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

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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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