Switching to FastMail

I started with webmail using HotMail. Then in 2004 I received an invite to Gmail via off-topic.net. At the time Gmail had 1 GB of storage, infinite storage by the standard of the day. Gmail added features as time went on and, mostly, improved. Its search functionality is, as of writing, unparalleled. In 2011 I switched my domain e-mail to Gmail. Gmail was the incumbent, was cool and lived up to it’s ‘don’t be evil’ slogan. In the past year the wheels have come off the ‘don’t be evil’ trope with the advent of Project Dragonfly.

The Inquistr reported “{Google CEO}Pichai’s statements at WIRED 25 provided more details about the project. He acknowledged Google’s plan to create a censored search engine for China and said that the company found that it could serve well over 99 percent of the queries despite China’s strict censorship laws. (emphasis mine)

The project drew condemnation from Google employees. Their letter against Project Dragonfly can be found on Medium.

Needless to say with Snowden’s Prism revelations and the revelations of Project Dragonfly, ‘don’t be evil’ is utter hogwash.

The alternatives are many. I’ve used Outlook365. It is a fine service but feels stodgy. An oft recommended service was FastMail. I’m a week’s old customer of their service. Below I’ll note answers to some of my concerns before migrating my e-mail.

FastMail is fast.

I can say with certainty that they live up to their name sake. The service is extremely quick and, according to NoScript, appears to connect only to FastMail servers:

FastMail connects to fastmail.com alone

Similarly, uBlock origin did not register any connections to third party servers. To connect, I needed to disable the cookiemonster extension for FastMail by way of a whitelist exception.

The migration from Gmail was facile. I needed to tell Gmail to allow access to all email via IMAP. Then I followed the step-by-step process of entering my Gmail credentials into FastMail and my Google-specific app password. A few hours later about 30,000 messages and their replies migrated perfectly.

So far the most pleasant feature that is not touted more loudly is the allowance for static web pages. FastMail allows you to set up a static web page. A static webpage is enough to advertise your name and contact info and links to a blog and LinkedIn or similar.

Overall FastMail is a fine alternative to my domain Gmail setup. It leaves little to be desired.