Move to a new email provider
The two best known providers of un-censored, freedom and privacy respecting email services are Fastmail and ProtonMail. I currently use them both and can say that they are fantastic. Fastmail tends to appeal to the casual user who cares about ease of use and their UI is better than anyone, even Gmail. Protonmail tends to appeal to those more concerned about security. Both are excellent options and easy to port your Gmail over and easy to use.
Starting with Fastmail we will describe how to move your email life to them. The outline is simple:
- Determine what plan & pricing you want
- Determine if you want to use a free domain or your own
- Setup your new Fastmail account
- Import everything from Gmail
- Setup your mobile apps and other ways to get your email
- Setup forwarding from Gmail to Fastmail so you continue to get everything
Plans & Pricing
FastMail offers a range of plans & pricing options. I went with the Standard which gave me ample storage space, my own domain and more for only $5 a month. A small price to regain control.
With FastMail you can either use the @fastmail.com email address (or any other free domain they make available) or use your own custom domain, like firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want your own domain, you can purchase it directly from them, or purchase from a third party, like Epik, and use with FastMail. They provide simple instructions on how to setup a domain purchased elsewhere.
The setup instructions are simple. They also have instructions on how to export all your data from Gmail and import into FastMail. I suggest you do that quickly before Google decides to disable that feature and all your private correspondences are trapped in Gmail forever. For a complete overview of how to make the most of Fastmail and its transition look here.
Android Mail, Calendar & Contacts
To setup Calendar and Contacts syncing, use the instructions on a couple very reliable third party apps that will keep everything in sync.
Windows 10 Mail, Calendar & Contacts Apps
Using FastMail with the Windows 10 built-in Mail is simple, instructions here
Using the Calendar and Contacts apps is possible, but requires a slightly tricky setup process. By default these Windows 10 apps do not support open standards, and the link above actually says that FastMail does not work with Windows 10 Calendar and Contacts, but the process below works.
The way to make it work is by using the iCloud option to setup and then changing the destination links.
- In the Windows 10 Calendar App go to Add Account
- Select iCloud
- Setup with your email and password for FastMail
- Don’t worry that this setup will not work because once the iCloud account is added go back to that account and edit the settings.
- Once you are in the account settings screen click “Change mailbox sync settings”
- On the sync options make sure email is set to Off (you will be getting email already from the standard setup), and the Calendar and Contacts are On
- Then click on Advanced mailbox settings
- On this screen change the Contacts server (CardDAV) and the Calendar server (CalDAV) to the settings for FastMail calendar and contacts
- Note that for the CalDAV address, you will need to use the full address because the Windows 10 Calendar App does not support auto-discovery
- That’s it. Now your Calendar and Contact Apps will sync with FastMail
Forward your Gmail to Fastmail
The last step of the process is to setup your Gmail to forward all your mail to your new Fastmail account until everyone knows to use your Fastmail. A good explanation on how to do that is here: https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-forward-your-gmail-email-to-another-email-address-1171906
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