A bit of context

Last week, very much inspired by the Internal IT team’s flawless switch over to Google Apps I decided it was about time I resurrected my old email account which was off of my personal domain. Now, I use to have a friend run a mail server for me and that worked okay, I use to run a mail server and that was okay also. Well, apart from the copious amounts of spam, I took drastic measures when I was hosting it with spamassassin and blacklisted domains etc etc but still spam made it through.

Spam was the main reason why I stopped hosting my own email there was just a lot of it and it was becoming much more of a chore than I would have liked. Like most people I’m busy I don’t really want to get home after work and find out that I’ve received 3000 emails, of which some may be legitimate, I also didn’t want to spend huge amounts of time trying various different tools to cut down on the emails, so I stopped hosting it and let it die.

It has been dead now for at least 3 years, and with this blog and seeing how easy google apps was I thought “Why not get my email back up and running, but this time pay someone to host it and take care of the crap” This was a good idea, I decided to do a bit of digging into Google Apps and the costs.

What I found out was…

I was surprised that google offered google apps for $5 per user per month, Not bad I thought, but I kept digging, I wanted to make sure I was getting good value for money and wanted to check I had the right plan for me. So, I went to the comparison page as a place to compare the different options.

Now up to this point the most annoying thing with the google apps was the focus on the business side, I may / may not use my domain for business, I have no income, I have no outgoings I just wanted my mail hosted for me, maybe my wife too so I was very pleased to see the individual option on the comparison page.

What I liked about this was that I was an Individual / Group / Entrepreneur, which automatically entitled me to a free account. This was purely by luck that I found this and I was surprised to find it, it was exactly what I wanted, free email hosting by a company that knows how to handle spam and not get me involved in the process. I have always been fond of GMails ability to filter spam, and now I had it for my personal domains!

Was it easy?

It definitely wasn’t easy to find the free email hosting, but it was really straight forward to set up. There’s a nice walk through that is really simple to follow, the hardest bit was verifying the domain, mainly as I don’t host my website any more, so I spent 15 mins setting up a site on www for my domain to realise it wanted it on the root of the domain, at which point I went for alternative ways to register the domain. A true winner came up, add a TXT record to DNS! Luckily I host my own domain, by that I mean I have the authoritative zone and I send it out to some public slaves to do the leg work thanks to Gridstar. So it was that simple a few step by step instructions on the setup; a bit of time to authorise the domain and bingo, working email hosted by Google.

Of course I had a Gmail account already, and I was able to use the multi account feature to login to both accounts and flip between my email accounts. So far it’s only been a couple of days but it works fine.

As I mentioned I was some what spurred on by my companies move to google apps, if they hadn’t have moved I wouldn’t have looked at google apps at all, either way I’m now pleased I have my domain hosting emails again, it won’t be long and I’ll have it hosting a www website as well!

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