The biggest frustration I’ve had recently as a developer is finding cheap email forwarding. When working on a small project, such as RootsSearch, I want to have an email listed somewhere for anyone to contact me. I want that email to be forwarded to my personal inbox so that I don’t have to check multiple accounts with multiple hosts.

Domain registrars often offer free email forwarding, such as Namecheap or Google. But I like to use CloudFlare for my DNS and CloudFlare requires you to use their nameservers which means your registrar can’t control your MX records and therefore you need a separate solution for email forwarding.

When I first ran into this problem I figured the solution would be easy. A previous employer had used Dyn and later DuoCircle for email forwarding so there was at least one company out there. But DuoCircle charges $59.95 a year per domain. That quickly adds up for small projects, especially if you have multiple.

33Mail looked promising, especially at only $1 a month to use custom domains. But I quickly ran into a feature I couldn’t tolerate nor prevent: to every email I received, 33Mail added a banner that said “This email was sent to the alias… and 33Mail forwarded it to you.” I didn’t mind so much seeing the banner in the emails I received, but I didn’t want them to appear in the quoted section of an email thread when I responded to customers. I could easily remove them when replying (which I did) but it meant I was again on the hunt for a good email forwarding solution.

Pobox was another promising candidate. It has been around a while and was cheap at $20 a month. Though their volume limits seemed low and I didn’t want to be paying for services that I wouldn’t be using.

After weeks of searching on and off, I finally found Mailgun by Rackspace. I was skeptical at first because it looked just like Mandrill which doesn’t support inbound email forwarding out of the box. But it turns out that Mailgun does support email forwarding. Their pricing is also perfect: 10,000 emails every month for free. Sold.