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  • Choosing an email provider: Your biggest decision

    Posted on Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Choosing an email provider: Your biggest decision

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      • #2283338 Reply
        Tracey Capen
        AskWoody MVP

        Small-business websites By Will Fastie Despite the popularity and widespread use of texting, email remains critical for business communications. Busin
        [See the full post at: Choosing an email provider: Your biggest decision]

        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2283347 Reply
        rafisher1
        AskWoody Plus

        I and most of my clients use EasyDNS out of Canada.  No tracking and great tech support.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2283376 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        In your latest column you state:

        Using an ISP-provided address is especially problematic because it effectively locks you into that company. If, say, you change from Comcast to Verizon, you’ll lose the comcast.net address

        Leaving Comcast you will NOT loose a Comcast email address. Comcast will still allow POP or IMAP access to the email and the email address can continue to be used.

        Gmail/Google has a method where their email service can be with a different domain name other than GMAIL.COM. Email will be received at the domain that belongs to the person and email sent will appear to be from the domain name of the person.

        This was done by several people from where I worked (since retired). Several people traveled and required the use of an organization specific email address. This was done using Google’s email services.

      • #2283459 Reply
        Kathy Stevens
        AskWoody Plus

        We use Runbox for our email as well as owning our own domains that also support email services.

        We made the move to Runbox years ago due to their:

        • Servers being in Norway and are subject to, “Norwegian privacy regulations”, not those of the UK, US. etc.,
        • Not scanning our email traffic nor sharing our data with others,
        • Not selling our addresses to third parties,
        • Not using cookies for external tracking,
        • Not “logging” our email traffic,
        • Using secure encryption (SSL) on connections to its servers as well as other security features,
        • Not saving a backup of deleted email on their servers (the downside being that once deleted an email can not be recovered from a Runbox backup), and
        • I can have up to 100 email aliases.
        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2283547 Reply
          RDRguy
          AskWoody Lounger

          I use ProtonMail based in Switzerland.

          It’s very similar to Runbox concerning privacy, tracking, data farming, and ads but in addition, ProtonMail offers automatic email encryption between ProtonMail email accounts and, upon demand, between non-ProtonMail email recipients which provides addition security for “sensitive” email communication to non-ProtonMail recipients and their corresponding replies.

          They offer both free and paid versions having more features, aliases / user accounts, domains, email client integration, etc. ProtonMail also offers their VPN service at an additional monthly service cost but is included in their highest tier email account plan that may be of benefit to some users / businesses.

          Win7 - PRO & Ultimate, x64 & x86
          Win8.1 - PRO, x64 & x86
          Groups A, B & ABS

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2284024 Reply
        IreneLinda
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks for all the information about email types, advantages and disadvantages.

        What would the old Windows Live Mail be classed as? Our small home-based business has used it since it was called Outlook Express. It has worked for us, allows us numerous accounts all with our domain names … and it’s free.

        Also interested to learn about all kinds of email providers I’d never heard of!

        Linda

        • #2284074 Reply
          Elly
          AskWoody MVP

          Microsoft announced that Outlook would discontinue support for Windows Live Mail in 2016, and they positioned the Mail app in W10 to replace it. That isn’t to say that it doesn’t continue to mostly work, just that it isn’t receiving bug fixes.

          Microsoft continues to support use of legacy e-mail addresses, although not issuing new ones in those domains:
          @hotmail.com
          @live.com
          @msn.com
          @passport.com
          @passport.net

          I found an article on the history of branding around Microsoft’s e-mail products, which clarifies how confusing it is.

          For the long term you may want to re-evaluate your business e-mail addresses, especially if they are legacy ones… but for security reasons look at changing to a more updated e-mail client… one that continues to be supported. You do not need to change your current e-mail addresses to use a different, supported, e-mail client.

          Non-techy Win 10 Pro and Linux Mint experimenter

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2284096 Reply
        IreneLinda
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks, Elly, for your very thorough feedback complete with a helpful link. I now know I’m not alone in being confused about just what email program we’re using! I guess what we have now is Windows Live Mail and it still works because we’re holding on to Windows 7 (I know, I know, but Windows 10 will have to wait until we can purchase new computers).

        but for security reasons look at changing to a more updated e-mail client… one that continues to be supported

        Not sure what you mean here: would that mean one of the paid ones mentioned in the article?

        Thanks again for your helpful reply!

        Lina

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2284390 Reply
        IreneLinda
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks for the suggestion, PKCano and the thumbs up, Elly. I have heard of Thunderbird and we use Firefox as our default browser so like that it is theirs.

        Would you suggest implementing such a major shift now or waiting until we can spring for new computers?

        Thanks for your opinion … realize you can’t tell me what to do, but your opinion really helps in the decision making process! 🙂

        Linda

        • #2284392 Reply
          PKCano
          Da Boss

          Thunderbird goes everywhere. I am running it on my Macs and in all versions of Windows. It even works on Linux.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2284393 Reply
        IreneLinda
        AskWoody Plus

        Got it. I was more curious about the need for urgency on the switch from WLM which we now use and have for years in all its various reincarnations, beginning with Outlook Express. I’d like to hold off as our techy to-do list is lengthy right now, but I don’t want to be foolish!

        Thanks,

        Linda

        • #2284420 Reply
          Elly
          AskWoody MVP

          Really don’t know a specific vulnerability that would mean move now… on the other hand, downloading Thunderbird takes very little time… then it is just setting up the connections to the various e-mail accounts, and setting your preferences… and you will be secure in knowing that it is up to date, and will stay that way, and be one less thing to worry about.

          It is easy to transfer from one machine to another, in case you do upgrade to a new computer.

          You can choose to store e-mail locally, no matter what e-mail account they are from, and then back it up, just like the rest of your data… accessible off-line, if the need arises. (You always have three copies, and one is off-site, right?)

          Non-techy Win 10 Pro and Linux Mint experimenter

          2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2284425 Reply
          PaulK
          AskWoody Lounger

          An idea to evaluate –

          Install Thunderbird; create ‘Test’ Profile for getting acquainted.
          You may define (an) operational email account(s).

          You will find that the installation for TB parallels that for Firefox.

          In: Tools > Account Settings > Server Settings,
          ServerSettings-1
          put a check on Leave messages on server.

          Experiment at will. If/(when?) you have questions, ask; there are many experienced users here delighted to evangelize and assist.

          Transition –
          When comfortable with TB, start using for all new emails. Continue to use WLM for replying to the emails that are there.

          As Elly says:

          It is easy to transfer from one machine to another

          The files and folders that ARE the emails, and the Address Books (aka Contact lists), normally can be directly copied. For guidance on how to copy WLM mail into TB, do a Search for (for example), [ convert wlm to thunderbird ].

          Attachments:
          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2284654 Reply
        IreneLinda
        AskWoody Plus

        Wow, Elly and Paul, thank you SO much for your wonderfully helpful, supportive and detailed responses. Paul, you have provided me with a step by step path I can follow to give Thunderbird a try. I really like that I can do a step here and a step there as I have time until it is all set up. Then, as Elly says, it will be super easy to transfer to new computers when the time comes.

        I appreciate the screenshots as well, Paul. They will help me ensure I have selected the right settings as I work through set up.

        You’ve actually made me feel confident about changing our email client after all the years with Microsoft’s. Never thought I’d feel like that so many thanks.

        Once I dive in, will post how I’m doing.

        Linda

        P.S. I love your signature, Elly! 🙂

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2285662 Reply
        Will Fastie
        AskWoody_MVP

        Comcast will still allow POP or IMAP access to the email and the email address can continue to be used.

        Thanks for that note. It doesn’t correspond with my experience but things may have changed since the last time I helped someone make that choose a different ISP.

        It doesn’t change my recommendation, though. I still do not think using an ISP-based email address is a good idea.

        More generally stated, I always suggest that all Web-based services be acquired (free or paid) independently. Then there is never a concern that a change to one causes difficulty with another.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2285670 Reply
        Will Fastie
        AskWoody_MVP

        I use ProtonMail based in Switzerland.

        I have clients who use ProtonMail, mostly because they are concerned about security in the country in which they live.

        There is one gotcha. If you are using an email client like Outlook, you need an additional piece of software to handle the decryption. ProtonMail has its Bridge product, available only to paying ProtonMail customers and supporting Outlook, Thunderbird, and AppleMail users. ProtonMail also has its own clients (aka Apps) for iOS and Android but, as far as I know, not for Windows yet.

        While I have no objection to ProtonMail, it can get expensive compared to Microsoft or Google. Look carefully at the tiers of service, their cost, and whether you truly need (or want) the extra security ProtonMail offers.

      • #2285678 Reply
        Will Fastie
        AskWoody_MVP

        Windows 10 will have to wait until we can purchase new computers

        You’ve gotten some great advice here about using Thunderbird and I agree with all of it. There is one nagging concern about its future, both because there is some worry about Mozilla itself and because Thunderbird has had some rough spots along the way.

        I just want to add that the Windows 10 email client, simply called “Mail,” is very good, far better than the very old Outlook Express. It also has a lot in common with Microsoft’s Outlook apps for iOS and Android, providing some consistency.

      • #2285679 Reply
        Will Fastie
        AskWoody_MVP

        I was more curious about the need for urgency

        There is a need for urgency. As security tightens at the various services, email clients fall behind. The #1 reason for choosing a new client is that the old clients have security holes. It’s one of the most important reasons I’m willing to pay for Microsoft 365 – Outlook 365 is always current and always up to date with the most recent security fixes.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2286876 Reply
          Michael Austin
          AskWoody Plus

          That’s why I’ll be soon migrating away from Outlook 2010.

          Finance, social and tech founder. My new, planet-wide talk show, Casual Saints, is happening.

      • #2285975 Reply
        IreneLinda
        AskWoody Plus

        worry about Mozilla itself

        You wrote the email article, Will, so when you mentioned ‘worry’ and ‘Mozilla’ in the same sentence, I took notice. I’m a huge Firefox fan so hope it isn’t a major worry!

        Looks as if I have to decide whether to wait for Windows 10 and its mail program and keep on using WLM (despite its potential security issues) or try out Thunderbird and use it until the Windows 10 computer purchase gives us Mail.

        Right now, I’m leaning towards putting this issue on the back burner for at least a while. There are too many other pressing issues in our small 2 person business right now.

        More thinking required. Appreciate all the input…very much.

        Linda

        • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by IreneLinda.
        • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by IreneLinda.
      • #2286006 Reply
        Will Fastie
        AskWoody_MVP

        … so when you mentioned ‘worry’ and ‘Mozilla’ in the same sentence, I took notice.

        My concern about Mozilla is existential. For some time Mozilla has relied on ad revenues from Google, a situation that has changed. Mozilla appears to be working on a new business model that includes revenue generating services but we don’t know that future direction yet.

        I should note that since January, Thunderbird has not been a direct Mozilla project but rather handled by its fully-owned subsidiary, MZLA Technologies Corporation. See the blog. This is good news because making Thunderbird a separate entity probably improves its chances for survival, but in my mind the funding issue remains.

        want Mozilla to continue and for both Firefox and Thunderbird to survive. Long ago I (and thousands of others) contributed a modest sum in Mozilla’s fundraising effort to get Firefox out the door because at that moment competition for Microsoft was desperately needed. I still use Firefox every day and not just because I’m a Web developer.

        Mozilla has also made a huge and valuable contribution to the Web with the Mozilla Developer Network, which includes one of the best Web technologies documentation repositories available.

        I’m a fan. Doesn’t mean I can’t worry.

        • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Will Fastie. Reason: Grammar
        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2286881 Reply
          Michael Austin
          AskWoody Plus

          For several years I’ve created my mailboxes through Ionos (formerly 1&1). All of them are funneled into a local, desktop Outlook mail client (not Exchange). A few of them get routed through Google’s mail servers. I’ve kept my own Outlook archives locally, with cloud backups.

          Using those methods I have one primary mailbox which runs through Google Mail servers, and when I want to I delete old mail from their servers but maintain my own archive. In thinking through what Will has written, since I seldom need encrypted mail, I’m inclined to switch to Thunderbird before Outlook 2010’s security patches ride off into the sunset in October.

          Today I noticed that Alex5723 wrote:

          “I use the free MailStore Home app.
          A Central Archive for All Emails
          Internet mailboxes such as Gmail or Yahoo! Mail
          Any POP3 and IMAP mailboxes
          Microsoft Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019
          Windows Mail und Windows Live Mail
          Microsoft Exchange Server 20031, 20071, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019 mailboxes
          Microsoft 3652 (Exchange Online)
          Mozilla Thunderbird and SeaMonkey
          PST, EML and other files”

          So methinks I’ll think that idea through as well.

          Finance, social and tech founder. My new, planet-wide talk show, Casual Saints, is happening.

      • #2286175 Reply
        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        Looks as if I have to decide whether to wait for Windows 10 and its mail program and keep on using WLM (despite its potential security issues) or try out Thunderbird and use it until the Windows 10 computer purchase gives us Mail.

        Right now, I’m leaning towards putting this issue on the back burner for at least a while. There are too many other pressing issues in our small 2 person business right now.

        And even if you choose something else… the migration path might well include Thunderbird, with the ImportExportTools (NG) add-on, as an intermediate step. That’s one of the easiest ways to go from WLM to anything else.

        As long as you have full data backups … well I’ve used that to import old stored messages from WLM, without actually installing WLM on the replacement PC.

        This is good news because making Thunderbird a separate entity probably improves its chances for survival, but in my mind the funding issue remains.

        Yes, well, open source project funding is a bit of a weird thing.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2286526 Reply
        Will Fastie
        AskWoody_MVP

        … because we’re holding on to Windows 7 …

        See FBI Private Industry Notification: Win7 is a leaky boat right here at AskWoody.

      • #2286850 Reply
        IreneLinda
        AskWoody Plus

        ad revenues from Google, a situation that has changed.

        Hmm. That makes me suspicious of Google’s motives. After all, Firefox is a rather serious competitor of Chrome. Or am I becoming a conspiracy theorist??

        Very much enjoyed your post about Mozilla. We support them a little every year when they ask, but sure hope they can get their revenue streams on more solid and predictable grounds.

        Checked the FBI link. Thanks. This is something I definitely realize, but have to wait until hardware upgrades are in the budget!

        the migration path might well include Thunderbird

        Yes, I agree … and it will.

        As always, appreciate all your thoughts and input!

        Linda

      • #2286858 Reply
        Will Fastie
        AskWoody_MVP

        That makes me suspicious of Google’s motives.

        I’m always suspicious of Google, motives and everything else. Will + Google = CLOT (complete lack of trust).

        After all, Firefox is a rather serious competitor of Chrome.

        Sadly, no. Chrome is around 50% share.  Firefox, 3-4%. Remember, Chrome is on every Android phone and has a strong presence on PCs. Chrome, Safari, and Edge are default browsers while Firefox, Vivaldi, Opera, and others are always an optional, after-the-fact choice.

      • #2287396 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        Protonmail to me is not secure because the keys are held by them.  LEO asks for keys, protonmail gives them, or uses them to read without permission, not secure.

        You can easily buy vps and host your own email from your own domain much more custom and about $12 a month for most vps $10 a year for domain it’s not that bad.

        Look at Mailinabox.

      • #2287406 Reply
        BATcher
        AskWoody_MVP

        Perhaps it would be worth reading the recent Techspot review of Protonmail

        BATcher

        Ascetics go without, mystics go within.

        • #2287516 Reply
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          According to that review, Tutanota is better and cheaper.

          cheers, Paul

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