Choosing An Email Provider

Today I stumbled on a list of privacy and security conscious email hosting providers. It seems to be up-to-date and well maintained (Lavabit and Silent Circle are gone). I ordered the list by which providers would allow me to host my own domain name and then started removing providers that wouldn’t work for me for various reasons.list_of_privacy_concious_email_providersThis left four providers: MyKolab.com, Neomailbox, Runbox, and Swissmail.org. I did a quick survey of their websites and swissmail.org is out, the website looks like its from 1995, now that inherently doesn’t bother me, but it means that no one has updated it in a long long time. Literally in 5 minutes I could make that website look reasonable. See ya later swissmail.org.

So now it’s down to three options.

Security

Looking through the chart above it is clear that Runbox.com has a lower SSL rating than Neomailbox and MyKolab. I checked out what the ratings actually mean at sslabs.com and I was convinced that I should take the rating seriously, an F is a big deal, especially because there is a major vulnerability with Runbox’s SSL that was known about in 2009 and has yet to be fixed.

Okay down to two providers: MyKolab.com and Neomailbox.com

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Web Client

Neomailbox’s webclient interface (from here):

neomailbox-inbox_column_sneomailbox-inbox_column_l

MyKolab’s interface:

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Frankly, they both look fine. No big winner here.

CalDav

MyKolab.com does have the option to host all my calendars there, which Neomailbox.com does not, but it would cost an additional $60/year to get my calendar there. That is not worth it.

Money

I need real space, at least 10GB, 15GB would be preferable. To get 10GB at MyKolab.com the cost will be $306.84 a year. YIKES! This is quite extreme. On the other hand, 10GB at Neomailbox.com will be $109.95/year, that is a manageable price for email. Neomailbox also has a 30-day money back guarantee (though those usually mean nothing other than sticking an image that says so on your website).

I asked the prism-break.org folks*** why they don’t recommend Neomailbox.com. My only guess is because it isn’t based on a fully open-source stack. We will see if an answer comes back.

***Update: prism-break.org isn’t a group but anyone interested in contributing to the research, please go and help out if you have opinions. I’ve brought up neomailbox.com as an alternative to MyKolab.com and will update the discussion at prism-break.org as I progress

For right now I’m going to go for it and try out Neomailbox.com. Here we go….

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