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email provider privacy reliability

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#1 Cheryl_27

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 21:05

Subject sounds like a fantasy, huh?
Looking for suggestions for free / low cost email providers that at least claim to have SOME privacy respect & still have good reliability? Maybe even w/ support that gets back (w/ an actual answer in < 5 days... or NEVER). Some providers (seem to remember vaguely) that respect privacy have such low use / tiny storage limits, really only good for "special" emails. Thoughts on that?

AT&T / Yahoo is my ISP. Mail's OK, though if ever DO need to call support, you'll think it's a 5th grader on the phone.
Since AT&T has built large facilities to monitor web traffic for our uncle, good bet they scan & log lots of email.

Not planning on sending bank acct #s or trade secrets thru unencrypted email, but if discussing some family or friends' health, marital issues, etc., it's not the sort of thing I'd like companies scanning & storing. Should be some reasonable expectation of privacy. Especially, if civil action can be brought against one if they "hack" into their spouse's email, w/o permission. But it's OK for providers to scan & log everything.

Gmail is upfront about scanning everything & I'm not keen on helping Google continue its quest to rule the internet.

Used GMX a while now (say they don't scan email), but had increasingly more issues w/ accts getting locked for no reason & sometimes a -real- PIA to resolve (esp. using a client). Always says, "wrong PW," but it's really locked acct. For me, never found or was given reason for it. Plus, more sites / servers reject GMX mail.

I'm not a hi vol user, but super low # emails / hr or day isn't ideal. For "private" providers w/ very low storage, guess could just d/l mail & del off server, if needed. Anyway, suggestions would be appreciated.


#2 skilithead

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 21:14

Here is one I use . Look it over . Simple and easy to use and set up . http://lavabit.com/

#3 OP Cheryl_27

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 04:21

Thanks. Was looking it over & notice if forget PW, they have no way for users or support to reset it. With many providers, it's not forgetting a PW - it's that the system no longer recognizes it for a host of reasons. Usually, you wind up resetting the PW. Even my ISP's had to do this several times. I didn't forget - the system just one day wouldn't accept it. It's happened on my DSL login & my email w/ my ISP, as well as w/ other email providers.

Lavabit also says it may take several days for them to reply to support requests. What happens if your acct gets "locked" through no fault of the user - wait several days to hear back from support to access your acct?

Most all ISPs, email, websites have option to reset PWs - even if you do have to enter security info.

#4 skilithead

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 04:32

Forgive me ,but your assuming alot of problems right at the get-go . As far as other providers data problems ,beats me. All I know is , I have used them for over 3 years without a single glitch .

#5 Raa

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 04:42

If you're really that worried, why not set your own up, assuming you don't need something too intensive?

Otherwise, i'm happy with GMail. The whole privacy invasion thing is getting a little bit old now.

#6 +D. FiB3R

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 05:46

If you're really that worried, why not set your own up, assuming you don't need something too intensive?

Otherwise, i'm happy with GMail. The whole privacy invasion thing is getting a little bit old now.


Then they have succeeded in eroding your resolve. Chipping away, bit by bit, until you just give in and they own you and your data.

Privacy should never "get old".

#7 OP Cheryl_27

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 17:02

Forgive me ,but your assuming alot of problems right at the get-go . As far as other providers data problems ,beats me. All I know is , I have used them for over 3 years without a single glitch .

That IS truly amazing. Sign me up! I'm happy you've never had problems. It's the only ISP / mail provider I've ever had anyone tell me (or I've personally experienced) that after a # of yrs, NEVER had a problem w/ accts becoming locked or PWs that suddenly "don't work" or accts got spoofed / hacked. But, I'm also sure there are LOTS of AT&T DSL (AND GMX email) customers that NEVER had to have BOTH their DSL & master email PWs reset - several times - by tech support. But I have & it was never "my fault." Always "system glitches," or "unknown reasons," so they said. The fact that you've never needed a PW reset on Lavabit proves nothing, least of all that it never happens - to others. Statistically - it's almost a certainty it will happen to some, eventually. If Lavabit was THAT good, they'd be the # 1 provider. They may be better than most, but there are humans designing & running their system.

One can take your approach & "hope it never happens," w/ no idea of the outcome or aggravation, when there is no "emergency plan" in place. No successful company w/ any inkling of risk analysis operates like that. No engineer designs a project w/o a back up plan, or built in safety measures.

Raa, that's exactly how they want you to think. That's exactly what gov'ts of the world want citizens to think - that they have no right to privacy. The subject of my post was NOT, "Do you think I should worry about email scanning violating my privacy." I wasn't asking for opinions if Google - type providers were violating privacy. If you like 'em, use 'em.

I'm always amused that the "desire for privacy" and "they must have something to hide" are mistakenly linked. That reminds me of McCarthyism propaganda (many are too young to remember & slept thru history class). Because some don't value or care about privacy, doesn't mean it should be eradicated.

#8 skilithead

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 18:32

Don't use it bro .Were you actually looking for suggestions ,or just wanting to bitch .

#9 +BudMan

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 19:14

"If you're really that worried, why not set your own up"

This is what I would suggest for sure. You can get a VPS for very cheap - I have one for $15 a year that could handle email for quite a few users. Even if you bumped up to next level

256MB OpenVZ Linux VPS
512MB Burstable RAM
30GB Dedicated Space
1000GB Premium Bandwidth

So $35 a year + $10/year for domain your looking at $45. They even allow you to set PTR on your IP, so great for email. I would think 30GB should be good for a few users. Now you have no worries at all about password resets, or anyone looking at your mail - you could even encrypt it on the server if you so desired.

Just have to worry about spam and getting black listed. You really can not beat that for total control and privacy of your email if you ask me.

#10 thatguyandrew1992

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 19:40

My website is hosted by webhostingbuzz and they have an email service that comes with your Web hosting. You could do that too.

#11 +BudMan

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 20:23

Yup shared hosting could be used too, but that "shared" part might be an issue for the OP privacy concerns. With a VPS, he could encrypt the storage of emails, etc. And I think would feel better about the privacy.

Also shared -- its a shared IP, and using them as sending IP for email quite often get banned because the guy sharing your IP is sending spam ;) With a VPS you would get a dedicated IP, and also allow for setting PTR - which is pretty much a given for actually sending email to any of the major domains.

#12 OP Cheryl_27

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 00:58

Thanks for other suggestions. Never thought much about them - will have to look into them. Possible extra time involved in these methods - long term - is a factor.

+skilithead, in spite of your attitude, you're right about one thing & Lavabit. For FREE accts, they confirmed to me, if your acct gets hacked, you forget a PW, mistype a PW when changing it (support's words) or (really) ANYTHING happens that locks users' accts, that they can't "determine" wasn't your fault & wasn't a hacker, etc., "you are hosed." [direct quote]
What you call bitching, I'd always heard referred to as research.

The free account would be permanently lost. You will NOT find this info in their documentation. I might use their free accts for backup or such. I'm not lucky enough to not get locked out & lose the acct.

Paid accts are different - they can use payment records - if used a CC or similar to verify identity. They're very low cost.
To an extent, I see what they're doing. I also see why they're not wildly popular, when providing privacy & security at no cost. I don't blame them for focusing more on paid accts.

#13 skilithead

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 01:05

My attitude is just fine thanks .Dosn't change the fact I've had no problems with them , as unbelievable as that may seem .



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