I am a patient man… for an IT professional. I have been using Google Apps for over two years. I had found it to be reliable and easy to use.
Recently I upgraded my Mac to Mavericks. (For Microsofties, Mavericks is the latest version of the operating system for Macs.) There are lots of features that I love about Mavericks, but it really broke Google Apps email. I keep getting errors, unread mail counts are wrong, email retrieval is erratic – the lot. In the end this comes down to the Google email (IMAP) protocol being non-standard. That’s OK, the old Apple Mail used to work around it, but I do not use the ‘additional functionality’ that Google has plastered onto the standard. And it is the extras that are breaking my email. (For a similar tale of woe, look at how Google broke its synchronisation with Outlook last year.) Apple have delivered a fix, but it does not fix everything and it seems as if Google have reduced the number of concurrent connections allowed, so I keep getting errors. Lots of them. It is driving me nuts!
So, what do I do?
Do I ditch the Macs that I love or the Google Apps that I tolerate and have more than a suspicion are using my emails to make bigger profits? I could just access Google Mail from the web interface, but I am a road warrior – I like to have my emails downloaded for when there is no internet. I could upgrade to Google Apps for business but, with 10 accounts that would cost Cloud Genius £33 pcm + VAT (£792 + VAT over 2 years). Or I could use my own hosting webhost.cloud-genius.com. That will give me proper IMAP compliant email (and it will work with all those mobile devices, too – even Androids). It will allow me to carry over the cloud-genius.com domain, and it comes with free calendars, unlimited email space and storage space. (Actually, as I purchased my domain through webhost.cloud-genius.com it sorts all that out for me.) If I want to use it, there is even a web interface. All this for £39.36+VAT for 10 accounts for 2 years which works out at 16.4p per account per month! The equivalent from Google would cost £792 (that’s £33 x 24 months). That makes Google Apps 20x the price.
It did take half an hour to switch over the accounts. The emails are flowing in nicely, even emails sent from other Google Apps accounts. I now have to decide what to do with my historic emails… import them or archive them. Decisions.
As a bonus, I know that Google will not be reading my emails any more. Calm has returned to the Cloud Genius office. (The webhost.cloud-genius.com email servers use proper SSL encrypted connections, have proper spam filtering and have no affiliation with Google. It also has proper 24×7 phone support on 020 3027 4996 and 99.9% uptime. They also work with Windows, Linux anything – because they stick to the IMAP standard. You can even use POP3, if you really want to.)
Any questions? Drop us a line!