If anyone has any suggestions to get around this sort of limitation, I'm all ears and will be back on Zimbra before the weekend is out ;-)
They've got a free account for up to 200 mails a day.
Note; 'clean IPs from unassigned netblocks' are not necessarily good. see bogon filtering - still, running your own mailserver is not an impossibly difficult task.
Looking at their pricing page it looks like you'd be out about $150-160 bucks per year. Up to you to decide if it's worth it, but hardly expensive in the normal sense of the word.
1. Set up reverse DNS for your IP address
2. Publish an SPF record
3. Check the Spamhaus lists http://www.spamhaus.org/query/bl?ip=18.104.22.168 and request removal if your IP address is on them.
As an addendum to grandparent: extremely comprehensive guide to postfix + dovecot here: http://workaround.org/ispmail
Setting up your own mailserver is easy. But getting a gmail-like experience is pretty hard. For example, I tried Roundcube a while back with my full Gmail mail dump. It tried to keep up, but there was just no way it was going to handle 2gb of mail going back years.
I'd love to see something that either ran off of a standard imap server or that was a mail-delivery agent (MDA) that had a gmail-like web interface, complete with full text search.
I haven't found anything like that yet.
Like mbreese, I have wondered for some years if an open-source version of Gmail existed, and also what would be necessary to reproduce the Gmail experience (on the backend side for example, to get to the same speed in search). But I always hear Zimbra which doesn't seem to be the right answer to me.
My experience too, after using it for about a year. It's OK, but it's nowhere near as good as gmail.
My biggest complaint with it is that doesn't have a threaded view for mailing lists, but I haven't found a webmail yet with proper threaded view either. Other than that, I think it's a great substitute for a native client when I'm not at home and don't feel like using my phone, or don't have a good data connection.
first you have to set up redundant hosts. preferably on different backbones in different colos, unless a majority of your gear is in one place. next you set up the software as secure as you can so there is a minimum window for 0-days and patching can be done in scheduled maintenance windows. then you set up your monitoring to notify you when something goes south, on both hosts. things like queue size checkers and threshold-based statistic alerts are handy.
next you set up your spam filtering. THIS IS HARD. i don't care what any old salty dog mail admin tells you, it is an arduous process to properly manage the filtering and blocking and unblocking etc of mail. for a small site, getting aol or yahoo to unblock your ip range may be a great feat. for a large site, 90% of your traffic will be spam and getting every legitimate mail is nearly impossible without subjecting your users to tons of crap.
the cost in money and time just to host some free webmail yourself is astronomical in comparison to putting up with an ad and a possible privacy violation from a free provider like yahoo or gmail. if you want your mail handled properly, pay a big e-mail provider to host it for you, or spend a lot moree time and money to do the same thing yourself.
My mail server stack looks like:
Linode + Postfix + Dovecot (w/mySQL & imap) + RoundCube + SpamAssassin + managesieve.
With this setup, I get more powerful mail filters than Gmail, a better webmail client than most ISPs, and spam controls that I can access directly from my webmail client.
It's not the easiest setup to pull off, though. I'll need to roll out a second one of these before long, and I'll try to write it up next time.
EDIT: Or for $5/month/domain (the same deal I give my clients), I'll give anyone unlimited domain email hosting, unlimited accounts, (practically) unlimited storage.
Of course I was also given a mobileme account (which uses a pretty slick desktop-like web UI for mail) but I was shocked that they didn't do like a Google-Apps style rebrand of MobileMe email for their own @apple.com accounts. Pretty sad if you ask me.
What are some of the plugins that you find useful?
I also have managesieve installed, and there's a plugin for it too, so with imap, inbound email gets automatically sorted into folders for me, and I can control that from RoundCube. The filtering is actually way more powerful than anything Gmail can do (last time I checked).
Those are the two "must-haves" IMO.
Way nicer than SquirrelMail.
there's also this - http://lmgtfy.com/?q=open-source+webmail
That's assuming you can get access to PuTTY and/or ssh from anywhere. :-P
Do you have time to manage and keep your server secure? Can you patch a new 0day in an hour, possibly not.
On the other hand when men-in-black asks to Google yes they might give it away, which is another story.
However, if, like the OP, you do not trust a major corporation with a near-immaculate record on data integrity and an industry-leading stance on LEA disclosure, why trust any corporation?
Hosting your own server is inherently risky, but it is a different sort of risk with different mitigations. As you allude to in your post, the question is whether you fear malicious individuals, the workings of the state or corporate incompetence.
I use the web interface for preview and POP to Eudora for the real thing. Pretty much total satisfaction. You also get space for a static web site and file sharing. Pay enough (but not much) and you can use your own domains.
1. Spam false positives. I get order confirmations or mail list subscriptions sent to spam folder occasionally.
2. Search is really bad. by default it only searches subjects, and I think only in the current folder.
Thinking about moving to gmail, provided those guys sort out privacy issues.
1. Just add addresses to your address book to whitelist. Also make sure you use Report Spam/Report non-spam on enough emails (200 of each) to activate your personal bayes db (see the Options -> Spam/Virus Protection near the bottom to see how many of each you've already learned)
2. At the moment, you do have to explicitly add body: to a term to do a body search. The first time might be slow as it indexes your email, after that it should be faster.
At the end of the day your own domain is what you really want - you can host it on Fastmail or Google, and if any of them screw up you can move on to other hosting provider or to your own server.
For people that are concerned about lock in, I highly recommend this as well. Get your own domain, and then you're not tied to any one service. We have 10,000's of domains hosted at FastMail.
You can always get a free guest account to try it out. Or if you ask nicely enough, one of us who have accounts might be able to post a screenshot. ;)
Hmmm yes, we don't really have any screenshots do we, we should probably fix that!
Hopefully even without a screenshot, we can convince people it's worth trying us out (there is the free Guest account, minimal storage, but you can at least look around the interface, and then upgrade if you like it)
Quick links to the two biggest things people want to know, features and reliability.
One could make the case that hosting on Gmail has greater privacy in this respect, since if you send to any other Gmail address, the e-mail probably stays within the Google network.
So who are you hiding from? If it's the government, then you must use strong cryptography no matter where you host your email, and you must ensure that everyone you communicate with is as paranoid as you. (I would encrypt all my email, but nobody else I talk too will. So it doesn't work.) If it's advertisers you want to avoid, just run your own server and stop worrying so much. People have been doing it for years.
(Although, I run my own mailserver and am inundated with spam. Thousands of messages a day. So you aren't really avoiding advertisements, you are just avoiding advertisements for stuff you might actually want :)
You? Not so much. If the FBI shows up at your door, you're toast.
(Hint: the opposite. The government had to pay him damages for seizing his computers.)
That is illegal and ineffective. Full-disk encryption provides much more safety, both legally and technically. (They could still sneak into your house and install a hardware keylogger that gets your encryption passphrase, and then seize the disks. But this is real life, not a movie.)
1) Google infrastructure is probably more secure than any server you could set up quickly.
2) Google handles all those pesky issue with IP blacklists, Spam, etc that you'll be forced to deal with on a DIY server. Granted, there are solutions for each of these; Its your valuable time, in the end.
On the other hand,
for a DIY mail-server: you truly don't gain much besides having an accessible dump of your mailbox(in the event that all the gmail-specific datacenters get nuked in a single day?)
ISPs can and probably wil sniff your plain text email traffic now/in near future due to external police state pressures.
I live in India, and sadly I envision this place turning into a police state by sheer incompetence on the part of the administration who pass half-baked net-nanny laws.
The only solution to email privacy: Hard-to-reverse Encryption of the text (typically GPG).
Most of the crowd here know this well. But making email encryption transparent and easy-to-use would be a killer product for those customers that value privacy. FireGPG is trying , but Gmail code changes keep breaking stuff sometimes.(http://blog.getfiregpg.org/2009/11/05/gmail-issues-fixed/)
Redundancy/Backup is another issue altogether.
You should probably keep backup IMAP dumps in a geographically distant location if you fear Gmail will just cease to exist one day(without any warning).
Try turning off spam checking on any email address that's been around the net a few years.
The upside of GMail (and other shared-services) is that you are benefiting from their collective wisdom of incoming spam landscape - they see the bigger picture from everyone's accounts in aggregate... which is why their spam filters are so much more effective than bayesian filtering -- which is the only tool you have if you 'go it alone' on email
With an email address that dates back to 1994 and listed all over Usenet before we knew it would be indexed by DejaNews/Google, I need the spam protection and so I'll always go shared-hosted (Gmail for now).
This is not true at all. Of the top of my head, I can think of three different distributed message hashing services (Razor, Pyzor, and DCC) that function similar to a shared Bayesian filter, not to mention all the various IP and URI blacklists that collect and share data about bad actors. I've actually done mail server installs where I've turned off the local bayes filters to improve results because they were getting confused by low volumes.
SpamAssassin comes with just about every Linux distribution and is used by major ISPs, so you're not "going it alone," you're leveraging what a huge percentage of the internet population is already using.
It's not without effort (maybe 15-30 minutes/week of tweaking when something slips through), but my personal email setup gives me as good or better results than my infrequently-used Gmail account.
They (claim to) use some sort of encryption scheme such that they do not have access to the data on their own servers. I don't know enough about crypto to verify, but if your concern for moving away from Google is privacy and/or security, it's probably worth at least a cursory glance.
Oh, on a similar note: how do they decrypt these messages after you have verified your user/password during sign in if it requires the plaintext password to decrypt each message? By storing the password in a plaintext session database?
We use Zoho Mail for our own 1000 employees. My company email address has been around and active for 13 years. I get 450 spam messages a day. Zoho Mail typically misses catching 1 or 2 a day; far more important to me, I can trust is not to have false positives (genuine mail going into spam).
We invite you to try it out.
On our business model: Zoho.com is free for individuals, without advertising. For businesses & domain based email, first 10 users are free, again without advertising. We charge $50/user/year (note: per YEAR) from the 11th user.
We do not believe in the advertising model for Zoho. Our business model is subscription based, with a generous free edition. We find this model to be financially viable.
+ I doubt they'd be stupid enough to bring buzz to their business users.
Of course, you can just turn it off in regular ol' Gmail as well.
I love 90% of googles products so don't assume this is flame / bashing.
From that list I use fastmail.fm for outgoing (smtp). (Reasons of historical accident.) $5/year, no ads, satisfied so far.
Another alternative is to go the shared host route. Plus: you'll get a shell account without having to/being able to administer a virtual box (and mail server), it's just an account.
I've used pair.com for about 10 years to host my domain. Imap/pop access, or webmail. (Their webmail actually isn't that great, but it works.) Enthusiastic recommendation for pair.
Go register somewhere reputable (pairnic.com is good), then go host your domain somewhere (I like pair.com). Pairnic and pair are the same company, and conveniently integrated, but you can use either separately or not at all if you like. I get so many allowed email accounts with a minimal plan on pair.com that I don't bother remembering it anymore.
I hate Gmail and desperately want to find another email/webmail service. I want to switch to something that feels more secure, something that does email well without any of the extra junk they have been adding to my Gmail account. I don't seem to be alone.
I consulted several friends with more "tech cred" than me, and they pointed me to a few Gmail alternatives, with Fastmail at the top of the list.
I went to your website and after browsing for about a minute, I wanted to scratch Fastmail off my list. Your website came across as clunky, cold, and BLAH. It seemed like the website was designed about five years ago, and it didn't really instill confidence that your service would be a user-friendly experience or something that I could transition to without a huge amount of effort.
I decided to check out another Gmail alternative on my list called "Roundcube". The Roundcube site was simple but elegantly designed. More importantly, it didn't feel like it was trying to put me to sleep. The site laid out its features via simple navigation structure, basic colors, a nice screenshot, and a non-cluttered layout. I wanted to hug it. It gave the vibe that they offered an email service that would make the transition away from Gmail extremely painless and straightforward.
I relayed my thoughts to a techie friend, and he reiterated that your service is far superior to Roundcube. I trust my friend, and I will probably sign up for an account with you.
But seriously... There are so many people out there right now who desperately want to break free of their Gmail shackles. The moment is ridiculously ripe for another service to step into that vacuum and offer a refuge to all of these people.
Your email service might be truly awesome, but your website is total cryptonite for people who are ready to make the switch.
Welcome us with open arms, and we will come in droves!!
Their web interface isn't anything special, but at least it's proper IMAP so you can use whichever desktop client you like.
I started doing a custom fork of RoundCube to do just this a few months back but never finished it...does anyone know of anything off-the-shelf that will do this?
I have about 50 google accounts and use my regular gmail this way...
So far so good - minimal spam (well none so far) has reached my inbox and they are always adding in features like Facebook integration.
that's who i was thinking of switching to (i want to be able to use google "anonymously", and it's tricky when also logged in to gmail). i scanned through the mail providers listed on wikipedia and that seemed the best. hosted in norway, iirc. surprised no-one else has mentioned it here, though.
They have treated me well, I have not noticed any downtime, but I am not very sensitive to that.
They also allow virtual domains, so I have three websites, two very low traffic, for the price of one.
Millions will flock to them. Instant win.
I see every other client - mutt, pine, etc. there