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Why I've decided to switch to Hey

September 3, 2020

When Hey came out, I wasn't sure that I'm going to use it. But, I was interested in trying it out. I thought it was an overpriced email client and that there is too much hype around it. The App store drama didn't help. Yet, I was interested in it since I would like to stop using Gmail as my primary email address.

That's why I've tried to spin up my mail server. Tried is the keyword here. I thought, how hard can it be? Well, it can be pretty hard. After spending an entire morning of a Saturday trying to set everything up for it, I've decided to stop trying. Although you'll learn a lot about the technology by setting up your mail server, this learning is sometimes not worth it.

I'm not that interested in mail servers, and I like to spend my time on things that I enjoy more. I don't like spending my Saturdays on figuring out how to set up a server that I'm not interested in maintaining.

Setting up my email server

I've used Docker Mailserver and got lost in weeds with this thing. There were so many components I knew nothing about. The biggest issue is me being a total dummy with this, so I knew I didn't set up security correctly. And the goal is to use this email address as my primary email address. So it has to be secure.

This made me go back on a hunt for an email service that I could use to stop using Gmail for everything.

After a lot of research, I've come back to Hey. With the other services, there was always something missing. Either they didn't have strong enough security or were underdone or too privacy-focused for my taste.

The other email-hosting services

Initially, I've tried Namecheap's email service since they looked pretty cheap for $10/yr, and I wondered what I would get for that kind of money. Not much, it turns out. They have a polished landing page and a UI that looks like someone's learning project on the side. Not something that I would trust with being my primary email service.

After that, I've tried and ditched Protonmail since they encrypt everything, and I don't need that kind of privacy. I would not be able to use it with my email client, without setting up some sort of a bridge. I was also unsure whether I should trust this company for hosting my primary email address. I don't know much about them. I only know about them because of their privacy-focused email service. That's why I've decided to keep looking.

Going back to Hey

At this point, I've already spent more of a day searching for the Gmail alternative. But, I kept using Hey since I was still on the free trial. I loved how they separated inboxes and how I get to screen everyone before accepting their emails. I'm also a big fan of Basecamp and their philosophy, and I know a lot about them. I trust them with hosting my primary email address.

That's why I've decided to buy the yearly subscription. A Saturday is worth much more than that to me, so I'm glad to spend some money to make this problem go away. I'm also glad that by doing so, I support the company that has given me Rails, which has changed my life and my attitude to programming.

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