I’ve hosted my own Mailserver in various configurations since more than 6 years now. Since then I’ve taken multiple breaks from hosting it myself and explored other solutions for hosting emails with your own domain names.
Because my own Mailserver has lately problems (downtimes) I wanna explore other possibilities of hosting my email addresses.
So let’s take a look…
Self-hosting (VPS, Tools like Mailcow, Mailu, etc)⌗
You simply setup a Mailserver with software like Mailcow, Mailu or Mail-in-a-Box on a virtual Server and manage it yourself.
- You have the control
- Unlimited domains
- Unlimited mailboxes
- Cheaper than most alternatives if you don’t look at the time you need for setup and maintenance
- Most cheap VPS don’t offer a lot of space and if you subtract the OS and installed software, then your space for mail is very limited
- You need to invest a lot of time
- You need a good spec VPS because Mailserver software and SPAM protection are performance intensive
- Small VPS are often targeted by criminals and protection isn’t very easy
This is what I’ve done the most of the time.
In the past this was very straightforward if you know how to setup and secure a mailserver but I’ve lately problems with things like DDoS and Brute Force Attacks.
A question from me on Hacker News was even so heavily voted that it was for a short time on the front page of HN - so this seems to be a problem for other people too.
This service doesn’t exist anymore but I wanna mention it because it was one of the few free providers where you can get mailboxes for your own domains.
AFAIK that service doesn’t exist anymore because it was targeted by spammers and had problems with attacks.
The free plan supports one domain with up to five users and has a 5GB/User and 25MB attachment limit.
Unusable for me because IMAP/ POP/ Active Sync are not included in the free plan.
Indian company, the CEO seems to support Hindu nationalism.
The biggest player in my comparison. Offers 10 GB of storage, up to 1000 users and support for custom domains for free.
It seems like the only problem is that you have to trust a Russian company.
Has various plans for custom Domain Email Hosting. All plans include support for unlimited Domains and unlimited Email Accounts.
Especially the Black Friday deals seem to be pretty good every year.
US company, interestingly the Founder has worked for Christian Institutions - so both - the CEOs of Zoho and MXroute seem to be religious persons.
Cheap Hosting Provider for custom Domain Email, comparable to MXroute but it has more bad reviews than MXroute.
On the HN Post to this Article someone mentioned Migadu.
Migadu is the only provider on this comparison from Switzerland and the pricing is more expensive compared to the US providers…
So you pay more but your data is probably also more secure.
French provider, offers a free plan which includes one domain, 2 mailboxes, 3 aliases and 1 GB per mailbox.
Unfortunately it seems like the cheapest hosting possibilities are either trusting a Russian company which government maybe spies on you, trusting a US company which is also obliged to let the government spy on you or to go to an Indian company which is run by a Hindu nationalism supporter…
Hosting your own server isn’t the cheapest option but you are more in control.
I know there are privacy focused providers like ProtonMail or Fastmail out there but the cost of those services are way higher than the providers I mentioned at the time of this writing. (Especially if you want more than one mailbox. Most popular services are on a pay per-user basis, but MXroute, Mailcheap, Yandex and your own VPS are more on a pay per-storage / resources plan)
So I think I will split my domains to various services - in that way no government has all of my information and I am more immune to downtimes.