The last times I wrote about email topics, I already had the thought in my mind to try setting up my own mail server again. I already tried this a while back, but switching from FastMail (my favorite mail provider) was too scary for me because I wasn’t quite confident about the setup.
But now I overcame my fear that something could go wrong and just tried it. (I’m really proud of it.)
I don’t have much knowledge about mail servers itself, I don’t know much more about Postfix than it is the software that actually sends the mail to another server. But I don’t really have to know that either.
Because there’s Mailcow. Mailcow is a bunch of configuration files, that you can just clone to a server (check if the IP is on a blacklist!) and it will setup everything for you. It’s based on Docker and that’s one of the reasons I chose it, because I’m more familiar with Docker than with mail servers.
After you followed the installation instruction, you can easily add domains, create DKIM certificates, change a few DNS settings and everything should be ready to go.
First, I migrated a few domains, where I usually don’t send or receive any mails to try it out with a few mail tester tools and after I configured a few things to my liking, tried out various features and got more confident, I also migrated my main domains.
Using my own mail server gives me a few but nice advantages:
- I have full control over my mail. Nobody is scanning my mail to personalize ads.
- I can learn new things: How to manage a mail server.
- I don’t have any limits. I could scale it to infinity if I would need to, without a huge price increase.
A disadvantage as well as advantage is, that I’m responsible for down time myself, but as long as I don’t start playing with it too much, that shouldn’t be a problem.