Thursday, March 4, 2010

Migrating to a new e-mail address

Recently I wrote a small article about my reasons to switch to a new solution for handling my mail. In it I mentioned that I’m working on a plan to migrate all my old mail. You see, I have a couple of years worth of mail that I don’t want to lose. And all my friends and relatives will have to be notified. And I want to make this transition as easily as possible (both for myself as the people who still use my old e-mail address).
So far, these are the steps I’m going to take:
  1. I will add a forward rule so all the mail being sent to getit@xs4all.nl will be forwarded to my new address, wilbert@arentheym.com.
  2. Use my local e-mail client (Thunderbird) to migrate all old mail from getit@xs4all.nl to wilbert@arentheym.com. This is just a simple step of dragging mail folders from one account to the other (made easy because both accounts use IMAP).
  3. Send an e-mail to all my friends and relatives explaining that from this time on they should use my new address. In the mail refer to the articles on this blog.
  4. Stop using the old account (after all, any mail sent will still be forwarded to the new account).
  5. Let one month pass – give people some time to adjust
  6. Start sending a default reply to mail being sent to getit@xs4all.nl. In the reply state that the getit@xs4all.nl address should no longer be used. Again, refer to the articles on this blog.
  7. Let one month pass – give people some time to adjust
  8. Cancel the subscription for XS4ALL. After this time, XS4ALL supposedly will still forward your mail for a period of two months (still want to see verification about this).

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bye bye XS4ALL. It was fun while it lasted…

For years (since 1996 or so) I’ve been a happy customer with XS4ALL. Sure, they were a bit expensive but their technical expertise was second to none. Especially in the early days of ADSL. Other providers would have interruptions in their service, but not XS4ALL.
But as time went by other providers caught up and got their act together. Around two years ago, I decided to switch from XS4ALL ADSL Lite (8 Mb) to Telfort ADSL (20 Mb). This move got me a faster ADSL connection for a lower price (and I haven’t had a single interruption with Telfort). I could keep my XS4ALL e-mail address with their Pack subscription (basically XS4ALL service without the connectivity).
Recently XS4ALL announced to raise the prices for a Pack subscription by 50%. This caused quite a stir in the XS4ALL community.
So I took the plunge. I no longer want to be dependent on an ISP for my e-mail. I registered my own domain and pointed the MX records to Google Apps. This way, I’m in control. I can create as many e-mail addresses as I want and let Google Apps handle the mail. Whenever Google does something I don’t agree with, I can easily switch to another service for handling my mail.
Total cost: $10 for the yearly domain registration. Google Apps is free.
Main disadvantage: I have to tell everyone that my old XS4ALL e-mail address will no longer be valid and people have to start using my new address. I’m still working on a migration plan for that.