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Old 17 Mar 2018, 02:05 AM   #1
werewolf
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What do I gain paying for FM as opposed to using Outlook or Yahoo like I used to?

Outlook and Yahoo are free. I'm trying to decide if I should renew my $50 a year Fastmail subscription when it expires.

Last edited by werewolf : 17 Mar 2018 at 02:24 AM.
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Old 17 Mar 2018, 02:43 AM   #2
janusz
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I gave up on Fastmail some time ago.
And I wouldn't pay $50 a year for email service for personal use with any provider.
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Old 17 Mar 2018, 07:38 AM   #3
TenFour
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If you are asking the question, paid email may not be for you. Frankly, I think most people are better off with a free email account for personal use, but I would stick to a mainstream, large, and reliable provider. My recommendations are Gmail and Outlook.com. The main reason for most people to choose a paid provider is they want to have email at their own domain, or domains. A few people are worried about emails being scanned for advertising purposes and they are willing to pay to avoid that, though you can opt-out of most scanning if you want to. For some reason, some people don't trust companies like Google and Microsoft, yet mysteriously they trust some tiny company with a handful of employees. In my experience working with some tech companies behind the scenes you don't want to know the levels of access possible at small firms, with almost no oversight, if any. I have no doubt that at many of the smaller providers there are people there who could access your email, password, everything and nobody would know. However, that's not saying that there aren't trustworthy small companies to do business with, but you just don't know. With a Google or Microsoft there are billions of people every day, and millions of businesses, using the systems, testing them, reporting on them, etc. The chances are much greater that problems will be revealed and fixed, and if there are issues the chances of them biting you personally are very small because of the haystack effect.
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Old 17 Mar 2018, 02:03 PM   #4
BritTim
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I always recommend to people that they get their own personal domains for email. This ensures that, even if they need to change their email service, they will never need to change their email address. If you are not concerned about this issue, and your email is not particularly important, go with a free email service. FastMail is a robust solution for those with their own domains who consider their email important (though those whose email is critical require backup services also).
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Old 17 Mar 2018, 03:24 PM   #5
randian
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Fastmail's hosted DNS made email easy to set up, and the way their email aliases and folder addressing works is better than anybody else out there in my opinion. I did a test run with Outlook, but what they called aliases were a pita to use. You basically had to alias entire domains where with Fastmail you can create and destroy individual email aliases, with their own independent delivery targets.
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Old 17 Mar 2018, 08:38 PM   #6
TenFour
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I've used both Fastmail and their partner POBox.com, and they are among the best providers of email on your own domains. The question for you is if you need or want the advanced features mentioned by others, or if you are like most people and just need a reliable, easy to use, and inexpensive or free email address. Some people do worry about losing a beloved email address, but I am personally not that wedded to any particular address. On the other hand, I've had a Gmail address since they first became widely available and I still use it all the time. I've had other addresses with both Gmail and Outlook.com for over a decade or more. In that time numerous small email providers have come and gone as can be documented here on this site. I'm not certain having your own domain is any greater guarantee of having an "email address for life" as the slogan goes. As I get older one thing has occurred to me that is a chink in the email-for-life argument. When my life has ended, what will happen then to the domains I own and their associated email addresses? Presumably they will go on until payments stop, which could be less than a year, whereas there is no definite end date for a free service like Gmail as long as it remains active. That would take any pressure off of those trying to wrap up my affairs. Think what a hassle it would be if your domain and/or email service happened to expire a month after you died, and then your heirs suddenly lost all of your email records, contacts, bills, etc. When my mother passed I was dealing with her financial affairs for years afterwards. For example, look what just happened here on emaildiscussions.com: http://www.emaildiscussions.com/show...854#post605854
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Old 17 Mar 2018, 10:12 PM   #7
BritTim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenFour View Post
I'm not certain having your own domain is any greater guarantee of having an "email address for life"
A Gmail email address is probably fairly safe, though you might one day need to pay to keep it. However, whatever you might in the future think about Google, you will never have the option of changing your email service unless willing to use a new email address. In practice, this is quite likely to mean you lose some emails, as (even when you inform people of your new address) some correspondents will persist in using the old one.

If using a smaller free email service, there is a good chance of their going out of business at short notice. An issue often forgotten is that registrations for other services are often tied to email addresses. If that email address ceases to exist, you can often find it impossible to continue use of that service.

With your own domain, as long as you keep your domain registration current, you keep control of all email addresses using that domain name. If you want to use Google as your mail service, you can. If you want to move to FastMail, you can. You have complete freedom in the matter.

What happens after your death depends on the arrangements you have made in advance. If you leave an envelope with passwords and simple instructions with a competent family member, there is nothing preventing your old email addresses from remaining as long as considered expedient with about 15 minutes effort a year.
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Old 17 Mar 2018, 10:58 PM   #8
TenFour
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Quote:
What happens after your death depends on the arrangements you have made in advance. If you leave an envelope with passwords and simple instructions with a competent family member, there is nothing preventing your old email addresses from remaining as long as considered expedient with about 15 minutes effort a year.
The best laid plans...

There are good arguments both ways, but it comes down to what you need out of your email provider, not what any of us consider important. Is it worth around $50 per year to you to go with a paid provider?
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Old 18 Mar 2018, 05:16 AM   #9
n5bb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenFour View Post
Is it worth around $50 per year to you to go with a paid provider?
For me, yes. This is the FastMail Forum, after all!

I have a Standard level Fastmail account (US $3.60/month for a 3 year subscription with 20 GB email storage). I pay for several years in advance so my account isnít closed if Iím incapacitated for a while. I also have a Basic level Fastmail account (US $2.22/month for a 3 year subscription and 2 GB email storage). So for $5.82 per month (price of a small drink at a movie theater, and much less that the meal I just ate at a restaurant) I have one month of service for two email accounts. My drink at the movie or meal will be forgotten the next day, but I use these email accounts several times each day on my iPhone, iPad, and home PC. I use my own domain on the Standard account, as well as several small websites and 10 GB of online storage (open or password access for each folder). I have a calendar I sync with my iOS devices, calendar reminder emails, fancy email rules, email distribution lists (trigger email is delivered to everyone in a contact group in my address book), and many other features. Fastmail is the central tool that organizes my daily activities. And I donít have them scraping information from my mail.

Bill
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Old 18 Mar 2018, 05:30 AM   #10
TenFour
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Bill is getting what he considers good value from the money spent. Of course, free Gmail offers 15GB of storage, seemlessly synced calendars on any device, seemlessly synced contacts, unlimited online photo storage, Google Drive with a mini-office suite of programs that are just as good as ones some people pay for, plus integration with a lot of other very useful services. Outlook.com offers something similar for free, but with less storage.
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Old 18 Mar 2018, 07:28 AM   #11
n5bb
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Google is a big company because of big data accumulation and big advertising, as is Facebook. Some of us want to be in control of our email accounts and not be affected by advertising. That's also why I listen to NPR (US National Public Radio), which is not distorted by advertising. I like a company who is big enough to be stable and provide great service but small enough to have identifiable employees:
https://www.fastmail.com/about/company.html
https://blog.fastmail.com/

I suggest you look over a few of the recent Fastmail blog entries. Fastmail is very involved in the technical side of email and attends many technical conferences and contributes to several open-source projects.Google and Microsoft (and AOL and Facebook) act in their own best interests, which involve advertising. It's a different model, and involves monetizing each interaction with a user. I would rather pay for what I use rather than be affected by those advertisements and lack of personal security in my use of the service.

Don't be fooled into thinking that services which feed you advertising are "free". Companies are spending an aggregate of hundreds of dollars a year in advertising per person, and anticipate receiving several times that investment in increased sales to you. See:
https://www.statista.com/statistics/...nd-per-person/

Here is how Google explains their target ROAS (Return On Ad Spend):
https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/6268637?hl=en

I'm willing to spend a tiny fraction of the amount I spend on coffee or tea at restaurants to keep my email mine without being bombarded with advertisements designed to subliminally affect me without my noticing. I realize that many others don't worry about this, and my feeling is that they are spending far more than they realize on purchasing a few items they would not have otherwise purchased due to advertisements than the cost of a good paid email account.

Bill
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Old 18 Mar 2018, 11:59 AM   #12
BritTim
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I am personally very much in sympathy with Bill's opinion. On the flip side, I recognize that many (actually most) make extensive use of social media. Preventing the kind of subliminal influence on your mind Bill (and I) try to avoid is a lost cause, and the argument against using a large free email service carries less force.
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Old 18 Mar 2018, 04:49 PM   #13
petergh
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I, too, sympathise with Bill's sentiments. Google and to a certain extent Microsoft walk a thin line between protecting their users' privacy and putting money in the advertisers' pockets. Fastmail, offering no free services, can stand firmly on the side of their customers. That's why I've been a Fastmail customer on and off since 2002.

However, times are changing, and email is not the only game in town anymore, as it was 15 years ago. My wants and needs have changed, and I now need (or want) cloud storage for my files, photos, and videos as well as email and calendar. Throw in an (online) office suite, and you have 95% of my needs covered right there.

Yes, Google does cover all of the above bases for free (or paid, through G Suite), but so does Microsoft through their Office 365 suite (for a considerably smaller price than G Suite). And I don't mind paying, because I dislike ads as much as Bill and many others on these forums.

So I'm paying $7.50/mo for an Office 365 Home subscription. That gives me a licence to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access on 5 PCs/Macs, 5 tablets, *and* 5 phones (including Windows, iOS, and Android). More than enough to cover the entire family.

And in October 2017 Microsoft decided to throw in a premium, ad-free subscription to Outlook.com (the email service) at no extra cost. Included is also 1 terabyte (1,000 gigabytes) storage on OneDrive for each of the 5 included licences.

All of the above devoid of any advertisement for $7.50 per month.

This is not meant to be a shameless plug for Microsoft or Office 365. I'm just a customer. My point is that for $5/mo I get one Standard account at Fastmail and only that. For a few bucks more, I get 5x all of the above. I'm not *that* enthusiastic about email anymore, and I don't fiddle around with all the nerdy/powerful settings Fastmail offers anymore like I used to, so the value proposition of Microsoft far exceeds Fastmail for my needs and wants currently.
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Old 18 Mar 2018, 09:17 PM   #14
TenFour
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The advertising issue is a lost cause, unless you don't use an ISP, don't use social media, don't use online banking and other services, etc. Personally, I don't see what Google does as particularly intrusive since I can't figure out exactly what is supposedly targeted to me. I don't see any ads in my Inbox because I use the traditional view. I use an ad blocker anyway on my desktop browser. I often use adblock browsers on my phone too. Just for kicks, sometimes I turn off all these blockers and I am surprised how little advertising is actually of any interest to me, so it is hard to imagine I am being influenced in some weird subliminal way. Frankly, I would rather see some ads I am interested in than the garbage I see normally on the Internet.

I don't see how Office 365 is necessarily cheaper than G Suite for domain email. For example, you can pay only $5 a month for basic G Suite with a 30GB storage limit and the full selection of useful apps. The storage limit is much better than it appears if you upload everything and store it in Google's own formats like Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Those files don't count against the storage limit. Combine that with unlimited free photo storage (not at full resolution, but still very good) and the 30GB ends up being a lot of space.

Microsoft also offers Office 365 Business Essentials for only $5 per month that gives you online only versions of Word, Excel, etc., a 50GB Inbox for email, and 1TB of OneDrive storage for everything else. That is a really good deal if you need the online storage. I might check it out, though in the past I have found Microsoft's online domain and email management portals less than intuitive.

Both G Suite and O365 proclaim no scanning for advertising purposes, enhanced security, and also real customer service available via phone, chat, email, etc. IMHO that is the biggest downfall of Gmail--if something goes wrong your only recourse is to hop into the morass of Google's support forums, where most questions are never answered properly if at all. Customer service can easily be worth $5 per month if your email is important to you.
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Old 18 Mar 2018, 11:48 PM   #15
n5bb
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I also have a Microsoft Office 365 account, which gives me the Outlook client, an outlook.com email account, 1 TB OneDrive cloud storage, and the most popular Office applications. This is a yearly subscription. I do not use the Outlook email account or client very often since I like Fastmail much better.

Bill
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