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Where Do I Host My Personal Domain Email?

3 years ago · 3 MIN READ
#own your data 

Speaking of having an email address with my own domain, it is really a cool thing. I have been using for a period of time, and I host it with my personal computer connected to my home Internet connection (with FREE, a French kick ass ISP).
FREE provides triple play services (Internet, Phone, Television) and has invented what we call in France "LA BOX". This technology allows to access triple play services with a simple ADSL connection. I've been subscribing to FREE services for 12 years, because they do not block any port for home self-hosting. I use FREE smtp to send email without being tagged as spam. FREE Marketing is also very powerful: competitors either run out dated technology solutions, either too expensive. OK, I could write more about this ISP, but this a not the subject.

I use Godaddy as registrar for all my domains: €8.13/year/domain, because Godaddy is the world largest domain name registrar/. It’s that simple! Check the link to make your own opinion.

I’ve started using AWS for a long time, then switched later to Scaleway, one of the world best hosting service. Cheap, fast, rich features, cutting edge technologies and an awesome customer service!

Self-hosting Mail server
Why self-hosting when you can use services like Google, Office 365, Rackspace, Fastmail, etc? As previously said, it’s cool to display an email address with your own domain. An email address is something personal, and what best than a very personalized email?
Truth is Mail Servers Are Complex!
A typical mail server consists of many software components that provide a specific function. Each component must be configured and tuned to work nicely together and provide a fully-functioning mail server. Because they have so many moving parts, mail servers can become complex and difficult to set up. Here is a list of required components in a mail server:

  • Mail Transfer Agent
  • Mail Delivery Agent
  • IMAP and/or POP3 Server In addition to the the required components, you will probably want to add these components:
  • Spam Filter
  • AntiVirus
  • Webmail

Well, in this world generating massive and never ending data, I want to own my data, be in control. That’s the starting point. My email addresses now are:

  • (Debian self hosted on my personal computer with home internet connection, backup on Debian self hosted Scaleway)
  • (Debian self hosted on Scaleway, backup on on my personal computer with home internet connection) and countless other aliases.

In a new post I will explain how to setup a Debian based email server with Postfix, MySQL, Postfixadmin and Roundcube .

Here are 5 reasons I setup my personal email server:

1. Privacy
Hosting your email on someone else’s servers means trusting them to keep your data private. When a company like Google changes its privacy policy, you can never be certain about the privacy of your data. With your email hosted on servers housed within your business, you control all aspects of its privacy. This includes not only who has administrative access to accounts, and network access to the service, but also physical access to the hardware the service is running on.

2. Policies
Hosting your own email gives you full control over policies governing your data. Being able to control your policies to retain mail only as long as needed, or for as long as possible, define upload files size and custom configurations may be an important consideration.

3. Features
Web-based email systems tend to get updates and feature changes more frequently than locally installed systems, mainly because the changes are easier to push out. When those changes remove features you relied on, add features you don’t want, or come at a time when retraining staff is difficult, your business could suffer. Having your own email system allows you to schedule your own updates for a time that best works for you, and gives you more direct control over selecting which features are added, retained or removed.

4. Downtime
When using outsourced email services, downtime can be especially frustrating. Problems with a local system can be addressed by your own staff, but with outsourced email you’re at the mercy of your hosting service to get issues resolved. Though downtime on many of the larger web-based services is minimal, and outages that affect their entire user base are quickly dealt with, problems that affect only a small percentage of their users may receive less attention and could take more time to resolve.

5. Drama
If your email host suddenly becomes unpopular, it could affect your service. Some examples of host-related issues that are out of your control, but that affect your email include:

  • The hosting company unexpectedly goes out of business and shuts down the email service.
  • The host is sued over patent or trademark issues that require disabling features or the entire service.
  • Your host’s services are degraded by DoS attacks due to its political or financial agendas.

Installing your own email server limits the number of outside influences on your email system. You control your own system, and your operations are less likely to be affected by someone else’s problems.

I do not get any benefit/discount from any hosting service by writing this post.


Pascal Bibehe

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