MAIB Vs M365, FastMail, etc?

Hello, I have managed my own email hosting for more than 10 years and have used MAIB since around 2018 and now I’m wondering how this compares to other services? I’m considering a dedicated paid service because I’ve come up against the IP problem where I have to change VPS to upgrade MAIB but cannot retain my good-reputation (this is on DigitalOcean).

I’m told Microsoft 365 does not support sending from email aliases or plus-addressing so MAIB is superior on this one point alone. Some people recommend FastMail because of the aliasing and other’s say to just use Google’s suite of services.

So, in 2023, what is best: Self-hosting or joining the masses?

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I have had no issues with ip reputation with Contabo and their prices and service are really good. I made the switch to MiaB last year and would not go back to a 3th party provider. I had countless sleepless nights over it but ultimately one of the best decisions I made.


I use gmail for personal and MIAB for several businesses. I use to be on G Suite until Google decided to start charging the legacy accounts. It’s been a year now and except for the rocky migration to v60 I have been exceptionally pleased.

My server has been on EC2 for many years. I just moved the IP from the old server to the new server when upgrading. Even if you can’t move the IP I wouldn’t worry about that as long as you get a clean new IP. Your DNS entries are what is most important.

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Assuming you have a bit of extra time, there is a method to retain your DO IP address.

Spin up a new DO Droplet for a few hours and migrate your MIAB to it. Update your DNS to point (temporarily) to that new Droplet. Set reverse DNS. Ensure everything is working properly.

Reimage your old Droplet and install the current MIAB version. Migrate from your temporary Droplet to your original Droplet. Set reverse DNS. Update your DNS again.

Destroy the temporary Droplet. DO charges by the hour, so there should be only minimal expense.


That is a very good idea, thanks! It’s so obvious now you’ve said it and I feel silly for not coming up with it myself.

Self hosting is best option. If you use Google, then you cannot resell their email services. But if you self host, then you can either use MIAB for personal use (and you can get a free domain from or you can use MIAB for commercial use by selling email services.

MIAB can readily install on my Ubuntu 18.04 virtual machine, and even if on May 2023 Ubuntu 18.04 is becoming dead, it is a minor issue as I do not really need Ubuntu’s paid support.

You must upgrade to the next LTS version (Long Term Support) because of MAIB. MAIB v60 and above require Ubuntu 22.04. The most recent version of MAIB you can use on Ubuntu 18.04 is v57a but the actual most recent version is v61.1.

MAIB Upgrade Instructions

If I need to install an older version of MIAB, say v57a on a VPS that provides Ubuntu 18.04 (as some providers refuse to offer Ubuntu 22.04 LTS) is there a way I get v57a after May 2023?

Can that “” specifically for v57a be downloaded?

It’s actually smart and checks which version of Ubuntu you’ve got and then grabs the latest version of Mail-in-a-Box for that version. :slight_smile:


I believe it is fairly straightforward to upgrade the OS on Digital Ocean while keeping your IP address. On the droplet control page, select Destroy, then scroll down to the Rebuild Droplet box. Simply select the new OS base image, after backing up, of course.

I was able to retain my IP when updating to Ubuntu 18.04 several years ago.

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Sadly, that was not my experience. I ran the upgrade on a v57a system running Ubuntu 18.04. It gave me no indication of a problem, and it rendered my installation partially broken. I can’t do a backup (one of the things that broke). And, to add insult to injury, the new VPS where I installed v61.1 does not support IPv6 (srly, who requires IPv6 in 2023???). If the system is not running the minimum requirements the installer should bail out immediately. In my case it didn’t.

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