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Author Topic: Anybody used google apps?  (Read 3021 times)

sevenlayermuddle

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Anybody used google apps?
« on: May 18, 2012, 02:44:23 PM »

As the subject says...?

http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en-GB/group/index.html

I'm thinking of setting it up for my domain name to act as a mail server.  At a glance it looks almost too good to be true... up to 10 users and 25GB 10GB storage per user, all for free.   It's sponsored by advertising, but  I'd be using POP3 and SMTP access most of the time, so I don't think I'd ever see any ads.

It looks easy enough... I'd sign up for google apps (free), go to my .com's control panel and point the mail records at google servers, then configure google as the POP3 & SMTP accounts on my client (likely to be thunderbird in the near future).

Encouragement, discouragement  (or even disillusionment) and other points of view would be welcome.

I'm certainly growing tired of the antics of my current domain registrar (who's meant to do mail forwarding) and my ISP who, between them, seem to be managing to discard a growing volume of my incoming email these days.  Something needs to be done.  I'm aware that google's reputation is no longer that of the 'pillar of society' it enjoyed a decade ago, but I suspect their competence levels will be mountains above that of most UK domestic ISPs.

- 7LM

PS: Edit, I'd misunderstood the data allowance, I think its 10GB for the free deal.  Still looks more than adequate, though.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 03:03:35 PM by sevenlayermuddle »
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burakkucat

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Re: Anybody used google apps?
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2012, 06:15:36 PM »

 :hmm:  Hmm . . . Just be careful. According to recent information from Asbokid, they have "lost" a significant number of files from his Google Docs account on more than one occasion.  :o
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kitz

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Re: Anybody used google apps?
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2012, 06:38:43 PM »

I think jid uses it for email hosting

http://forum.kitz.co.uk/index.php/topic,7209.0.html
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Anybody used google apps?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2012, 06:47:03 PM »

they have "lost" a significant number of files from his Google Docs account
warning noted  :'(

I may yet investigate however, my intention is to continue my habit of keeping all email locally.  The ability to keep it locally and on the server means, I reason, that any misadventure by google would only be truly disastrous if it co-incided with an error (lack of backups) on my part.

I'm probably going to give it a dry run using a 'spare' .com address that I own.  One complication is that, until now, I've been using demon's proprietary turnpike email client, which is tied to demon's servers.  Once I migrate away from turnpike, it may be very difficult to go back (without loss of interim posts), hence I want to be confident before I make the jump.

I've already succeeded in importing a snapshot all my historic demon mail to Thunderbird, which is an encouraging start.

I think jid uses it for email hosting

http://forum.kitz.co.uk/index.php/topic,7209.0.html

Thanks.  I thought I'd searched for previous discussions before posting, but clearly I missed that one.   :)
At this point, having claimed that I searched and knowing my luck, it will immediately become apparent that there've been dozens of other discussions too, that I've also missed   :D
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Anybody used google apps?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2012, 01:59:44 PM »

Some feedback, if anybody's interested...

Yesterday's 'proof of concept' dry run, using a spare .com domain name, went smoothly.  The domain I used has no website which complicated things as google ask for a token file to be posted on the home page for authentication.  That wasn't possible, so I elected an alternative which is to update the SPF record which worked fine,  but will have side effects which may or may not be beneficial (search for SPF if you're interested.  I'd never heard of SPF til yesterday   :-[ ).

Today I did it for real with my primary domain name, which does have a website,  much easier. 

The only minor annoyance was that you have to configure five MX (DNS mail routing) records for the domain, via the registrar's control panel.  Google tell you exactly what they are so cutting & paste via clipboard should avoid mistakes .. well, no.  Google list the MX records in upper case, whereas my registrar needs them in lower case.  Plenty of opportunity for error there then, typing them all in again!

One other thing to watch out for is that, on completion of setup the 'catch-all' email address, which I regard as quite important, is still empty so I assume poorly addressed incoming email would just evaporate.  I'd have thought it more sensible to default to the username that did the setup?  Anyway, it's easily changed once you find the setting.

- 7LM

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asbokid

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Re: Anybody used google apps?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2012, 02:47:03 PM »

:hmm:  Hmm . . . Just be careful. According to recent information from Asbokid, they have "lost" a significant number of files from his Google Docs account on more than one occasion.  :o

Indeed.  With the benefit of hindsight, at least for hosting, I wouldn't touch Google with a barge pole.

For a $200bn buck company its behaviour is completely amateur.

Its Google Docs "cloud computing" service has been drowning under a tidal wave of criticism.

Large numbers of users are complaining of lost files, orphaned files, hidden files, broken file permissions ("why is my purchase ledger now world read/writeable???"), locked access, synchronisation problems ("The file is locked. It is being edited by someone else."), etcetera.

Things got so bad that Google decided to "re-launch" Google Docs under the fresh new name of Google Drive, in the hope that newcomers wouldn't realise that it was the same old rotten service  ;)

cheers, a
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Anybody used google apps?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2012, 04:30:58 PM »

Thanks for these words of encouragement (to not do it) asbokid, unfortunately coming too late, I'm already committed, just waiting for the DNS updates to permeate across the globe...   :(

I've no real intentions to use any of the add-ons like google docs (though I did wonder why they were referring to it as 'drive'), I only want email hosting. 

So, maybe I'll live to regret it but, TBH, I don't see how things could be any worse than if I'd stayed with demon.   Give their Indian support line a call sometime, you'll see what I mean.   One of the decisive factors was demon's stated intention to move to microsoft exchange server for mail in the very near future, with very little published details about what would continue to work and what would not. 

Quite apart from so much lost mail of late I had no confidence that my old quirky habits, which relied on mail forwarding for incoming and  SMTP address spoofing for outgoing mail, would continue to work when demon switched over.  But you can enjoy telling me 'you told me so' if I submit tales of doom and gloom in weeks to come.    ;)

- 7LM
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asbokid

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Re: Anybody used google apps?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2012, 05:55:24 PM »

You echo my experience with Demon.  Back in the day, it was probably one of the best ISPs, but after that string of corporate buyouts it was turned into a cashcow - just another entry on a balance sheet of This, Thus, That or Th>n.  Demon is just a relic of its former self now.

As for Google, if I had to paint a balanced picture of it, it would be to commend its email service which has been second to none.  In maybe five years of using it, I can't remember a single outage, nor any lost emails so far as I'm aware.

I suppose Google is no different to any other huge corporation. It gets it right most of the time. Its search engine technology now dominates the world, for better or worse.

Another giant, Tesco, the goliath of grocery retailing, sells a tasty paella, but it cannot for love nor money make a decent own-brand banana milkshake.  On the drink carton there always a fanfare about the "New Recipe!" (a tacit admission that what it sold before was vile!), but even now it still hasn't got it right.



All the best with Google. I'm sure you'll keep us informed  ;D

cheers, a

« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 05:58:26 PM by asbokid »
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Anybody used google apps?
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2012, 08:46:04 AM »

All the best with Google. I'm sure you'll keep us informed  ;D

cheers, a

Well my enthusiasm is a little dented.  I set up four users yesterday, for self, other half, an admin account, and one that matched the login for my longstanding google adsense account (I make a (very) few dollars a year from google ads).

First challenge, when I logged out of google apps and into the adsense account again.  It seems the adsense account now a 'conflicting account' as it's a standalone google account, but of course it  shares the same login email address as assigned to a user at my google apps account.  It can be resolved but it is unwelcome hassle.

Then this morning I logged into the admin account... got a reply 'This account has been disabled', with a comment suggesting that I'd breached the AUP in some way. Panic!    However, it now looks as if it was simply the wrong error message as I realised I'd used the wrong password, tried again, and all was fine.  Scary though, and leaves me worrying about their competence after all.    >:(

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