Moved mail to Google

I have moved my mail hosting to Google. And it's completely FREE!! I still get to keep my @bapat.net mail, but the mail is now handled by Google instead of Hostmonster. My @bapat.net email address has been in use since December 2000 when I registered this domain and I have been hosting my mail on my own mail servers till 2007. But then when I got Verizon Fios, I could not host my mail anymore because they block incoming port 25 (SMTP ). So I had to move my web and mail hosting to Hostmonster. But I noticed that Hostmonster's SpamAssassin setup is very weak and I was getting close to 100 spam emails delivered to my inbox daily. My @bapat.net mail was becoming unusable with that amout of spam. So I decided to switch. Setting up with Google is a little involved process. You need to know quite a bit about DNS, MX records, CNAME etc. But I had no problems with that. Since Hostmonster does not support CNAME records I had to move my DNS hosting to Zoneedit. Zoneedit allows you to host DNS for 5 domains for free. I have been using Zoneedit for a long time now. They also support dynamic DNS . To switch to Zoneedit DNS, I had to point my nameservers for bapat.net to Zoneedit.

To get your mail hosted by Google, you need to sign-up with Google Apps. With Google Apps, you get email, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Start Page (not very useful IMO) with Google's native UI, which is quite good. I especially like their web-mail UI, which is exactly same as their Gmail UI. The standard edition is completely free. With standard edition you get text based ads when you access mail through their web interface, which I don't mind at all. But just like Gmail, you also have access to IMAP mail if you don't like their web-UI. With the IMAP mail I can also access my @bapat.net mail from my iPhone . You can create CNAME records for your domain, so you can get easy to remember URL for your domain mail, like I have created http://mail.bapat.net to get to the webmail UI. You can also put a small (143x59) logo to personalize your pages. I like this whole setup. I am not using Calendar or Docs yet. But I find the email handling by Google extremely good. And it's all FREE!! I immediately noticed the difference. Since switching to Google, I have only seen one or two spam mails in my inbox. Their spam filter is excellent. I wonder how long it will remain free!