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Ask HN: Favorite paid e-mail hosting service
7 points by graffitici on May 6, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 12 comments
I am one of the few people I know who pays for e-mail. And I'm very happy to see my Gmail account get 3 e-mails a week. So far, I've been using GoDaddy as an e-mail host, mainly because it came with the domain purchase. I'm really not happy though, and I'd like to switch.

What are your suggestions for a paid e-mail hosting service? Reasonable storage, IMAP access, and reliability are the most important.

I read that Fastmail was a good contender. Any other options?

EDIT: Forgot to say that some of the e-mails that I send from GoDaddy end up in Gmail's Spam folder, which is of course terrible. I read that this could be avoided by a properly configuring DKIM. Thoughts on this would also be appreciated.

I strongly recommend against IMAP, it's an email only protocol which means your contacts and calendars will not sync between devices. E.G you send a meeting invite to a customer from your desktop, you're not going to be able to check it from your phone during the day or on your way to the meeting. I live and die by my calendar so this is a deal killer for me, although if you don't use calendars or contacts much it may not be for you, IMAP is certainly less expensive.

If calendaring is important you should check out Office 365, lots of storage, syncing between devices, and depending on the SKU, you can install the latest Microsoft suite locally on 5 devices.

The industry leaders in the US are Rackspace and AppRiver and their success can be directly attributed to their bend-over-backwards support so you won't go wrong with either. Rackspace also has a Google Apps offering if that's more your flavor.

If the only reason you are compelled to leave GoDaddy is related to the spam issue mentioned, you can also check out their Office 365 offering, it's hosted by Microsoft so upgrading should eliminate this issue.

Email is pretty much a commodity nowadays, so if support isn't a big deal there are hundreds of smaller providers. Look for Hosted Exchange, it's like Office 365 but without the Microsoft Office suite (although with the way the industry is moving they'll probably force upgrade you to Office 365 within the next 2-5 years anyway).

Disclaimer: I work for a startup managing our large mail provider partnerships, I'm recommending these companies because of first hand experience - (despite their size) they're as passionate as we are, the best at what they do, and relentlessly focus on providing outstanding customer experiences.

Thanks for your reply! This is very enlightening! I think I'll go for FastMail, but I'll also keep RS and AppRiver in mind.

I actually like the way IMAP is email-only. FastMail also offers CalDAV for calendar syncing, which should address most of your points about invitations, right?

I'll think about Office 365, but I'm not using much of the Microsoft stack beyond the obligatory Office apps.

Rackspace Mail if you can do $10/month. It's $2 per mailbox, but there's a $10 monthly minimum per billing account.

They're the pros for hosted business e-mail. 3 million paid mailboxes. 100% uptime guarantee with an SLA behind it. 24x7x365 live support. If you want to talk to someone at 3AM on Christmas Eve, someone will pick up the phone. And you get all the stuff you expect: IMAP/POP/webmail, 25GB mailboxes, automatic backups, good spam filters, forwarding/aliasing/routing, SSL endpoints. I've never had deliverability problems, and in 7+ years can't ever remember there being downtime.


Looks neat, although $120/year is a bit steep for using a single mailbox. Maybe I can try to find 4 others to share the costs.

On that note, anybody else looking for a paid e-mail service..? :)

Not exactly, hosting, but this has worked for me: NameCheap forwards mail from my domain email address to a free Yahoo mail account. Yahoo mail allows for sending mail from a custom "from" address, masking my Yahoo address. I'm not an expert on DKIM/DMARC but it seems that the ymail.com domain (different from yahoo.com) has few restrictions on rejecting messages. It's worked pretty reliably and includes iOS Push support, though due to seemingly slow IMAP servers and a web interface that could use some improvements, I think I'll be switching to zoho, fastmail, or rackspace one of these days for better reliability.

Google Apps is good. Have large storage, IMAP and POP access and also you can sync calendar, contacts etc to your devices.

If you use MS office a lot perhaps office 365 subscription is better suit for you.

I heard fastmail is also provide good mail service.

If you want free wan zoho also provide free mail service with your own domain http://www.zoho.com/mail/

I am a very happy customer of mailbox.org ( https://mailbox.org/en/ )

It's not so obvious but they also support using your own domain.

Good but not super fast support and for me the most important thing, they support active sync so you get push on mobiles.

We use Zoho mail [1] and it has been a really good experience.

[1] https://www.zoho.com/mail/

I use a mix of services including Gmail, Rackspace, and MXroute http://mxroute.com

I just run my own email server.

Yes, I did that years ago when I was in high-school, but I currently don't mind paying for it. I don't have too much to configure sendmail, procmail, IMAP server, etc.. Maybe I'm getting old. It was definitely fun and a good learning experience..

Why though? There are zero reasons and guarantees that the company hosting it isn't data-mining your emails. It's just like free email, but you pay for it.

With your own server, it costs way less and you control everything.

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