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#1 2017-11-20 03:56:51

schwim
Member
From: Western NC, US
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 255
Website

Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

Hi there everyone!

I've used and enjoyed gmail since it was invite only. I like being able to access it on any device I own, searching through the decades of mail in seconds and the fact that its free.

As I get older though, I find myself less in love with the data collection and manipulation that I'm enabling.

Every couple of years I would try moving to something else like gmx, hushmail, proton, etc. All solutions had fatal flaws... Cost, lack of features, etc. The problem is that I don't want to go full tinfoil, I want to retain the benefits I listed above and I want it to be trouble and hassle free.

I have owned my mail domains and servers for longer than gmail has been around and started thinking that maybe I should go back to a self hosted solution. My servers have cpanel installed so they have some webmail systems ready to roll already. The issue I have is that those solutions are ugly, dated and lacking features.

So I thought I'd ask those in the know... Is there a setup that would allow me some level of usability that I enjoy both in the browser and in and in android?

I'm happy to provide more info. This is more of a thought exercise right now and I've got no direction I'm leaning towards so feel free to spitball.

Thanks for your time!

Last edited by schwim (2017-11-20 03:58:04)


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#2 2017-11-20 06:42:48

cloverskull
Member
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 319

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

I guess my initial reaction is this: if it's free, you're the product being sold. So if you don't want your data collected but you still want to have a decent, reliable, stable, safe, and private email experience, expect to pay. That said, I use gmail and just accept my fate. I find google far less sinister than some of the alternatives.

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#3 2017-11-20 10:49:28

mrneilypops
The BL Scrot.Moe Guy
From: luxembourg
Registered: 2015-09-30
Posts: 577
Website

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

I use protonmail.
Android app available.
I have found the service very reliable.
https://protonmail.com/about

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#4 2017-11-20 12:07:50

Steve
Member
Registered: 2017-01-03
Posts: 642

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

mailfence is another good one imo.

https://mailfence.com/en/

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#5 2017-11-20 12:14:41

brontosaurusrex
Middle Office
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 2,042
Website

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

I can't help but to think that a new way is needed, some sort of secure p2p (no central server), but this newcomer will have to keep classic email compatibility.

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#6 2017-11-20 12:43:22

earlybird
ほやほや
Registered: 2015-12-16
Posts: 738
Website

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

brontosaurusrex wrote:

I can't help but to think that a new way is needed, some sort of secure p2p (no central server), but this newcomer will have to keep classic email compatibility.

We actually had this discussion before.

schwim wrote:

Every couple of years I would try moving to something else like gmx, hushmail, proton, etc. All solutions had fatal flaws... Cost, lack of features, etc. The problem is that I don't want to go full tinfoil, I want to retain the benefits I listed above and I want it to be trouble and hassle free.

I have owned my mail domains and servers for longer than gmail has been around and started thinking that maybe I should go back to a self hosted solution. My servers have cpanel installed so they have some webmail systems ready to roll already. The issue I have is that those solutions are ugly, dated and lacking features.

So I thought I'd ask those in the know... Is there a setup that would allow me some level of usability that I enjoy both in the browser and in and in android?

My current self-hosted mail setup (based on Debian Stretch) is:

  Postfix (SMTP)
    milter: rspamd (spam detection incl. rejection, greylisting, DKIM  ←----------------+
            signing for outgoing mail, DKIM verification, SPF                           |
            verification, ARC verification, etc etc)                                    |
                                                                                        |
    ↓ LMTP                                                                              |
                                                                                        |
  Dovecot (IMAP):                                                                       |
    sieve                                                                               | SMTP submission
    rspamd integration: Learn from spam folder                                          |
    uses system accounts (no virtual user table)                                        |
                                                                                        |
    ↑                                                                                   |
   IMAP                                                                                 |
    ↓                                                                                   |
                                                                                        |
  nginx running Rainloop webmail -------------------------------------------------------+
                rspamd web interface (reverse proxy)
                radicale (CalDAV/CardDAV) (reverse proxy)

I'm not using the Rainloop webmail though; it's mostly there as an emergency access method (it's basically just a client; search is done by the IMAP server). On the desktop my client is mutt, on Android I'm using the Gmail mail app to access the IMAP inbox and send email, and DAVDroid for CardDAV and CalDAV integration. The calendar application I'm using is Etar. Rspamd is highly recommended; compared to SpamAssassin and the junk that is amavisd it's a) easy(ier) to configure b) leaner & faster c) actually grokable and debuggable (SA and amavisd are composed of a trillion separate Perl modules and have arcane configurations; to this day I still don't know how to make amavisd scan messages sent to and received from mailing lists; use rspamd and save yourselves a headache).

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#7 2017-11-20 13:16:18

schwim
Member
From: Western NC, US
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 255
Website

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

cloverskull wrote:

I guess my initial reaction is this: if it's free, you're the product being sold. So if you don't want your data collected but you still want to have a decent, reliable, stable, safe, and private email experience, expect to pay. That said, I use gmail and just accept my fate. I find google far less sinister than some of the alternatives.

Thanks a bunch for the catchphrase but not only was the discussion not about the ramifications of using a free service but I had already mentioned that I was aware of what I was trading for using GMail and that I was growing increasingly uncomfortable with it.  I tried to be as clear as possible in the topic that I was looking for either a self-hosted or remotely hosted solution that allowed the listed features.


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#8 2017-11-20 13:26:06

schwim
Member
From: Western NC, US
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 255
Website

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

Hey there rest of the guys smile

Since we don't have a multiquote button, I'll spare you all the wall of personalized replies and try to discuss where I'm going with it.

I took a bit of a closer look at what was offered in a cPanel install for webmail and found Roundcube, Horde and Squirrelmail.  I immediately discarded Squirrel and have been focusing on the other two.  Roundcube seems to be at least trying to provide a robust email experience.  I'll allow the mail to build up for a few days and see if either one fits the bill.  During that time, I'll get to try some things like importing contacts, etc.

I've been googling webmail scripts for hours and haven't found anything zoomy yet.  I've found hundreds of scripts last updated in 2014 or earlier, but that's the power of Open Source/FOSS at work and a feature that I'm very familiar with smile

Earlybird, thanks very much for the detailed response but I think I'm asking more about the front end than the backend nuts and bolts.  I've got the server, filtering, etc. is all set up.  I just am looking for a nice gooey that I can use in the browser as well as on the phone.  They likely won't be the same, I'm just aiming for a integrated solution of some sort.

I do appreciate you mentioning Rainloop.  It looks like a nice bit of 0s and 1s and I'll be giving it a test drive.

Last edited by schwim (2017-11-20 14:17:46)


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#9 2017-11-21 03:56:30

martix
Kim Jong-un Stunt Double
Registered: 2016-02-19
Posts: 1,267

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

Here is a site with some reasonable suggestions. Be careful with the comments there, some of them seem to be obviously online marketing.

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#10 2017-11-21 05:01:10

cloverskull
Member
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 319

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

schwim wrote:
cloverskull wrote:

I guess my initial reaction is this: if it's free, you're the product being sold. So if you don't want your data collected but you still want to have a decent, reliable, stable, safe, and private email experience, expect to pay. That said, I use gmail and just accept my fate. I find google far less sinister than some of the alternatives.

Thanks a bunch for the catchphrase but not only was the discussion not about the ramifications of using a free service but I had already mentioned that I was aware of what I was trading for using GMail and that I was growing increasingly uncomfortable with it.  I tried to be as clear as possible in the topic that I was looking for either a self-hosted or remotely hosted solution that allowed the listed features.

Ok, well you mentioned cost in your initial post, which was basically what I was trying to address. Can't say I really appreciate your snarky response, was just trying to participate in the thread.

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#11 2017-11-21 06:05:29

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 4,646
Website

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

schwim, i am a little confused as to what your current mail server (hat off, i'd never dare attempt sth like that) has to do with gmail...
i was going to recommend posteo.de, but it seems that's not what you're looking for.
as for the gooey - i use dedicated mail client applications on both linux desktop and de-googlified android phone. so no use for roundcube etc.
maybe you have multiple users' accounts on your server?


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#12 2017-11-21 10:09:26

Steve
Member
Registered: 2017-01-03
Posts: 642

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

This is why i like mailfence. N.B. Taken from martix link ^ there.

Mailfence....does the whole business of privacy a little differently from other services on this list. It uses OpenPGP public key encryption which offers end-to-end encryption based on a key that you share with the recipients of your emails. This whole feature is optional, of course, so you don’t have to go through the whole rigmarole for every mundane email you send.

Mailfence can’t see into or scan your emails because of their encryption. This service, which also offers calendar, cloud storage and collaboration features, was made in the wake of the Snowden revelations by a group of developers who are passionate about your rights to online privacy.

Finally, in what must surely be a dig at Google, when you go to the Mailfence website and are asked if you want “Secure and private email service,” you can click “No,” at which point you will be redirected to Gmail. I like these guys!

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#13 2017-11-21 19:52:31

schwim
Member
From: Western NC, US
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 255
Website

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

Hi there guys and thanks very much for your continued thoughts on the matter, I really appreciate it!

Currently, I'm using Aqua Mail on the phone and moving between Roundcube and Rainloop but loving neither.  I'm currently searching "Gmail clone" stuff but haven't found anything new and active enough to be worth considering.

ohnonot wrote:

schwim, i am a little confused as to what your current mail server (hat off, i'd never dare attempt sth like that) has to do with gmail...
i was going to recommend posteo.de, but it seems that's not what you're looking for.
as for the gooey - i use dedicated mail client applications on both linux desktop and de-googlified android phone. so no use for roundcube etc.
maybe you have multiple users' accounts on your server?

I'm really bad at this. I never get my thoughts across well and usually, by the time I'm done explaining something, I've changed my mind on a direction.

To clarify my situation a bit, I use gmail as a repository only.  I never actually use the email associated with it but instead have hundreds of forwarders on my domain.  When I register at a site, it gets a forwarder like bunsenlabs@ or crunchbang@.  Those get routed to a single unadvertised mail account on my server, which in turn gets checked by GMail.

So what I'm trying to do now is really nothing more than to handle my own repository.  After looking at a LOT of remotely hosted mail solutions, I've come to realize that I don't want to pay for yet another service of some sort so my alternative is to handle the web mail on my domain.

The reason for webmail and not local software is that I change computers a lot and never liked downloading across them all.  I prefer to just log in via a browser and do my stuff.

I've realized that the android angle is trivial, since there's tons of IMAP applications so I'll drop that from my ponderings.  Now, I just want to find a web interface that is as similar to the features in GMail that I can.    So it seems that all I need to do is just start installing hundreds of scripts until I find one I like.  I'm not ignoring paid scripts as long as the prices are reasonable and are not subscription, so the pool to draw from is el gordo.

Piece of cake.


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#14 2017-11-22 03:49:55

cloverskull
Member
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 319

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

This is a cool approach. I'd be interested in doing something similar, potentially. I already host my own VPN via digitalocean, I wonder what other typical services are things I could host on my own terms. I'm excited to see what you come up with.

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#15 2017-11-22 04:35:22

Dobbie03
Resident Metalhead
From: New Zealand
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 2,586
Website

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

I too use Proton Mail.  Still have Gmail as too many services are signed up to it but I am slowly converting them to Proton.


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#16 2017-11-22 10:18:02

martix
Kim Jong-un Stunt Double
Registered: 2016-02-19
Posts: 1,267

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

@Dobbie03 Are you also using Protonmail Bridge?

I'm wondering how good this implementation is.

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#17 2017-11-22 14:39:41

schwim
Member
From: Western NC, US
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 255
Website

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

cloverskull wrote:

This is a cool approach. I'd be interested in doing something similar, potentially. I already host my own VPN via digitalocean, I wonder what other typical services are things I could host on my own terms. I'm excited to see what you come up with.

Hi there Clover,

I'll keep the thread updated, just for fun and profit.  Maybe something useful will come of it.

I've retired Rainloop and AfterLogic as being too light on features, although the interfaces were at the top of the pile.  Roundcube will follow them shortly for the same reasoning and Horde Groupware will suffer the same fate for the opposite reason of being more competent but with a UI teleported from 1995.  All other trials I've made don't warrant even a mention due to abysmal user experience for one reason or another.

I'll share any gems I find.


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#18 2017-11-23 04:09:57

schwim
Member
From: Western NC, US
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 255
Website

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

So I've gone though what I believe is all of the viable php based webmail offerings and have come up with only two potential winners, the both of which couldn't be more different from each other.

First, Let's talk about AfterLogic's commercial offering.  Although the WebMail Lite script is bare bones, their Pro offering has Email, file sharing, calendar and more.  They also offer android apps for contact and file syncing.  The least expensive license is $49.  I'm considering it but hoping to read a bit more on their forum to get a better idea of support.  I did already get assistance on the forum for their lite version of the script and it was quick and successful in getting me running.

Secondly, let's talk about a dead project that hasn't seen an update in 7 years.  Crystal Mail was a fork of Roundcube that aimed to offer a GRANDER experience and like 99% of open source projects, the developers shuttered the project.  Unlike most, however, they actually managed to get a mostly successful system running.  Install works swimmingly as long as you don't select certain options that break the install and once logged in, you get a usable mail, contacts and calendar experience.

So I find myself wondering if I'd rather pay $50 for a solution that installs in seconds and meets most of my needs or do I cater to my cheapskate mentality and tackle modifying the Crystal Mail install to work the way I want?  Most of the features are there and it's just changing the UI to be less Windows 98 and work responsively that I would really want to handle, at least initially.

Years ago, this would have been an easy decision and I'd be diddling in Geany instead of writing this.  I no longer have the rose colored glasses that one-man-band-FOSS project owners wear and wonder if it's in me to make any real usability improvements in a script that I'm in no way familiar with.  Although the code seems well documented, tracking down dependencies across hundreds of files doesn't fill me with the giddiness that it used to.

Some time using the script will tell.


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#19 2017-11-23 04:56:43

Dobbie03
Resident Metalhead
From: New Zealand
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 2,586
Website

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

martix wrote:

@Dobbie03 Are you also using Protonmail Bridge?

I'm wondering how good this implementation is.


No I'm not as I am just a basic user. 

I discovered Tutanota and I am using that and am very happy too.


One of the ArchLabs dudes
Obssesive Metalhead and practiced beer drinker
\m/

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#20 2017-11-23 10:01:31

titan
Member
Registered: 2015-10-02
Posts: 60

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

I have been using Tutanota for over two years. I now have a premium account so I can use my own domain.Got most of my friends and relatives on it so all mail is encrypted. It is possible to send encrypted mail to non Tutanota users just need to agree password.

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#21 2017-11-23 13:58:33

martix
Kim Jong-un Stunt Double
Registered: 2016-02-19
Posts: 1,267

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

@titan I think that's the same with proton to non proton. How does tutanota work with Thunderbird? Or do you use a different client?

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#22 2017-11-23 20:19:28

titan
Member
Registered: 2015-10-02
Posts: 60

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

martix wrote:

@titan I think that's the same with proton to non proton. How does tutanota work with Thunderbird? Or do you use a different client?

It is online for pc, I just run it in a pinned tab.There is an app for android and ios.

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#23 2017-11-24 11:28:46

mrneilypops
The BL Scrot.Moe Guy
From: luxembourg
Registered: 2015-09-30
Posts: 577
Website

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

I have a tutanota account but I do not use it.
One reason is no search function.  wink

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#24 2017-11-24 16:49:53

titan
Member
Registered: 2015-10-02
Posts: 60

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

mrneilypops wrote:

I have a tutanota account but I do not use it.
One reason is no search function.  wink

You have search using it on browser ctl+f

Search in app coming soon.

Last edited by titan (2017-11-24 16:50:37)

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#25 2017-11-24 17:05:32

ratcheer
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2015-10-05
Posts: 274

Re: Moving away from gmail and hoping for thoughts

A couple of days ago, I opened a free account with Proton Mail. I'm easing into it, slowly. I made sure to come up with a username that is unrelated to anything about me or usernames I use in other places.

My big problem is how many e-commerce accounts I have that are tied to my Gmail address, at least as their userid. Many of them do not allow changing the primary account id.

Tim

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