Iâ€™ve been running a mail server in-house (home) for the last 4 or so years. Initially I had previously tried a few different Linux distros, mainly because the hardware I was running the mail server on was a littleâ€¦ underpowered (Tecra 8000 Celeron with 64MB ram). But also because I wanted some geek-cred points in being able to run my own Linux based mail server.
Anyway â€“ I kind of had things working under Linux but then figured that since there would be waaay more people out there who knew a lot more about *nix and mail servers than I did, the possibility of getting my machine turned into a remote mailbot to serve some evil spamming purpose was kinda high, so back to the
safety familiarity of a windows based mail platform.
Through a recommendation of a colleague at work, I looked at and finally settled on a product called 602LAN Suite which, provided a free 5 user, personal use version which was easy to setup and administer, integrated well with another freeware product for Anti-virus scanning and all and all allowed me to do what I wanted, have a catch all address hosted offsite, which I could then go pickup my incoming mail and sort/distribute the incoming messages to their relevant recipients.
Unfortunately for me, the product enjoyed a lot of success over the years that I used it to the point that the developers could no longer support a free licence community and sent out a, kind of terse (I thought) message back on the 13th of March which read as follows:
Subject: 602LAN SUITE freeware has been discontinued
Effective immediately, distribution, registration and support of 602LAN SUITE freeware has ended. You will NOT be able to re-register your server software in the future unless you upgrade to the commercial version.
You can read the press release if youâ€™re interested here.
So, anyway â€“ Iâ€™m always looking to reduce my operational costs of being a geek (as I foolishly continue to believe that it will afford me more CAPEX budget with which I will be able to upgrade my gear/buy new gadgets). The end-of-life of the 602 Freeware platform was a catalyst to transfer my personal domain over to my web hosting company â€˜Dreamhostâ€™ who offer email services, however, in discussions with another colleague whoâ€™s done similar things on a number of his domains, he suggested that I give Google Apps a try â€“ and a brilliant idea it was!!