Dreamhost email vs .Mac -- your opinion?

I’m going to need to change my primary email address soon (AT&T). I have a .Mac account (and will probably keep it for a long time). I also have a domain with Dreamhost. What would you feel most secure with as your address? YourDomain.com (with Dreamhost) or You@mac.com? Yes, .Mac has great integration but what about other factors: reliability, disk usage, etc.


Mitchell Rose


I have been a dreamhost customer for >3 years now. I have had a .Mac account since 2001.

.Mac email is good and reliable. It is never down.
Dreamhost email had some problems during the summer months of '06 but these reliability issues have been taken care of and things run smoothly.

I have 6 or 7 more email addresses through dreamhost, all related to different sites that I manage. All of these addresses are set up through Apple’s Mail.app.

I find the the configuration options of dreamhost to be essential in some situations. With options that .Mac can’t offer.

By using a .mac account as my main contact email for dreamhost support I can ensure that my emails always com in a timely manner and that even if some critical problem were to occur then they would always have an emergency address on file.

I find that .Mac storage is quite sufficient for it’s purpose while the bulk of my mail comes into dreamhost accounts which can be configured as virtual bottemless pits!

Since you already pay for dreamhost hosting and get all the email addresses that you could want then I suggest making your primary email with dreamhost which means a professional @yourdomain.com address. Keep your .Mac account around for backup… I know gmail or something could do this equally well but… .Mac syncing and other services are well worth the $$ you spend there so… that’s my $0.02.


I have .Mac, but don’t use it for my e-mail. Mostly because it wasn’t stopping much spam from getting through, and it’s a lot of spam. I use Gmail for my contact address, but use my DreamHost domain for personal mail. I think Gmail is a better service than .Mac mail. I can send you (or anybody else out there) a Gmail invitef you’d like.

I use IMAP and don’t worry about exceeding my disk quota here, so I never delete anything except spam (after 30 days). Mail here is rarely down for me. On the downside, the DreamHost-provided webmail (SquirrelMail) isn’t so hot, but I so rarely use their webmail.


I also use gmail as a backup address as they do a lot of things right.
It is a viable alternative to .Mac mail however I am hesitant to use it for personal email.

I like the convenience of IMAP mail but also prefer the ability to relatively protect my privacy. The gmail ToS specifically states that there is no guarantee email deletion from their global database even when a user removes it from their mailbox using the delete function. My mail is removed from all web accessible services about once a month. It makes me feel better all around. So I use .Mac mail instead. It works fine.

RE: squirrel mail.
Yeah, it’s a bit fugly, but the functionality is alright.
Remember you are always able to install your own webmail interface if you wish. I have been keeping an eye on this open source project:


Thanks very much for your great feedback, guys. Much appreciated.

Mitchell Rose

I actually have several emails accounts.

I have a school email that I use still for certain things like keeping in touch with some former students and professors. I use it sometimes for sending out resumes and such.

I use my .Mac account for backup on my MacBook and other Mac computers. I use the email account as a general account where my banks and other financial institutions can contact me along with family and friends.

Then I use my Gmail account for forum registrations and the like. I don’t get any SPAM to my school or Mac account because i’m careful of who gets it and don’t register for anything that could potentially sell my email.

.Mac is expensive for what you get, but it is VERY reliable. I never had a problem accessing it. Its the price you pay for reliability. I wish they would give you slightly more space, maybe like 10 - 15GB for 100/yr would be amazing! But 4GB for 200/yr is a rip. I could see jumping that up to 20 - 25GB maybe a little better.