Google Apps for Domains

I spend way too much time and effort tweaking my SpamAssassin settings on my server just so I can get my email and spam situation manageable.

Anyways, I’m getting sick of the trouble so I am trying out Google Apps for Domains. This allows me to use my own domain name, but using Gmail for email and other Google web based applications (such as “Docs” and “Calendar”) all for free. It is basically the whole set of Google applications made to work from your own domain. The best part is that it can be configured to work without interfering with your actual website. So you can still run your blog, web page or forum.

There are some significant benefits since Google is managing a lot of the software on their side.

In Gmail I can create easily email address aliases or use “subadressing” without messing with things like CPanel or Exim. This is very useful for mailing lists among other things.

Even though Google Apps was designed for multiple users, it is just affective for a single user. The Calendar feature can be used online or it can be made to work with desktop applications like Evolution.

If you want to use this free service, all you need is a domain name (you don’t necessarily need hosting). I was a bit hesitant to mess my main server, so I decided use my unused which I have through 1and1. Google does a very good job providing information for configurations through some of the most popular domain name providers. Using 1and1 config options, I can redirect subdomains such as directly to the Gmail login for my domain.

Google Apps for Domains can be used for individuals or even communities or groups (of up to 50 people) for free. The enterprise options provide even more features (at a cost). If you ever considered trying it out, it is not too expensive to get a $7 domain name and the setup takes merely a few hours.

So far I’ve found it quite convenient, and I might migrate further to Google Apps in the future. Even though I too have my reservations about Google’s Privacy issues, this feature is too nice to ignore.