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Ask HN: What's the current state-of-the-art for personal email?
7 points by moofish 1774 days ago | hide | past | web | 5 comments | favorite
With Google Apps going non-free, I'm jolted back towards hosting my own email to get a little bit more flexibility.

So, what's the best setup at the minute in terms of email servers, spam filters, etc? Are there any good web UIs? Does anything provide something similar to Gmail's filters?

If you host your own email, you may need to know more and do more than you think you need to do.

I tried it for awhile, it was easy to set up with postfix.

The problem I ran into is that large services like gmail and linked in would not send to me. They weren't rejecting mail from me; they wouldn't send to me. I think because I didn't do enough with <vague> reputation mechanisms </vague>, but I never really knew because I realized I wanted to receive mail now, not when I eventually worked it out.

That's just one surprising (to me) example. Mail has a reputation for being easy to get started and hard to get right. I think that's a deserved reputation.

I forward my domain's email to fastmail.fm, a paid service. I'm happy with it.

Good luck.

I'm not sure what the current best stack is for email (last time I hosted my own, the setup involved UUCP), but my ideal setup would be as follows:

- continue using Gmail as the main account

- have a catch-all on my server which simply forwards to the Gmail account

- for sending mail, have a regexp that when matched, will rewrite the 'from' username to that

As an example of the last point, if my subject has &hn& at the beginning, remove that string and change the from address to 'hn@example.com'.

I believe this should be possible with postfix. What I'm not sure of is if Gmail will flag my servers for the steady stream of spam being forwarded (I'd prefer to let Gmail's filters handle all spam).

I use a commercial hosting service which includes email. It provides as options SpamAssassin and Spamdyke, which work as well as can be expected. Spamdyke's graylisting does a nice job of keeping out much spam, more effectively than anything else.

The hosting provider provides a web interface in addition to IMAP, but I use IMAP clients, primarily Thunderbird, rather than web interfaces to email.

What the provider does not have, and I'd very much like to have, is IMAP augmented by Sieve.

I've been using altomail for a while, it's nice. It's just a somewhat bugged preview, but I got impressed. I'm still figuring what they want in exchange for the service (it's free right now).

Anyways, it is just an UI on steroids, AOL didn't have the guts to roll their own new service.

https://fastmail.fm does a good job and charges vary little, based on what you need.

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