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Old 12 Jan 2022, 09:36 PM   #16
ankupan
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 800
I think you missed Office 365 only.

I used it many years till my inbox was on 100+ GB and they were moving data to the Archive folder, which I don't like and the search was too slow.

Else Office 365 is a good choice too. I have some accounts on my domains and still the team is happy with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffpan View Post
I have paid for many providers. Include:
  1. Runbox: paid for about 3 years, gave up for bad webmail experience
  2. FM: paid for about 3 years, gave up b/c I have another Pobox account
  3. Pobox: paid for many years, still in use
  4. GSuite: paid for many years, still in use
  5. Tuffmail: paid for about 2 years, they are a excellent provider, gave up for nothing
  6. Mailbox.org: paid for 1 year, their speed is slow to me
  7. Mail.de: paid for 1 year, a excellent provider, gave up for nothing
  8. mxroute: paid for 2 years, still in use (yes TLS-Mail)
  9. Tutanota: paid for 1 year, have no good experience with them
  10. Yandex Mail360: paid for 1 year, still in use for a domain
  11. PrivateMail by torguard: got a lifetime account from them (100+ USD)

And I have accounts on almost all these URLs:
https://cloudcache.net/data/mails.html

I am tired I have so many email accounts. Even in the night dream I was thinking I should read email right now...
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Old 19 Jan 2022, 05:51 PM   #17
floatinghermit
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Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 9
Smile

Thanks for the detailed information, everyone. Lots of good info here.

Apologies I couldn't reply earlier. I did start looking into some of the respones and wanted to comment on them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TenFour View Post
but you can find plenty of people who have been locked out of their accounts on the official Gmail community forums, on Reddit, and wherever people discuss email.
Wow, there's actually a lot more of this than I thought. This is pretty scary.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ioneja View Post
Welcome to the forum! Great question. The primary reason to pay for email in 2022 is indeed privacy, but there are other reasons too.

Here are various reasons... I might have missed a few:
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Thanks a ton! This is a lot more than I had even hoped for. A lot of those are valid and make sense to me as well.

Some of these points are addressed by having your own domain (which I do) but don't use as my primary email. I use this for fully automated service sign ups and such but not for any sort of correspondence with humans.

Jurisdictions is another very valid point that I might start thinking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TenFour View Post
There is no getting away from ad targeting, whether or not you use Gmail. You are still tracked by Google, Facebook, and many others as long as you interact with the Internet.

That is more important to me--I don't want a hacker to be able to break into my email account, or steal all the passwords from some unsecured database. Billions of users are testing this security at Gmail every day, but with a small email provider you have no way of knowing if someone isn't sitting in their basement reading your emails for kicks.
Yeah this is one of my biggest concerns too. I'm fairly confident that Gmail's security is better than even other larger paid providers (such as fastmail or protonmail, let alone services like purelymail). I'm completely happy to pay something like $10 per year, but I worry that my mail will be less secure than it can be with gmail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ioneja View Post
And while it's true that you can't escape *some* profile being generated by the big tech companies, you can absolutely reduce your footprint and change the kind and depth of profile they generate about you.
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As for the "security" issue, that's a different discussion than privacy of course.

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Google has been the subject of plenty of security breaches, as have other free services like Yahoo, Microsoft, etc.. And if years of experience and security experience counts (which it does) frankly some of these small paid third party email services have been around for longer than GMail, and some have contributed extensively to the open source code that powers most email providers.... or in some cases they release most or all of their codebase as open source, which is then open to all to scrutinize. Gmail, MS, etc., certainly don't do that.

But with everything, YMMV and everyone has different needs and preferences.
Very valid points. One thing that worries me is that I am techie enough for me to know that it's not always easy to know when your service is compromised. When a larger service like gmail or outlook is compromised, its a lot more likely to come to attention than when a smaller provider with a 100 users. Basically, my worry is there's a lot of "unknown" breaches in smaller services (for instance if I self host myself, this would be likely)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamb0 View Post
Alot of email providers are worried of thier server being used for spam now,I think thats why they dont want FREE accounts mostly.....


Welcome to EMD floatinghermit,I hope you like it here
Thanks a lot Bamb0! Yeah the spam issue has really made things a lot worse. I do self host certain things for myself, but email is most definitely not going to be one of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hadaso View Post
The real reason that I pay for email is just that I like the service that I get from Fastmail better than what I can see at Gmail. There's really no other reason. If I had no choice I could certainly manage with just a Gmail account or just a Hotmail account. My wife uses her Hotmail account that she has for almost 25 years despite me paying for her Fastmail account (that she uses for some rare circumstances that don't work well with Hotmail).
What do you actually like in fastmail over gmail? I've tried fastmail before (back when it had a free tier), and I personally didn't feel like it was as good as gmail when it comes to the ease with which I could handle my email. I have a TON of emails, and gmail's search and labeling has always been flawless for me. Fastmail is likely not too different, but I am having a tough time seeing how it's better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffpan View Post
I have paid for many providers. Include:
  1. Runbox: paid for about 3 years, gave up for bad webmail experience
  2. FM: paid for about 3 years, gave up b/c I have another Pobox account
  3. Pobox: paid for many years, still in use
  4. GSuite: paid for many years, still in use
  5. Tuffmail: paid for about 2 years, they are a excellent provider, gave up for nothing
  6. Mailbox.org: paid for 1 year, their speed is slow to me
  7. Mail.de: paid for 1 year, a excellent provider, gave up for nothing
  8. mxroute: paid for 2 years, still in use (yes TLS-Mail)
  9. Tutanota: paid for 1 year, have no good experience with them
  10. Yandex Mail360: paid for 1 year, still in use for a domain
  11. PrivateMail by torguard: got a lifetime account from them (100+ USD)

And I have accounts on almost all these URLs:
https://cloudcache.net/data/mails.html

I am tired I have so many email accounts. Even in the night dream I was thinking I should read email right now...
I am an email account hoarder as well Definitely see some on the list that I don't have accounts on though. Will fill them up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TenFour View Post
By the way, even though I use Gmail as my main email management account I do use paid email because I like having my own domains and domain-based email. It is as simple as that. I do use some of the domains for various small business purposes too, but even if I didn't I like having my own personalized short and easy to spell and remember email address that stands out from the crowd. At the moment my email provider of choice is Purelymail, so I get domain email for $10 a year. That's pretty cheap for the benefits I get. The way I have it set up I also get my main emails stored in multiple locations. That means if my free Gmail account becomes unavailable for some reason (most likely if I get locked out) I can instantly move to another inbox and keep in touch via email. I don't actually use my Gmail address (even though it is a good one) for most things to help keep it protected from spam and phishing attacks, but even so it has been revealed in various database hacks since I have been using it so long. Luckily, Gmail's spam and phishing filters remain the best in the industry and I rarely see any malicious stuff in my inbox.
I have my own domain as well, and I think it's great. However, I haven't actually used it as my primary email, since it doesn't seem super great when humans are involved (they seem to assume @gmail.com and @outlook.com are the only ways in which email addresses can end)
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Old 19 Jan 2022, 07:21 PM   #18
TenFour
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Quote:
since it doesn't seem super great when humans are involved (they seem to assume @gmail.com and @outlook.com are the only ways in which email addresses can end)
Yes, this is a problem! That's one reason I have been culling down the domains I own to only the shortest and easiest to spell, and they are all ".coms." However, today if one is getting a new free Gmail address it is not going to be short, and probably won't be very simple. Just yesterday I was dealing with a bunch of email addresses that had to be typed in and it was interesting to see how many Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, and even AOL addresses there were. Most were Gmail, naturally, and I don't recall a single domain email among this group of ordinary citizens. Personally, I think Gmail is perfectly suitable as a longterm main email address, but you have to be meticulous about setting up everything carefully: current and up to date recovery email and phone number, use 2FA with every method you can so you have alternatives when one fails, print out the one-time backup codes and store them somewhere safe, and check this stuff periodically to make sure you keep it current. Also, if you purchase Google One (more storage and other stuff) you do get a better level of customer service with the ability to contact a human being via email or chat, though I don't know how useful it is if you get locked out.
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Old 20 Jan 2022, 07:06 AM   #19
hadaso
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floatinghermit View Post
What do you actually like in fastmail over gmail? I've tried fastmail before (back when it had a free tier), and I personally didn't feel like it was as good as gmail when it comes to the ease with which I could handle my email. I have a TON of emails, and gmail's search and labeling has always been flawless for me. Fastmail is likely not too different, but I am having a tough time seeing how it's better.
That's a bit difficult to say,since I hardly use Gmail and I am using FastMail daily for the 20 years. One thing is that with Fastmail it's easy to have many instances in separate tabs: if you want to open an email without leaving the current view then I can just use the browser to open it in a separate tab, and then continue from there (like clicking the search field, selecting the sender's address that will already be there, and seeing all my correspondence with that person. I can sometimes have several instances of the webmail with severak different searches to have all the info I need for an email being composed in a separate tab (or several emails being composed simultaneously in different tabs. When I tried Gmail (2004) it was all restricted to a single tab, and I don't see that now it's different, except for opening conversations in separate popup windows that are limited compared to the main webmail app. But then I don;t use Gmail regularly. Another thing that I do regularly with FastMail and absolutely couldn't do with Gmail is send mail from many different addresses without having to confirm each address. This was actually limited by FastMail last year, so some usage scenarios are no longer possible, but it's still possible to send from Fastmail using all addresses in a domain without having to validate each one separately, as long as you can validate a random address in that domain. (And Gmail actually never really allowed sending from separate addresses: they always added a "sender" header that showed it was from Gmail, and conflicted with the way Outlook displays email headers, though the fault was Outlook's interpretation of the headers).

Anther major reason I didn't like Gmail is that they forced conversations, and have no folders. I use the same email store for personal and for work, and at the time I was employed by two or three separate employers at the same time, so I wanted the email stores completely separate (in separate folder and subfolders). Gmail had no separation and no concept of a subfolder. I did like Gmail's search at the time, so I forwarded almost all my email there just for being able to search there, but I don't need this anymore, since Fastmail's search abilities got much better over time (I also used Gmail's attachment previewer back then, but that's also not an issue nowadays because open office variants got much better in handling MS Office documents).
But the main reason was that Fastmail 15-20 years ago, maybe even just 10 years ago was a very personal service: you could actually reach people, and the people were the ones developing and running the service, not just customer service representatives. Browsing old threads here can show how much influence users feedback had on FastMail's development. So it was fun using a service that listens to you. They still do but not here (and having a developer sending you to the beta server to test a fix to an issue you raised 20 minutes earlier is something that not likely to happen nowadays.)
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Old 21 Jan 2022, 12:26 AM   #20
TenFour
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Quote:
When I tried Gmail (2004) it was all restricted to a single tab,
You can open as many browser tabs as you want with Gmail running in each one.
Quote:
they always added a "sender" header that showed it was from Gmail,
There are ways to set this up so it works properly in Gmail. You can even send email from your own domain in free Gmail if you want to.
Quote:
Anther major reason I didn't like Gmail is that they forced conversations, and have no folders.
You can turn off conversation view. Gmail uses labels, which are far more powerful than folders.
Quote:
So it was fun using a service that listens to you.
In my experience FM support often takes a minimum of 24 hours to respond, and often longer. I went weeks without certain problems being resolved that were bugs. OTOH Gmail has essentially no customer support other than online forms if you get locked out that don't always work. This is probably Gmail's biggest Achilles heel--no support and the danger of just losing everything if something goes wrong, like your phone breaks and you can't access the 2FA codes any other way.
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Old 23 Jan 2022, 03:11 PM   #21
truemagic
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 33
Don't forget mail.zoho.com

They have evolved pretty fast and its interface is as good as Gmail IMO. Although the free tier is kind of limited but the paid account isn't that pricey.
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Old 24 Jan 2022, 06:07 AM   #22
hadaso
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Location: Holon, Israel.
Posts: 4,658
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenFour View Post
... like your phone breaks and you can't access the 2FA codes any other way.
When I established 2FA (using FreeOTP app) with several services, such as FastMail, Google, Dropbox, I wrote down the "secret string" and entered it manually in another copy of the app in an old phone. Then when I don't have my phone (such as when I broke the screen) I can use the older phone instead. It has no SIM but it's not needed for producing OTPs. You just have to make sure the time is set correctly. You can write the data on a piece of paper and when needed use it with any OTP app that allows you to type in the secret string. On paper it is safe from hackers using PDF vulnerabilities and the like.
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Old 24 Jan 2022, 03:13 PM   #23
FredOnline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hadaso View Post
I wrote down the "secret string" and entered it manually in another copy of the app in an old phone.
It's much easier, when enrolling your 'phone by scanning a QR code, to take a screen capture of the code, save it in PNG format and store it in a KeePass database.
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Old 24 Jan 2022, 07:12 PM   #24
TenFour
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Quote:
It's much easier, when enrolling your 'phone by scanning a QR code, to take a screen capture of the code, save it in PNG format and store it in a KeePass database.
I just store the codes in my password manager. That's all they are--long random passwords that are used to generate the codes. But, most people seem to forget to backup this important information as is clear when you read lots of support forums. And, even if we do have backups that can provide the 2FA codes that doesn't help when your phone isn't working for some reason and you don't have the backups available, which has happened to me before after a long flight halfway around the world.
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Old 24 Jan 2022, 07:53 PM   #25
hadaso
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenFour View Post
... And, even if we do have backups that can provide the 2FA codes that doesn't help when your phone isn't working for some reason and you don't have the backups available, which has happened to me before after a long flight halfway around the world.
That's why I think it's good to have them on paper (and have it with you when you're travelling far away from home). Then in case of emergency you can buy a cheap phone and get access to you online life, or you can get a desktop based OTP generator and use your computer for 2FA.
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Old 24 Jan 2022, 08:12 PM   #26
TenFour
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Quote:
That's why I think it's good to have them on paper (and have it with you when you're travelling far away from home).
I use an online password manager, so all my stuff is available anywhere I can access the web. Of course, then you have the problem of securing your password manager using a different form of 2FA so that you don't lock yourself out of all your passwords. Options include security keys, emailed 2FA, or possibly no 2FA on the password manager. Frankly, as long as you are using truly random and long passwords, and different ones for every site, there is no danger of someone "breaking" your password. The big danger is human engineering: tricking you into giving up your password with an email attack of some sort. Of course, hackers also do manage to steal passwords direct from companies all the time, but that is probably still a less severe attack vector.
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Old 27 Jan 2022, 01:13 PM   #27
floatinghermit
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Good hints about storing 2FA code. I might have to unenroll and reenroll so I can get the original QR code again.

On a related note, I kind hate that gmail doesn't let you enroll in 2FA (with google authenticator) unless you provide a phone number in the beginning. I mean, can you make it more obvious that you want my information more than you want to actually secure my account? I can't think of a reason why you have to be forced into giving phone number to enable it.

I essentially prefer Google authenticator over yubikey since it's harder to replace a lost yubikey. Google Authenticator can be "moved" to a different phone very easily as we talk above. This potentially makes it less secure, but I trust my password manager enough that it's a non issue.
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Old 30 Jan 2022, 08:11 PM   #28
TenFour
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Quote:
I mean, can you make it more obvious that you want my information more than you want to actually secure my account?
Google knows that without a recovery phone number a ton of people will get locked out of their accounts. Check out any Gmail help forum and most of the posts are people begging for help to get back into their accounts, and a high-percentage of the time they say they have lost the password for some reason. I imagine a high-percentage of these posts are from scammers who want to hack someone's account, but legitimate ones soon learn that the only way back into a Google account is via automated systems that seem to default to sending codes to the registered phone number. Even when you have a recovery email address the systems seem to default to sending texts to your phone number.
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Old 31 Jan 2022, 04:39 PM   #29
chrisretusn
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I had to look up "cold calls" to make sure ti was what I thought it was. It was. None of my email providers have my phone number.
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Old 31 Jan 2022, 11:59 PM   #30
TenFour
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Back to the original question there is another halfway domain and free email system that I have used for many things and I think works well. You can set up your own domain email addresses with some domain registrars (I use Porkbun) and then use their free email forwarding to send any emails to your main free account (I use Gmail) where you handle the actual email. Very few addresses I give out ever require a response sent using that address, and even if a response is needed you can just use the free Gmail address if you want to. This limits the exposure of your main Gmail address tremendously yet when you want to use a domain email address it is available. Also, if for some reason I get locked out of Gmail I can change the email forwarding very quickly to point to another free email service I use like maybe Outlook.com or another. There are specialized forwarding services like POBox.com (owned by Fastmail) that can handle all this too if your domain registrar doesn't include forwarding, plus you can send mail from your domain using POBox.com's SMTP server. There is also a method to send email from Gmail using Google's SMTP server, but if someone digs into the email headers they can determine what your actual Gmail address is. In any case, it is a way to send and receive domain email without paying a service provider like Fastmail. https://support.google.com/domains/answer/9437157
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