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Why Paying Per Mailbox And Domain Is Insane

Those are just folders.

Regardless of whether you have one or thousands of mailboxes, the impact by itself on an infrastructure is the same. Domains and mailboxes are just mappings to storage locations no different than folders.

Imagine if we paid for storage based on the amount of folders we have. Paying per mailbox and domain is as absurd. The pricing model survives to date only because of the inertia of decades ago and a lack of questioning by users. The world has changed in the meantime.

It is not the count that matters, but what one does with the mailboxes. A small team of few persons that sends only a few emails a day has an incomparably smaller footprint on an infrastructure than an organization of hundreds that must rely on email for all communication. The amount of incoming email traffic is also significantly different between the two. Why would they be charged the same, per incomparable user? The situation gets even more complicated when there are auxiliary mailboxes which do not belong to anyone in particular.

We have come to the conclusion that the amount of daily outgoing messages describes sufficiently well the infrastructure impact. By observing the amount of outgoing messages, we can offer a fairer pricing for everyone than that of other providers. We do not care if it is one or hundreds of persons accessing one single or thousands of mailboxes on even more domains. As long as the total outgoing traffic on a given account remains within the limits, we'll keep quiet.

So far, we as well as our users at Migadu have found this pricing to be much saner. Web developers, agencies and startups love it. The cost of additional idea, project and member is zero, both in money and time. All email power is given at one place, under one single account, just the way it should be.

The Big Storage Lie

As an email provider, we must always have sufficient storage. We would obvously never let our servers run out of space. Some accounts grow faster in their storage requirement, some slower, and abuse is quickly sanctionized. We just have to deal with it. Storage is our problem, not of our customers. That is what we get paid for. To us it's common sense.

We are still scratching our heads when we see providers limit storage on customer's accounts. Would they really refuse additional incoming traffic because of reached limits? If everyone gets eg. 25 GB of storage, is the unused space reserved for the customer or is it available for others who need more? Only a tiny percent of users ever needs large amounts of storage. That means that on average, the limits are too far to even talk about them. Why do then email providers make users think of their mailboxes as if they were hard drives? It is just email. It is meant to work, to send and receive messages.

Furthermore, what no one tells us is that the price per Gigabyte has dropped more than 60 times past decade. Since the largest email providers of today existed even then, we can observe their non-evolution of their pricing. While the price of storage became insignificant, the price of email remained the same. To put that in non-tech perspective, if the price of flour dropped 60 times, would we still expect to pay bread the same?

As independent email providers, we have a constant feeling large email businesses count on customer ignorance. Their businesses are based on early monopolies and markets that lacked possibilites for choice. That is simply not true today. These old habits and assumptions must be broken for the common good.

The only way forward is to demand change.