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Anyone Migrated from Local Email to 3rd Party Email Hosting?

Discussion in 'E-mail Discussion' started by jazee, Mar 30, 2018.

  1. jazee

    jazee Well-Known Member

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    I want to move some of my Cpanel accounts' email from locally hosted on Cpanel to a 3rd party email hosting. Obviously Google (Gmail) hosting comes to mind first as they probably have one of if not the most robust infrastructure and HTML interface (although not the most attractively designed one), but frankly I don't need all the other Gsuite features other than email so paying $5 per email account means I'm paying for stuff I don't need.

    Ideally (and I suspect this is going to be a utopian dream that doesn't exist):

    1) There would be a fairly easy way to migrate all the email (an export/import tool I could run on the whole account, or at least on a per mailbox basis)

    2) Robust HTML interface and of course IMAP/POP3 access

    3) A solid company that's got a good infrastructure/SLA that will be around in 10 years

    4) Low cost, so I'm not paying for stuff I don't need. Seems #3 and #4 are contradictory though.

    I think I saw Rackspace does email hosting for $2/mailbox.

    As far as migration my hunch is with most services out there it's a big pain. Going from Exchange server to Exchange Server would be easy, everyone has migration solutions, but going from Cpanel (EXIM) to a 3rd party I doubt there's any decent automated migration tools, if any.

    Seems basically you'd need to use a local email client like exchange. Setup a separate account for the account on the new server, switch the MX records to the new server, then in Outlook use the IMAP connection between both accounts to cut and paste the email from one account to another. Problem is, not all users will have access to outlook and giving them instructions to do something like that even if you used Thunderbird, for many users, would be a support nightmare.

    On further thought, it would be pretty easy for a 3rd party email hosting provider to write an IMAP based migration script where you'd just have to specify all the login info for all the accounts and it could suck all the folders and email in. You'd just need to know (or reset) all the user passwords. Wonder if and which email hosting providers have such an option?

    I *think* some of the domain registrars provide free email hosting maybe like GoDaddy? But there must be limits on the number of accounts and/or storage? (I'm on NameSilo) ** update: Just checked NameSilo, they only have email forwarding. If I recall, on Gmail, you can setup a custom From/Reply name/address (yep: Send emails from a different address or alias - Gmail Help) So a tricky way, especially easy for account with not a lot of email boxes could be to setup free gmail accounts and just forward the email. I wonder if that would create headaches though with SPAM filters etc seeing whacky headers due to the forwarding and essentially "spoofed" reply address?

    I suspect only a very small minority of Cpanel admins have moved mailed from local to remote hosting, but hoping there's a few people on here that can give their experience and/or recommendation.

    Update: Looks like Yandex is free. I assume there's a small amount of advertising? Wonder how decent the web interface is compared to solutions like Zoho, Gmail, and Outlook.com? They say they have an import function (via IMAP I'm guessing)

    Did I just answer my own quesiton? :)
     
    #1 jazee, Mar 30, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  2. jazee

    jazee Well-Known Member

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    Looks like Zoho is free too up to 25 users but with pretty limited functionality (don't think it allows aliases or forwarding) and probably some ads?
     
  3. cPanelMichael

    cPanelMichael Technical Support Community Manager
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    Hello,

    You may want to reach out to individual companies offering email hosting to verify if they offer any specific options or tools to import the existing email. The best approach for migrating the existing emails is likely to vary for each provider depending on the type of mail server they utilize.

    Thank you.
     
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  4. Denis Gomes Franco

    Denis Gomes Franco Registered

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    Hey guys, hopefully I'm not too late to answer this one :D I registered on the forums just to help @jazee.

    I currently do not use Cpanel on my servers, but have used in the past and I might consider coming back to it. In any case ever since starting my web design/hosting business I decided to host mailboxes separatedly. This is pretty handy as it allows me to migrate sites whenever I want without disrupting email access.

    As for migration, some services do offer automated message moving from IMAP/POP3 mailboxes. I'm currently using Zoho and moving old messages is a breeze, I just need to recreate every mailbox, and in the Migration step I add every account and point them to the old server. It'll copy thousands of messages without difficulty. I think G-Suite may offer a similar option.

    And as a last resort you could use tools such as this one: - Removed - . Doing it manually via Microsoft Outlook or desktop email clients is possible but highly *not* recommended.

    I like Zoho, even though their interface is not as refined as others. But they downsized from 25 to 5 free users. There are also other caveats:
    - only one domain (no catchall domains/aliases/etc) per sign-up
    - no ads ever...
    - ...but no IMAP/POP3/SMTP access (mobile app works on free accounts, though)
    - if you need more than 5 users you'll have to pay for all of them (eg, can't have 5 free users and 2 paid users, you'll need to pay for 7 users)

    But there are upsides:
    - is a full productivity suite (vs. a simple email solution such as Rackspace)
    - way cheaper than G-Suite ($3 per month per user, cheaper if you pay annually)
    - it gets even cheaper if you join their reseller program - which is free and needs no upfront payments
    - reseller program allows you to centrally manage all your clients/domains
    - you can charge your client's credit card directly, or you can pay for your client using your own card. I use the latter so I can bill my client together with hosting services, thus they charge me reseller prices. If I paid with my client's card, they'd pay me a small comission.

    This arrangement's been working for me for the past few years now. Works fine for most of my customers, but I'm looking for something else for bigger clients (eg. 10+ or 20+ mailboxes).
     
    #4 Denis Gomes Franco, Sep 3, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2018
  5. jazee

    jazee Well-Known Member

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    After much research I did conclude that Zoho was the value for what you get. As you pointed out, the key is the free account doesn't support IMAP/POP3 so unless all the users are going to use the web interface, you'll need to pay. But as you point our it's cheaper than Google. If the end users were already used to using Gmail for other accounts though it would probably be worth it to go with Google as long as the budget wasn't super tight.

    I haven't transitioned yet because I'm still managing my own server. When it comes time to get completely out of the hosting side of my business, I'll migrate my email over to Zoho. I kind of enjoy my email being stored privately though. I can't imagine how much of your mail data gets exposed when you are on Gmail or Outlook.com. I'm sure those companies strive for maintaining your privacy but I'm skeptical. I imagine Zoho is no different but at least it's not a major target. Not like I'm discussing anything illegal in my email but kind of nice to maintain some order of true privacy in this day and age.
     
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