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Author Topic: Hosters are impossible. (A.k.a. get me what I want, not what I don't want!)  (Read 4048 times)
worstje
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« on: December 29, 2011, 08:02:16 AM »

Why do all webhosters insist on selling me shit I have no interest in? Sure, cheap packages are cheap, but they are only cheap if you use what they offer! And fate has it that what I want isn't in their packages, unless I pay through the nose for shit I don't want.

What I _do_ want:
  • One POP3 box, minimum of 100mb. More are nice, but not required.
  • Wildcards for all addresses. (worstje+test@... and worstje+crap@... both go to worstje@...)
  • Aliases and/or mail-forwards. (abc@... and def@... to either worstje@... or even someone@otherdomain.com)
  • Optional-and-probably-nice-to-have: Webmail access.
  • Optional-and-on-the-edge-of-unwanted: Really basic html webpage.

What I do not want nor need:
  • Tons of webpage host space.
  • PHP support.
  • Upto 10 MySQL databases.
  • Subdomains
  • Sitebuilders.
  • Guestbooks.
  • Blogs.
  • Visitor trackers
  • Photo gallery.
  • Etc etc etc.

In other words: I've got a domain already in my possession. I just need somewhere to point it that allow me to do the shit I want without paying for 'cheap' packages that aren't cheap to me because they sell me shit I have no need for. Think of a post office box, but digital. That's all I seek.

Oh, and Google is not an option. Besides the very annoying multiple-domains-are-not-supported-for-simultaneous-logins-anymore thing, they are free and an adfest. If you don't pay, you aren't the customer. You are the PRODUCT. As I want to use this for my private and semi-businesslike dealings, that is not an amount of trust I'm giving to them.

Anyone able to help out with suggestions for good hosters and such?
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 08:11:19 AM by worstje » Logged
40hz
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2011, 08:58:42 AM »

You might be looking in the wrong place. You don't appear to be looking for a web host; you're looking for an email hosting service that supports address forwarding. (All of then can do that BTW.)

Only problem is they're usually not any cheaper than a provider who tosses in all the other stuff. Most times they'll cost more because email hosts tend to cater to a more 'professional' security and reliability conscious market. Great if you're a doctor, attorney or financial advisor who has regulatory compliance concerns regarding your electronic communications. For the average individual it's mega-overkill.

From what I've seen, the minimum entry price point for semi-decent web anything runs about $7-$10 USD per month no matter where you get it. You may not always get what you paid for. But from my experience with buying hosting you'll also never get more than you paid for. Besides, these guys are smart business people who watch each other like hawks and quickly match each other's offers. With the result that most are within the same ballpark. And probably why it seems they're competing by offering boatloads of features 90% of their customers are impressed by - but never use. (Like I said - they're smart businessmen! Grin )

Since you're not interested in 'how much' you can get for your money, you can feel free to focus more on host quality, security, and reliability when picking your champion.

Luck! Thmbsup
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 09:17:28 AM by 40hz » Logged

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EĆ³in
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2011, 09:13:31 AM »

I use GeekISP, they provide everything on your "want" list, and some things on the "do not want" list. Been with them for years without a hitch. It's very much lowlevel shell access, not control panel stuff, though the FAQ tells you everything you need.
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worstje
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2011, 09:34:56 AM »

@40hz: I tried searching for email hosters, but it's sorta tricky. Fact of the matter is that old fashioned web hosters also advertize with email hosting, so most of the google results go to them. (At least for as far my experiences today have gone.) While $7-$10 isn't much, I still feel it is a lot given my list of requirements. There's no abundant amounts of bandwidth involved (unlike the average website), nor is there a lot of storage capacity involved. (Unlike the average photo album that just keeps on collecting and collecting...)

@EĆ³in: That hoster does look good, especially the IMAP part. smiley Their website sort of lacks an easy overview that I've been able to tell. Basically, I think the Email-Only+Domain is what I am looking at, which basically covers the first four points on my list, and not the very optional fifth. Then again, their pricing plan for that seems to link to some @mval.net domain, rather than my own. Can that be combined and such?

If you do not know, I'll contact them; but it is nice to know these things that are pretty much the prime advertising numbers for every other service out there.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 10:01:26 AM by worstje; Reason: Mistyped the silly package. The bold part is the addendum. » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2011, 10:20:27 AM »

Many of the domain registrars offer mail hosting for parked domains for only a few dollars more than the standard registration fee ... And if you only want one mailbox it sometimes included for free.
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EĆ³in
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2011, 10:21:45 AM »

I'd be pretty sure it does support using your own domain name, but do email just in case, they are very quick to reply.
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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2011, 01:48:55 PM »

I have emailed with them, and besides being a wonderful quick response, they offer good service too. They made me a very nice offer, and while I don't want to post it on a public forum (for fear of everyone going to them being all 'but X got that deal!') I can say it is more than generous on their part. I just have a few more (financially inclined) questions for them, and once those are answered I'll likely order right away. smiley

Once I get set up and everything, I'll let you guys know how well they work out in practice. smiley
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Edvard
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2011, 02:35:45 PM »

If you have the domain and it's only for email, why not host it yourself?
Spare box, home email server software (hmailserver, Axigen, Zimbra, et al.) an ISP that won't mind a bit of extra traffic (that part might get sticky, many ISP's don't like you serving...), and Voila!

Downside is, you are your own customer service at that point, much easier to pay somebody to do the housekeeping for you.
Just a thought...
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wraith808
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2011, 03:07:28 PM »

Anyone able to help out with suggestions for good hosters and such?

I have my own server/service that I run, though I don't really advertise because I'm not in the business of hosting; I just do it for myself, referrals, and clients of my other services.  If what you're doing doesn't work out, I can give you exactly what you want, and you can pretty much decide what you think it's worth.
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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2011, 07:37:34 PM »

@Edvard:

I did consider that, but there's just too many little things that make it not worth it. For one, my interwebs is horribly finicky and has the most random times to die on me, nevermind the fact my ISP likes to change my IP a bit too often for my liking. Second, I simply don't trust myself with it. And third, I'm too lazy. At some point, those last two things mean I will screw up, and then I'll find out I did something to ruin my backups or messed it up so that I'm in an IRL bind.

The way I see it, some people waste in a night boozing what I'll now spend for a years worth of no worries. Totally worth it. My only problem is (was?) that it involves paying for stuff I don't care for nor intend to use, and to me that is a waste of money.

@wraith808:

Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. It does look like I'll be able to give GeekISP a go in the new year, and we'll find out in due time how it really works out. So far, they've given me zero reason to worry, so I don't think I'll be asking anything from you. :-)
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Edvard
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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2011, 10:09:12 AM »

Fair enough.
I'd be sketchy with an ISP like that as well.
+1 for lazy... I'm with you on that one (unfortunately) embarassed

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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2011, 12:23:01 PM »

Google apps?
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worstje
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« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2012, 12:03:34 AM »

A belated reply to mahesh2k: no, no, no and no again.  Cry See my initial post for as far a free solution is concerned.

And second, I'm no business. I'm just an individual in need of something to cover that nasty line where a free email account doesn't cut it (with an ancient-old nickname as part of the addy..), nor does something like 'w.orstje123@myisp.com'. Friends and family are fine for the former, the latter is fine for forums or whatever other public menace you aren't attached to.. but if you are going to end up representing yourself to potential employers or otherwise handling stuff you feel deserves a bit more care - it's worth the investment.

Alas, the problem is solved already in the shape of GeekISP, but thank you for replying. :-)
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wraith808
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« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2012, 07:16:40 AM »

@worstje - what do you mean multiple domains for simultaneous logins are no longer supported?  I do that all the time?  Unless I'm missing your point...
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2012, 08:56:27 AM »

If you have the domain and it's only for email, why not host it yourself?
Don't do this. No, wait, scratch that - don't even consider doing that. There's simply too many headaches involved.

Configuration, security, maintenance, resilience are bad enough by themselves. On top of that, a lot of ISPs block the necessary SMTP ports, and there's a lot of "distrust" generally for SMTP servers on ISP customer IP ranges... something that might not give you too much trouble if you're just going to receive mails, but should you ever want to use your own mailserver to also send mails, you'll be in for quite a bit of work and frustration.

Really, the money spent on email hosting is well spent.
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« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2012, 03:10:55 PM »

I agree - you do not want to host your own email. I have done email and hosting as part of my job/company and frankly it is hard work. The amount of issues (and support hassle, if you have customers) that you get from email is high. It runs out space, bounces what it shouldn't, is constantly bombarded by spammer attempts etc. etc. And just when your connectivity or firewall has died is when you really need to send an email to notify people or file a support ticket.. and just when you can't, if you host your own smiley

I use fastmail - in my case the family package with 2 of the "everyday" plans (for me and for R) at 19.99 (the family options add a "meta" management tools with extra features and shared admin but there are other options). Some of the advanced features need either the "single" 39.99/year account of a family 19.99+5 account (you sign up for the family account then add a single account, that way your login can be with your own domain, slicker!)

Not cheap but not that much more than what godaddy charge for their so-so webmail. And has been very reliable. The webmail access is non sexy but extremely nice to use - and always fully worked on Opera, which must be why Opera bought them.

it offers all the email, imap and pop, aliases, rules you might want
PLUS:
- domains and DNS (for email, local hosting or even domains used elsewhere)
- files hosting (for storage of often used files,or for sharing)
- basic websites w. domain from folders in the "files" storage (i have a static site w. holding pages)
- jabber server for your group (family/business)

https://www.fastmail.fm/h...lp/overview_features.html

All in all, could serve your needs
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Edvard
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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2012, 04:00:45 PM »

If you have the domain and it's only for email, why not host it yourself?
Don't do this. No, wait, scratch that - don't even consider doing that. There's simply too many headaches involved.
...
Really, the money spent on email hosting is well spent.

Well, I kinda figgered, but thought the question was at least worth asking.

One of the places I worked for had our email running a spare box in a friend of the owners' basement.  ohmy
I think we had email go down 3 times in 4 years, but when it did, it was a hassle.
He was apparently a semi-retired Sun Microsystems alumni, and ran a hosting service.
At least twice, I proved myself more knowledgeable, but he never took my advice and simply persuaded the owners to go with another service after a while.  huh

Who knew that a stock Red Hat Server install doesn't allow SpamAssassin to modify X-Spam-Status headers?
* Edvard raises hand sheepishly
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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2012, 04:28:10 PM »

I've been hosting my own Email for almost 10 years. Never had a problem. Obviously YMMV, but it can be done.
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2012, 05:58:38 PM »

(Lazily only reads half the thread)

Did you rule out free host providers? One of my other long standing interests is Free Hosting. Thinking ahead to a possible next objection, it turns out that I got tired of "choose me!" ads from junk hosts, so I set out on a 27 month free host study to find quality free hosts. This is over at http://www.freewebspace.net/forums

My study thread (with 1400 total posts!) is here: http://www.freewebspace.n...to-rebuild-my-host-spread

Post a note in there and ask the "Winners" if they can handle your request. (You can talk to Decker Services too, he got into a bad off-topic squabble with the admins so he's not allowed to reply on the board proper, but he was one of my lead winners for a long time.)

My humble study page with the final results is here: http://www.freevoteusa.com/FreeHostStudy.html

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« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2012, 06:36:31 PM »

Just a reminder - I already settled for an offer from GeekISP, and so far I am happy there. Although I do appreciate all the suggestions given - they can be useful for other people, or for me if I end up a dissatisfied customer.

@worstje - what do you mean multiple domains for simultaneous logins are no longer supported?  I do that all the time?  Unless I'm missing your point...

They haven't been supported for over a year. Basically, open one tab, and login on your @gmail.com account. Next, go to mail.example.com and login there. Nowadays, they log you out on the other one: only a single mailbox active seems supported nowadays. In days gone by, I could have three of the buggers open for days, and that was convenient, especially on the email-checking area. Logging in every time I need to use another account however is a big big bummer.

If you have the domain and it's only for email, why not host it yourself?
Don't do this. No, wait, scratch that - don't even consider doing that. There's simply too many headaches involved.

Configuration, security, maintenance, resilience are bad enough by themselves. On top of that, a lot of ISPs block the necessary SMTP ports, and there's a lot of "distrust" generally for SMTP servers on ISP customer IP ranges... something that might not give you too much trouble if you're just going to receive mails, but should you ever want to use your own mailserver to also send mails, you'll be in for quite a bit of work and frustration.

Really, the money spent on email hosting is well spent.

Amen. Throw in a dynamic ip address and the fact that ISPs generally forbid hosting your own email (even if the port is open), and you may either find your port blocked serverside (and not find out for weeks!), or your entire internet canceled because your broke the Terms of Service Agreement. Too much frustration, definitely not worth it.

(Lazily only reads half the thread)

Did you rule out free host providers? One of my other long standing interests is Free Hosting. Thinking ahead to a possible next objection, it turns out that I got tired of "choose me!" ads from junk hosts, so I set out on a 27 month free host study to find quality free hosts.

Because I cannot paste it often enough, let me repeat my stance on free things: If you don't pay, you aren't the customer. You are the PRODUCT. For most things, that is not an issue, and I _do_ enjoy my gmail account. However, I wish to look professional where this domain is involved, and if I do not trust Google with that data, why trust some other provider? At the least Google has a spotlight on its back; all those other tiny hosters can get away with far, far more when it is about privacy-related matters.

That said, GeekISP was recommended to me in the second post of this thread, and their website looks particularly 'un-ad-festy'. It literally looks like it was made by a geek! smiley From what I can tell, I think this man really gets his business through word-of-mouth, which is a big plus in my book.
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JavaJones
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« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2012, 08:33:54 PM »

They haven't been supported for over a year. Basically, open one tab, and login on your @gmail.com account. Next, go to mail.example.com and login there. Nowadays, they log you out on the other one: only a single mailbox active seems supported nowadays. In days gone by, I could have three of the buggers open for days, and that was convenient, especially on the email-checking area. Logging in every time I need to use another account however is a big big bummer.

Odd, I thought they added *explicit* support for this within the last year or two, where you now have a drop-down menu from which you can easily switch between accounts. And yes, you can have multiple accounts logged-in and open at the same time, on different domains. I currently have 3 separate accounts logged-in, 2 regular Gmail, one GApps on a domain. Or is that not what you meant?

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wraith808
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« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2012, 11:28:54 AM »

They haven't been supported for over a year. Basically, open one tab, and login on your @gmail.com account. Next, go to mail.example.com and login there. Nowadays, they log you out on the other one: only a single mailbox active seems supported nowadays. In days gone by, I could have three of the buggers open for days, and that was convenient, especially on the email-checking area. Logging in every time I need to use another account however is a big big bummer.

As I said, I do this every day.  My employer has one domain, I use vanilla gmail.  I also have one account on my domain for the family, and an account on my own dev domain.  I can be logged into all of them at the same time.  The only thing that takes some getting used to is that the first domain is your primary domain for other services, but gmail can be switched back and forth between at will.

I can say that I don't go to mail.example.com to login, however.  When I want to log into the other account, I click the name/icon at the top, and click switch account.  But it works.
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« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2012, 04:30:54 PM »


Because I cannot paste it often enough, let me repeat my stance on free things: If you don't pay, you aren't the customer. You are the PRODUCT. For most things, that is not an issue, and I _do_ enjoy my gmail account. However, I wish to look professional where this domain is involved, and if I do not trust Google with that data, why trust some other provider? At the least Google has a spotlight on its back; all those other tiny hosters can get away with far, far more when it is about privacy-related matters.

Hi Worstje.  I absolutely agree about avoiding Gmail and Yahoo. The flaw is in your second point. Sure Google has a spotlight on its back, and it doesn't exactly care - it explicitly announced it invented Google+ as an Identity Harvesting Service!

I'll see your "cannot paste it often enough" and raise you my 27 months and 1400 total thread posts of work. I created the project precisely to cut through the Platypus-$hit (nice and exotic, but still smelly!) that *most* of the small hosts spray in their marketing. In a site wide "contest" of a forum with some five hundred hosts I just asked in effect "how many of you think you can stay open a year and are willing to live with the flames if you get busted?" I got only thirty replies, only six survived, and I will specifically recommend Seraphim Labs and Decker Services as hosts not out to sell You as a Product.
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« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2012, 01:36:08 AM »

Anyone able to help out with suggestions for good hosters and such?

I have used hostica.com for over 15 years most of what you describe.
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