Email Alternatives to Gmail

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Brother John

Puritan Board Sophomore
I am interested to find out about email alternatives to Gmail. I would like a free or close to free service that is more private. Any suggestions?
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
I have an old Excite account left over from my Prodigy days. I quit using it when they went to a webmail interface that is so bad that it had to be intentional.

I just tried it to time how long it took to load - gave up after two minutes (and I have fiber to the house). And they delete your emails after 90 days. But it is a free alternative.
 

N. Eshelman

Puritan Board Senior
You could go back in time and use AOL. Maybe you could even get a CD-rom to upload it? I bet I have one laying around somewhere...

;)
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I didn't get a hotmail account and I get less junk and all even though I use it and hotmail is it's general stay. MSN.com was early and I have an msn.com email that seems more private. Maybe it isn't. Like Pastor Eshelman recommended, my aol accounts don't get bothered either. I have two. I don't ever have them come up with junk. They are the less frequented and I check them just as much as gmail, yahoo, and my msn account. I have netzero also but a lot of stuff from them and finally quit checking them. they were my first since I got them from K-Mart. LOL Bluelight Special.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
I too wonder what you mean by "more private."

We use Hotmail, then I have a Yahoo account to use when you must give your email to move through a registration. Most of the junk goes to yahoo that way. I'm also relentless at hitting the "junk" button when stuff makes it into my Hotmail account.
 

Jeremy Hoover

Puritan Board Freshman
I thought Google had a good reputation for privacy, at least with its Gmail program. I've used Gmail for many years without any problems. Gmail also has a very good built-in spam filter.
 

JM

Puritan Board Doctor
I use Yahoo and Zoho. Both are been pretty good. Yahoo has had a few glitches since they upgraded but I can send text messages and chat with it so I do like. Zoho is a lot bigger but I use it only for emailing, was recommended by a magazine (can't remember the title).
 

Brother John

Puritan Board Sophomore
I thought Google had a good reputation for privacy, at least with its Gmail program.
New privacy policy. They will now track user specific information across their various offerings.
That is my concern. After reading/talking to some computer "nerds;)" about the new policy I would like to look into different options. Even if it is just a short email to my wife telling her that I love her I would like for my emails to be as private as any letter I would mail. I am not paronoid but I am tired of giving up my privacy. So I may have to look into using a paid service.
 

Pilgrim

Puritan Board Doctor
I thought Google had a good reputation for privacy, at least with its Gmail program.
New privacy policy. They will now track user specific information across their various offerings.
That is my concern. After reading/talking to some computer "nerds;)" about the new policy I would like to look into different options. Even if it is just a short email to my wife telling her that I love her I would like for my emails to be as private as any letter I would mail. I am not paronoid but I am tired of giving up my privacy. So I may have to look into using a paid service.
Can you or these "nerds" point out specific provisions in the new privacy policy that are cause for concern that was not there before? Does anyone have an article that can be linked here? Unfortunately I haven't taken the time to pore over it.

People have been crying wolf over Gmail from the beginning (ca. 2004) because of the ad feature that displays targeted ads to the user based on the content of his messages. (For example, emails discussing Calvinism are going to yield ads related to Calvinism.) in my opinion Facebook is a much larger concern than any Google product, with the exception of the Google Buzz debacle.

I'm guessing that anyone with privacy concerns WRT Google should probably get rid of his Droid too. I don't have one but I'm guessing that you get the most out of it if you have a Google login.

As I understand it no email (in an ultimate sense) is going to have the level of privacy you're looking for unless you have your own server, domain, etc. and perhaps use encryption. And then if you email to someone with Gmail or another acct, then that message is still subject to their provisions.

AT&T uses Yahoo mail and thus, as I understand it, has their privacy policy as well. (It is basically a Yahoo Mail Plus acct. that allows POP access.) Cable companies or other ISP's may be different. But all of them are subject to the Patriot Act and related things.

Some people who are relatively tech savvy, including some I've known who have built websites, seem to be under the impression that if you delete webmail messages that they will not be accessible to the provider or ISP. Deleting helps WRT unauthorized access by a third party, but one best assume that the provider or ISP will have a copy of everything. Some people were known to write "Burn this letter" when they wanted the communication to be as secure as possible, but there's no doing that with email. And of course, some of those letters were not cast into the flames and still survive hundreds of years later.

I have a ton of free webmail accounts, (way too many!) including several Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail accounts. With regard to spam (which doesn't appear to be the OP's concern) a lot of it has to do with your behavior and who you give the address to i.e. what companies etc. If you sign up for promotional emails from certain companies and don't opt out of having your address shared with affiliates, you can pretty much expect to be deluged. I find Gmail has the best spam filtering overall. I've had an account since 2004 or 2005 and get little spam, comparatively. I think the particular address can make a difference. An addy that it easily identifiable as a name seems to be a spam magnet. Turning off HTML (automatic loading of graphics) makes a huge difference in curtailing spam. Refraining from posting your address online or using (at) instead of @ when you do helps too. ;)

As Rich has pointed out, Gmail is more secure in some ways with the Two Step Authentication feature that is a big help in preventing your account from being hijacked, something that seems to be happening much more frequently with all kinds of accounts. They were also the first with full session SSL as opposed to simply having a secured login. Hotmail has it now as well but it makes navigation slow as molasses compared to being logged in without SSL.
 
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Wayne

Tempus faciendi, Domine.
Privacy?

One word:

Pigeons!




(Josh has his rat brains. I have my pigeons. We'll see who can stomach supper!)
 

Pilgrim

Puritan Board Doctor
WRT Zoho, their reputation took a big hit when all of their services were down for an entire working day a few weeks ago. I don't know that any data was lost, but it was a definite inconvenience for those who depend on their services. They've positioned themselves as a low cost alternative to Salesforce, but no doubt after that some are reminded that with some things you get what you pay for.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Thanks, Edward. I hadn't read that. I guess I shouldn't skip the new policies when they request that I read them!
Any well drafted privacy policy should be incomprehensible. So I'm not sure what good reading most of them will do.

---------- Post added at 07:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:50 PM ----------

Privacy?

One word:

Pigeons!
Two words:

BB Gun.
 

Brother John

Puritan Board Sophomore
Once again the PB brothers have dashed my dreams on the rocks of reality... It seems there is no option but to stay with gmail. Regardless it still irritates me to have ads built around my email content and search requests.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
Wow! There are no ads in Hotmail. I would find that very creepy. Wouldn't some of the content of your messages go to outside vendors to "target" ads? I mean, there could be an algorithm that searches for certain words or phrases and pops an ad in, but I wouldn't trust it to really be blind to the user. My husband swears by Mozilla Thunderbird and he's really IT-security cautious.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
I use GMail and Google Apps extensively and am not particularly concerned about the sharing of some information across their service offerings. The concern I have seen are users who utilize some of those services who might have an anonymous Youtube account (or pseudonym) and their accounts are now linked in such a way that others may find out who they are even though Google is not necessarily giving out that information. Google operates like any other service provider where a legal subpoena is required to release email records to any but the account holder.

One solution may be to simply use GMail in POP mode and delete messages as you download them from the server but that will mean one will have to safeguard their system from crashing and losing data. I use Mailstore Home (free app) to archive all my email across multiple platforms (GMail, Outlook, etc) and I back that up via Crashplan. I suppose if I worry about my data in the Cloud in the future I could delete those messages in the Cloud and go to a local store for messages and encrypt my backups that I backup into the Cloud.

For now, I'm not really worried about it. As Chris noted, my main concern is hackers taking over my cloud email and GMail 2FA is a huge protection against it.

For those willing to pay a bit, Microsoft Office 365 is a good option.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
It's a good question - alternatives to gmail. Gmail is my primary email service, though I worry about its intrusiveness and its pervasiveness. I removed my Google Desktop search app (which was very good!) because I found that Google in my Mac was constantly communicating with Google headquarters (I use an app called "Little Snitch" which monitors all communications from my Mac to the web), and I didn't like that.

Google has gotten too big, too indispensable, for my taste. In its desire to suck up as much information as possible (witness the lawsuits in Europe against it) it poses a danger, one never knows what a trove of info a government subpoena might yield.

The intelligence-gathering communities within government may someday turn their extremely efficient technologies against that sector of the populace which openly honors God's law above the law of the land were there to be any conflict between the two, and Google - along with Gmail - would be a powerful tool in the govt's hands. It makes me very nervous, even though it is a superb feature-filled service. I keep looking for viable alternatives.
 

Pilgrim

Puritan Board Doctor
It's a good question - alternatives to gmail. Gmail is my primary email service, though I worry about its intrusiveness and its pervasiveness. I removed my Google Desktop search app (which was very good!) because I found that Google in my Mac was constantly communicating with Google headquarters (I use an app called "Little Snitch" which monitors all communications from my Mac to the web), and I didn't like that.

Google has gotten too big, too indispensable, for my taste. In its desire to suck up as much information as possible (witness the lawsuits in Europe against it) it poses a danger, one never knows what a trove of info a government subpoena might yield.

The intelligence-gathering communities within government may someday turn their extremely efficient technologies against that sector of the populace which openly honors God's law above the law of the land were there to be any conflict between the two, and Google - along with Gmail - would be a powerful tool in the govt's hands. It makes me very nervous, even though it is a superb feature-filled service. I keep looking for viable alternatives.
I have had these thoughts too. But I figure if I stopped using it today it wouldn't really matter at this point. If you email somebody else with a Gmail account (or any other one that may be of concern) there is basically the same issue, although they won't have every email you send, of course. That's why some of the people who decried Gmail from the beginning recommended never emailing anybody with a Gmail account.

I don't know that in the end their privacy (of their email specifically) is really any worse than Hotmail or Yahoo. You already had the revelations about AT&T related to the Patriot Act, etc. a few years ago. All of them are going to respond to a subpoena. And I figure you have to assume that everything posted to the internet is never going to go away. The issue with G as you note is their size and continued growth. An example is the old usenet forums and bulletin boards that were acquired by Google Groups a few years ago. Many if not all of them were supposed to be "private" but once Google got them the archives were made public.

Now with Android they are in the smartphone business too. I don't have one and haven't looked into the implications of that.
 
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