Canadian e-mail hosting and domain registration
June 13, 2013 7:16 PM   Subscribe

Which Canadian company (or companies) would you recommend as a reliable and affordable organization to host my e-mail?

To start with I have seen this question and this one.

The background (in case anybody cares) is that I need to dump my ISP due to network connectivity and service issues. I should have done it ages ago, but I've been reluctant to quit and abandon my e-mail address, which is tied to the ISP. I've had this address since the mid 1990s and hate the thought of losing it.

To make sure I don't have to deal with this problem again, I want to control my own e-mail address through my own domain. I'm not interested in having an actual public webpage.

So what I need to do is
a) register a domain
b) pick a company to host the e-mail from that domain.

It would be great if I could do a) and b) with the same company, but I'm willing to consider separate services.

If it matters, I'll be downloading the POP e-mail onto my own Windows 7 64-bit computer running Thunderbird as my e-mail client.

Ideally I'd be able to get a package that permits a few/a handful of separate addresses (four or five would be great).

I know I can use one of the free, cloud-based e-mail services, and while I do have other accounts like that, I don't want my primary account (which is used for both personal and professional correspondence) to be one of those.

So my questions are the following:

1) Which companies do you recommend to do a) and b)?
2) What questions do I need to ask when talking to these companies and their customer service representatives?
3) What do I need to know from a technical standpoint to make this work? (I don't intend to abandon my ISP until I've run with the new e-mail system for a few weeks. That will give me time to see if it's going to meet my needs, to work out any issues, to switch all my subscriptions and notify all my contacts.)
4) Anything else you think I'm missing/haven't considered.

P.S. If anybody cares to throw in a recommendation for a good ISP with unlimited (or ridiculously huge allotments of) downloads and great customer service, I'd be happy to read those answers as well. I've been considering TekSavvy, I've heard good things about Acanac, I am (reluctantly) considering Bell (but really have no desire to deal with Rogers).
posted by sardonyx to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I was happy with Polaris Mail until I moved my web site to a new host and consolidated web and email at the same place.
posted by COD at 7:34 PM on June 13, 2013

I'm not sure where they're located, but I've heard good things about fastmail. They're just an email provider, but it's probably cheaper than a hosting account if you don't need a website.

I use to register my domains, and haven't had any issues.
posted by backwards guitar at 7:36 PM on June 13, 2013

I've apparently had my domain with Canadian Domain Name Services Inc. for 12.5 years. They charge $20 a year which is probably high for a domain but I can't be bothered to switch to someone else.

The one time I needed to contact them for support (I had to point to domain somewhere else but had lost all of my account information and was no longer using the email address I had with them) they were very good - I was able to speak with someone on the phone and they were able to resolve things very quickly.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 8:05 PM on June 13, 2013

I love fastmail. They're based out of Austrailia, with their main server farm in New York, and they're owned by Opera, a Norwegian company. Which doesn't exactly meet your Canadian requirement.

The first Canadian company that comes to mind regarding domain and email service is Tucows/OpenSRS but afaik they only provide service to resellers.
posted by zsazsa at 8:11 PM on June 13, 2013

I just switched my .com domain registration to Hover, a Tucows service. I'm very impressed with their pricing and customer service. Their CSRs pick up the phone on the first or second ring -- no voicemail hell! -- and the last one I spoke with went out of his way to sort out some registration issues for the .ca domain I added.

They also offer email packages, which may be all you need if you really don't want full web hosting. While I don't use that service (I'm still hosting elsewhere), it may be worth trying out.

However, if anyone here can recommend a great Canadian hosting service (I'd love to hear about those, too), you may choose to register your domain with Hover and get full hosting elsewhere. You don't want to put all your eggs in one basket again, even if it's a great basket.
posted by maudlin at 8:34 PM on June 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Hover is actually a Canadian company. I would recommend them if you want to stay in country.
posted by sgo at 6:07 AM on June 14, 2013

@backwards guitar Opera is based in Norway but I think their FastMail unit is based in Australia[1]

[1]** (look at the bottom)
posted by amar at 11:30 PM on June 15, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks to everybody who responded. I'll spend some time looking over the recommendations and then will come back and mark best answers.
posted by sardonyx at 7:05 PM on June 16, 2013

Just on the topic of ISPs with no download caps, if you have 3 services with either Bell or Rogers you can add unlimited data to your plan for an additional $10 month.

I know you said you didn't really want to deal with either but I'm just putting it out there.
posted by smcniven at 12:57 PM on June 18, 2013

Response by poster: Actually I thought it was $5 for Bell, but I could be mistaken about that. It's mainly Rogers I really want to avoid like the plague. I'm not crazy about Bell, but it's tempting to deal with one entity, and not have to face the back-and-forth I got with my current ISP--"it's not our fault, it's an issue with the Bell lines" (which it isn't).
posted by sardonyx at 4:58 PM on June 18, 2013

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