What should I know/do before using Fastmail.fm?
June 18, 2010 3:46 AM   Subscribe

I'm transferring my email usage from Gmail to Fastmail. Is there anything I should know or think about beforehand? Any specific Fastmail tips I should use?

Specific questions:

1] The "Enhanced" option states "Full + own domain hosting" as one of the features - does this mean I will be able to choose a domain name and have email delivered to "name@domainnameIchose.com"?
2] Is a "personality" the fancy name for an email address?
3] Are the features listed in lower cost options available in higher cost options too?

I've never used Fastmail before, so if there is anything that I should know about before hand, please let me know. Personal experiences are very welcome.
posted by Solomon to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
On your questions
1) yes, you can purchase your own domain and have email delivered to that address
2) yes, personalities look like different email addresses to other people, but you can see them all in the one user interface - this makes it easier to manage your mail if you want multiple addresses
3) yes

Having said that, I've made the transition from fastmail to gmail, as I find that gmail has better features, is more friendly to use, and is also improving at a faster rate. Gmail does support your own domain (see Google Apps ) and allows for different 'personalities' too.
posted by damian_ at 4:20 AM on June 18, 2010

1] yes
2] no. At fastmail, "personalities" are not really an email address. They are more like a sender address. "Aliases" are more like an email address.
3] yes
The Fastmail forums are probably also a very good place to ask those questions.
posted by rom1 at 5:11 AM on June 18, 2010

> I will be able to choose a domain name

You can use you own domain with Fastmail, but you have to register your domain by yourself. That means:

- you have a "Enhanced" Fastmail account
- you have a domain registered with a domain or webhosting registrar
- you have access to your domain's nameserver entries

In your domain's nameserver (your own or supplied by your domain registrar) you set the MX entries to Fastmail's server. E-Mails to your domain are now delivered to Fastmail.

In your Fastmail account you create an entry for your domain (called "Virtual Domain"). Fastmail's servers now know that they should accept e-mails for your domain that are delivered to them.

> Is a "personality" the fancy name for an email address?

Yes. You can "tie" a number of useful options to a personality: your full name, e-mail address, reply-to address, a signature, a special address each message is BCC'ed to, a separate sent items folder for this personality.

The newest feature with personalities is to send the message via an external SMTP server (though this might be useful to only a few people).

> Are the features listed in lower cost options available in higher cost options too?

Yes. But the really useful features like domains are only available in the "Enhanced" account.

My personal summary: I've been using Fastmail.fm for more than 5 years now and I'm really happy with it. They have a slim web interface (some say: boring and old fashioned) so you can access your mail from everywhere. You can also access via IMAP - I use that heavily on my mobile phone (Profilmail on Symbian).

You can rely on Fastmail's spam filter (which is really good). But you can also supply a custom Sieve script to filter your mail.

Compared to Gmail: Fastmail offers "just" a standard IMAP account with many, many different folders for your mail to sort into (if you like). There is no central search over all folders like in Gmail.

On EmailDiscussions.com there is a strong community of Fastmail users.
posted by jakoubek at 5:34 AM on June 18, 2010

2nding jakoubek's answer and also as a quite satisfied FastMail user for several years now. I'll also add that their slim webmail interface works quite well on the iPhone, if that's of interest to you. Also, FWIW, FastMail was just recently purchased by the folks who write the Opera browser.
posted by webhund at 12:21 PM on June 18, 2010

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