Pavlos (pavlos) wrote,

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ISP questions


This is an angst-free post about ISPs and technical questions. I need to post those once in a while to get lots of responses ;-)

DSL provider (UK)
I'm bored paying £25/month for Demon Express Solo, and Demon Business 2000 is not realistically priced, so I'm thinking of moving to the Pipex Solo 2000 trial. It sounds like quite good value at £40/month and no useless hosting/email bundles. I can't get Telewest/Blueyonder, which would otherwise be great value. I'm convinced that the "for the masses" providers like Wanadoo and BT would be horrible in all sorts of ways and don't want to go near them. An interesting option is Metronet, which offers a capped metered service, but I'm not buying metered internet on principle.


  1. Are Pipex sufferable? The way they present themselves you'd think they only want (broke) stockbrockers as customers.
  2. Is it ethical to buy stuff from an MCI company? Not that I think my own purchase would make their fortunes, but you know, every one counts.
  3. Do you have Pipex internet and does it actually work? It seems to be cheaper than everyone else's.

IMAP/SMTP hosting
My email provider is They are the only company I could find that would sell you just email, not tied to an ISP and accessible from anywhere via SSL/IMAP and SSL/SMTP, with yourname@yourdomain as your address (it lets you point your domain's MX record at them). It works, but it's expensive, a bit unreliable, and they're sloppy in various ways, so I'm looking for a new email provider to offer the same service. Apple's service scores well on various grounds but you have to use a stupid address. As far as I can see, the thing to do is self hosting, either by colocation or at home.


  1. Do you know of another company that offers SSL/IMAP and SSL/SMTP email accessible from any ISP, and lets you use yourname@yourdomain as your address?
  2. If you do, how do they charge? Per GB/year with unlimited addresses seems reasonable.
  3. How hard is colocation? Is there such a thing as a semi-managed colocation service, where you say I want a Linux box with this and this and they set it up for you?
  4. Should I consider hosting email on my own machine at home? I'm pretty confident that my machine won't fall over by itself, and DSL seems pretty reliable, but all sorts of things can fail to work.

Thanks, Pavlos


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