Moving 12 years of email from GMail to FastMail

In 2013, when it became clear, primarily through Edward Snowden’s heroic actions, that the level of snooping by the US and other governments was far greater than any of us would have thought, I moved all of my data out of the US and of course blogged about it (that blog post has been read almost 70000 times; I think for many people this is an important issue).

This included migrating 60000 emails away from my beloved GMail (I got my GMail invite from The Vogon Poet on August 24, 2004. At that time, you could only get GMail by invitation. It was pretty exciting! (I have emails from before 2004, back to ’93 or ’94, but those are in a backup archive somewhere.)) to the little Synology DS213j standing next to my desk at the time.  This was all well and good behind the stable Dutch 100 Mbit/s down / 10 Mbit/s up cable connection I had, but when we decided to move back to South Africa, where home internet is a few years behind The Netherlands, I ended up having to pay for a virtual private server in Cape Town (to keep latency between me and my mail server manageable) and having to admin my own dovecot IMAP and postfix SMTP server.

Initially this was workable, until the Nth time that I had to interrupt my real job (which has nothing to do with mail servers) to apply a security patch or get the VPS booting again after a botched kernel upgrade. Besides that, I had to deal with keeping my server out of over-enthusiastic spam blacklists and whatnot. Also, inspite of mu4e, I did end up missing the fast graphical GMail web interface.

So, it was with a great deal of tail between my legs that on June 10, 2015 (I have a lab journal, remember) I went right back back to GMail. My mail setup, although pleasingly decentralised, was costing me too much time and hence actual money.

Fast forward to July 15, 2016 (there’s that lab journal again…) when, after receiving an email from Google asking me to indicate how exactly I would like them to use my data to customise adverts around the web, and after thinking for a bit about what kind of machine learning tricks I would be able to pull on you with 12 years of your email, I decided that I really had to make alternative plans for my little email empire.

Somehow FastMail came up and in one of those impulsive LET’S WASTE SOME TIME manoeuvres, I pressed the big red MIGRATE button!

The rest of this post is my mini-review of the FastMail service after almost 3 weeks of intensive use.

Importing mail from GMail

The main import & export window
The main import & export window
IMAP migration configuration dialog
IMAP migration configuration dialog

The Settings | Import & Export option in FastMail was easy to setup. It knows how to authenticate with GMail, even when you make use of two-factor authentication, like I do and you probably should.

The import takes place via the GMail IMAP interface. It’s important to remember that via the IMAP client, an email tagged in GMail with both important and info will appear in two different folders. Because of this, I did check the no duplicates checkbox, but still I noticed that my 15 GB FastMail evaluation mailbox was filling up more quickly than I would have expected.

After a support request which was responded to within minutes (bonus), I discovered the Quota Usage screen and could see that the duplicate detection did indeed not seem to work correctly during the import. Based on more tips from the support tech, I made use of the Mass delete or remove duplicates module (Settings | Folders | Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page) to delete thousands of duplicate emails during the import. This was indeed because of emails appearing in multiple IMAP folders due to their GMail tags. Note: Friend and reader stefanvdwalt reported the exact same mail duplication during import issue which in his case did go over quota, so do keep an eye on this!

After a day or so (during which I could email more or less normally) I received an import report from FastMail claiming that the import had been successful, except for this error:

Log: Fri Jul 15 17:49:17 2016; cpbotha/; Migrating folder Inbox -> Inbox
Log: Fri Jul 15 17:49:17 2016; cpbotha/; Creating local folder Inbox
Log: Fri Jul 15 17:49:17 2016; cpbotha/; Error migrating remote folder Inbox: Failed to create Inbox. IMAP Command : 'create' failed. Response was : no - Mailbox already exists

The import had managed to figure out that GMail Sent should map to FastMail Sent for example, but Inbox was probably too special to map in the same way. I fixed this by firing up my trusty Thunderbird, and using IMAP to drag and drop emails from my GMail Inbox to my shiny new FastMail Inbox.

In retrospect, I should have selected Create under new sub-folder in the IMAP migration configuration instead of Merge into existing folders. I discovered later that moving thousands of emails to a different folder is near instantaneous in the FastMail web-app.

What I like

Webmail speed

I live more or less at the southern tip of the African continent. My lowest latency connection with the rest of the internet is via undersea optic cable to Europe (about 140ms ping).

The FastMail web servers are in the USA, which is, as the ping flies, much further away. I was not expecting much from the webmail, but colour me surprised when I discovered that this felt subjectively faster than GMail (who have servers everywhere, even down here). Things remained snappy, even with all 50000 of my conversations imported.

As far as I can figure out, it seems that much of this is due to FastMail’s self-designed but open source IMAP-replacement called JMAP. JMAP has been designed for low latency, and for improved battery life. What it does differently, is batch requests together, and it also has optimisations specifically for interactive webmail.

The web-app has full support for keyboard shortcuts, which increases the subjective perception of speed.

For my purposes, search in FastMail is on par with that of GMail. I can dig up any of my emails, back up to 2004, in seconds.

FastMail advanced search interface
FastMail advanced search interface

What’s also very useful, is that you can turn any search into a virtual folder.

Tech support

This is one area where Google really can’t hold a candle to FastMail. If something goes wrong with your gmail account (this hardly ever happens, but it’s possible) it’s almost impossible to get hold of any kind of official tech support. Here’s a recent story where a GMail user’s account was summarily terminated. There was probably some kind of ToS infringment, but the user has no idea what or why, and has lost all access to their emails and contacts database.

So far I’ve contacted FastMail tech support twice: Once during my email migration, and once to confirm the absence of the “quote selected text in reply” feature (discussed below). In both cases, I was helped by real humans who responded very quickly and courteously to my support requests.

Email and contacts (and calendar) out of Google’s view

I’m still of the opinion that Google makes fantastic and valuable products. However, with all of their data mining know-how and resources, one has to decide how much of one’s personal information one is willing to trade in for the use of these fantastic products.

With FastMail, I have been able to extricate my significant email archive (2004 to 2016, 50000 conversations) as well as my contacts database. I’m still making use of Google Calendar, because of bunches of sharing going on with family members, but I have the option of moving that out also.

By the way, the FastMail Calendar web interface is more than capable (and pretty enough) to replace Google’s version.

What I don’t like

Missing integrations: Todoist

GMail, being as popular as it is, has tonnes of integrations with other apps. In my case, I will really miss the Todoist for Gmail extension. With this, I had a mini-todoist window inside my GMail, and I could turn any email into a task at the click of a button (or the press of a shortcut).

Because FastMail email URLs seem to be persistent, I use the Todoist Chrome extension’s “Add to Todoist” context menu action to add the URL and email subject as a task. This not as nice as the gmail-specific extension (the task goes immediately into the todoist inbox, without the possibility to edit metadata such as due date and tags).

Missing feature: Quote selection in reply

In Gmail and in Thunderbird, if you select text in an incoming email and then reply, that selected text is quoted in the reply email. Unfortunately, this feature is not available in the FastMail web-app, and they have no plans to implement it.

I use both the FastMail web-interface as well as Thunderbird, because of its great PGP email encryption and signature support (hey, find me on keybase, send me encrypted email!), so this issue is somewhat ameliorated. Still, it would have been nice.

Android app lag

I do have FastMail’s Android app on my telephone. The app is a Cordova / PhoneGap / CrossWalk style unit with real-time email push and notification via Google Cloud Messaging (this is a relatively energy-efficient way for android phones to get push notification and is natively supported by FastMail).

However, there is a few second lag when I open the inbox, so I prefer using the pro version of AquaMail, a great Android IMAP mail client. I have this set to 15 minute polling for new email, as IMAP IDLE (push, in other words) is not as battery efficient as GCM or Apple’s email push. Opening any folder or email in AquaMail is of course instantaneous, as the emails live on the phone.

That being said, I use the FastMail app for searching, which is just as fast and as effective as the web-app.

THAT being said, FastMail really needs to implement some sort of caching in the Android app for lightning fast folder and email access. (The FastMail app is quite attractive, I would prefer using it more.)

FastMail Android app Calendar screen, from the Google Play page.
FastMail Android app Calendar screen, from the Google Play page.

Niggle: Creating an email alias / incoming route automatically creates a new sending identity

FastMail can manage the DNS for any of the custom domains that you assign to it, which is super useful if you don’t already have a DNS service.

I already make use of webfaction’s DNS for all of my domains, so I chose to add DNS records to designate fastmail as the official MX for those domains. (All of this is explained clearly in the FastMail help.)

When you do this, you have to create an email alias for each incoming address you would like to receive mail for (you can also create a catchall, but this could result in more spam arriving in your inbox). For each and every alias, FastMail automatically creates an outgoing (from address) identity. While this is usually quite convenient, I have quite a number of incoming addresses, but I only ever send from a subset of these addresses, so the drop-down list with sending identities became quite unwieldy.

I deleted all of the unnecessary identities. What would help, would be if FastMail were to implement most-used-at-the-top sorting for that drop-down.

Other noteworthy points

Domain setup

For my most important domains, I have set FastMail to be the MX. I have also performed the necessary SPF and DKIM setup: FastMail gives super useful feedback in its configuration screens to help you with this. For these domains, I send mail directly via the FastMail SMTP servers, and mail is delivered directly to FastMail servers. Nice and simple.

Domain setup feedback screen.
Domain setup feedback screen.

For some other email accounts I have with clients, FastMail supports POP fetch from and SMTP send via foreign servers.

iOS Push support

If you use any Apple iOS devices to read your mail, you’ll be pleased to know that FastMail, with help from the big A, fully supports iOS push. This means battery efficient real-time incoming emails to make it even more difficult for you to focus on That One Really Important Thing.

Android contact syncing with CardDAV

With google contacts, syncing on Android just works, and it works really well. To sync my contacts with FastMail’s Address Book instead, I bought the pro version of the CardDAV android app for 24 South African Ront (that’s about EUR 1.5). This works as a sync provider, so once setup, the process is also pretty much transparent.

Final thoughts

So there you have it: A hopefully helpful story, with included mini-review, about my move from GMail to the FastMail service.

So far, my conclusion is that this is a service that is technically more than capable of replacing GMail, even for power users. Furthermore, FastMail’s primary (and in fact only) business model is to charge you money for making sure that you can keep on emailing like a boss. Together, this makes for an offer that I could not refuse.

P.S. Let me know in the comments if you would like me to add anything else to this post.

P.P.S. You can also join the lively Hacker News discussion of this post!

55 thoughts on “Moving 12 years of email from GMail to FastMail”

    1. If you have a look at FastMail’s privacy policies, it says that Australia does not have an equivalent of the National Security Letter and it’s not subject to the metadata retention laws recently introduced here. Even though it’s part of the Five Eyes, if you use end-to-end encryption (Read: HTTPS) between FastMail and You, you can expect reasonable privacy. You should be using PGP for anything more sensitive than that anyway.

  1. Outlook 2013 and on has a Clean Up Conversations feature that will only keep your most recent e-mail in a thread. I’m sure your 60k e-mails could be dwindled down to much less with that feature. I know I was able to reduce my significantly this way. This also makes searching e-mail less taxing on the servers since there’s less text to index and search through.

    1. I would definitely not want to delete any emails, even if the latest mail in the conversations quotes all of them. I prefer keeping a record of the whole thing, with all headers intact, and FastMail searches through my whole corpus more or less instantaneously. :)

  2. Interesting article, but I have an unrelated comment:

    When I was in college, a professor sat me down and told me I was never allowed to use parentheses again; that I didn’t know how to use them. I relied heavily on them for supplying additional information, but I did see his point. I’ve found that not using them makes for much, much better writing.

    I say this because you have the same affliction as I did. I see half a dozen instances of parenthesis abuse above the fold alone, including a double-nested set!

    This isn’t a troll post, I’m trying to pay forward a piece of advice that has helped me immensely. Take it or leave it :)

    1. Dear concerned in Canada,

      I really do appreciate your advice, but, as an ex-professor, I have made a very conscious decision to use MORE parentheses (and go against various other items of professorial advice) here on my personal blog. :P (I get bonus points for nesting!)

      I would have used footnotes (I can’t remember if it was Pratchett or Adams who did these so masterfully, do you?), but I have not yet found a wordpress plugin or extension that would allow me to have footnotes show up in the margin at the same height as marker, so I’m doing parentheses for now.

  3. Missing a y at the end of “normall” in this sentence: “during which I could email more or less normall”

  4. You could have also considered email providers with built-in support for strong encryption, like Germany’s It’s run by Heinlein, a company that’s been doing email for 27 years now and that also instructs other companies and large hosting providers in how to run email properly. They offer migrations through Audriga, a company that specializes in mailbox and groupware migration. Also works for all the calendaring stuff and for companies, e.g. from MS Exchange to

    Migrated to them at the start of this year and I’m very happy so far.

    1. For the account I’m using, $40 / year. As someone said on HackerNews, for a service that I use pretty much constantly to run my business, that’s really not much.

    2. Gmail is only free for toy email addresses. And that’s not so much ‘free’ as it is google sponsoring you to advertise their business. Google’s lowest pricing for a real email address is $60pa

      1. Absolutely, worth every cent. You can also create family/corporate accounts and be the admin etc. Particularly useful if you are introducing young children to email. Been a Fastmail fan for a decade well before it was taken over by Opera…. However, a lot my clients use Gmail though and the corporate version of that is getting better. Don’t know about privacy issues. I just assume that all my emails can be read by someone so the question I ask before I type is: “If it became publicly known that I wrote this, what would I feel like?”

  5. What is the point of preventing Google to access your mail history if you give it access to all your mouse moves, keystrokes, etc. : why use a closed source, `do whatever you want Google with my data`, browser for this. And your afraid of what Google can learn with machine learning from your mails !

    Oh, wait, it is _based_ on chromium which is open source… Then why not using Chromium, or better, Firefox (or another more independent provider), instead of the biggest possible spyglass Google would have on you ? ;)

    1. We know with a high degree of certainty that Chrome is not a keylogger, at least not yet. :)

      I use Chrome because for my usage it’s much faster than anything else out there. Also I use the devtools quite intensively. I do use duckduckgo for all of my searching, which at least prevents my search history from going to the Big G.

      Fortunately, we all get to control how exactly we balance convenience with privacy. There’s always a point to moving yourself more to the P side of that spectrum.

      1. If you like Chrome’s speed, but value privacy, then switch to Chromium. It’s exactly the same as Chrome, but without the closed-source bits including spyware.

  6. Great article. I also switched to from Google a few years ago. One of the primary benefits you don’t really mention, is that you create your primary email address (which is used as your login), but any alias email addresses you created cannot be used to log in to your account. So you never give away your real email address, only aliases and no one can even attempt to log into your account with the email address they know. Aliases can even be on a different domain from your real email.
    I also moved everything I could from Google, the only things I have remaining are to do lists and notes (Keep) which I use sparingly.

  7. I hate to be the bear of bad news. But you have shot yourself in the foot a bit.

    As Edward Snowden said himself, one of the most fine tuned surveillance programs used by the NSA snoops on ALL data crossing the US border. I forget the name of it, but its one of the 5 used by the NSA.

    So in a nutshell, by doing what you did, any emails that the NSA had not already seen, now they have most certainly seen.

    1. Please read my post again, you seem to have missed a spot. :)

      My primary goal here was to take my mail out of Google’s data mining machinery.

      Whether or not the NSA was able to snarf my email as it was travelling from Google’s servers to FastMail’s servers in New York, via an encrypted link, is a different discussion.

  8. I’ve been enjoying a similar setup and would also prefer to pay a nominal fee that feed the marketing behemoth. FastMail’s JMAP and web UI performance has made extrication from the world of Gmail surprisingly pleasant!

  9. Great post. Fastmail is indeed a fine alternative to Gmail. I’ve been using it since 2002 and if I thought there was something better I’d be using it. I agree that the support is good when you need it and frankly, if email is important to you, it’s worth paying for.

    I dislike GMail’s UI and much prefer Fastmail’s.

    I don’t know if Fastmail’s search has recently improved but I have frequently found it much less effective than Google’s and for me it’s been a significant point of difference.

    My personal annoyance is the inability to sort the addressbook by nickname with the new UI (because I use the field for another numeric identifier), which is why I mainly use the Classic UI.

    I would like to be able to automatically export contacts with distribution list membership data or automatically export each list–for backup.

    The Fastmail app is great for keeping contacts and calendar in sync as well as mail, but on my phone I mainly use K9 for mail, to handle multiple accounts. I use Baikal for keeping my contacts synced with my Synology box and in turn, Thunderbird.

  10. I recommend changing the word “niggle” to something else. It is often used to describe people of African-American descent in some regions. It is used as a racist word in the area of which I live in the US

    1. I believe you are thinking of the word “nigger”. Niggle is a whole different word… they even sound different! Unlike “bread” and “bred” which are also two different words but sound exactly the same. Niggle is a fine word here, it is appropriate. Niggle means: a trifling criticism.
      Also to point out, “nigger” does not mean “people of African-American descent”. I know in America it is a racist term for people with black skin color. That is all.
      I appreciate your sensitivity to people, that is sure. This is not a helpful comment though. Niggle is an appropriate word to use here.
      I’m sorry for your confusion and hope this clears it up. “Niggle” is just a word. “Nigger” is a racist, shit thing to say. This article talks about email, it never discussed people.

  11. I made the same move from Google Apps Gmail to FastMail several years ago and haven’t looked back. Had no problems at all, even with a custom domain.

    The feature set is improving at a good clip, too. The FastMail team recently added solid CardDAV and CalDAV support, so I moved contacts and calendar from Apple iCloud. FastMail’s calendar sorely needs better invitation support: Invitation e-mails aren’t very inviting, and I often have problems with replies adding new invitees rather than updating the original. CardDAV support in Apple Contacts is also frustratingly laggy on OS X but works fine on iOS. (Synchronous network I/O? Tsk tsk.)

  12. Hi from the FastMail team :)

    Thanks for a great blog post. We’ve been following the discussion on Hacker News here in the FM office.

    I’m going to be looking at the “Inbox” error in migration. I suspect it’s a side effect of capitalisation changes from – the import is the first experience many users have of our service, so anything we can do to make it less painless is good!



    1. Charl’s blog post provided the final impetus that pushed me over the edge, so I am also now using FastMail. So far, I love what I’m seeing!

      One problem I’ve run into (that is also mentioned in the blog post), is that messages organized by tags get duplicated during import, thereby expanding the size of the mailbox dramatically. I reached 100% usage before migration was complete—which left me unsure whether it ever would?

      The only feature I’m missing is the ability to mute conversations.

      Thanks for a great product!

  13. I’m curious to know what, if anything, you did for forwarding emails from the old Gmail account to your new Fastmail account for a while…

    I have also had my account suspended without any explanation once, and have been looking for a way to switch away from using Gmail. A lot of people have my Gmail address in their address book and I expect it to take some time for all of them to use my new address. Do you have any suggestions?


    1. Fastmail has a fetch functionality like the “Accounts & Import”. It will fetch all new emails from gmail.

      1. Exactly as Peter said!

        Furthermore, this is another good reason to use your own domain name, even when using gmail. That way, when you want to switch back-end email providers, it’s not such a pain.

        1. Were there any issues with the cutover of domains? I would be worried that mail could be lost during the time it takes for the import and then for the MX changes to propagate.

  14. May b try to use Zoho mail. Using it for past one year and got lot features like Gmail and more support offcourse

  15. I have a Google for Work account and a Fastmail account. Google for Work costs $10 a month in the US and includes, among other things, support via telephone or email. The phone support is prompt and very helpful. Having said this I am a happy Fastmail customer. The Fastmail interface is very fast. For email, searches I find Gmail to find what I am looking for almost instaneously. Fastmail search is good but I think Gmail’s is better. Google doesn’t insert ads in paid accounts. I personally prefer Google for Work. But my main point is that — in my opinion — the approprate comparison is Google for Work (paid email) vs. Fastmail.

    1. You make a really important point that Google has a paid-for option that competes with FastMail, thank you! I just checked again, with Google Apps for Work, Google promises not to mine the data one uses with the paid-for services. (I did not know that Apps for Work included telephonic and email support!)

      However, many (consumer) users are evaluating options. Because they’re usually quite happy with (it is an excellent service), paid-for FastMail is on the list as an alternative that’s not too expensive and gives even stronger guarantees that your email won’t be mined by Google. In that light, the vs fastmail is a valid comparison.

  16. “I moved all of my data out of the US”. Who cares. The U.S. government doesn’t care, or any other. You nobody.

    1. To the contrary, it turns out that the US and other governments care very much about nobodies like us. The US government cares even more about nobodies like me outside of the US.

      If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll see lovely examples like this one: — where GCHQ intelligence agents (UK) gathered millions of Yahoo webcam images from nobodies, and were often caught ogling the sexually explicit ones. There are many more documented examples of the US routinely storing and analysing large streams of data without any kind of warrant.

      So, your statement that the US government doesn’t care about us nobodies seems to be quite wrong. :)

      All of that being said, my email now lives on FastMail’s servers in the US :P — the point of this specific blog post was avoiding profiling by Google, not specifically by the US.

  17. I agree with what you say. However, I have just gone in the opposite direction from Fastmail to Gmail.

    Why ?

    My email address was with Fastmail for some 10+ years. I think they are an excellent company and related services. But I had seen an exponential increase in spam at my Fastmail address. In latter years rendering the email domain almost unusable. Did I want to spend a significant % of my time managing Spam filters. No. Whitelist No.

    My Gmail accounts seemed to have much much better out of the box spam filtering.

    Maybe I will regret my decision and as for misuse….just remember Fastmail’s servers are in the USA. I’d rather be profiled by Google that the NSA.

    I have had no use for any old email even after a labyrinthine struggle with IMAPSize ( excellent migration tool). So I asked myself why i kept it…and promptly deleted it all.

    No apotheosis in posterity for me.

  18. I have started using ProtonMail and while it is going it shows great potential if you care about privacy. Servers are in Switzerland and your email is encrypted. Unfortunately they don’t offer an import service from Gmail and 2FA yet, so I cannot make the switch yet.

  19. I’ve been a user of Yahoo Mail then switched to Hotmail because YMail has no forwarding feature, then after years switched to Gmail. I never felt comfortable with Gmail or any Google product except of Chrome. So yes, FastMail or whatever powerful alternative is great.

    Currently I am using Apple iCloud, with an address. I feel comfortable since I am a Mac and iPhone user but I don’t quite like Apple’s encryption policy where emails are encrypted in-transit and unencrypted on their servers (you can read more here:

    I’ve created a trail account with FastMail just right after I finished reading your post, but I cannot get 3 points of my mind.

    1. FastMail, Protonmail, and other promising email services are in my opinion “less-capable” of protecting their systems than a company like Apple. Governments can play with Apple, but I guess individual or groups hackers can probably find FM an easier target. –debatable.

    2. FM team are in AU and servers are in US.! This sounds a bit not exciting.
    3. Away from security and privacy; don’t you think that FM might get acquired someday by a-company-you-don’t-like and then you have to more all your stuff again to another service?

  20. Thanks for the informative article. Any idea if Fastmail servers are blocked from China? I’ve started to visit the country more frequently and depending on anything Google (I share your other concerns too) is unviable.

    1. We’re not currently blocked in China, but of course we can’t guarantee that on an ongoing basis! We have been blocked in the past, and we had a Singapore frontend to assist routing from sites in Asia which might have routing issues to the USA in the past, but we haven’t needed that for years, so we closed it because it increased our security footprint for no gain – even though we didn’t keep SSL certificates there – all data remained encrypted through to our production machines in New York – there was still a VPN tunnel with privileged access.

  21. Nice work. I switched to FastMail over a year ago and have enjoyed it ever since.

    One quick note on your comment about todo integration: my own todo list, Good Todo (, integrates via the “forward” button – just forward an email to “” and it goes on today’s list, or to “” and it goes to the todo list in a week. And of course this works well with FastMail :)

    Hope this helps –mark

  22. This is a great post, thank you. I actually just renewed my membership with FastMail a week ago and I’m glad I found this article, now I’m certain I made the right choice. I considered switching back to Google Apps because of all of the things you can do with IFTTT, particularly with Todoist. However, after thinking about this for a while I realized that I use the Apple Mail app almost exclusively on the Mac and I can easily create tasks in Todoist from within Apple Mail with the share sheet. The other reason why I wanted to switch back was to automatically send emails to Evernote using IFTTT, but I decided to switch to DEVONthink to store all of my notes, documents, and emails.

    If you find a better way create tasks from FastMail in Todoist let us know!

  23. As someone who is just getting ready to migrate several similarly large Gmail accounts to FastMail, I have a couple questions:

    1) Do you have any recommendations on the best time of day/week to initiate the import? I’m hoping for the least interruption as possible, in an account that currently is very active.

    2) For two of the accounts, they use custom domains I own, and were set up back in the days when Google Apps was free. How do I best migrate those accounts? I assume I need to set the domains up within FastMail, but when do I do that, before or after migrating all the mail from Gmail?

    3) Any other tips & tricks you (or any of your readers) would care to share, having learned from doing this migration yourself?


  24. I tried Fastmail a year or two back and as you say it is a great service. The deal-breaker for me was that at the time if I wanted to use it for business mail (I am in EU) it ran foul of the requirement not to move “personal data ” outside the EEA unless special terms were included .

  25. Fastmail is good, but not easy to set. And when you need help, you will quickly understand that paying service does not mean good service at all.
    If you are not a computer pro, forget fastmail because you will regret your choice.
    If you don’t speak english, don’t spend time on fastmail, it’s not for you.

  26. Hello,

    I am currently trying the 1 month free of the standard subscription. The service seems great.

    However, I read some bad reviews about cancelling the subscription like the fact fastmail would delete everything.

    Did you test this? Is there something else we should know in 2017?

    I barely use Gmail emails (most of my email adresses and alias are from my domain names).

    Thank you!

  27. Late to the party, but I have my own email server (CommunigatePro) that I want to get rid of — with DKIM and the huge spam load, it’s just too much trouble. I really just need one mailbox with aliases for each family member, and being able to bounce email addressed to the now-grown kids to their current GMAIL accounts. I migrated a test domain to and Google’s G-Suite to see if they would do what I needed and the answer is no — neither would let me send FROM an alias. That’s kind of a show stopper — but I don’t want to pay $4 or $5/month for a mailbox just to be able to send mail.

    I just set up my test domain with FastMail and it’s working very well. The only glitch so far is that, when composing a message in webmail, the dropdown always has my name next to each of the alias email addresses. I verified I can send FROM an alias but I haven’t figured out how to set the name.

    I also haven’t set my wife’s account up yet on her iPhone (she’s on a trip) — hopefully it can be configured to always send from her address. If that works, I think this is the right solution.

    The other thing is email clients: in addition to Outlook, I still use Pegasus Mail — it’s great for processing massive quantities of email. It did not handle or GMAIL IMAP folders properly — it would duplicate them when folders opened, and GMAIL appears to have aliased folders that won’t allow messages to be deleted — but never had any trouble with the CommunigatePro. I’m happy to say that FastMail seems to work perfectly and is… fast! I think I might have a winner.

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