We heavily leverage the capabilities of Linux to provide the services that we do. E-mail is included with all shell accounts and is not purchasable separately because many of the capabilities of our e-mail system require a Linux shell account to function.
When Free is not Free
Frequently people ask me, “Why should I pay for e-mail when I can readily get it for free?” The answer to that question is because free is not free. There are many hidden costs associated with “free” e-mail that far exceed the $60/year cost of an economy shell while providing far less capability. For example, free e-mail providers make money by collecting, utilizing, and selling information about you, and by exposing you to advertising. We never mine your e-mail for data, and we don’t fill your screen with advertising. What is the time you spend as a result of distractive advertisng worth? What is your privacy worth? Free e-mail providers come and go. We’ve provided the same e-mail domains since the beginning of the Internet in 1992, and prior to that via the UUCP smart routing project since 1985. How much hassle is it to have to notify all your contacts of a new address? If you are a business, how much cost is involved in changing all of your advertising? What is the potential loss of business when someone tries to use old contact information from an e-mail provider that has gone away? Spammers abuse free e-mail because they have zero investment at risk. As a consequence, mail you send from a free e-mail provider is much more likely to end up in the recipients spam box or be rejected outright. What is the message you send a potential employer when you use a free e-mail provider on your application or resume? The message is, “I want something for nothing.” which translates in the employers mind to, “I want you to pay me but I don’t expect to work for it.” The flexibility and capabilities our mail system offers can save you much time. What is your time worth?
Our e-mail system is very accessible. You can access mail via webmail. You can access e-mail using text based mail clients, such as alpine, pine, mush, mh, elm, or BSD mail. You can access e-mail using a graphical client such as Thunderbird via a remote desktop connection. Running Thunderbird here via a remote desktop has the advantage of not exposing your machine to potential malware. You can access e-mail from a mail client on your machine such as Outlook or Mac Mail via either imap or pop3 protocols, including the TLS encrypted variants of these protocols. If you use IMAP you can keep your mailboxes on our server allowing you to access the same e-mail from multiple devices and have them all remain in sync.
Automatic Mail Processing
We use procmail as the mail delivery agent. Procmail provides an extremely powerful scripting language for processing e-mail. It can be used for simple tasks such as sorting e-mail into boxes, automatically responding to specific e-mail, or much more complex tasks like implementing a mail list system. You can save a lot of time by automating tasks that you would have to perform by hand with a free e-mail provider.
On the subject of mail lists, every shell account has the capability of hosting mail lists using SmartList, list processing software that is implemented entirely in Procmail rules.
We have a sophisticated spam filtering system that uses a variety of means to identify spam and redirect it from your INBOX to your spam box. Your spam box is automatically emptied of any mail older than 30 days. This prevents spam from clogging up and wasting all of your disk space. At the center of our spam filtering is SpamAssassin. SpamAssassin uses several hundred rules to score e-mail with regard to it’s likelihood to be spam. Then procmail redirects any mail with a score above a customer defined threshold into your spam box. You have complete control over how SpamAssassin scores spam. You can alter the score associated with any of those hundreds of rules and you can white list or black list e-mail based on address, domain, or regular expressions. Further, you can use procmail to sort e-mail based upon ANY criteria you wish. With other providers, you are forced to live with whatever filtering they give you. If it sends to many legitimate e-mails to the bit bucket you have to live with it, if it lets through too much spam, you have to live with it. Here you can make any adjustments you desire to fine tune the filtering to your exacting requirements.
Just try to find human help at ANY of the free mail providers. I dare ya! Here you can call and speak to a knowledgeable human being without enduring the ravages of telephone trees and foreign workers reading scripts. There are many ways to contact us. No matter which way you choose your issue will receive prompt attention.