I think I may have found a fairly simple and cheap option for my colleagues and friends who ask me what they should do about NSA surveillance. Where should you switch to from GMail? I went through a tedious process of signing up for a CloudAfrica server and setting up my own IMAP server and ownCloud instance. Now I might have found a much simpler option: +Afrihost
- Sign up for a cheap (e.g. R9 per month) Afrihost hosting package
- Choose your own domain name
- Set up an e-mail account
- From the cPanel, install ownCloud and set it up for sync'ing files, calendar and contacts. You can easily import your Google contacts and calendar into ownCloud
- Set up your various clients (like Thunderbird, or on Android, use DAVdroid which is free on FDroid appstore).
- Afrihost even provides several Webmail interfaces you can use, e.g. RoundCube, but my recommendation is to download most of your mail locally to your laptop (or a Raspberry Pi setup with fetchmail) to stay under your e-mail quota and keep your data off the server.
- Redirect your GMail to your new e-mail address for a month or two while you migrate. Thereafter, leave a Vacation message on your GMail explaining this process to others who might be interested.
- Don't forget to switch to DuckDuckGo and StartPage for search, and use Firefox with some privacy plugins.
- Lastly, use PGP for private e-mails - it is really not that hard to setup and it's very easy to use once you've set it up.
That might have taken a little effort, but it goes a long
way to improving your privacy on the internet, and keeping your data out of international servers.
If you plan to try it, use the affiliate link below for a discount (I also get a discount), but hey, it's only R9 per month anyways.