My degoogling process started a few months ago, and it included moving on from Gmail to a privacy-focused email provider, among many other actions. I surveyed the landscape and considered Proton Mail, Tutanota, Posteo, and a few others. Finally I settled with the Amsterdam-based Soverin.net, opened an account back in July 2019 and paid for a full year of service. What follows is the story of why I canceled my account yesterday in favor of another provider.
This post is a transcript of this post I created in reddit.
I opened my soverin.net account back in July. I paid for one full year right off the bat, as I never expected major problems. It surely is difficult to mess up a mail service, right?
Initially, I liked the simplicity of the web interface and it had all the features I was looking for: privacy-first service, imap, smtp, caldav, carddav, email import from other providers, own domain and a great disk quota of 25 Gb. The price wasn’t bad either.
However, after using it for a few months, my opinion is that, at least, it is a little rough around the edges. The mail service works great, no major problems there. The problems, though, showed up when using the rest of the features. The importer would fail repeatedly (I was trying to import my old gmail inbox), the DAV server would fail to synchronize contacts and calendars halfway, the .vcf importer would always get 503 errors and create repeated contacts, etc. Even when I was ready to leave the service for good and tried to export my mailbox into a zip file, the produced link was broken.
I contacted their support team a few times, and truth be told, they always responded very switfly and professionally. No complaints there. They generally tried to work with me to fix the issues. One time, though, they told me “Syncing large groups of contacts has proven flaky with carddav sadly”, which is funny, because I only have around 400 contacts in my address book. That should cause no problems whatsoever.
Also, as I said, the email service is solid for the most part. I think Soverin has major problems with their implementation of some essential services, which made me look elsewhere. I signed up today with a another provider and the difference is night and day. Everything works as it should, which helped me look at things with some perspective and realize just how bad some of Soverin’s services really are.
2020-09-24 edit: As a final note, I want to comment on the service I switched to, as I’m getting a bunch of emails asking precisely this. I will not publicly endorse any service provider, but I can recommend you this: visit privacytools.io and go over the email providers section. You will find a comprehensive list of privacy-respecting email providers annotated with their strong and weak points. That should help you decide the provider that is best for you.