Personal Email Service - Am I being too precious?

Please allow me to outline my understanding of a personal email service. In my view, personal email is where you do not own the custom domain and use the email address for personal use only. Therefore the most popular ones are and Other ones are iCloud, Proton ( and

I do not want to manage a custom domain. However, It seems most people suggest having your own domain because if GMAIL etc shuts down or removes your account, you are stuck. I understand this risk but in my view this risk is low, extremely low.

For the purpose of this discussion, please assume the risk of privacy is a non-issue.

On the other hand, managing custom domains is not difficut but its not as simple as just relying on GMAIL etc. I prefer a simplified system. My 2021 theme is to simplify things. To be honest, I tried using a custom domain and my family still kept using their GMAIL account and I kept unnecessarily paying for their Fastmail account. So it doesnt make sense to have a custom domain just for me. Now, I just feel, I am being too precious with email.

For the purpose of this discussion, please assume the risk of privacy is a non-issue.

I request the Mac Power Users to share their views on this? Am I being too precious? Is there a real risk of Outlook or GMAIL causing issues where I will not have access to my personal email address? Is having a custom domain overrated for personal use?

I’ll share what I do, but if I’m being honest it seems like you already made up your mind and are happy with your decision. So instead of asking if you are being too precious, you should ask yourself if you have a good reason to switch your current use-case. It sure seems like you don’t. So don’t feel pressure to try something new if you don’t want to!

I like having my own domain so I can switch email services if I want to. I do that more because if there is a feature set or something I want, I’ll switch. I ended up back on Google Suite because the spam filtering is unmatched and I was having problems with another service where my email wasn’t getting delivered to my work’s e-mail addresses.

All that to say — stay where you are if you are happy!


Half the world uses Gmail, so I’m not worried about it shutting down. I have a long, unique password and 2FA, so it’s not likely anyone is getting into my account. I see no reason to change.

If you are using good password security, relax.


The domain you don’t want to use is your ISP because it’s not portable. I used to have a address from years ago but moved and didn’t have Cox service anymore. A bit of a pain getting everything switched over. Now just use my account for all my email. Never really liked Gmail.


At present I use an address, but if I ever move to a different service I’d switch to using a custom domain so I can switch services without changing my address.


A middle ground could be RealNames.

I have not used them, but they’re owned by Tucows, who also own Hover (a regular MPU sponsor).

However, I do still hold a little bit of a grudge because they refuse to sell me my last name .com for any less than $10,000.

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Its easy to own your own domain name. Start with to obtain a nice name for less then $15 year.

They offer basic email services for a small extra charge.

Alternatively you can go with G-suite or any of the other reputable email hosts for less then a fancy coffee drink per month.


I’ve had a custom domain for about 20 years now because it was the only way to get a permanent address. It also provides a professional appearance if you want to use it for a personal business. And depending on what you have (my last name in my case) it is useful for other family members as well!

I do have a Gmail account, which I got over 15 years ago. It never hurts to have multiple providers.


I don’t think you’re being too precious to want a custom domain name. I love having my own and didn’t like the period of time when I was with Hey and wasn’t sending from it. There’s a comfort to it, like a object I’ve had for a long time and appreciate.

What are you hoping to gain from your minimalism this year (not just being minimal, but being minimal to what ends?) and how is the custom domain complicating that (if at all)?


You cite one benefit of having a custom domain is that you control it and can back it with many services over time while keeping the same email address. My experience with this is every time I settled on “the perfect email address” I later found a better one. This may just be the inveterate tinkerer that I am but I have much better domains now than when I first switched to my own for email.

You cite one downside of using the likes of Gmail as “they may go away.” As you said, the risk seems low with these major players, however you may decide you no longer want to use them.

I currently use my own domain with Gmail, being grandparented* in from the days when it was free for small accounts. The hassle of moving away from Gmail does not lie in switching my domain but finding any other service that is as easy and frictionless to use that doesn’t end up costing me a significant amount (for 3 family members as well as myself).

*Gender neutral term

@HobbyCollector - I honestly am undecided. So you think I want to go the non-custom domain route?

@beck I also love my custom domain. Its my surname.TLD Perhaps, its ok for me to carry on using my custom domain. Are you still using HEY and do you intend to move your domain to it… eventually when they support it

@zkarj I share the exact issue. I now have 3 domains which I have purchased over the years. However, the one I am leaning towards is surname.TLD which is also grandfathered into the GSuite Legacy (this is free).

Fortunately, I own:

Therefore, if I were to select this route, I would pick either Outlook or iCloud. Geez, why am so conflicted with something as simple as email :frowning:

My other main concern with using custom domain is the issue of delivery. It appears, email providers especially Outlook and Gmail have a way of not accepting emails from new domains or accepting them as SPAM. Even emails sent from my domain that is hosted with Gsuite Legacy to my banks and other business have been marked as spam or bounced back. Any thoughts on this?

You don’t “own” these email accounts.

Apologies, I do not understand. Please explain. When I say own, I mean, these are my accounts that I use and I have control over them. Perhaps, I am missing something.

I have a custom domain and use g suite as the mail provider. I don’t feel like I have to do much to manage this domain.

I also have gmail, icloud, and hotmail addresses. Since my gmail address is the oldest, I just forward everything to my custom domain and use that primarily.

I don’t think you’re being too precious, I just like having my own domain and feel like it’s more personal.

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Sure, because the domain names for these email accounts are owned by Apple and Microsoft they control who has an email account with them.
If MS goes belly up or for what ever reason decides that your email account is no longer valid. You will no longer be able to send or receive email with that address.

While if you own the domain name you can always use it regardless where you host the email.

As long as you keep a local backup of your email you can move it to an other email server without loosing the actual email address.

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No, I left a couple months ago, augmented Mail a bit inspired by their Read Later and Set Aside views, and haven’t missed it at all, which surprises me since it was a fraught decision to leave. Sorta reminds me of the angst I had about leaving Facebook, which evaporated the moment I did.

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I use an email address. To this day, also still works, so I don’t see Apple shutting it down anytime soon. The same goes for Google and Microsoft.

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I have numerous registered domains, hosted at Dreamhost (just for example), and many of them have email addresses associated with them. Some for my business, some for personal use. Other than the 30 minutes or so it took to set all this up, and maybe a few minutes of maintenance now and then, it’s no work to have these. They are all IMAP accounts configured in Airmail on all my devices.

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It sounds like one of your main considerations is financial. I know none of this is expensive per se, but any money you don’t need to spend is exactly that - money you don’t need to spend. :slight_smile:

So some considerations…

If you have a domain already, and it’s both a useful extension and it’s tied to your name or something significant, I wouldn’t let the registration expire.

It’s also much better, professionally speaking, to have your own domain - but Gmail is a very close second. To me that makes the issue mostly about email address cost and hassle.

Other than the fact that I generally don’t prefer email forwarders, you could buy your domain at Hover and get a forwarder to your Gmail for $5 extra per year. Trivial extra cost, no extra hassle. Or a “small” mailbox (10 GB) for $20 a year. Cheaper than Fastmail, and a good option if your email needs aren’t extreme.

If you find more domains you want, you can grab as many as you want and forward ($5/year per address) to your “main” address. And you could even filter them into different inboxes if you wanted to get fancy. :slight_smile:

Personally, if I were you, I’d probably do the domain + “small” mailbox at Hover, and call it good.


@quorm, I’m surprised that you setup the new email accounts across all your devices. Or does Airmail have a way to sync your devices? I’m just thinking for myself and if I were to get a new domain, then I would need to setup email on 4 different devices and that is just a little too much work for me. lol.

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