Any suggestions for email hosting?
December 25, 2005 9:42 AM   Subscribe

My organization of less than 40 needs an email only host. I am having a difficult time trying to google something as they all seem a bit generic and not someone I'm familiar with. Any suggestions? We just need IMAP and quota notification and about 1GB per person (give or take). Yahoo's is perfect except they don't have IMAP.
posted by _zed_ to Technology (16 answers total)
Why do you need IMAP? If you remove the IMAP requirement and use POP3 instead, you can just use GMail.
posted by popechunk at 9:49 AM on December 25, 2005

Pobox offers what you want.
posted by I Love Tacos at 10:06 AM on December 25, 2005

Response by poster: I (we) need imap because people do a lot of travelling.
posted by _zed_ at 10:30 AM on December 25, 2005

Just as background: IMAP is superior to POP3 because the mailbox stays permanently on the server. POP3 downloads the message to the client for final storage. All well & good when everyone telnetted into a computer the size of a fridge, but these days it inevitably means your entire email universe is on the laptop that was stolen last week. Yes, "leave on server" options are an adequate solution for some folks, but it is architecturally inelegant. Better to use a protocol intended for client-agnostic use.
posted by Triode at 11:54 AM on December 25, 2005

How big do you need your email account quotas to be, and how much are you expecting to spend per month?

I may be able to help personally... I won't self link my hosting services on here, but I can tell you I support both IMAP and POP3, I have webmail, spam/virus filtering built in, etc... I can also give you a control panel to manage your accounts and add/remove email accounts as people come/go.

Email steve AT openingbands DOT com if you're interested...
posted by twiggy at 12:18 PM on December 25, 2005

With POP3 you can still leave everything on the server. The only problem arises when you try to access from more than one computer. With GMail, I have my laptop download a copy of each email, but I don't have it removed from the server. If I try and access from another computer, the emails I have gotten don't show up as new - but I can still get to them.

I second just getting a web hosted account and setting up email for everyone. IMAP and your own domain.
posted by qwip at 2:25 PM on December 25, 2005

Look into Fastmail and Fusemail.
posted by evariste at 3:44 PM on December 25, 2005

I would *NOT* suggest Dreamhost. The email service has been very flakey lately. Here's a couple of recent announcements from them:

Problem with File storage on your server. (Downtime)

Posted: Dec 15th, 2005 - 05:24:08 PM PST (9 days 22 hours ago)

Hello Soon-to-be-Unhappy DreamHost Customers,

One of our NetApp filers (the back-end serverst that store all your email and web sites) has crashed. We are in the process of diagnosing the problem and hope to correct it shortly.

In the meantime you may be experiencing downtime with your website and email service. Any emails sent to you during this time should be redelivered after things are fixed. We don't anticipate any data loss from this outage.

Our apologies and hopefully we can get things back up lickety-split.

That UnHappy DreamHost One-less-filer Team!

Mail Broken (Downtime)

Posted: Dec 15th, 2005 - 07:43:54 AM PST (10 days 8 hours ago)

Hello Dreamhosters,

We're having serious problems with the cluster of machines that handle mail for your domains.

We're working as hard as we can to fix them, and will have more details soon.

Happy Dreamhost Mail Team

posted by letitrain at 4:07 PM on December 25, 2005

Anecdotal, but they're great.
posted by devilsbrigade at 7:20 PM on December 25, 2005

Second based on personal experience, for POP3.

Second, also based on personal experience, for IMAP, web-based access.
posted by megatherium at 3:45 AM on December 26, 2005

I can't recommend Dreamhost highly enough! I find a lot of people feeling the way this guy does.

Just out of idle curiosity, is "this guy" you? I just kinda remember you posting to the exact same page with nothing but an affiliate rewards link a couple other times.
posted by boaz at 5:45 AM on December 26, 2005

"For $7.95 - $9.95 a month, you would get 600 email accounts. Pop/SMTP and IMAP. Webmail. FTP space with 5 GIGABYTES of storage."
Yeah, that's great, except that he needs at least 40 gigs. Too much Dreamhost whoring going on around here.

Since this is a company of 40 people, I'm wondering why you want to outsource this in such a fashion instead of doing it yourself? I worked for a place that had all email at and we had too many problems, the biggest being the fact that it'd take 8 hours for emails to show up. claimed it was due to the volume of spam on the internet. (literally, they said that.)

Is your company going to grow? Perhaps a server with Scalix would work well for you. It might be an option, especially if you have a few stubborn Outlook users.

Gmail? That's just silly. It's a company. Why on Earth would you go off and use Gmail? What a way to look unprofessional.

The OP didn't mention whether or not they own their own domain name.

And Independent Scholarship: That "" guy is merely whoring Dreamhost so he can collect referral bonuses. Didn't you notice the referral tags on his links? Blatent commercial link. Bleah.

(Note: I own a web/email hosting provider. But, I don't have quota notifications or quotas set up at all, so I'm not going to whore myself. Quota notifications was one of the OPs requirements.)

Also IMAP blows POP3 away because if you have server side filters enabled, you can have your same happy mail folder tree available to you in webmail or your IMAP client (except Outlook, because it just sucks.) That's how I have it set up. No matter where the user is, they have the *same view* of their mail folder structure. It works great!
posted by drstein at 8:13 AM on December 26, 2005

And no, WON'T work, unless the OP wants to have 40 addresses that are basically forwards. If you use, you get a address.

If this is a small company that already owns their own domain, will not solve the problem.

I forgot to ask about dedicated servers. You can pick up a dedicated server through Server Pronto,ev1servers, or Server Beach and install the control panel & mail server software of your choice on the machine. Some of them are default Red Hat installs and are easy to get working right out of the box. Most of the 'control panels' you see are just cpanel or plesk installs anyway. I don't use control panels, as users *think* they need them but really don't. I've only had 1 request for a control panel from any customer, and it was so he could set up an email filter. I pointed out that the functionality he was looking for was already in the webmail interface.

I'm just sayin' ... you might be able to get a lot of this done yourself. A lot of it isn't that hard.

What *can* be a pain in the ass is the inbound spam & virus scanning, but that's another thread entirely.
posted by drstein at 8:20 AM on December 26, 2005

Yeah, Independent Scholarship has posted that link 4 times in the past week. The domain is registered to Mike Donovan - is this you, Independent? The previous two were deleted since they are blatant self-links designed to do nothing other than make him money. His fervent recommendation of Dreamhost needs to be read in this context - of course he's going to recommend them if he will receive $100 in return.

And for the record: DO NOT HOST YOUR EMAIL WITH DREAMHOST. I would never dream of using them for a commercial site - I host a couple of non-profit charity sites with them since money is tight and the service has been appalling. Email outages of >2 hours are not uncommon; during this time all email sent to your company will be bounced back to the recipient. Is this the kind of image that your company wants to give off?
posted by blag at 9:01 AM on December 26, 2005

Meta, by proxy. Thanks, blag.
posted by mediareport at 10:09 AM on December 26, 2005

dreamhost is wonderful for this. They recently added webmail

They've had webmail for years.
posted by gtr at 10:34 AM on December 26, 2005

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