This was an interesting discussion I was having this weekend. The discussion centered around could we live without Google Reader now that it’s set to be retired on July 1st. My definitive answer was yes and I raved about how much I was enjoying my new Reader program, Feedly. But that’s a blog posting for another day.

Could you live without Gmail?

This one is much harder. My primary account is a Gmail account and I manage about 7 other email accounts through that one inbox. I have plenty of other email accounts to use but don’t really have a backup plan to migrate to one in case something catastrophic happens.

I’m also worried about privacy. All your emails are going through Google’s servers and I have first hand knowledge that the government can get their hands on emails fairly easily without a warrant. There’s no expectation of privacy when it comes to email so how do you go about securing your email and having a backup to use just in case you lose your Gmail account?

RoundCube – An Open Source Email Client – “Download”

So this is what I came up with last night. I setup a RoundCube account for one of my personal emails on this domain. If you don’t have your own domain this will not be an option. If you do, I highly recommend. RoundCube Webmail is a browser-based multilingual IMAP client with an application-like user interface providing full functionality like MIME support, address book, folder manipulation, searching and spell checking. It’s written in PHP and JavaScript.

RoundCube also came highly recommended as an alternative to Gmail from many in my circles. Now it’s obviously not as powerful as Gmail and nowhere near the 10GB of space a typical Gmail account has but it’s still a great little email account that will serve as a handy backup and allow me to send emails that cannot be read by the Gmail or the Government. At least I hope they can’t. The fourth amendment does protect us from unreasonable search and seizures and that should extend online too.

Maybe in the future it will turn into my full email client. Until then… What are some other great alternatives to Gmail?

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