Suggestions on email hosting (SSL, webmail, IMAP)?
June 8, 2010 7:47 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for an email hosting provider that support IMAP, SSL, and webmail access. I have four (4) domains and each of them has two (2) email accounts associated with them. Some of the features I am looking for are as follows ...
  • SSL access (with properly signed certificate; i.e. no self signed)
  • WebMail access
  • IMAP IDLE (i.e. Push Email)
  • Mobile friendly access
  • Use my own domains

I do realize that questions have been asked before regarding email hosting providers however the questions were several years old and don't really address some of the requirements I have, such as SSL and IMAP IDLE/PUSH.

I have been using the email hosting facilities of the hosting provider that hosts my domains but I find their options very lacking. For example though they offer SSL access to their email servers the SSL certificate is "self signed" preventing proper authentication and some email clients (Palm Pre for example) from accepting the certificate.

I would love to find a webmail interface where I could send mail from any of my accounts. Zimbra hosting used to fit the bill but was bought by Yahoo! I think.

Currently I am looking at "FastMail" but would love to hear what others are using. I will report back what I find to this thread. Thanks!
posted by DerekTheGeek to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by Jairus at 7:49 AM on June 8, 2010

Fastmail or Google Apps for your domain.
posted by devnull at 7:51 AM on June 8, 2010

Google Apps Standard Edition. I run this on my own domain and I've set it up for a handful of other people, and never had a single problem. Checks off all your features, except perhaps a webmail interface where you can send from any account without logging out - not sure about that one.
posted by pocams at 7:54 AM on June 8, 2010

Fastmail has been great for me.
posted by doctord at 8:02 AM on June 8, 2010

GMail's IMAP implementation is/was kind of wonky. (Another article on this topic.) Has this been fixed? Google's web interface is really nice, and as others note they do most/all of what you want.
posted by chunking express at 8:06 AM on June 8, 2010

Response by poster: I looked at Google Apps for domains a while back but it did not handle multiple domains very well. Whenever I sent an email from one of the accounts in the domain it always sent the originating email address to be my main account email. So emails sent from my "personal" account show as sending from my "business" account. Has Google Apps for domain fixed this issue?
posted by DerekTheGeek at 8:08 AM on June 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

TuffMail has everything that you are asking for. I've found them to be very helpful if you have any queries too.
posted by Jim H at 8:24 AM on June 8, 2010

Response by poster: I have never heard of TuffMail or Joyent. I will check them both out. Thanks!
posted by DerekTheGeek at 8:29 AM on June 8, 2010

I've been a Fastmail user for a decade and would never use anything else. They are superb.
posted by Mwongozi at 8:56 AM on June 8, 2010

I'm not sure Joyent is the best solution. They're just another VPS provider, but they seem to focus fairly heavily on enterprise customers and set their prices to match. Also, if I recall correctly, they're a Solaris shop.

If you're going that route, I'd argue that it would make way more sense, and be much more affordable, to grab a VM from Linode, Slicehost, or Amazon EC2 than from Joyent. But I'd also argue that a full on VM is well outside of what the OP is looking for.

FastMail and Google Apps for your Domain are the gold standards in this space; I'll do some Googling to see if I can come up with other reputable providers.
posted by SemiSophos at 9:00 AM on June 8, 2010

Another Fastmail user here. I only use it for a personal account, so don't know what domain hosting is like, but they definitely support IMAP IDLE (I believe they are significant code contributors to the open source IMAP server software they use) and have a properly signed certificate for their SSL servers, which are two things you specifically mention.

Fastmail was recently brought by Opera (the web browser people), but it doesn't seem to have made any changes to their operation that are visible to the end user.

I've also never tried to access their web site with a mobile phone, if that's what you mean by mobile access. Certainly it works great on the iPhone via IMAP, but not sure about the web side of things.

They also have a free account (they always did – I presume they still do), so you could sign up and check it out.

(No financial interest, just a happy paying customer of many years)
posted by damonism at 7:05 PM on June 8, 2010

Another happy (paying) user of Fastmail with personal and several clients business accounts there. Google apps comes a close second IME.
posted by dirm at 7:35 PM on June 8, 2010

Response by poster: What do people think of Zimbra? Would it fit the needs outlined in the original post?
posted by DerekTheGeek at 6:19 AM on June 9, 2010

I last used Zimbra in early 2008, but it definitely supports IMAP IDLE, and back then it had a decent iPhone-esque mobile interface, though I didn't use it extensively. I'm not sure how robust its handling of multiple accounts from a single interface is, but this bug seems to indicate that Zimbra does support that use case.
posted by SemiSophos at 7:49 AM on June 9, 2010

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