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Ask HN: professional gmail alternatives
13 points by hasenj 2078 days ago | hide | past | web | 19 comments | favorite
Dear HN,

A few days ago, some incident happened (I won't go into details) and my gmail account got suspended. It's back for now, but I want to move out.

Free won't do it for me anymore. I want something reliable. I'd rather pay for an email provider rather than depend on google. I can't afford to have my main email in the hands of a provider who reserves the right to suspend my account any time for any reason without even warning me first.

Paypal, and my bank, communicate with me through email. Also, I put my email on my resume. You get the idea. Of course, having an email provider I can rely on is very important.

Any recommendations?

Of course, it has be ajaxy and all that cool stuff.

Rackspace Mail.


SLA-guaranteed reliability, 24x7x365 support. Can't ask for more, and it's only $2 per mailbox.

People telling you to just throw up your own server are only giving you half the story. Just installing the software isn't even half the work to creating a setup that actually gets your outbound mail delivered reliably, then monitoring the RBL status of your server. It's a full time job, pay someone a few bucks to do it.

Do they provide two factor authentication?


Minimum 5 mailboxes ($10). Still, cheap.

Whatever the solution, buy your own domain name, and point the MX records to whatever you end up choosing. Then you really own your email address, and even if you have to jump from one server to another, at least you won't ever have to change your identity.

I'm still happy with Gmail (google apps standard edition with my own domain name, but basically still gmail) but I've used fastmail.fm in the past and it's great.

I asked a similar question a few months ago and got mostly the same answers as you. Most people here seem content dealing with the lack of cool Gmail interface stuff and opt to host their own. Someone needs to build a slick gmaily interface that can be plopped on a web server to use your self-hosted email. Bonus points for adding an XMPP chat client so you can use GTalk and see when your contacts are online. If nothing else, web hosting providers would buy this from you to offer their customers.

You can host your own mail server (on a cloud server if you don't want to worry about power outages and such) and use Gmail as a POP client, instead of using the gmail address as your email address directly.

To my knowledge, gmail always includes is own headers when sending mail, so it doesn't appear to be from your server, rather, it's from your domain VIA gmail.

Is there's a way around this and use gmail as a local pop-client?

Hm, sounds like the most reasonable thing to do. Thanks!

I've never setup my own mail server before. Any guide/tutorial you recommend?

I would go with Fastmail if you want someone else to host it - but if your email is very important to you, you should be running your own server, or hosting with someone you know and trust on a personal basis. Anything else is susceptible to the "scary letter" attack where they threaten your service provider with something awful, and the service provider shuts you down because it's easier to lose a non-paying (or $10/month) customer than it is to deal with some pissed-off law firm or transnational corp.

As long as you control the domain, that's really not very scary. Use IMAP so you always have a copy of your own mail on a computer somewhere, even if you also choose to access it over webmail/Gmail/whatever. If some provider shuts you down, open up somewhere else and you're back as fast as DNS caches expire. Running your own POP/IMAP server is simple, running your own SMTP server and keeping delivery reliable creates a bunch of extra work.

At the risk of stating the obvious, you can pay Google for their corporate email. Last I checked it was $50 a person per user on the domain, and you get all the benefits of being an actual Google customer.

http://fastmail.fm/ has been around for 10 years and are very reliable.

How's their interface like? They have no screenshots at all, and it makes me weary a bit.

Nothing to write home about but it is functional, and there are some useful features like Rules to apply to incoming mail.

Sign up for the free account the interface is the same last I checked.

Here are some screenshots provided by other sites:



Just jump onto ec2 and run your own mail server for pittance.

Deliverability will be terrible. EC2 is a haven for spam so it's constantly turning up in blacklists. Running an SMTP server on a cloud provider is not smart.

Fusemail is a good solution and is only $2/month per mailbox.

You can better setup a mail server for yourself.

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