GMail Down!! Is there really an alternative? what can you trust on the internet, if not Google?

Yet another faux passe for the day. Seems like everything is losing credibility and uptime with the global recession. What could have caused it, and how can the end user be sure that such happenings will not jeapardise all their life’s correspondence, one way, or the other?

This is a good example of the fact that people are so completely reliant on technology these days, we seem to have completely put aside the possiblity of its inoperation.

Have your say, people.



  • Yahoo mail is my Gmail substitute:
    Works just fine and is the same price
    With Kind Regards
    Dick Woods

  • I never liked gmail, and not going to like it ever!!!…
    yahoo is doing just fine as it can for many years…

  • Gmail has been more reliable (and far more portable) than my ISP-based email address. I can deal with a few hours downtime now and again. (Oooo — what’s that hot, bright ball burning in the sky???)

  • I am using gmail on my iPhone.. it works

  • If you have POP3 or IMAP enabled on your account you can access your email through that. And there are alternatives, but they all come with pros and cons. As far as I’m concerned I’m happy with GMail. Hardly any outages and excellent features. It’s hard to beat.
    If you really want (free) redundancy I would set up one Hotmail and one Yahoo account and then set up forwarding in GMail so that all mails end up in all 3 accounts.

  • Sharad Ranjan

    Gmail is working…n working FAST

  • I did not find any alternative to gmail with all the filtering, forwarding, integration with other e-mail accounts and bunch of other free features, accessible through much more elegant interface on my blackberry than yahoo mail. If there is one, I’ll definitely look into it.

  • Maybe the fed was trying out the pending law that gives the president the power to shut down the Internet. And apparently it works!

  • For the price (free), I think GMail is already very good. Yahoo Mail is nowhere close (no IMAP nor POP access in free account). As other said if you use GMail you should setup IMAP access – even if you don’t plan to use it normally – since it gives another access path which can be useful (as it is in this particular event).
    Every service, every e-mail service will fail sometime. If it is free, then your right to complain about it is limited. If the particular e-mail account is really important to you, maybe you might want to consider a paid service, so when the service do down, you have somebody to complain to or even to sue. You can also do what I am doing, having my own domain which I control and direct to e-mail servers that I choose (nice considering I can setup my own e-mail servers).
    That said, below are some links to free e-mail services.

  • I have started using Google’s Apps email (my own domain name rather than “”) and the integration with T-Mobile]s G! phone, the calendar and contacts apps etc, have a lot going for it. Down a couple of hours, but excellent for the price. PS I migrated from spam-filled Yahoo 2 years ago and won’t be going back.

  • gmail is my main account and always will be, its followed me half way around the world so far and I’ve not had a problem with it. I do have other ways of communicating though, My 2nd email is a corporate one accessed through outlook web. I use an account for signing up to websites that are likely to send lots of advertising.
    gmail for me all the way.

  • My mail was really down last year when my power supply exploded and all my locally stored mail in Thunderbird was inaccessible. GMail being down for a half hour every 4 months isn’t a huge deal to me. Having to migrate hard drives to a new machine and transfer old email archives (if you still have them!) into a mail client is a far bigger problem. My Cloud experience has been pleasant so far.

  • You can trust your ability to relax. When you are dealing with an entity the size of Google, you can be assured that whatever the issue it will be resolved, it will be resolved expeditiously, and will not probably not happen again until this short outage has been long since forgotten.

  • For the price of a domain name and a small hosting account there’s no reason any business person should have a name on their email other than their own.

  • Personally I wouldn’t trust one of my most important mediums of communication to a free provider, google behemoth or not.
    I like Pobox, they know their stuff, and run a rock solid service. Their forwarding could have helped you route around Google’s problems, and their IMAP and Mailstore services could have been your primary and/or backup mail storage.

  • Ali, et al:
    Sorry, my bad. Google called me yesterday asking if they could bring it down for up to a few hours. I said it was OK and authorized the outage. Next time I will check with all of you before authorizing an outage.

  • yahoo beta version is very slow compare to Gmail. Gmail works fast on any connection.

  • Was not a full outage: POP/SMTP was still working. And was short time.
    I think there’s no better and reliable mail service than GMail.

  • Jim’s right – why use Gmail for your business when a domain name and a specialist hosted email service is so inexpensive?
    I am completely biased, but I think that high quality hosted email (and email continuity) from a specialist B2B provider is a small investment to make to keep your business going.
    Ali, if you’re interested in an alternative, please drop me a line and I’d be happy to arrange a demo of my company’s services for you.

  • I’m using Gmail for past five years, experienced two downtimes, one was like 5 hours long and second one was yesterday. Since i use Mozilla Thunderbird through POP3 to copy all messages to my computer, and my Windows Mobile based mobile device as a mobile email application, i didn’t really noticed the inaccessibility through web browser.
    I tried many local and global email services. Gmail is the best one out there, its free, reliable and, did i mention it’s free? 🙂

  • I’ve never used it…. I use live from Microsoft and Yahoo for different purposes.
    I’m not ever going to use it either.
    As soon as people decide what I should see or not, I choose to choose.

  • Yes i have also felt that i am boring with gmail uses. So i have also used now yahoo mail as an exception. Rather than i have also used some social media sites for my experience.

  • Hello,
    I think it’s just temporary system problem which can happen with any e-mail service.
    And people don’t always use single e-mail address from one e-mail service.
    So, I think Gmail is okay as well as Yahoo. They are still reliable and provide many fresh updates to its services.
    Best Regards, Aygul

  • Hello Ali,
    I don’t have a lot of experience with it yet, but I’ve been experimenting with GMX for the last few weeks. It’s a VERY nice email interface… you might give it a try. They’re at
    Regards, Keith

  • It is unfortunate that the buzz surrounding GMail gives one the impression that it is a perfect email system. People actually have different requirements for their email. People who have to have 100% availability have very different needs that those who ned cheap/free. When outages like this happen and people complain, I think the re-examination should not be whether GMail is no longer great, but rather the complaining individual’s understanding of their own email requirements.
    That should be writ extra large for people considering adopting Google apps or other 3rd party hosted apps for their entire enterprise. Whether you outsource or not, you are still responsible for your enterprise’s operations.

  • @Samuel Hulick like yahoo its the worst email service.Has nothing to do with compliance , spam filtering or virus filtering , the only feature its unused space fby 99.95%of clients.

  • I really think the cloud is the future and close to be the present. But that problem with Gmail is the biggest problem with this technology (or solution or market, as you want): you don’t have your information by your side. That’s the need of an offline mode. IMHO, you should always have a part of your information in local (well, if you need it). That’s why instead of all the very good features of IMAP (for example), I’m still using POP3/SMTP with a local mail client. I’m afraid of deleting a mail by mistake and can’t restore it.
    I have GMail, and I LOVE it. But if I have sensitive information I should need at “every” moment, I feel that I need something more to have my information available. That can be a lot of things: in the Gmail case, you have:
    – mail client (free one ex: Thunderbird)
    – google gears
    – …

  • Dave Maskin

    Yahoo mail is much more reliable…

  • The sky is not falling. Gmail is still King!

  • Yahoo!, the only reason I use it is because Gmail was down. They need to stop hiding behind the “beta” keyword.

  • I personally use for everything.
    Over the years i have used Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, Tripod and found GMX to be the best, free IMAP and POP, easy to sync to outlook or thunderbird and they are the only email organisation which has ever responded to my support tickets !!! None of the others have any replied.
    I recommend GMX, simply the best !

  • I agree SMB’s should have their own domain named email. For a small monthly fee ($4.99/account/month) BlueTie is my choice. Web based email (with POP/IMAP option as well) but also offer many other Enterprise class features.. worth taking a look.

  • Sorry, but for me, anything associated with Yahoo is awful. I can’t use the words I want to. They have messed up wonderful things, like Flickr and MusicMatch so badly.
    That said, I created an IMAP link from Google mail to my MS Outlook and that stayed up solid during the minor outage. Like someone else in this thread said Google has been there for me for a long time and to change mail addresses would be such an absolute nightmare….

  • I’ll go completely against the direction of most of the chatter toward the big 3 (Hotmail, Yahoo, GMail). I like none of them, and Hotmail for me acts as an address where I need to give one and could rest assured SPAM would be the result. Same with my Yahoo account.
    I’ve never cared for GMail. Not that it’s horrible or useless, but it’s not offering anything so remarkable that I couldn’t live without it. Rather, for safety and security, I carry branded IMAP accounts so that I can actively sync with all devices and keep me up-to-date without the constant redundancy of “I’ve read that already”. And it may be elitist, but I distrust anyone providing a Hotmail/Yahoo account as much as having an AOL address is “so last decade”. Branded email and domains are so ubiquitous, cheap, and certainly present better than a free account.
    My $0.02

  • Whenever the ‘normal’ GMail site/app goes down, you can still send/receive e-mail via The GMail widget there does not seem to be affected by these types of outages.

  • I think that before an alternative is found, you should document your issues, business requirements, and required SLA’s before you look too many other places. I know that Google offers a pay service as well as their free service, however, you are still at odds if you use Google Apps or any other api, as these are all pretty much still listed as Beta.
    If you are looking at potentially moving to a different provider, you will need to look at their infrastructure and if they match your needs. If you are currently using Google’s email with your mx records, then you are looking at the downtime associated with the dns moves as well as working through the availability of porting over your mail db’s (if it’s even possible). I have never really like hosting services for the latter reason. I know that they manage storage, security, licensing, etc, however, if you are in an industry prone to legal wranglings, the new reality of email admins is now tied into storage and data warehousing with regards to their email. Some regulations require you to keep 7 years of data on site, and if you do use service like google, you definitely run the risk of losing data.
    Again, it all comes down to your messaging requirements. Do you need high availability, or open access from anywhere? What is your compliance requirements? What SLA do you expect? How much storage are you looking at? Can your data be portable for future use?
    I do know that Gmail isn’t a bad option, and their benefits (free, large storage, open to www users) far out weight the occasional outage. Good Luck.

  • yeah even when went down I could still get my mail on my blackberry through IMAP

  • Samuel Hulick

    I understand your concern, but Gmail’s proven itself to be quite reliable up to this point. It’s only been down an hour or so at this point – I’d recommend you hang tight and see what happens before signing up with another service, as I can personally attest that switching your email addresses and messages, etc. can be a HUGE pain!

  • Geoff Erwin

    It’s free…?

  • Wade Graunke Jr.

    Good question! I couldn’t believe it either. I was supposed to email a resume ASAP, but could not do it.
    I think it says something about technology more than Google. And that is…nothings foolproof, so you really can’t put 100% trust in any technology.

  • Debra Bankes

    Ya know, as far as I’m concerned, they are all a bunch of goof offs. Just try getting switched from the ‘old’ bellsouth’ to the new ‘AT&T’. I’ll tell ya, this entire e-mail thing is totally out of control. Big companies buying out the others – Yahoo? Yikes – Google – WHOA! Today is a new world of doing business. Business is changing for the worse. Although, I have had some great ‘customer service’ – but, what bothers me is the technology is NOT within my grasp – alas, I need to rely on the NEW techy folks. Not comforting for me as I am one that likes to “do my own.”

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