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Considering switching email providers
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sdilley14
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Jul 27, 2012, 06:45 AM
 
I'm considering switching email providers. I have had Hotmail ever since I started using the internet back in 1998 or so. I'm just a little tired of the same ol boring interface and tired of sifting through the mountains of junkmail I get every day. I have my filters all set up, but it seems like no matter what I try craploads of junkmail always make it through. And I need to go through it because it always seems like a couple relevant emails make it into the junk folder. So I'm just looking to mix it up and start new.

I already have a GMail account. I use that address for a couple different services and I like how it works...it seems quick, clean, easy to use, and I don't have any junkmail making its way into that account yet.

I also just set up my free me.com address through iCloud. I haven't used it at all and quite frankly have no idea if it is a decent email client or not...but since pratically every gadget I own is Apple, I figured why not set it up.

I'm wondering what the best way would be to transition to whichever new "primary" email provider I choose would be. I'm sure this is a dumb question, but is there any way that I can forward the mail that comes into my Hotmail account to my new account? Even better, could I set it to forward emails from specific people or domains?

Also, which would you pick, GMail or me.com, and why? Hahah, I don't know why this is such a big deal but I've had this email address for 10+ years and I'm already starting to feel separation anxiety over the thought of abandoning it.
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subego
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Jul 27, 2012, 10:11 AM
 
I haven't really had problems with either service.

I'd lean towards Gmail mainly because they've found a model and seem like they're going to stick with it. My Apple address has been part of a free service, part of a paid service, had the domain aggressively changed from dotmac to dotme, went back to a free service, and then who knows what.

Rumor has it Steve brought the whole team into an auditorium in Cupertino, and then executed them gangland style.
     
sdilley14  (op)
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Jul 27, 2012, 11:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I haven't really had problems with either service.
I'd lean towards Gmail mainly because they've found a model and seem like they're going to stick with it. My Apple address has been part of a free service, part of a paid service, had the domain aggressively changed from dotmac to dotme, went back to a free service, and then who knows what.
Rumor has it Steve brought the whole team into an auditorium in Cupertino, and then executed them gangland style.
That was exactly what I was thinking too. Gmail has been around for a while now and has always been free and has remained mostly unchanged...where as the Apple email service has bounced around a lot and it's hard to tell where it is going to go from here. I just thought I would try to remain as "streamlined" as possible going with the Apple option. I'll probably just use GMail as my primary and the me.com address for other random things.
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nonhuman
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Aug 2, 2012, 08:40 AM
 
A couple days late, but my 2ยข:

Gmail wins. Hands down. I've been using it exclusively for my personal mail since the early 00s. I use it for my business, and I recently helped my dad transition his company's email from a hosted Exchange solution to Gmail as well. I used to use the web interface exclusively, and absolutely love it (especially once I learned to use the keyboard shortcuts, which make it simply amazing). Since I'm now juggling two different Gmail-based email accounts (personal and business) I'm now using Sparrow which, while I do have a few complaints, is by far the best client out there for handling Gmail's label system (which I use extensively and love). Seriously, Gmail's concept of labels instead of folders is inspired; you can do so many great things with it. On top of which their spam filtering blows anything else I've ever used out of the water, and their Priority Inbox feature is pretty awesome as well (and if you use an Android phone you can set it to only notify you if an 'Important' email arrives, which is pretty sweet).

I think there are two criticisms of Gmail that I hear the most and are worth addressing, but that can be very easily dismissed. The first is that it's giving Google access to your email, the second is that it does experience some down time.

I'm going to start with the second, that Gmail does, in fact, experience some down time. Frankly, so what? Find me an email host with 100% uptime. Seriously. Especially one that offer the sorts of business features that Gmail does. Really, the only other options are Microsoft Exchange, and Lotus Notes. And if you choose Lotus Notes you are, quite simply, a complete and utter moron. I was an Exchange administrator for several years and have experience with both hosted and local Exchange server; as a result of that experience I hate Exchange with the fury of a thousand suns. That said, when I worked at Discovery Channel we were using Lotus Notes, and every single day I pined for the days when I was using Exchange. Notes is that bad. Neither solution, perhaps unless you want to invest ungodly amounts of money in building a massively redundant infrastructure that would probably have to rival Google's, has anything approaching Google's uptime. Occasional slowness or even downtime is simply something that you have to accept no matter what system you use, and Google is definitely no worse, and very likely far better, than any of the alternatives. (To be fair, I have no experience with iCloud email, so I can't speak to that comparison.)

The other criticism, that using Gmail involves giving Google access to your own email, is, on the face of it, ridiculous. I mean it's true, but it's irrelevant. Whatever email solution you use involved giving someone access to all of your email. It's just a choice of whom you're giving that access to. If anything, the massive user base of Gmail means that Google is more likely to respect that access, because it gives them massive exposure in the case of any problems or lawsuit.
     
besson3c
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Aug 2, 2012, 09:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post

The other criticism, that using Gmail involves giving Google access to your own email, is, on the face of it, ridiculous. I mean it's true, but it's irrelevant. Whatever email solution you use involved giving someone access to all of your email. It's just a choice of whom you're giving that access to. If anything, the massive user base of Gmail means that Google is more likely to respect that access, because it gives them massive exposure in the case of any problems or lawsuit.
It's not ridiculous, not at all.

How do you think GMail makes money? It is true that there is a catch with all free email offerings, but when you are paying for your email the email providers can subsidize their costs with your monthly payment.
     
nonhuman
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Aug 2, 2012, 09:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post

It's not ridiculous, not at all.

How do you think GMail makes money? It is true that there is a catch with all free email offerings, but when you are paying for your email the email providers can subsidize their costs with your monthly payment.
And this hurts you how? How is Google using an algorithm to parse your email for keywords riskier than putting all of your email in the hands of whatever underpaid IT employee you might hire to manage your server?

Do you consider Google Checkout to be disastrously unsafe?

Email is an inherently insecure medium. If you want to keep the contents of your email private, the only option is to use end-to-end encryption through your client, which you can do with Gmail as well as with anyone else.
     
subego
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Aug 2, 2012, 09:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Email is an inherently insecure medium.
This.

Email has privacy profile similar to a post card.
     
andi*pandi
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Aug 2, 2012, 10:42 AM
 
Aside from the ups and downs of free/not free, I still use my .mac email address. The mail filter is pretty good at spam (better than dropbox apparently) and lately it's been very reliable.
     
subego
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Aug 2, 2012, 10:53 AM
 
Yeah. Even though I suggested Google over Apple, I don't really have any problems with Apple's setup, and I've used it as my main axe for almost a decade.
     
besson3c
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Aug 2, 2012, 01:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
And this hurts you how? How is Google using an algorithm to parse your email for keywords riskier than putting all of your email in the hands of whatever underpaid IT employee you might hire to manage your server?

Do you consider Google Checkout to be disastrously unsafe?

Email is an inherently insecure medium. If you want to keep the contents of your email private, the only option is to use end-to-end encryption through your client, which you can do with Gmail as well as with anyone else.
It's riskier because it is illegal for underpaid IT employees to be reading my email with a mailbox that I have paid for. It's also so risky that it is flat out illegal to put your email on GMail if you need to be HIPPA compliant, and you are also putting yourself at legal risk if you deal with information that needs to be kept confidential in that you can be deemed negligent in not protecting your customer's data.

Simply put, you do not own your GMail mailbox, but you have legal protections against mail you store in a provider you pay for.

I do not consider Google Checkout to be disastrously unsafe, because this service is not responsible for storing private information, and even if it was there is a set standard (PCI) in security devised to provide me legal protection.
     
besson3c
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Aug 2, 2012, 01:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post


This.
Email has privacy profile similar to a post card.
This is true, unless you PGP encrypt your email (which most people don't), but the difference is that there are legal protections and safeguards with mailboxes you have actually paid for. It is illegal for post office workers to open up your letters and look through them. While I'm not suggesting that there are employees at Google opening up your mail and reading it, they have algorithms that do so.

If GMail is safe why is it not HIPPA compliant?
     
Waragainstsleep
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Aug 2, 2012, 01:30 PM
 
Its just a question of motives. iCloud is subsidised by hardware sales and makes up an increasingly important part of the user experience so its in Apple's interests to make it as good as they can. As fast, as secure, as efficient at spam filtering, etc etc. Their priority is to give you a good email experience.

Google's priority is to find ways to make money out of your emails. To help other people sell you stuff by reading your emails for tips. I certainly wouldn't use gmail for business users. Its fine for personal stuff I guess.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Person Man
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Aug 3, 2012, 06:39 AM
 
I've had a mac.com email address ever since Apple introduced iTools in 2000. I've kept it all throughout its various incarnations, from iTools to .Mac to MobileMe to iCloud. Throughout that time it has been consistently reliable and I've used it as my primary e-mail address, through multiple changes in Internet Service Providers (prior to iTools my main address was with Mindspring before they were bought by Earthlink).

I also have a gmail account which I use for unwanted commercial e-mail (even though I bought a product from you once it DOES NOT MEAN I CONSENT TO YOUR SPAM) and as my general spam trap.
     
nonhuman
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Aug 3, 2012, 07:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post

This is true, unless you PGP encrypt your email (which most people don't), but the difference is that there are legal protections and safeguards with mailboxes you have actually paid for. It is illegal for post office workers to open up your letters and look through them. While I'm not suggesting that there are employees at Google opening up your mail and reading it, they have algorithms that do so.

If GMail is safe why is it not HIPPA compliant?
Do you need HIPPA compliance? I sure don't. I'd assume that it adds an extra level of complexity and cost that simply isn't justified considering the small minority of users who actually need it.

Also, legal protections only do you any good after you've already been screwed and assuming the perpetrator gets caught. Is it really that much more likely that there will be an immoral sysadmin rifling through your email than that there will be an immoral postal worker reading your magazines?

And, as I said before, email is inherently insecure. Unless you're using end to end encryption, literally anyone in the world is capable or reading your email with a relatively small amount of know-how and effort, and it's almost impossible to detect. If you're putting sensitive information into an email system (or any communications system) in which you are not personally in control of the encryption and decryption of that information, you're at best ignorant (the vast majority of people) and at worst a fool. Like subego said, an unencrypted email is more comparable to a postcard than to a letter; I assume you wouldn't write your credit card info on a postcard, would you?
     
mduell
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Aug 3, 2012, 07:15 AM
 
Gmail

Preferably buy a domain and get Gmail for your Domain (or however they've rebranded it) so you can be [email protected] or whatever you want.
     
besson3c
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Aug 3, 2012, 08:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Do you need HIPPA compliance? I sure don't. I'd assume that it adds an extra level of complexity and cost that simply isn't justified considering the small minority of users who actually need it.

Also, legal protections only do you any good after you've already been screwed and assuming the perpetrator gets caught. Is it really that much more likely that there will be an immoral sysadmin rifling through your email than that there will be an immoral postal worker reading your magazines?

And, as I said before, email is inherently insecure. Unless you're using end to end encryption, literally anyone in the world is capable or reading your email with a relatively small amount of know-how and effort, and it's almost impossible to detect. If you're putting sensitive information into an email system (or any communications system) in which you are not personally in control of the encryption and decryption of that information, you're at best ignorant (the vast majority of people) and at worst a fool. Like subego said, an unencrypted email is more comparable to a postcard than to a letter; I assume you wouldn't write your credit card info on a postcard, would you?
I don't need HIPPA compliance, but I need some security since I deal with sensitive info at times. I'm surely not the only one in the only profession that does. I don't transmit credit card or social security information or anything crazy sensitive like that, I can but don't use PGP since the vast majority of the time the person at the other end can't deal with it, but I want a little more security than the open postcard analogy. As Waragainstsleep said well, it's a question of motives as far as email provider trust goes, although I actually run my own email servers, so I feel safer than somebody ought to having their email hosted via a shared hosting provider, but that user running his or her email through a shared hosting provider should feel slightly more comfortable than somebody running theirs through GMail/Hotmail/Yahoo.

I reject your claim that all email is like sending information on a postcard. I would say that GMail is like that, but sending mail through a provider you pay for is like sending a letter in a paper envelope - if somebody wants to it is trivially easy to bust open that paper envelope, and of course if your work place is not physically secure or there are people walking around you constantly you'll be back to postcard level security, but otherwise you have the minimal protection of the paper envelope.

All I'm saying is that a paid provider is not exactly identical to GMail as far as security goes. I get your point that they aren't world's apart, but still, the difference is significant enough that it ought to be a consideration.
     
nonhuman
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Aug 3, 2012, 08:46 AM
 
You can pay for Gmail if you want, by getting a business account. I don't see how paying for something has any effect on its security.
     
besson3c
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Aug 3, 2012, 08:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
You can pay for Gmail if you want, by getting a business account. I don't see how paying for something has any effect on its security.
I've explained how it does, as far as your personal legal protections go. There is no way in hell a company like Google is going to run their algorithms through your mail unless this is specifically stated in their user agreement or the service is free with these sorts of caveats being expected.

I'm not sure how Google's business email user agreement differs in this regard, if at all. Are you?
     
   
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