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Affordable & Reliable Email Hosting? 37

Posted by Cliff
from the just-the-mail-thanks dept.
sarcast asks: "I am looking for an affordable email-only solution for basically forwarding any emails from a domain name (info@yourdomain.com) to someone's personal email account (me@myISP.com). The point being that the person can buy a domain name and then if they decide they want to change ISPs, it is just a simple matter of forwarding to another address. With the recent downturn of some ISPs, people that have had their email address with a certain provider for years, will probably lose them. There are plenty of people out there offering to host my email, but they package it with a website deal which is a waste if all I want is just an email package. Has anyone had good experiences with any company in particular?" This was last asked over a year ago, has there been any new developments on this front?
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Affordable & Reliable Email Hosting?

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  • by crow (16139)
    It is a web hosting service, but you don't have to put up a web page. For something like $5.95/month, you get *@yourdomain filtered and forwarded as you see fit.

    As a bonus, you get some web space on the domain.
    • Hmm. If you're in the area for something like that, you should also definitely check out imagelinkusa.net. It's a really great web hosting service for the same price with lots of great stuff. Run on Linux, too.
  • winternet (Score:2, Informative)

    by jjshoe (410772)
    winternet.com


    its not just email hosting, its considerd a shell account (no eggs) but you do have access to bitchx as a bonus


    so far i havent had any problems with it, its pop3
    i can send and receive using my domain name for about $15 a month

  • Great site (Score:2, Informative)

    by TheKey (465831)
    I actually went out and looked for one with this specific purpose in mind, and http://www.homepagenames.com/ is what I found. Basically, you register a domain with them and get free email and web forwarding with it. A .com domain is $17 for one year.
    • Basically, you register a domain with them and get free email and web forwarding with it. A .com domain is $17 for one year.

      Why pay 17 bucks for that when you can get it for $10? Gandi.net [gandi.net] is a French company which will do the same thing for less.

      • Hmm.. ah. Well, I actually haven't purchased a domain yet, but if I do, I'll probably use the one posted in the post below mine. It seems to be cheaper than both of ours.
  • hushmail.com (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    great...been using it for years. no problems.
    • Aside from the charming fact that they host your secret key on their own server, of course. And the fact that they seem reluctant to post public keys of members.
  • Namecheap.com (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Dave114 (168228)
    For something like $8.88/yr you get your domain registration and with it free email forwarding, url forwarding/cloaking, and some basic dns services (A records, CNAMES, etc.).
  • bsdwebhosting (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Try BSD Webhosting [bsdwebhosting.net]. Yes, it's a web hosting company, but if you don't use any HTTP bandwidth you don't pay for it. You still have to pay for any disk space you use, though, so it isn't quite a free lunch.
    • They sound like they have a good deal, and paying for CPU isnt too bad, considering that if it's just mail or simple CGIs, then CPU time is going to be minimal. I also like their pro-rated package, in that you could be paying as low as US$0.50/month if you're a light user.

      However, requiring paypal for payment isnt the best way to go. Paypal doesnt recognize us folk here in Malaysia, and we're pretty much hosed with bsdwebhosting.com because of this. I for one would love to be their customer, but have no option for it.

      Nevertheless, since they're dealing not with microtransactions, but with a prepaid model, I think they should abandon their concerns with credit cards and allow that mode of payment. It sure would help us folk down here.

  • http://www.mydomain.com [mydomain.com] (next time try google, not slashdot).
  • I'll do it for you. $10/year. Or $15/year if you want me to pay for the domain name too.
  • They do exactly what you are asking for. I have used their sister service pobox.com for years and have always been happy with their service.
    • Second that. They're what you describe, and the price is about $15/year with a 30-day free trial.
      For that, you get three email redirect addresses, and optional (although somewhat inneffective) spam filtering.
  • First, a quick response to the question as stated. I think getting a domain solely for the purpose of one person's email is overkill, not to mention a usage of a limited name-space that carries some debatable ramifications. That said, some other solutions to that problem:

    - IEEE and ACM offer email forwarding at no charge to members. The affordability and longevity of this really depend more on you than them (I doubt IEEE is going anywhere.) If you do not wish to become/remain a member for other reasons, the membership fee would be a bit outrageous just for the forwarding. I don't know about the ACM, but IEEE does virus scanning before forwarding - so you don't have to look at all those attachments that couldn't infect Evolution anyway. If you're in a different field, take a look at the relevant professional societies.

    - SpamCop has a nice forwarding service that also gives you easier access to the SpamCop features, filtering and a nifty quarantine function.

    - Mail.com offers free email accounts, with the usual ten tons of pop-up, blinking, swirling, in-your-face ad mania (all easily disposed of with a recent Mozilla build.) The difference between mail.com and the others is that you can set-up your mail.com account to forward to, for free still, any other account.

    - Usermail offer email accounts for a fee, with POP3 access. Unfortunately I have not been able to find a comparable service that offers IMAP and/or SSL or TLS access.

    The longevity of the latter three is, of course, debatable. Mail.com makes a nice front-end email address for personal and spam-bait activities (like giving a valid e-mail for an online purchase), while the professional associations make perfect conduits for business/professional (since you will probably change contacts there at the same time you would want to leave an associations.)

    You might also check in with your alma mater to see if they have jumped on that bandwagon yet.

    As an aside, and I'm sure this is redundant, it would seem that I should really be able to trot down to my local post-office, present some form of ID (such as my Brother Ellison Card) and get a x.y@mail.us forwarding address.
  • I've had good experiences with http://www.alldomains.com [alldomains.com]. They're cheap, and have pretty much exactly what you're looking for. Check out their 'd-gear' package - only about $25 per year.

    I used this for about 2 years, but now I run my own servers instead so it wasn't necessary.
  • I'm the Network Admin at a small colo and hosting company in Dallas, TX, US [sprocketdata.com]. We have a customer who does this: www.dydns.com [dydns.com]. The folks that run it are knowledgable and helpful.

    Let 'em know I sent you.

  • I use PowWeb [powweb.com] for much the same thing. Only $7.77 a month, very fast, extremely easy to use 'Ops' interface, awesome customer service, and great web service.

    I don't use much of the web services, I just put up a crappy little website to publish my resume and to play with SSI stuff.

    They give you 50 POP accounts, 100 e-mail forwarding address, 100MB of disk space, 12 gigs of data transfer a month, and a real DNS manager. Check out their Service Comparison [powweb.com] page for more info.

    If ya go for it, put me in as a referral! I'll take the free 2 months they'll give. :)

  • Two services that I'll mention. Bigfoot.com was my email address for about 7 years. They provide email forwarding for free. It was with no strings attached until about 6 months ago when they started charging you, or limiting you to 25 emails a day. I might still be viable if you don't get too much email.

    Registerfly.com will register your domain name and forward email and web for $9.99 a year. You get both the domain registration and the forwarding pretty cheap. Their domain administration screens are ten times better than NSI. Oh wait, NSI's don't work. Sorry, sidetracked. Registerfly is good.
  • easydns [easydns.com] have a nice admin interface, maybe their service has a few more features than you're asking for - but who knows when you might want to add another username@ pointing to somewhere else :) Reliable, and their servers are on multiple continents. (they don't webhost - they do dns, dynamic dns, mail forwarding and web redirection).
  • I use Yahoo. I have a email address there, registered a domain name for $35 per year, and then I can use that domain for email. I get 5 addresses, and can access my mail on the web through Yahoo's site. I can also Pop my mail (I use Outlook and Lotus Notes). This way I don't have to worry about ISP's going bankrupt, I always have the same email address, and can even get it on the web. The only negative is that there is no server space provided for a website except on GeoCities, but I am using my School's webspace, so it doesn't matter. They even have a decent spam guard installed. I know there may be a few too many restrictions for some people, but it works well for me.
  • If you are really a geek, you should know or be the geek that has a server that can handle the task. I owned a server for about a year hosting services for other people. One of my friends and customers really got into it and started his own server, then when mine got stolen (fscking uplink owner stole the cohosted box) he and I worked out some deal that I would help him keep his server running and advise him on anything new while he hosts my 2 domains 2 websites and email/reversed dns's on a few ips.

    But now he has sold/joined another service provider, so now im not admin. But I get to hold what little things i have now (2 sites 3 bots 2 hosted domains and emails) till they either decide to audit and clear out users.

    Surely before then, Ill have another server up again. I cant live without a little tinkering.

    DRACO-
  • Try http://GoDaddy.com/ for your domain name, and http://AffordableHost.com/ to host your site at $25 per year, including one catch-all email address and 25meg of web space.

    Note: I don't work for either company. I have four domains via GoDaddy and I moved two of them to AffordableHost due to reliability issues. I run a reseller business from FastHosts.co.uk, but they are not very reliable for email, hence moving to AffordableHosts.
  • by new500 (128819) on Monday December 17, 2001 @09:37AM (#2714618)

    . .

    What exactly do you consider good, cheap or reliable?

    Firstly though, how are those emails being "forwarded"? I presume they're just being relayed on from someone's MTA via an existing MX records in an active zone file, but I can't tell.

    The cheapest service for this I've found comes bundled with registration from www.GANDI.net, a French company (good English though:) run by Linux geeks who'll charge you c. $17 p.a. for registration and mail / web forwarding. GANDI are primarily registrars, I've plugged them elsewhere, and recently I've been playing with their newly added service features as you'll see below . .

    Beware email forwarding! The GANDI service, along with others puts a *limit* on the size of emails to be forwarded. GANDI limits to a useless 800k, other providers such as DomainDirect limit at 2MB, which is also often quite hopeless.

    I really don't recommend DomainDirect now because they never respond to real obvious security concerns, such as passing clear text usr / pwd combinations via urls from non ssl pages. I have to deal with them for a client who is stuck with them pro - tem due to them being his OpenSRS reseller. I used to use them a while back, and until they started to be unresponsive, causing International direct calls to discover and resolve problems I liked these guys a lot. Heck, I even endorsed them for their testimonials page. Meanwhile, I'm just moving the OpenSRS domains bought via them to another registrar.

    However if you really wanted to you could sign up to DomainDirect without them having control over your domain. Let them assign themselves as tech contact, add their nameservers and zone files for your domain, then replace their tech contact authority.

    Doing something like I just suggested has pitfalls though, depending on how your registrar maintains NS entries. Here I have to give some respect to Network Solutions - they have the cleanest wasy to maintain NS entries because you can update these with them as you would like without any bother from your ISP or service provider. Don't flame me now, I *know* how hard it is to change authorities with NetSol registered domains if you're not the right contact! But other instances, such as the DomainDirect situation,, where they are also your OpenSRS reseller, and you're locked in to that arrangement because OpenSRS won't let you renew directly with them, only via your reseller, or even GANDI, are less good in actual fact than NetSol. This is because you can find yourself locked into a game of NS delegation. If you have a link between a registrar and a service provider, they seem always to play tricks to keep you using _them_ and only _them_ - or b*&^er off. I could go on, but I need to get to the beef in this post.

    GANDI now throw in a DNS service, which appears reliable, and I've been testing what can be done with this - you can never have enough nameservers, even if like me, you'll have DNS hosted elsewhere as well! :) But beware, once you take up their "forwarding" option (you@yourdomain.com to you@yourisp.com) , the only way _after_this_ to correctly mod your DNS entries, say by adding an MX 20 or extra nameserver, appears to require taking yourself out their DNS, by *removing* their zone files, then starting again. So you'd get in the way of propagation delays whilst you make the change, with no chance to add extra NS in the meantime to pick up the traffic.

    Naturally I'm contacting them to let them know my experience, and I guess they may correct this sharpish, but I was up _very_ late last night doing just that for a new domain - actually going the whole hog and just replacing their nameservers with mine in frustration, having not found my way to navigate how their web interface wants to do things. That kinda sucks, and I'd even say this was brain-dead, but otherwise their interface is really simple, and you can add A, MX, CNAME, NS entries straight up.

    So another question is clearly : are you hosting your own DNS? And do you want more than one mailserver / MX entry? (for redundancy)

    I really don't think that there's any possibility to just point an MX record at a regular ISP MTA, as sendmail or whatever is being used needs to accept mail from you@yourdomain.com and I take a bet no average ISP will do that for you.

    Since you can tell I've been doing this recently, I have to say that I can fix something admirable for you if you mail me your situation, requests, number of accounts et.c.

    This could be done two ways, I can get you hosted for POP3 and simple (not many entries) DNS for c. $95 pa This via my buddy who's helping me out installing and provisioning a nice new server for me. For a bit more, but not massively more, I could put you on my own host (which lives - or is to live, see below - on my associate's network, fire-walled yada yadda) and on iPlanet Messaging Server, which is one darn nice MTA and does IMAP, S/MIME CERT-auth, webmail over SSL with tricks like synching address books between MTA and webmail via ldap. iPlanet even does WAP for mobile phone access, but I'm only just looking into this option, and requirements for gateways, WML etc. right now. Cosmetic options can be added for a little more too - you could have your logos splattered on the webmail interface, since this appears doable according to the manuals (and I have a background in design so it'd look okay:)

    If you don't know already, IMAP rocks as you're not forced to download every email to your client, your mail is kept in a database on the server, so you can use different clients with some impunity, not worrying to manually synch your inbox / outbox etc. However this means server storage space, so that would have to be agreed and set, and aspects such as this will affect the price to you. As we've not yet set any commercial pricing policy, this would have to be worked out ad hoc right now.

    There is a caveat with the iPlanet arrangement - 1. Host arriving today, 2. being based in the UK, where corps honestly make it *hard* for you to buy stuff from them, I'm forced to wait for a physical delivery of media to get the serial number for iPlanet so as to generate a license. This crap wouldn't have happened if I'd been in the US, but SUN refuse Intl. customers from their online store. Gripe, grumble, rant. Seriously, I should have not bothered to get tangled with the UK sales outfits. For clarity, I'm London UK based (shortly to set up a coupla' small hosts here to replicate, provide fail-over for mail etc.) and my associate is in Virginia USA. So you can have two geographic points of contact for support / accounts / admin! :)

    So to sum up, if you want quick and cheerful, maybe DNS also but happy with POP3, I'll pass you straight to my buddy. You'l have no problems, he's a true uber- geek with plenty years designing and managing large networks. That'll certainly be cheapest, and almost instant. For this I'll not get myself in the loop on that more than is necessary.

    If you want something _nicer_ (iPlanet) you can have that too, and I'll go ahead and see how best I can arrange things for you. But what with Christmas business and all you may have to wait a moment. Or you could go the simple option and upgrade when everything is set, and we know your requirements.

    Without a doubt, I had the same dang problem as you're asking about for a _long_ while, and the only way forward was to team up and - in the New Year - offer decent email on a small scale commercial basis, initially to people we know by reference.

    Heck, I hope that answered some of your questions! :) Anything else just mail me (you'll have to edit my mail to get through, but I check that Hotmail account regularly, and will come back to you with my corp email address if you're serious) I'd post our website, but the dang thing is still getting it's zone files about the place, and it's premature to put up some promotional blurb. Good luck, however you choose!

  • I currently use zoneedit.com and they are great. What Zone Edit does is basically be your DNS server and among other things they will forward email directed to your domain to your email account. They will also allow you to put in a server IP address or a URL for your domain to be directed to. The best part is that they are free and they don't spam. They plan to make their money off of customers who have over 1 GB in DNS usage or over 5 domains (I believe prices are $10/GB); if you have less than 1 GB and less than 5 domains it is free.
  • imap-partners.net (Score:2, Informative)

    by RedDirt (3122)
    I host my own web stuff off my DSL line at home, but for mail, it made sense for me to outsource it to a professional outfit. These [imap-partners.net] guys seem to be fairly clued about privacy and security.

    It's not cheap ($15 a month) but it beats the alternative. An account with them, coupled with a good DNS provider [easydns.com] should work wonders for you. Besides, all they do is email and if it doesn't work, it directly impacts their business. Unlike a lot of the bozos whose primary business is web hosting and email is an extra.

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