I resisted using Gmail for a long while because I am generally a privacy-oriented person. I want my email messages to be stored on my own personal server, not on a networked server somewhere that could be more easily hacked and could perhaps be used by that company for research and other purposes. I want my email messages under my own control as much as possible.
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However, when I signed up to get my degree at Northeastern (after putting it off for a number of years) I automatically got signed up for a Northeastern mail account - which was in essence a Gmail account. Now suddenly I had to get used to using all the Gmail interfaces and utilities.
Yes, I could forward the email to my home account - and I do that. But they advise you to do all your reading and sending from within the GMail system to ensure the messages get to their destinations properly. So I did that and adapted.
On the good side, you can get to GMail anywhere you want to. There are apps for your phone to read it easily. You can see it from an internet cafe, from your laptop, from your main PC, from a friend's house. If you're off in another city you can call a friend at home and have them check your mail for you. It is everywhere.
You have lots of space so you can store many messages and search them fairly easily.
On the down side, it is all residing on Google's servers. If you're sensitive about privacy, this might bother you.
If someone hacked into their system, they'd have access to your entire mail file system.
There is NO way to back up your information onto your own server for safe keeping. There's no export option, no download option. You would literally have to print out all your messages on paper, by hand. Either that or you have to use third party tools and a bit of trickery to get the messages out.
In general, while I use Gmail for my school use, as required, I do not use Gmail for my actual business email or personal email.
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