Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

iCloud Email

Thomas Brand laments the slow deprecation of his @mac.com email address:

My Mac.com email address was no longer a service I could pay for. I was no longer a customer. Around this time Mail.app began defaulting to the iCloud.com alias for outgoing email, and I had to switch my settings so that I was still sending from my established Mac.com email address. Suddenly I had become a product of Appleā€™s suite of online services, and with every email I sent I was advertising iCloud.com.

I don’t understand how a @mac.com email address is not an advertisement for Apple’s products. It wasn’t a free account — as with iCloud — but it advertised the Macintosh, and Apple’s .mac product.

If you use a free webmail client, you’re advertising it with every email you send. If you use the email account usually included with your internet service, you’re advertising your ISP. The only way to remain free of advertising a third-party service is to register a domain for ten bucks and attach an email account to it.

Brand, again:

The email address you pick should be more than the company you work for, or the hip new free online service to hit the streets this week. It should be something you own. Something you control.

Absolutely. The only way to have complete control is to set up an MX server on a dedicated always-on computer in your house. Since that’s impractical for most, a custom domain with some sort of hosted mail is a good solution.