aol-loser, g-mail adverse, yahoo-huh?
January 7, 2020 8:27 PM   Subscribe

so, after like 20 years, I'm getting scared about relying on for e-mail, and I don't want to use my g-mail address either...... what's the best e-mail to migrate to?
posted by valkane to Computers & Internet (25 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Define "best". What is it you need your email to do? Do you need things like extensive filtering, rules-based replies, and capacious archives, or do you just need a basic account? What is it about relying on yahoo that scares you, and also, is there a reason you don't want to use a gmail account you already have?

There are no wrong answers to these questions, but without more information about your specific needs, it'll be hard to recommend an email provider to you.
posted by pdb at 8:32 PM on January 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: ah, thanks, pdb. I just want to migrate to something that I don't have to worry about for another 20 years. I know that sounds impossible to answer, but I'm hoping the hive mind has more intelligence than myself.
posted by valkane at 8:34 PM on January 7, 2020

Response by poster: oh, and best just means basic e-mail. I don't have a lot of feature-shock needs.
posted by valkane at 8:36 PM on January 7, 2020

Definitely check out this recent Ask: Best Private Email Service

Like many folks in that thread, I recommend Fastmail. I've been using it for almost 20 years.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 8:50 PM on January 7, 2020 [4 favorites]

FWIW, your ISP probably provides an email service.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:57 PM on January 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

If your sole concern is not having to go through the hassle of migration for as long as possible then I'd go with Gmail.

I use and recommend Fastmail, but I think counting on almost any tech company be around and offering the same products in 20 years is optimistic. Fastmail appears to be stable and profitable, to have no plans to be acquired, and to be focused solely on email. But they're a relatively small company and they're incorporated in a foreign (to you) country, both of which might be considered risk factors.

Google is probably not going out of business or getting acquired, and Gmail is ubiquitous in a way dominant products before the internet went mainstream (like yahoo mail) never were. It seems pretty inconceivable Google would kill Gmail as long as they're still in business and email is a thing. Anything is possible though!
posted by caek at 9:01 PM on January 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

I have an xFinity email address from my cable company. I never use it but it seems simple and it does remind me of Yahoo look and feel.
posted by bendy at 9:20 PM on January 7, 2020

I have an email with my ISP, TimeWarner > Spectrum and it is so slow as to be unworkable. Avoid at all costs.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:35 PM on January 7, 2020

If a service sticking around for the next 20 years is a big priority, Outlook would certainly have to qualify on those grounds. And its mobile apps are pretty decent if you aren't inclined to use the web interface.
posted by theory at 9:44 PM on January 7, 2020 [3 favorites]

Relying on your ISP to provide a stable, reliable place to receive email is a terrible suggestion. ISPs change names (and domains), they are in a sector where it's quite likely they will merge or go out of business, they are liable to decide to just stop doing email one day, they are unbelievably bad at all aspects of customer service, you might change ISPs for all sorts of reasons, etc., etc.
posted by caek at 10:01 PM on January 7, 2020 [16 favorites]

I use Tutanota. They're pretty great, privacy focused and awesome app
posted by VyanSelei at 10:04 PM on January 7, 2020

Best answer: I recommend splitting your email address off from whoever is providing you with email by getting your own domain, and an email redirect. You'll be able to keep your address forever and move it around from one provider to another. That means you're free to choose an email provider that works for you, and if it stops working for you, you can change email providers without having to change email addresses.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:29 AM on January 8, 2020 [4 favorites]

You can get your own domain and use GMail to manage mail on that domain, creating multiple addresses if needed. If you ever feel the need, you can move it to another provider or manage your own email server and keep all your mail addresses intact.
posted by Akke at 12:31 AM on January 8, 2020 [3 favorites]

I dont use Outlook as an email company, but I do have my ISP email running the Outlook app on an Android device. Its amazingly flawed for a Microsoft product. In trying to group messages into threads, it sometimes includes completely unrelated items. I'm sure Outlook the service is solid, but use a different client. The outlook client on Windows is fine.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:25 AM on January 8, 2020

Best answer: Thirding the last 2 comments. Buy a domain and setup an email. If you use fatcow this is comically easy and cheap. Probably the same everywhere. Then either use desktop software and make offline backups or use Gmail as your email client. Then if there is ever an issue your "" address persists and you need only change out how you get the messages....

To help clarify if this all sounds too techy: split email into 2 things: the actual domain address where email comes and goes through (like the street you live on) and the way you actually view and store the messages (your house). Your house will change over time. You can even tear it down or massively add new features no one is conceiving of (Alexa for example) today. But the road (which is your domain the or whatever) will exist more or less forever. (those Romans and their roads amirite?!?!). You own it forever.

So you can use Gmail JUST as the second thing to send receive and store messages without relying on the "" part. If they ever kill it you find a new method for that part but dont have to give anyone a new address to use.
posted by chasles at 5:30 AM on January 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

And since you said not google... add this to my comment: Or outlook, Thunderbird, or dozens of websites or softwares.
posted by chasles at 5:31 AM on January 8, 2020

Don't rely on your ISP's email. Sure, they'll give you an address, but what happens if you decide you want to change ISPs? Or if you have to move, and can't keep the same ISP? You lose access to that address. It's better to stay ISP-independent when it comes to email.

If you don't want to be tied down to a specific service (e.g. Gmail, Yahoo, etc.), your best bet is to get your own domain. Then, it's just a matter of keeping that domain active—which costs about $10/year approximately—and deciding on an email provider for your domain.

There are many provider for custom domain email: Google, Microsoft, Fastmail, etc. If you decide you want to switch services down the road, you're free to do so -- but your address stays the same.
posted by vitout at 6:08 AM on January 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

I use a free ProtonMail account. Secure, encrypted and private.
posted by fimbulvetr at 6:50 AM on January 8, 2020 [2 favorites]

Yahoo has upped their game after the 2016 disaster. Better security including 2-factor authentication ("Yahoo account key").
posted by mono blanco at 7:05 AM on January 8, 2020

Although ProtonMail is best from a security perspective, it is an UNBELIEVABLE pain in the ass to get back into it if you forget your password, so if you're someone who ever does that, it's not the choice for you.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:16 AM on January 8, 2020

If I can piggyback on the "buy a domain" advice.. There seems to be two ways to do this if you want to use Gmail as your client. You can set up your own mail service on that domain (often for free via your registrar) and have it forward email to your account. Or you can set up G-Suite to serve mail for your domain using an MX entry. That requires you pay for GSuite, which starts at $6/month.

My question is do I have that right, are those the only two options for having Gmail serving your domain? Back in 2012 Google would do the MX thing for free, but while they honor old accounts that ended long ago.
posted by Nelson at 8:54 AM on January 8, 2020

Gmail pulls in my domain mail via POP3 and then I also set it up to be able to use my domain mail as a From address. Here is one page that explains how to set this up.
posted by soelo at 9:01 AM on January 8, 2020

Nth-ing advice to buy your own domain -- I did it some ten years ago and it's so nice not to have to change email addresses ever again. I register my domain and get my email service through (just one of many providers out there). I am not super technical, but it's no harder than setting up your phone/etc to use any other email address.
posted by kite at 10:08 AM on January 8, 2020

Also a Protonmail user. I upgraded from free to paid awhile back for the IMAP support, and also because free makes me a little nervous, however well-intentioned at first.
posted by jquinby at 12:11 PM on January 8, 2020

Always, always, always own your own domain. It is then portable and secure. Move it to where you need it, including Google. Moving your domain between providers is a little bit of a hassle, but not nearly as bad as changing your email address.
posted by lhauser at 8:56 PM on January 8, 2020

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