It's time to outsource your e-mail to Google

If you outsource your email to your web hosting company, you definitely should move it to Google instead. If you run your email servers internally, you should at least take a hard look at the Google option.

My views on this are shaped in no small part by a leading independent e-mail analysis firm, Ferris Research. Ferris not only recommended moving to Google, they followed their own advice and moved themselves. Based on their recommendations, I followed suit.

Basic reasons for moving to Google include:

  • The price is right (cheap or even free).
  • Besides saving hardware, power, space, and software license fee costs, you also should have reduced administrative burdens.
  • Google has very solid anti-spam, based on the Postini acquisition. By the way, large scale helps with anti-spam filtering, and obviously few e-mail hosts are bigger than Google. Specifically, scale helps you recognize spam in the most basic way – you see lots of very similar messages show up in a lot of different mailboxes.
  • Due to both scale and security technology, Google is much safer against e-mail flood attacks than a typical web host, and even safer than an in-house solution. Since I've been hit with flood attacks twice in the past year and a half, I'm very sensitive to that one. (The goal was apparently to overload and compromise my web servers. The second one succeeded. I'm now at my third hosting company in that period.)
  • A performance or security problem elsewhere at a web host can bring down your e-mail. Not so with Google, although its uptime isn't perfect either.
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