FastMail Reviews

I really like Fastmail

Positive Review by AlternativeSteve
about FastMail May 2016

I've been a Fastmail user for almost a decade, and have found it to be outstanding for e-mail, calendars, and contacts. The web interface is superb (the responsive design works perfectly on desktop and mobile devices) and it's always been fast, easy to use, with good documentation with lots of storage space.

Fastmail provides e-mail services for my custom domains, which was easy to set up by changing the MX and A records with my domain registration provider. Fastmail even provides me with hosting for static web content. I also like that Fastmail is an active developer of the mail systems they use, and contributes back to the open source projects used to run their systems.

Yes, there is a charge to use Fastmail, but it's a trivial amount of money on a per-month basis, and I consider it well worth the cost when compared to the awful "free" mail systems available from tech industry giants, or woeful services provided by an ISP.

Honestly, I absolutely love Fastmail, and I've never had any problems with it. It's rock-solid, and the Fastmail team seems very proactive in building new features and locking down security issues before they become a problem. The iOS app is so much faster than the standard iOS mail app, though it's missing the ability to send messages with attached images or videos at a reduced resolution. There's also no native app for Windows 10 or Windows 10 mobile.

I've never had to contact Fastmail support, because I'm quite technical, and the Fastmail documentation is good. There's a blog where the Fastmail team posts information about new features and fixes. I'd recommend subscribing to that to get updates, though I tend to unsubscribe in December and re-subscribe in January because the Fastmail team does a weird annual "24 days of Fastmail updates" holiday series of posts with deeply technical information about mail server innards. From January to November, it has very relevant and interesting posts.



Negative Review by 5tqc2v657f
about FastMail Mar 2016

Experience: Fastmail user for three years.

I was fortunate to have had a terrific IMAP email provider for 15+ years, that decided to go out of business three years ago. Looked for alternatives and settled on Fastmail.

The good:
The Fastmail service uptime has been excellent.
Fastmail provides a web interface that works well with every browser I've accessed it from.

The bad:
It's expensive.
The phone app is only push notifications, there is no manual or interval polling option. I receive a lot of emails and the app drains my phone's battery significantly with notifications turned off. Using notifications drains the battery even faster.
Fastmail only supports a subset of standard IMAP protocols.
Fastmail handles POP3 accounts but there is an hour or more between POPs. This is too long. If you're willing to login to the web interface instead of email client you can force a POP. If you want to be notified of emails instead you have a long wait.
If Fastmail cannot POP for some reason, the POP account is disabled after a small number of retries. POP3 accounts can be disabled frequently as a result of intermittent connectivity issues between Fastmail and the POP'd account.
Tech support is a frustrating experience at best. Getting Fastmail to take an issue seriously requires a great deal of persistence and patience. Even then it may not be achieved, so the issue remains unresolved. The goal of the ticket process seems to be to close tickets as quickly as possible, without addressing the issue.

While I've been happy with Fastmail's uptime and the ability to access my email from any device with a web browser, the POP3 service is a disappointment, the otherwise useful app drains the phone battery too much, not having full IMAP protocol support has caused emails to be deleted without warning, and tech support is in reality non-existent despite all appearances to the contrary.

In short, I can't recommend Fastmail, its problems are too extensive. I'm looking for an alternative.