I have my own domain name but do not want to manage the email. I'm looking for a web-based email client (similar to Gmail) but able to use my own domain. The main requirement is reliability. I've tried Google Apps (Premium, $50/year) but the reliability based on my personal usage is way too low (up time around 90%). I'm willing to pay up to $100/year.

Any suggestions?

Follow-up: The errors I see with Google Apps Mail are:

Oops... the system encountered a problem (#717) - Retrying now...
Oops... the system encountered a problem (#767) - Retrying now...
Oops... the system encountered a problem (#6502) - Retrying now...

as well as:

Temporary Error (500) ... Numeric Code 21
Temporary Error (500) ... Numeric Code 67

and also:

502 Server Error, Server Error The server encountered a temporary error that could not complete your request. Please try again in 30 seconds

When I get these errors, they last for about 15 minutes. This happens at least 10 times per day. So 15 minutes times 10 = 150 minutes. 150 minutes downtime per day (1440 minutes) = 10.4% downtime.

I have also have a free Gmail account which works great. It's just that my Google Apps Mail has a constant server related issue. This might be an isolated incident, but it's very real to me. It's been going on for a week know.

Okay, I just did a search and it's not so isolated. Seems others have the same problem. link, link and link

I've created a trouble ticket with Google Apps support, but they have yet to fix the issue. Maybe they'll fix it someday, but reading the various Google Help Form posts doesn't give me a lot of confidence.

As for Google's Service Level Agreement, it's not very valuable. They define a service outage as 10 minutes or more. The compensation is not to exceed 15 days of service for the service term, which for Google Apps is one year. So you get 15 frees day added to one year, which isn't very much. See this article for an analysis of Google's SLA.

I don't want this to turn into a Google bashing thread. I would love for Google Apps Mail to work for me. Since it isn't working for me (currently), I'm investigating other options.

Follow-up 2: The intent of this question is to inquire about reliable email service. I really don't want hear about how reliable Google Apps Email is for everyone else so somehow my experiences aren't valid. I'm looking for suggestions on reliable email services, this could include Google Apps Email but I'd like hear what else exists.

  • 2
    Not an answer, so much as an attempt to urge you to try Google again. Maybe something was misconfigured or you got a really bad luck of the draw at Google. Signing up for Premium does give you a 99.9% SLA that they make amply clear, so if you definitely had 90%, challenge them on that and they should be able to give you a very good answer.
    – Steven
    Nov 21, 2010 at 23:54
  • Of those links you included, almost all of them are well older than a month old. You said that this is something that's come up within the last week, and if it were a widespread issue I'd expect to see way more of your references listing the last week. We have a client that heavily uses gmail and when there are widespread issues we hear about it from them. It's happened twice in the last year or two I think, but I haven't heard they have been having problems this week. Nov 22, 2010 at 3:01
  • @Sean Reifschneider, I just setup my Google Apps Mail a week ago. So yes, it "came up" in the last week. My point was that many others, at one point or another have encountered the errors that I'm seeing, which BTW, are still ongoing and unresolved (that is, there's still 10 or so 10-minute outages per day).
    – Wavy Crab
    Nov 25, 2010 at 1:15
  • @Steven Xu, I haven't given up on Google yet. I still use Google Apps Mail everyday, but it's still consistently down for 5-10% of the day, every day since I've signed-up a week ago. I'd love to keep using Google App Mail, but I don't know how long my patience will last.
    – Wavy Crab
    Nov 25, 2010 at 1:18

5 Answers 5


You might consider Rackspace's email service: https://www.rackspace.com/applications/rackspace-email (updated link after Rackspace orphaned it)

Or you could leave your email on Google Apps, and use a personal web-mail client like RoundCube to access it...

Edit: 12 years on, Rackspace might not be the best choice. Migadu is a solid, reliable email provider at an excellent price.

  • +1. Rackspace is in the hosting business and doesn't parse your email either, so says their privacy policy.
    – gravyface
    Nov 22, 2010 at 16:56

Sorry, but your 90% reliability of GApps is way off. If their reliability was that bad, there's no way they would have the market share they currently do. If you insist that their uptime is that bad, I'd start looking into your own infrastructure to see if something is wrong.

I've been using GApps Standard (the free version) for several personal and corporate domains since they started offerring the service, and have had incredibly good luck on all accounts.


It certainly sounds like you are running into some issues. Whether those issues lie in your specific setup, your ISP (packet loss), or in Google's infrastructure, we'll never know. As others have said, in the experience of the vast majority of GApps customers, they provide the most reliable email service out there. It's quite unfortunate that you have not found that to be the case.

  • My own infrastructure in this case is a computer with a browser. The problem is clearly with Google's servers.
    – Wavy Crab
    Nov 22, 2010 at 0:48
  • Well let's see. I've cleared my cache+cookies, restarted the browser, used different browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari), different OSs (OS X, Windows), different ISPs (work and home). On top of that, Google tech support confirmed that it's on their end. Just because the majority of the people don't have problems with Gmail, doesn't diminish the issues I'm personally seeing.
    – Wavy Crab
    Nov 22, 2010 at 0:56
  • 1
    How could an HTTP 500 or 502 possibly be the user's fault? Some users see more downtime with google apps than others. Some accounts have far more downtime. I think it's most likely that Google has one bad machine in a 100-machine cluster, or something similar, so a specific one percent of their users see crappy service while everyone else has no problem.
    – Sparr
    Nov 22, 2010 at 5:54
  • @Sparr - the OP posted those errors after I made that comment. He provided zero data for us to work on initially. I'll remove my comment if you recind your down-vote. :)
    – EEAA
    Nov 22, 2010 at 6:00
  • I know it's not fair, but once he edited his question then your answer because [more obviously] wrong. The only way to fix that is to -1 your answer out of the top spot, or for you to edit your answer. There are some discussions on the various meta sites about fixing this phenomenon.
    – Sparr
    Nov 22, 2010 at 9:39

I'm not sure where this 90% uptime came about, but Google Apps (even the personal edition) is very reliable. More so than other commercial equivalents. The <10 times that GMail has had issues were widely publicized due to the rarity of this happening. Even with this downtime, it still beats out other alternatives like Hotmail (Windows Live) and Yahoo.

You can also use the free version, which you can sign up for here--which doesn't cost a dime.

  • See followup in my post for how I get at 90% uptime.
    – Wavy Crab
    Nov 22, 2010 at 0:58
  • Thanks for explaining it, but for future reference, please try to do that first--claiming low uptime in extremely isolated instances (remember, a few hundred cases is nothing in Google's case) is bound to cause issue, especially if its not a backed up by industry stats.
    – Andrew M.
    Nov 22, 2010 at 3:13
  • Fair enough, I should have been more explicit that 90% uptime was based on my own personal experience, and not those of others.
    – Wavy Crab
    Nov 22, 2010 at 5:03

Yahoo has a "business" class service that lets you use your own domain. I had a client that used this and was happy with it, but they switched away when they got acquired.

Fast-email.com has some business services that let you use your own domain. I have a friend that uses them and likes them, but he has their personal plan.

I'm sure other e-mail providers have similar services.


I've had good luck with Fastmail.fm.

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