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Host Your Own Email
Hosting your own email is a power flex, a line drawn in the sand, and a true victory that we small businesses can claim over Big Tech. Think David vs. Goliath. Spoiler alert: David won.

Feeling entrepreneurial? Then this is a project you'll enjoy. And if you need a sherpa to help you scale that last peak — or to guide you all the way from base camp — call a human at Human Interface.

Not convinced yet? Let's get into the decision-making process.

Top Reasons to Host Your Own Email
  • Nobody cares as much about your communications as you do
  • There's no such thing as "the cloud," only someone else's hard drive
  • Big Tech views you as a banana that needs to be peeled
  • No monthly payments going to Big Tech for email hosting (starve the beast)
  • It's not as hard as "they" would have you believe
  • Self-reliance is satisfying and fun
  • No one will sell your entire email history to the highest bidder
  • No ads and propaganda inserted into your inbox
Gorilla contemplating a banana

Top Reasons NOT to Host Your Own Email
  • You would like to, but would need a partner to help run the technical side of things* (See "Ways We Can Help" below)
  • You legitimately can't afford the cost of a computer and an internet domain name
  • Computers scare you, and you plan to use nothing but your phone
  • You're irresponsible and can't be trusted
  • Nothing you or your colleagues write is of any value
  • You enjoy the experience of knowing that Big Tech is
    ... watching your every move
    ... reporting it to the appropriate authorities
    ... selling your data to the highest bidder
Lego man technician contemplating a giant circuit board

Cartoon of business people shaking hands and getting ideas - lightbulbs and rockets going off over their heads
Ready to Make the Move to Self-Hosting?
If you've read the lists above, and have become motivated to take back your power in the email arena, congratulations! Your skillset is about to be upgraded, and at the same time you'll be protecting your company's communication ... arguably your most valuable resource!

Requirements
  • an internet domain name
  • a static IP address
  • a dedicated computer that is always on
  • a free, open-source operating system and email server software

Three Steps to Freedom
1Step One — Acquire your internet domain name There are various registrars out there. We have used and recommend ...
GoDaddy.com
Porkbun.com
NameCheap.com

Note: When registering, make sure you don't buy any extra website or email hosting. They will try to upsell many services while you're checking out, just say no.
King in a frame that says Behold My Domain

Forklift delivering your computer ... and your freedom
2Step Two — Acquire the hardware
You get to choose between a pre-built computer, a "roll-your-own" computer (you build it), or an appliance-like device called a NAS (network-attached storage).
  • Pre-Built Computer: You may want to look for one that has hardware RAID. For those who don't know, RAID is a method of duplicating your data so that if one hard drive fails, the other drive(s) continues. The data is rebuilt once you replace the bad drive.
  • Roll-Your-Own Computer: Here you have ultimate flexibility. You can do software RAID or hardware RAID, and although this is not recommended you could even go commando with no RAID at all.
  • NAS: One of the most popular mainstream NAS providers is Synology, running the Mail Plus server. Think of it as an all-in-one solution, and it does a better job of holding your hand.

3Step Three — Acquire Email Server Software
Note: Prices and options are as of May 2022.

Synology NAS units use Mail Plus, which comes with five email accounts. If you need more than five, there is a one-time purchase of additional user licenses for $50 each.

For either of the computer methods, we've used two different software setups successfully, ISPConfig and iRedMail. Both are free to use, and you can create as many email accounts as you want without charge! Our current favorite is ISPConfig. ISPConfig has the ability to host your website and DNS in addition to email. We've also used iRedMail. iRedMail has a pro version of their Web Panel which is a subscription service (might be pricey if you're on a budget). Check out all your options, and determine which one suits your needs best.
Lady choosing between three suitors, eeny, meeny, miney, ...

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Ways We Can Help
Our help ranges from the little nudges on this page to get you started ...
to as little or as much guidance as you need.

If you're in our local area of Southern California, we can create a custom build just for you from scratch. For other locations, we can recommend hardware and walk you through the entire install.

Either way, we're available to support you — remotely or in-person — every step of the way.

Steve and Julie John signature
Never entrust your precious email to the enemy -- Big Tech! You're Better Than That! A woman pens a love letter to her soldier while in her mind the men get letters from home.
 
"I first requested services from Julie and Steve for help with my Quickbooks. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized how easy it was to work with them. They are very dependable, and I love how I can always count on their help.

Because I run my own business, having a working computer is very important to me, and if I am ever having any technology issues I know I can count on them to help me.


I would 100% recommend Human Interface because they are reliable and amazing at what they do."
— Fernando Godinho, Fernando Godinho Drywall


"Quick, friendly, and professional.
HI delivered exactly what was requested in the promised time frame. Thanks!"
— Jud Stevens, Neon Controls
 
Human Interface   •    (909) 241-0445   •    juliejohn@humanint.com