How do you access multiple LuxSci accounts from one browser?

March 8th, 2016

Our first “Ask Erik” question comes from Peter Douglas of GFIA, Singapore:

“I’ve been a LuxSci customer for >15 years and it’s been great… to the extent that almost all the organizations I’m involved with, I’ve set up with LuxSci email and sometimes Web hosting.

On an email client I can switch between LuxSci accounts seamlessly.  But on WebMail, if I try to open my various accounts in different tabs, I keep getting logged out each time I move between accounts.

In the past your technical support has suggested using a different make of browser for each account.  This works, but it seems a bit of a duct-tape-and-WD40 approach for the 21st century.  Is there a more elegant solution to switching between multiple LuxSci accounts?”

Thank you for the great question, Peter.  Below, I shall explain what is happening and why, and then present a few good solutions for accessing or managing multiple LuxSci accounts.

Why can’t I login to different LuxSci accounts in different browser tabs?

LuxSci, like most web sites, uses something called “cookies” to track if you are logged in and who you are logged in as.  These cookies are little bits of data that are sent back and forth between your browser and the server with each page view. The tricky bit is that all of your tabs and separate windows of the same browser share the same big “cookie jar”.  So, here is what happens:

  1. You login to LuxSci as User X.
  2. LuxSci sets cookies in your browser to track that you are logged in as User X.
  3. You open a new tab and login to LuxSci again as User Y.
  4. LuxSci sets cookies to track that you are now User Y. These cookies replace the ones that were tracking your logged-in status as User X. Now all tabs think that you are User Y.

So what can I do?

Since you can’t have multiple tabs open with different logins to the same web site when cookies are used and shared across tabs, there are only two ways to login concurrently as multiple users:

  1. Use a different browser for each login as Peter mentioned (e.g. Chrome for User X and FireFox for User Y)
  2. Use the same browser but different private windows for each session

Certain modern browsers allow you to open a new tab or window in “incognito” mode or as a private session. Each time you do so, that tab or window gets its own independent state and its own “cookie jar”, allowing you to maintain separate concurrent sessions without cookie confusion.

However, depending on what you are trying to accomplish, there are other ways to access multiple LuxSci accounts via a single login.

What are some other solutions?

Use shared email folders to access the email from multiple accounts via a single login

Analogous to setting up multiple accounts in an email program and checking them all at once, LuxSci permits:

  1. Shared email folders and
  2. WebMail signatures

With shared email folders, User X can share selected folders as read only or read-write with other LuxSci users (even those in other accounts).  Account administrators can manage the folder sharing of their users for them as well.  So, if User X’s inbox was shared with User Y, then User Y would see that inbox in their WebMail interface and be able to access the messages therein according to their permission level.  Read more: access multiple inboxes and other folders from a single account.

With WebMail signatures, you can define multiple identities or personalities. When replying to email messages in shared email folders, you can choose to have these replies originate from that other user’s email address.  See: manage your multiple personalities with email signatures.

Administer multiple LuxSci accounts with a single login

Many of our customers have multiple, distinct accounts with LuxSci — not just different user logins, but different distinct organizational entities with different user logins and services and payment plans.  When a customer administers multiple related accounts, these can be managed via a single main administrative login which we call a Global Administrator.

Once set up, the Global Administrator can view and manage the administrative settings for all linked accounts and can setup cross-account sharing, cross-account billing, and other options to make the separate accounts work together.

To learn more about Global Administration see this help article (you must login to LuxSci first): Global Account Administration.

If you have more questions about managing multiple accounts or sharing email folders (or calendars, contacts, address books, etc.) between users, please contact support.

Have other questions?  Ask Erik.