If you use Google's G Suite email service with your own domain, you are probably already aware that Google recently announced they would be discontinuing the G Suite legacy free edition. The following notice was originally published at https://support.google.com/a/answer/60217:

If you have the G Suite legacy free edition, you need to either upgrade to a paid Google Workspace subscription to keep your current services, or transition to a no-cost option without the premium features of using Gmail with your custom domain (for example, [email protected]) and the ability to manage multiple users. The G Suite legacy free edition will no longer be available starting June 1, 2022.

Google have since updated that page and allowed a loophole to keep using the G Suite free edition for non-commercial purposes:

If you’re using the G Suite legacy free edition for non-commercial purposes, you can opt out of the transition to Google Workspace […]. You can continue using your custom domain(s) with Gmail, retain access to no-cost Google services such as Google Drive and Google Meet, and keep your purchases and data.

However, there is an important caveat for this service:

G Suite legacy free edition does not include support, and in the future we may remove certain business functionality.

Gmail users who have until now used the service with their own domain without cost now have to take action to keep their existing accounts working. While non-commercial users have the option to keep using Gmail with their own domain for the time being, businesses have to make a choice -- either start paying for the Google Workspace service or move their mailboxes to another email service provider.

Google's pricing policy for Workspace is to pay per user, and with every email account you add, the price increases significantly more than if you use a hosting service that puts no cap on the number of email accounts you have.

In fact, as soon as the very second user is added to a Workspace account, the price becomes higher than what you would be paying if you used a Business hosting plan by ICDSoft.

With the web hosting services offered by ICDSoft, you can have as many mailboxes as you need in a single hosting account. For a small business, it may make sense to move email from G Suite to an account with us. Even for people who use Google's service for non-commercial purposes, the uncertainty of the future of G Suite may be reason enough to look for a more dependable solution.

While migrating email from one provider to another can be a daunting task, especially if you want to keep your existing email correspondence, we at ICDSoft can take away the complexity and difficulty of a migration like that.

Our support team has extensive experience migrating mailboxes from other hosting providers to us, and we can make the transition smoother with our free website transfer service. In particular, we can import the contents of Google Takeout archives into your mailboxes on our servers.

Of course, there are a few differences between Gmail accounts and email accounts on our servers that you should be aware of if you are planning to move from Gmail to our hosting service for your email needs.

The most significant difference is how email is organized in a mailbox. On our servers, email messages are stored in separate folders within the mailbox. Our servers use the traditional Maildir format to store messages.

Gmail, on the other hand, has the concept of "labels". A label works a lot like a folder; you can click on a label and see all messages that have it. The key difference is that you can put multiple labels on a single message, so the same message may appear multiple times depending on the labels you are browsing.

If copies of the same message appear in multiple folders, the behavior is very similar. This is how imported Gmail mailboxes work on our servers, so it is possible that your mailbox takes some more space on your account with us.

The other difference is in how Gmail email addresses work. A Gmail email address may contain dots anywhere in the local part (the part of the email address before the "@" symbol), and the presence or absence of these dots does not change the validity of the email address. For example, the email addresses [email protected] and [email protected] would work the same way. Even [email protected] would work.

Additionally, you could append a plus symbol ("+") and any string of letters and numbers to the local part and still have a valid Gmail email address. For example, [email protected] and [email protected] would work the same way.

These email address features are not available on our servers. If, like most people, you don't use them, you don't have to worry about them. If you do use them, you can simply create as many email accounts as you need on our servers and forward them to your main mailbox. This gives you greater control over what email addresses you use.

The current (forceful) attempt at "asking" people to pay for something that used to be free is simply the latest step big tech companies have made towards pushing their clients to premium services (aka paid subscriptions). And you can bet your bottom dollar this won't stop here, because they do want to take your bottom dollar and have you pay for using their services.

Fortunately, there is a solution that allows you to take things into your own hands and have your data under your control. With a hosting provider that allows you to have as many mailboxes as you need, as well as host free software such as Nextcloud Hub, you can have full control over your website, mailboxes, files, data analytics, etc. For more information on switching from public to private services, check our blog post where we have covered 10 free and private alternatives to public cloud services:


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