Best Email Service

Discussion in 'Email Discussions' started by popowich, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. popowich

    popowich EQ Forum Admin Staff Member

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    Who is your favorite email provider and why?

    I moved my primary email address from my dedicated server to Gmail a couple years ago.

    I continue to host my own custom domain based email accounts.

    At the time I liked Gmail because they had the best spam filtering compared to other free email providers that I had been using over the years.
     


  2. foggy

    foggy Valued Member

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    Hmmm... Well, I have tried a few of them since first "going online" back in 2001. AOL, Juno, Yahoo/Ymail, Gmail/GApps, EuMX, GMX, FastMail, and less well-known ones (Mailshack/Lavabit, Ireland.com, PolarisMail,), etc. It seems I no sooner get myself settled with one provider as my main account than something comes along -- like an article on privacy/security issues, a blog announcing significant new updates/upgrades, etc. -- and I'm back trying a service I thought I had left for good. I guess I have a short attention span when it comes to email. :rolleyes:

    As things stand now, I must say that in the category of simplicity of use and clean interface I like Hotmail & Yahoo (with FF's necessary webmail adblocker extention, of course :D). Don't like the lack of SSL, though, so I don't really use these services at all except for testing now and then.

    For good features and eye-candy, Gmail/Google Apps.

    For loads of functionality (personalities, aliases, redirect feature, etc.), customizability, and great customer support, FastMail gets my vote.
     

  3. Big Dan

    Big Dan EQ Forum Moderator Staff Member

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    Gmail hands down. It's made my previously complex email setups so simple. Back when I first started online I only had ISP email accounts that only supported POP3 which meant all my mail was tied to one computer which sucked especially when on the move. After that I started with Yahoo mail and bought that Yahoo mail plus upsell which was stupid of me to pay for because they only supported POP3 at the time but extra storage was nice.

    Then I started with domains. My first registrar and host was Yahoo and they tried to upsell extra email addresses. I always laugh at the small business/ consumer level hosts/registrars they upsell things that cost them nothing or next to nothing to provide. That was annoying because paid hosting still didn't support IMAP and to be honest at the time I really didn't understand what IMAP was anyhow. :D All my email was still tied one client/computer because everything was still POP3.

    I got smart and started going through GoDaddy to registrar domains, they offered 1 free email address with each domain. I figured out I could use a catch all and be done with it. That didn't work out mainly because I couldn't send from a caught address with my client.

    Finally, I got somewhat smarter and started hosting with regular hosts and eventually moved up to my own servers. Around that time I discovered Gmail's send mail as feature. I just took all my domains and set the catch all to forward to Gmail. That worked great until I got spoofed a few times and got thousands of bounces in my inbox. :eek: More recently Ray (popowich) convinced me that catch-alls aren't that great of an idea, so I setup the addresses I actually use as regular forwarders, and dropped the catch-alls.

    With Gmail, any mail that's still POP3-only like my ISP accounts gets fetched into Gmail. Everything else is forwarded in and has a send mail as alias setup. Gmail's available everywhere including mobile devices and I can get at my email from anywhere in the world. If I ever do reach the storage cap you can but your last dollar that I'll buy more storage space. I do use Thunderbird to check via IMAP from time to time but I'm pretty happy with the web interface. My only beef with Gmail is I wish it would do contacts better. I merged my personal address book into Gmail and lots of them don't have email addresses but their names still pop up when writing an email.

    Well I got pretty long winded but that's normal for me I guess. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  4. foggy

    foggy Valued Member

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    General question for you Gmail users: Are you concerned at all about having your account compromised in some way and not being able to get it back ? I've read of some people who lost their accounts to hackers/hijackers and were unable to get it back, partly because they couldn't prove to a Gmail rep. that they were the legit owners ! (A similar thing happened to me when I had a Gmail account I hadn't used in some months. It wasn't hacked, but I couldn't remember the password. I contacted CS but couldn't prove to them I was the 'owner,' even though the username was the same as the domain I was hosting at G Apps !!)

    I see that as one drawback of having a free account with Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail: if you're locked out of your account, it's next to impossible (in many users' experience) to get a cust. serv. rep. to get back to you, much let get your account back to you !
     
  5. popowich

    popowich EQ Forum Admin Staff Member

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    Yes, of course. Giving up control of your email account hosting limits how much control you have over it if there is a problem. If you have your own domain name and/or dedicated server you have more options if there is an issue with your email. Using another company to host your email can leave your hands tied when there is a problem, especially with the free webmail providers who offer limited or no support. My Gmail account recently suffered a DoS attack (denial of service). I have no idea and will never know if it was intentional or accidental since I don't have access to the incoming mail logs. The result was a Gmail account that was virtually unusable for several weeks :

    http://www.emailquestions.com/gmail...ing-contact-receiving-mail-rate-prevents.html
     
  6. Big Dan

    Big Dan EQ Forum Moderator Staff Member

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    Definitely, it's always at the back of my mind. Especially for a service I rely on as much as Gmail. That's the biggest trade off for me with Gmail, peace of mind. Recently Gmail implemented new password reset mechanisms that put my mind at ease some; namely registering my cell phone number for password reset. I also pull down backups via POP3 every so often.

    As another layer of protection, none of my mail goes directly to Gmail. Everything goes to domain based forwards. In essence Gmail is only the end point. Everything still has to pass through my host. In the event that my Gmail account is compromised I can just switch all the forwards to an account on my server within a matter of minutes. It would be a headache but I believe that's good fail safe.

    I use a good strong password and generally keep my main Gmail account's name as secret as I can.

    At the end of the day, for me I believe the peace of mind trade off for access to all my email anytime anywhere is worth it.
     
  7. popowich

    popowich EQ Forum Admin Staff Member

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    How well does Gmail do at filtering spam that passes through your forwards?

    Are there anti-spam mechanisms on your personal email host?

    The effectiveness of some IP reputation based filtering would (should) be reduced running your email through the forwards into Gmail.
     
  8. Big Dan

    Big Dan EQ Forum Moderator Staff Member

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    It does great at filtering out spam. Since I've turned off the catchalls as you suggested my spam is down by 90% easily. When I had the catchalls setup I'd have to mark 10 or so messages a week a spam, now it's a rarity.

    I think Gmail is smart enough to know that it's being forwarded as the recipient isn't my Gmail address so it disregards the last server's IP.
     
  9. foggy

    foggy Valued Member

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    Thanks, guys, for your further comments ! Of course, you have now succeeded in making me even more wary of putting all my eggs in Google's basket ! ;) Maybe a few eggs, but nothing too important. (Heck, I don't even have a forwarding address or list of contacts at my one and only remainging Gmail account, since I'm afraid of it being compromised and having my contacts become unwitting victims, if the 'intruder' would turn out to be a hacker/spammer !)

    I'm glad at least that Ray's account trouble got straightened out !

    It's too bad Google's service options jump from "free" to "$50/user per year" (Apps). If there was something in the $10-$20 per year range that included reliable support, I might reconsider. :)
     
  10. popowich

    popowich EQ Forum Admin Staff Member

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    I think the point is more "do not put all your eggs in a single basket you don't fully control", and not necessarily that "if there is going to be a single basket do not let it be Gmail". This applies to those with email they are about, can't lose control of, and are trying to figure out which basket to use. Gmail provides a nice service. I don't want anyone to come away thinking I do not recommend their email accounts. Custom domains and your own dedicated hosting are great. For the crazy paranoid multiple free pop3 accounts that you check from your home computer could be a solution too. But then you need to start worrying about online backups and what happens if your computer crashes. Every solutions has it's pro and cons including cost, support, reliability, stability, security, etc. Every email users need to find a balance and decide which solution is the best match for their needs.
     
  11. curvefan

    curvefan Valued Member

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    My favorite is Google Apps. I have a few personal domains set up with Google Apps and couldn't be happier. I realize there is a lot of concerns with privacy and security associated with Gmail/Google Apps, but I have no problems with that. Google Apps meets my needs quite nicely. They always seem to come out with new features to make life easier. I like that. I have tried many email providers in the last few years and I still can't see where any other provider could top the list of features you get with the cost involved. Google Apps standard has no cost. I like that too. Second place for me would have to go to Fastmail. Also a great service. Third place would be Eumx.net or Bluehome.net. And just for fun, Gmx.com has a decent service also. That's about it for me. By the way, very nice site you have here, and thanks for having me. Hope to visit quite often a I'm sort of an email junkie
     
  12. foggy

    foggy Valued Member

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    Those are the best kind. :D

    Welcome !
     
  13. NickMartin

    NickMartin Blacklisted

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    According to me Gmail is the best Email service provider.It is light but customizable interface, Massive storage, Easy to manage inbox Lables and filters make it easy to manage emails, powerful spam filter, Built in chat and Good integration with other Google products.
     

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