Daniel Miessler: 4 Reasons to Run Your Own Email Server

Every so often on Twitter, a silly mantra goes around: it’s borderline insane to run your own email server. As Daniel Miessler sums up the case against running your own email server,

Email is complex. It’s hard to secure. Unless you’re the end-all, be-all of email administration, you’re likely to do a far worse job at it than Google, Yahoo!, Comcast, or whoever provides you the service today.

At the time Miessler wrote his response to this argument in 2016, he indicated that he no longer ran his own mail server but had done so for four very good reasons.

  1. It’s hard.
  2. You’re now running an internet-accessible service.
  3. You have more control.
  4. You have more privacy.

I still run my own email server largely for all of these reasons.

I do have to emphasize the first point, however. Running an email server correctly and securely is hard.  Even if you have a good deal of technical skills, you are likely to completely f— something up at least once.

On the other hand, I have occasionally had to talk to people at different companies about configuring email in production systems, and while I did not have the same level of knowledge as the folks working in email every day, my experiences did enable to discuss these issues intelligently.

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