How to Ditch Google Email

Updated 20-Sep-2023

This is really about how to get off of Gmail/Google Email for Domains/Gsuite. It is not difficult to get off of Google Drive, and Google Photos, as well as Google Docs and Google Sheets, and the like. But there are certain advatages of Gmail/Google Mail, and the free version of GSuite, which I've been using for ten years or so.

Advantages of Google Email

There are a few advatanges of Google Email, which include:

  • OAuth2 for sending transactional email from one's website,
  • Support for multiple domains and multiple aliases (with some limitations),
  • Email web interface
  • Compatability with mail apps
  • Support for many of the email security protocols (SPF, DMARC, etc.)

Disadvantages of Google Email

  • It's Google and you can't trust them,
  • They are too expensive if you want to pay for the product (Gsuite),
  • They include a variety of needlessly annoying limitations to the free product version.

Google Accounts Still Needed

Google accounts are still needed for things like YouTube, Google Maps, Google Play Store, etc. However, the main thing is to use gmail accounts for those things, and move the primary email domains/accounts/aliases to other systems.

Self-Hosted or Service Provider

This is an issue of work over benefit. A service provider needs to be competent and trusted, and not charge too much. Any of those missing and self-hosted looks more attractive. Of course the effort of self-hosted is a bit of a learning curve.

For transaction email, that is for email coming from one's websites and applications, use of Amazon SES or similar makes the most sense since the cost and configuration is negligible.

For one's own email, especially when needing privacy and security, and using apps and applications, it is not such a simple issue. For a single email address/mailbox, things are much simpler, but once several domains and aliases need to be configured, it can become complex, and expensive.

Current pricing mid-2019 for Gsuite is $6/user/month for standard, $12/user/month for business, and $25/user/month for enterprise.

Personal (non-transactional/marketing) Email -- Fastmail

For a hosted option, it is difficult to beat Fastmail which is fast, and offers a single mailbox with multiple domains and aliases for $5/mo or similar (with a discount) for yearly. It really is an excellent web-based service and has a decent-to-very-good app as well.

Amazon SES Resources

If using Amazon SES for transactional and/or marketing email see:

Roll Your Own Email

It mostly comes down to which packages to install and how to configure email services, securely, while not consuming a huge amount of time and effort.

  • Iredmail (postfix/dovecot/roundcube+kolab-or-sogo)

Currently I prefer to outsource email, as it takes a bit of work to set up/manage and it isn't worth the effort unless this is being done for hundreds of employee or dozens of organizations.