Last year I moved FirstBite to Google Apps. I pay Google US$50 per year to host my email (with 25Gb of space), my FirstBite website — it’s just a couple of pages of portfolio — and to provide me with a Calendar and Google Docs. Apart from a small issue about using
www. with my website address that I need to resolve by asking for support, it all works brilliantly.
A little while after I switched, Google made the Postini email filtering service available free of charge. Postini screen all my emails for spam and viruses, even before Gmail applies its own spam filters. It does a great job too.
Occasionally I find a legitimate email has been trapped. It’s easy to have it delivered, and optionally to add a sender or domain to a whitelist.
The other day I received a newsletter about Postini that contained this ghastly bit of information:
The threat environment also delivered a record number of spam messages in 2007. Our data shows that the average unprotected user would have received 36,000 spam messages in 2007 versus 23,000 in 2006 – a 57% increase in one year.
We experienced the highest spam levels of the year in December. From December 12th, we measured a 100% increase in the number of spam messages per-user.
A nice touch with the Google mail web interface is that if your correspondent is also using Gmail and has added a photo, then that photo is displayed when you hover over their name in the list of messages.
I’ve been absolutely stunned to find that I actually prefer to handle my email through the Gmail web interface, rather than with an email client such as Eudora or Apple Mail. Two factors make the difference for me:
- Gmail threads conversations, putting all related messages on the same page. This is a huge factor.
- I no longer file anything into folders. Occasionally I label a message I keep, but the Gmail search capability, coupled with the massive storage, make such petty filing habits irrelevant.
I use IMAP to check / read / store local copies of my email too, so at any given time I can read and respond to emails on any computer, and with my iPod touch. I’m loving Google Apps for email. It’s worth a try.