Outlook.com - Something Went Wrong

Rant: Outlook.com Spam

ARGGH! Okay, I’ve finally had it with the spam on Microsoft’s Outlook.com service. Spam has periodically been a problem for years where it seemed like the spam filters would randomly break and spam would get through for days at a time, then all of a sudden it’d stop and would be fine for weeks. But not anymore! For the past few months to a year spam getting through has been constant!

The most annoying thing is that it’s obvious spam, that any common sensed filter should catch, but some how it gets through Microsoft’s crappy service. You can’t get any support for any Microsoft product because it seems they only do internet forums, which are answered by Indians who seem to not seem to understand the English language because their replies are rarely ever helpful, which i learned recently when i was having a weird MICROSOFT DRIVER ENUMERATOR virus issue. A quick search finds other people who are having the same spam issue, and are only getting the same nonsensical replies from Genreb and Syed. Maybe Microsoft is too big that’s why they outsource their support, and maybe that’s why they allow such obvious spam.

Obvious Spam
Obvious Spam

The annoyance really is that I receive several notifications when a new email is arrived, At least one on my phone, and another reminded on desktop. Even if i only get 3 spam mails a day, that’s several annoying notifications, along with other notifications for legit emails. It just all adds up to a bowl of annoyance shit stew.

I started to wonder if my desktop client (mailbird) didn’t communicate to Microsoft when I marked something as spam, and this was why the obvious spam with the same titles kept getting through. So, within the past few months I started to try to log in via the browser to outlook.com to use their actual service to mark the mails as spam, which made the problem even more annoying. Sometimes I’d successfully mark the email ass spam, but the majority of the time I’d get an error stating that I couldn’t connect to outlook.com, WHAT THE HELL?

Either way, marking the mails as spam via outlook.com didn’t stop them from getting through either.

Outlook.com Cant connect
Outlook.com Cant connect

Due to this, I finally decided to leave Outlook.com. I pretty much only used it due to the short email address I was able to grab back when they opened up registrations for @live.com addresses all them years ago. But back then good Microsoft email account was valuable due to having so many uses for their once great services such as Live Messenger, which they stupidly killed.

Now I am looking for alternatives. I think I’m going to stay away from the big free email providers. I think Gmail has the best spam filters. I’ve had gmail accounts since they first started invites back in 2003, and rarely get spam on those. Problem with Gmail though are the long annoying addresses. I hate the long addresses due to the complications in typing them on a mobile device.

I have a short @ymail.com Yahoo! addy, but I’m certainly Yahoo! allows companies to pay them to accept spam. I have accounts on Yahoo! that I never used which get flooded with so much spam. Plus, Yahoo! is slow to support third party clients and such. I think they only recently started to allow IMAP, decades after everyone else allowed it. Anyways, I don’t want to use Yahoo! Mail because i’m trying to get away from spam.

I have a super short [email protected] address, which is from AOL, but AOL is all over the place, and keeps changing their email service (I used it back in their AOL PHOENIX days).

I’ve long been weary about using my own personal domains for email. My hosting was never that good, and I just couldn’t rely on it. Plus I’ve sold so many of my domains that I never wanted to really be tied to one, i mean what if someone offered me a great price?

However recently I accepted that I’ll at least own JoshX.com until I die, after that I wont need email anyways, and also I discovered you can still use third party email hosting services, such as Google APPS, and Zoho.

The problem now comes to price. Google Apps is like $60 a year for one account, while Zoho is free for 10 users, and I think gives 5gb of storage. The signup page says 1gb, but shows 5gb in my usage. And it seems to be add free, and allows you to use desktop and mobile clients via IMAP and pop, which is great. Then if you need more space you can upgrade to the cheapest Standard Plan which comes with 10gb storage for $24 a year, which is MUCH MUCH cheaper than Google APPS.

I don’t really need file storage, or documents, or any of that other weird stuff. I use Amazon Cloud Drive for all that and  I wish Google, and Zoho offered lower cost services that doesn’t come with all this other stuff. I suppose these services are intended for businesses, so that’s fine.

I couldn’t find much info online about people complaining about Spam issues on Zoho, so since it’s free, I decided to give it a try, and so far it’s been great. The service is fast, and I’ve had no issues fetching mail via my desktop client MAILBIRD, and via iOS mail on my iphone.

The web based interface is nice as well. I’m happy.

Zoho Browser mail version
Zoho Browser mail version

If spam does become an issue, I can easily just pay for Google Apps, and import my mail client. Cloud flare would allow me to switch the MX entires without much downtime if any at all.

So if you are looking for a easy email solution, and don’t have many people that you need to provide an account for, check out ZOHO!

If you already own a domain, you can easily point the MX entires to ZOHO’s service via cPanel, or any other control panel your webhost uses (cpanel is most common), but i suggest using CloudFlare for DNS due to DDOS protection and other conveniences. Cloudflare offers a free plan which I use on some of my sites as well, work s great.

Check out ZOHO! it’s great.

Edit: April 16th, 2016

What the hell Microsoft? Can’t even access Outlook this morning.

Thank god I left outlook. I only randomly log in now to see if i’ve gotten actual emails from sites that I’ve forgot to change my email on.

Outlook.com - Something Went Wrong
Outlook.com – Something Went Wrong

Update: April 21, 2016 

I haven’t been using Outlook.com as my main email for about a week now. But I have been logging in every now in then to make sure no important emails were sent to it.  I just checked it after 2 days, and dang – Instant reminder of why I had to leave Outlook.com. I suppose me checking it every day and deleting spam as it came made it seem like it wasn’t that much. Perhaps I was getting much more than I thought I was. Most of the spam was obvious spam with the same titles as spam mail i marked hundreds of times in the past. Ridiculous.