Like Alex King before me, I’ve been a happy Fastmail user for quite some time. I like it enough that I heartily recommend Fastmail for your email solution. I’ve used Fastmail since July 2006 and am unlikely to ever look back [presuming they keep their arc of quality service]. Here’s why:
- I can have access to my email anywhere. Really. They IMAP over SSL, SMTP, and pretty much every other protocol over most any port you’d want to try—including port 80, which is not going to be firewalled by even the most draconian of network situations. If you can touch the Web, you’re gonna have full access to Fastmail. I use OS X’s Mail on all my personal machines, Mobile Mail on my iPhone, and Thunderbird on my work laptop. The experience is seamless.
- The spam filtering of Fastmail is not only good, it’s actively trainable. I’ve used some AppleScript I cobbled together in 2007 to train Fastmail’s spam filtering: once or twice a day, I make a pass at the junkmail, just to make the system work better for everyone else. For those too lazy to check the link: you can have certain folders set up to learn that stuff is certainly spam in Fastmail. I have a ConfirmedJunk folder that only gets junk in it if I’ve reported it through that AppleScript, which also shoots stuff to email@example.com to help the Feds bust people if they choose. Also, all my archive folders are set to train as non-spam, so if I get a false positive, I just make sure that it gets archived. I find this vastly superior to whitelisting solutions, and frankly, I’m actively helping those who use Fastmail.
- It’s not Google. I’m not a tin-foil-hat-wearing Luddite, but I don’t want to rely on any one provider for anything. Monocultures are harmful, y’all.
- Fastmail replicates their data, even though setting that up was a pain in the ass. I’ve actually since had my server die and be saved by replication—and I only knew about it because of the posts on Fastmail’s status weblog.
If you’ve got any other questions about it, I’m happy to answer them. I heartily recommend Fastmail if you care about email as much as I do.