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Why Email On Your Own Domain?

Because you own it then.

Email is the social glue of the Internet. For one to participate, one must have an email address. For social network, forums, chats and even most online shops, we simply need an email address. Without one, it's sometimes even difficult to get one.

Email is our online identity. Its value should not be underestimated, but unfortunately often is. Usage of free email services is an inertia from the age where there were not many alternatives. That is not the case today. Ignorance is not an excuse. Our email unlocks doors of many online services we use. As such, email should be something we own, not borrow. How would it feel if our homes could be unlocked with our airline loyalty card? Using a borrowed email address is no different.

When we obtain an email address on a domain we do not own, an often overlooked fact is that instead of having the address belong to us, it is us who now belong to the provider. If one wishes to change the email provider but keep the address, it is short of impossible. Obtaining a new address and migrating to it means starting one's digital life from scratch.

Whatever policies the provider decides to set in place, the users are in no position to object. That includes reading the messages, disclosing them, analysing them, serving ads or even restricting access. We have personally experienced cases where the businesses that were offering free email services simply ceased to exist. Away with them went also our email addresses, contacts, correspondence and access to other Internet services. While all is resolvable with time, it is unnecessary problem to start with.

Domain names were never more affordable. A good domain name can be obtained for less than one dollar a month and in some cases even for free. Most of the domain registrars also typically offer a few email addresses for the domain. That is already a good start. However, since domain registrars do not specialise in email, their service can be quite limited. Fortunately, now with a domain name, there are very good email alternatives out there.

DIY Email Server

The first and foremost alternative is that of running own email servers. Not for the fainthearted, running own email servers is time-consuming and complicated. We only wish it were that simple as installing necessary software on a virtual hosting such as DigitalOcean. That makes only a (not really) fun weekend project. We may sound biased, but consider our own example: we've started Migadu in 2015 and are still continuously maintaining, correcting, adjusting and patching, including the IMAP and SMTP servers. That is of course when we are not fighting spammers, phishing, hackers, viruses, DDoS (ransom) attacks. Running an email service requires 24/7 dedication.

Email is easy to use. Robust and resilient, it still goes strong even in its fifth decade. In technology terms, that is an amazingly long time. However, it is without doubts the most complicated Internet protocol. If you are not interested in running an email service yourself for the efforts to make sense, our advice is to stay far from the idea of self-hosting. If you really do want to run your own email service, it gives us great pleasure. There are not enough small, independent email providers for the world. If we can help, please get in touch.

Use a 3rd Party Email Provider

There are many email providers out there. From the pack we can separate Google Apps, Zoho, FastMail, RackSpace, ProtonMail and of course ourselves at Migadu. Depending on your needs, the pricing with most starts at free and goes up to ten dollars a month per user. For premium email hosting, we can wholeheartedly recommend FastMail even though they are easily the most expensive email hosting there is. We greatly appreciate FastMail's focus on email just as it is at Migadu. However, for more flexible and affordable email, we have yet to find something better than Migadu. In the end, that is the reason why we've built it.

Whichever service you find most suited, there are no excuses for keeping that Yahoo, HotMail or GMail address. All email providers should assist in setting your domain up. In the case of Migadu, we can even do it all for you.

Having email on your own domain was never easier or more affordable. Whetaver provider you use, if you are ever unsatisfied, moving to another provider is typically only a matter of minutes. That is freedom of choice that ownership brings.

What's your excuse for borrowing an address?