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Fedora, Linux and Stuff :: Google Apps for Domains

Google Apps for Domains

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009 ~ 9:19 am by Mauriat Miranda

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.

Email
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.

Calendar
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.

Setup
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 mjmwired.com 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 mail.mjmwired.com 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.

2 Responses to “Google Apps for Domains”

  1. Jeff Schiller Says:

    Sounds cool. Other than having email with @mjmwired.net instead of @gmail.com what are some of other benefits of doing this instead of using it directly on the google domains?

  2. Mauriat Says:

    @Jeff:

    Well to be honest, email was my primary motivation. Currently, I care most for the alias/sub-addressing I mentioned. For mailing lists: I have ‘mlists’ which is alias to the primary account. Gmail allows you to add another account to your Gmail providing you own it. Aliases (”nicknames”) are easy to create in Apps but you don’t need to maintain another account. And the best part is Gmail allows you to reply based on the receiving address. It could be argued that is all can be done with Gmail and another account, but ultimately having to login/maintain to multiple webmails is a nuisance.

    Furthermore you can add multiple domains to your account, making it easier to make it appear as if you are replying via different email addresses at different domains - all via 1 account.

    So as I understand you can have M numbers of addresses at N number of domains, all managed from 1 interface. I could merge both my @mjmwired.net and @mjmwired.com.