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Step 1 is a good backup. With JMAP that could be done for any provider, can you with gmail? The solutions that I've seen all seem like hacks. But I have yet to try it so I could be very wrong. But please let me know if there is a decent alternative, I'm about to migrate a google account.

I'd hope most decent providers let you use your own domain...

It's easy to think gmail spam filtering is good if you never check the spam folder. It has filtered out some very important mails for me and others so I do my very best to disable it. Create a filter for "is:spam" and "Never send it to Spam" is the best solution I know. But despite this google might remove mails anyway.

I've had good success using mbsync to back up a variety of IMAP provided email services. It's not perfect, and does require a little bit of fiddling, but once it's set up, it Just Works™ the way it should. I've even used it to move ~300k mails from Google to Fastmail.

I had a lot of custom spam rules on Gmail because Google takes the opinion of the masses to decide how to filter. Since FastMail's personalized spam filter kicked in, which is based on my opinion, I've never had to make hard rules for FastMail spam handling.

Another big advantage is that their spam data aggregation is optional, unlike Gmail's, and solely uses the content of confirmed spam (aka, you permanently deleted it) to refine their data, so no personal data is getting hoovered up with it.

I did actually shut off offering up my spam data to the masses on FastMail, because I realized I had an edge case where the filters defining my spam as spam for everyone could be harmful.

As far as backup, I have a local Microsoft Outlook which I open every so often which pulls down all the email. I wouldn't mind a Google Takeout-esque download feature from FastMail at some point too though.

The spam filtering isn't perfect (can't think of any false negatives, but some false positives. I hedged with "potentially" above) but I receive very little spam so I just check the folder when I get one. And this is with an old school catch-all domain setting too.

I haven't looked into backing up gmail.

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