Who is your IMAP provider, and why did you choose them?
September 6, 2006 12:32 AM   Subscribe

I had the extraordinary privilege of being on Fastmail.fm's server3 when it conked out for a three-day outage, beginning on August 31st:-( I am now searching for a new IMAP provider and have found two - Tuffmail.com, and Pobox.com, that come highly recommended from users on this discussion board - but of course, I also want the opinion of the hive mind:-) Does anyone here use them or another IMAP provider that you would recommend? How have they treated you, in terms of reliability, customer service, value, etc?

*Note: Please, PLEASE do not tell me to purchase my own domain and point my MX records to so-and-so. This seems to require a level of geekiness I am woefully lacking in.

Also, please no "Why don't you just use Gmail?" comments. After AOL's recent debacle involving leaked search queries, I would prefer not to, and kindly ask that you refrain from derailing this into a debate on privacy and Gmail.

A big thanks to everyone in advance.
posted by invisible ink to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I switched to Tuffmail about 3 months ago, and have been completely spoiled by the power and flexibility of their mail handling options, particularly customizable rejects at the MX and server-side Sieve filtering.

That said, it will all be completely lost on you if you refuse to be geeky. The setup and management in their account interface is considerably more complex and arcane than getting your own domain name and setting an MX record, which is really ridiculously straightforward.

No downtime, though, and great value.

The greylisting implementation, MX rejects, and SA all together provide incomprehensibly good spam filtering. After going through a setup period, I now regularly get 1000+ spams per day rejected with extremely few false positives or negatives.

Two possible disadvantages to Tuffmail: 1) Appears to be run by just one guy, and I don't know what the contingency plan is, and 2) they will not externally forward anything that scores greater than 6 on their SpamAssassin installation, period.

On the plus side, their incoming SMTP servers allow TLS, which is kind of neat, and sometimes even gets used:

Received: from chatbox-smtp-out10.apple.com (chatbox-smtp-out10.apple.com []) (using TLSv1 with cipher DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA (256/256 bits)) (No client certificate requested) by mxin.mxes.net (Postfix) with ESMTP id 8AC01E0417 for <xxx@xxx.xxx>; Wed, 6 Sep 2006 00:57:42 -0400 (EDT)
posted by trevyn at 1:05 AM on September 6, 2006

I've been with Pobox.com for a number of years, they're a top-notch setup!
posted by PuGZ at 2:30 AM on September 6, 2006

I'm going to combine the two answers you don't want: How about hosted Gmail? You get the reliability of google's datacenter, but because it's a service for businesses there's no way they're ever going to do anything AOL-esque to it.

You'd also have to type in your MX details, but they make it really, really easy.
posted by bonaldi at 3:43 AM on September 6, 2006

Best answer: I've been using pobox.com for a decade. First class operation. Fast servers and fast CS response.

However, I only use their forwarder service -- that is, me@pobox.com is just forwarded to whatever my latest "real" email address is. And my email programs are set to put my pobox.com address in the header. So I can change ISPs and email accounts at will and nobody has to update their address book.
posted by intermod at 5:35 AM on September 6, 2006

How about hosted Gmail?

Gmail don't do IMAP, sadly.

posted by rjt at 8:16 AM on September 6, 2006

Response by poster: PuGZ and intermod- I noticed that Pobox doesn't offer virus protection. Has this ever been a problem for either of you?

Thanks again to everyone for the great responses.
posted by invisible ink at 3:21 PM on September 6, 2006

You might look at Nancy McGough's Infinite Ink website; she's all about IMAP and has a page listing IMAP providers, among other things.
posted by lhauser at 3:37 PM on September 6, 2006

I've been using tuffmail for about two months now and I'm *really* happy with them. I'm so happy with them I wrote an extensive review of tuffmail on my blog. As a standalone IMAP provider, I think it would be hard to argue that tuffmail isn't the best out there.
posted by rourkem at 3:35 PM on October 27, 2006

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