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Old 3 May 2017, 03:16 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2017
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Name one FastMail feature you can't live without

I'm curious why people choose FastMail over the big providers like Microsoft, Google, etc. What is it that attract you to FastMail?

- Altmodisch
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Old 3 May 2017, 03:29 AM   #2
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One feature? Native iOS Push E-Mail support.

This is also backed up by proper IMAP support for third-party e-mail clients.

You see, I'm not really a webmail user — I've gone through phases of working that way, but ultimately I still prefer to use the native macOS and iOS Mail apps on my devices. I rarely visit the FastMail web interface at all except in rare situations where I'm using somebody else's computer and need to write an e-mail of more than a few sentences (anything less I just do use my iPhone for).

FastMail was the very first provider to do native push e-mail support properly (and may still be the only one AFAIK). Ironically, even Apple doesn't do proper push e-mail support with its own iCloud service (you get notifications of new messages, but not any other status changes such as read, deleted, moved, etc).

To be fair, I was a FastMail user long before this feature came along, but I'd gone back and forth between FastMail and Gmail a couple of times before settling on running my own mail server (which I wrote my own push notification code for). When FastMail brought full iOS push e-mail support, that pretty much sealed the deal, and I've been on FastMail and haven't looked back since.

However, even prior to that, the attraction to FastMail was also good support for open standards such as IMAP, and good server-side features for things like aliases, sieve rules, domains, and so forth. Ten years ago, I described FastMail to my colleagues as "everything I'd pretty much want to do with my own e-mail server." To be fair, Google has closed that gap for G Suite users, but Gmail is still a system that's better used via the web and with Google's own mobile apps (which don't provide as great of a user experience on the iPhone, IMHO). Google's implementation of IMAP has always been half-baked at best; on the surface there's way labels have to map to folders, but below that there have always been deeper technical issues as well.

That said, I were an Android user and/or lived on the web more, I'd probably still be using Gmail, but as somebody who is solidly in the Apple ecosystem, FastMail provides one of the best back-ends out there for iOS and macOS users.
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Old 3 May 2017, 05:52 AM   #3
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I am currently only a partial FM user since I do use basic, but I was on FM for years before Gmail was available. My #1 reason to use FM, or possibly other providers, is to have reliable email on my own domains, with easy setup and little or no maintenance. A lot of providers discussed on here and ones I have tried make setting up and using domain email more difficult than it needs to be. Even the help documents on FM and are genuinely helpful, which is why they frequently appear near the top of a Google search for all sorts of email issues. I also like the idea that when things go sideways I can reach real human beings that will work to get the ship back on course. With Google I always worry that some day a problem will arise and I will be stranded with no email, which has happened to many.
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Old 3 May 2017, 08:57 AM   #4
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The folder totals ie --> (new/total)
next to every folder and easy to see and un cluttered..

and I don't have to go into another area of the email web UI to see totals as part of the Folder editing screen...

btw this is a feature of the Classic UI that they are SADLY retiring...
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Old 3 May 2017, 03:10 PM   #5
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Thumbs up Plus and Subdomain addressing

My personal top feature is plus addressing and subdomain addressing in combination with folder matching.
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Old 3 May 2017, 03:43 PM   #6
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I chose fastmail because at the time it was very different from Hotmail as F/m had lots more features, but now I would say.

Sieve script
Excellent virus protection
Not much junk mail
We can host our own domain
It's fast

But sadly most links and buttons are stuck in the left hand corner.
It lacks in a good user interfaces, really there is no choice of colors or smilies.
There are lots of things missing in the current UI that are in the classic....I would like to ask....WHY

Sorry but I'm not buying it if half the bits are missing....

Last edited by Terry : 3 May 2017 at 03:55 PM. Reason: My spelling again...
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Old 3 May 2017, 10:04 PM   #7
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- Quick-change of sender e-mail in compose screen, even if it's not an alias
- practically unlimited own domains with perfect DNS support
- open standards
- reliability
- reasonably priced
- good alias handling
- unused folders can be hidden in the web interface
- very responsive and well organized web interface

Last edited by krimlin : 3 May 2017 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 6 May 2017, 04:09 PM   #8
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Web interface (Simple and thorough, has everything I need for emails)
Support (Always there to help)
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Old 6 May 2017, 09:50 PM   #9
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Location: U.S.A.
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a couple years ago, when Fastmail finally acquired their .com, I was able to snag myfirstname @

To me, that's like a slice of fried gold.
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Old 7 May 2017, 07:06 AM   #10
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If I had to say one thing, it would be subdomain addressing.
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Old 10 May 2017, 12:02 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by NumberSix View Post
If I had to say one thing, it would be subdomain addressing.
Unfortunately subdomain addressing can only be correctly used with the Fastmail web interface.
I've had limited success with Thunderbird + Virtual Identity ("Smart Reply") but that's about it for the email clients that support it.

What are you guys using ?

See relevant thread here:
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Old 10 May 2017, 12:11 AM   #12
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To be fair, this isn't even a "subdomain" addressing feature so much as it's just a question of working with multiple addresses period... and in that sense you're right that a lot of e-mail clients don't really handle this as well as they should particularly when dealing with replies.

I use Apple Mail and iOS Mail, but I also only send messages from a small, fixed number of addresses. Apple's Mail apps handle that case pretty well *as long as you define all of your "From" addresses as aliases in your Mail settings.

Sadly, this doesn't work if you want to be able to use "on-the-fly" addresses, but as you've pointed out, very few e-mail clients support that, and I can sort of understand why *subdomain and plus addressing are already something of an edge case, and the need to reply from a subdomain/plus address is even less common.
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