#email #self_hosted

I was about to write an article on the surreal experience of hosting your own mail server in 2022, but this guy has already written all the things that I wanted to write.

I find it surreal that email is one of the oldest protocols on the Internet, one of the most openly documented, and yet a very small group of actors (with Google and Microsoft on the front line) have managed to make it impossible to self-host. I've also bounced through a lot of the holes mentioned by the author of the article, and I've also got the same impression: everything in the world of email services is designed to only benefit a small subset of actors and discard emails from anybody else. Spam checks are very robust and effective nowadays, but why bother to run them when you can just blacklist the whole IP subnet of a VPS provider with no explanation, and make sure that your friends in your illegal cartel do the same?

My current solution is to use ProtonMail with my own domains linked to it, run the bridge on my VPS, tunnel the IMAP and SMTP ports over SSH on my VPN, and use that as my private mail server. But it's a workaround, and I'm not entirely happy with it. I wish I could just run my Postfix server to manage my domains and send emails like it's 2005. Unfortunately, that's not possible: if you want to use email today either you pay someone for the service, or you accept that your private communications are stored on Google's or Microsoft's servers. Even if you have the skills to run your own server, you no longer have that choice. And it's time for @FRA to break this mafia.




My company (ThinkPenguin.con) still runs its own mail server. It's not impossible, but I'll give you this...challenging to jump through all the hoops ... absolutely. The solution to the problem is for more people to make others aware that they are losing email and business as a result of the providers they choose who have a draconian anti spam system. The big bad wolf is mostly Microsoft although there are some other small older providers that suck too.

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