A personal e-mail server will never work

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina 🇺🇦 on Unsplash

I have used the same personal e-mail address since Google released Gmail. I never changed it.

Recently I was thinking about opting out of Google for my personal stuff. I am a little tired of feeding these tech giants with my data while getting very few rewards.

Running an e-mail server is not a big deal—the hosting where CorrenteDebole is hosted offers that service by default. It would take no more than five minutes to set up a new e-mail address and start switching my communication from Google to my server. Technically is a no-brainer.

Before taking action, I investigated the implications of that choice. 

Sadly, as I suspected, that would not work at all. Technically, it would work as a charm, but in the real world, there is a massive risk that my mail messages will never be delivered.

I am hosting Corrente Debole with a very well-respected hosting company. They gave me a static IP address for my host; in the last fifteen years, I did not have any issues with them.

The problem is that many big e-mail providers have blocklists to prevent spam. A few companies are maintaining these lists, which I discovered are not public and very often contain IP address ranges. I don’t know what other services are running on IP addresses close to mine. The risk of being already on a blocklist is quite high.

There is no way out.

You can’t solve this problem in any way. The only way to have a relative guarantee that your mail messages will be delivered is to have your e-mail on one of these giants.


The excellent idea of having spammers cut out of your inbox has paved the path to an oligopoly.

Anyway, it seems I am in good company, and these guys ended up with my conclusion: a personal e-mail server will never work in 2022.

I can’t find the link to the first I read on the subject, but here’s what Cory Doctorow is saying about this issue: Dead Letters

Quite sad.

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