • Unlimited recycling
  • Automated inbound mail scanning

Pros:

  • Free unlimited cloud storage for up to 7 days

Cons:

  • There are costs for every additional benefit requested
  • Packages are free to store for 7 days, thereafter a fee is charged
  • Some locations may charge a pickup fee for mail and packages.

4. Earthclass Mail

Offering some of the most comprehensive benefits, it’s easy to see why Earthclass Mail has made it into the top 9. Fun fact – I met the CEO of Earthclass Mail (ECM) when it was just one location and they were fundraising. The idea was very new and not well received at the time. Since then, ECM has grown into one of the larges virtual mailbox companies today. One of the reasons ECM is expensive is because it has its own physical mail storage locations.

Ease of Use:

  • User friendly, cater to businesses

Prices:

Not one of the cheaper options, with prices ranging between $19 and $79 per month.

Features:

  • 50 incoming mail items per month
  • Free shredding services
  • 30 days free physical mail storage
  • 20 pages of scans

Pros:

  • Physical mail storage
  • Business-friendly.  You may pay more for check processing but they have mastered this service.

Cons:

  • Every extra scan and mail item received is charged depending on your plan
  • Prices differ for these additives based on whether your plan was purchased before or after 7 June 2020.

5. iPostal1

iPostal1 is the ideal virtual mailbox service for small businesses and families, with no contract or signup fee. In addition, they’re flexible and offer plan changes at any time.

Ease of use:

  • Mobile App

Prices:

There are 4 plans to choose from. The entry-level is their Green Plan at $9.99, with the Gold Plan being the top of the range at $39.99.

Features:

Among the myriad of benefits, all plans include the following:

  • Free 30 day storage of all letters and boxes under 1.728 cubic inches
  • $100 insurance on shipping with FedEx, DHL and UPS, with Flexi shipment
  • Consolidation of letters into one package for forwarding

Pros:

  • 2 months free when you sign up for the yearly plan on any plan
  • Up to 5 recipient names per address for personal use, and 4 names plus 1 company name for businesses

Cons:

  • Limited 2GB cloud storage
  • Scanning, shredding and check deposits come at an additional cost

6. US Global Mail

With over 80,000 clients, US Global Mail offers ease with safety and security, allowing you to read, print, ship, and download without leaving your home.

Ease of use:

  • Mobile App

Prices:

There are 2 plans to choose from for personal use, perfect for a virtual mailbox for remote workers and digital nomads, travelers and families. The Basic Plan costs $14.99 and the Plus Plan, R19.99. Their business plan comes in at 34.99. Each plan carries a $5 monthly discount should you sign up for an annual payment.

Features:

Among the myriad of benefits, All plans include the following:

  • Free check deposits
  • Free mail storage between 45 and 180 days, plan dependent
  • Junk mail filtering

Pros:

  • Customer standard and priority lines
  • $5/month discount when paid annually
  • 100% 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Savings of up to 80% on shipping with FedEx, UPS and DHL

Cons:

  • No mention of cloud storage
  • Scanning, shredding comes at an additional cost

7. VirtualPostMail

Virtual Postal Mail (VPM) offers same-day service while boasting a customer satisfaction rating of 98%. In addition, the are virtual mailbox services tailored to meet the individual needs of those seeking a virtual mailbox for digital nomads or remote workers.

Ease of use:

  • Website, email
  • No mobile app

Prices:

The Basic Plan costs $14.99 and the Plus Plan, $19.99. Their business plan comes in at $34.99. Each plan carries a $5 monthly discount should you sign up for an annual payment.

Features:

  • Limited free scans
  • Between 2 and 20 recipients, dependent on the plan
  • Envelopes allowed per month range from 25 on the starter plan, to unlimited on Premium

Pros:

  • One of the cheapest when it comes to adding recipients

Cons:

  • No mention of cloud storage
  • Scanning, shredding comes at an additional cost
  • $10 per check deposit on all plans

8. SasquatchMail

With only one plan offered on the mail forwarding service, solutions may not be as comprehensive as would be expected from a virtual mailbox service.

Ease of use:

  • Website, email

Prices:

$9.99 per month/$99.99 a year

Features:

  • Free shredding and recycling
  • Unlimited incoming mail and recipients
  • No postage deposit required

Pros:

  • Optional phone service at $9 with a free 60-day trial
  • Unlimited mail scanning storage

Cons:

  • $2 per scan

9. PO Box Zone

Self-acclaimed as the perfect solution for virtual mailboxes for travelers, PO Box Zone offers virtual mailbox services similar to an advanced post box.

Ease of use:

  • Mobile App

Prices:

Three plans are offered, ranging between $99 and $250 per year.

Features:

  • Free junk mail filtering
  • Shipping through FedEx, DHL, and UPS
  • Limited incoming mail and recipients, Unlimited on the top plan
  • Flat mail out fee charge

Pros:

  • No standouts on this one. Barely meets the basics

Cons:

  • Location is extremely limited (Nevada and Wyoming only)

Conclusion

A virtual mailbox is a requirement for anyone operating remotely – digital nomads, remote workers, online business owners, long-term travelers.

You can be anywhere in the world and not have to worry about missing a beat.

Anytime Mailbox is my personal choice to get a virtual address the best based on the value and convenience that they offer.

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