FastMail Review: Hassle-free E-mail Hosting

Apologies for the long delay in getting this review up (especially since a few folks have been asking for it).

I’ve been using FastMail1 as my mail service for a little over 4 months now and I really regret not making the move sooner.

I decided to go with FastMail in part because they have been reliable as my SMTP gateway since 2003. This was a good decision.

The service has been fast and reliable. The available tools do what I need and work as expected. The web interface (while not designed for it), works fine in the BlackBerry 8700 browser.

There are several features they offer that have really made my life easier:

  1. Access on any port via their proxy server.
  2. SSL for checking and sending mail – one of those things never done on my own box because it’s a pain in the arse.
  3. Direct import from another IMAP account. I used this to do the initial migration to FastMail (~500mb of mail) and (though I was a little apprehensive about it) it worked exactly as expected.
  4. Additional bandwidth is given to you in your first month so that you can transfer in your existing mail without eating into your normal monthly transfer allotment. I’ve never come close to hitting my bandwidth limit and I’m a fairly heavy mail user.
  5. SpamAssasin filtering with direct sieve rule editing.
  6. Selective rule-based forwarding (I use this to choose what gets ushed to my BlackBerry).
  7. File storage feature – never thought I’d use this but a couple times it’s been very handy – mainly to access and print boarding passes I’ve saved as PDFs and to save attachements out of e-mails for various reasons.

I highly recommend outsourcing e-mail, and I highly recommend FastMail’s service for doing so. Life is just too short to waste time dealing with all the crap that comes along with running your own mail server. :)

UPDATE 2006-09-03: FastMail is currently having some trouble for some users – read more in the comments and on their status blog.

  1. That link has a referral ID in it for me to get some small credit if you sign up. [back]