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MobileMe vs DreamHost or HostMonster Review

We’ve been pretty happy Dreamhost and MobileMe customers for years, and despite several MobileMe outages and a few Dreamhost outages we are pretty happy with both services. It is always wise to reassess your technology decisions though, as things do change.

What we love about MobileMe:

  • Absolutely fantastic web gallery for photos; best integration with iPhoto, simple, elegant, accessible
  • very good AddressBook/Contacts sync between many Macs and iOS devices (iPhones, iPads, etc)
  • very good Calendar/iCal sync between many Macs and iOS devices
  • Find my iPhone feature (insurance if I lose my iPhone)
  • Remote Data Wipe (insurance if my iPhone/iPad end up in the wrong hands)

Update: It turns out Apple now offers Find My iPhone and Remote Wipe for free with a free, limited functionality MobileMe account for iOS 4.2 devices (iPhone 4 and iPad). Yahoo!

I consider the MobileMe iDisk sharing to be unusably slow, especially when there are so many free alternatives. I can’t stand the MobileMe hosting platform, as I need ssh access, and MySQL or PostgreSQL server access with php to even consider web hosting.

I don’t even use MobileMe for email much because it lacks server-side spam filtering (filtering on my Macs is amazing, but then I see all the junkmail on my phone when viewing the same spool).

What we love about Dreamhost:

  • direct ssh access to the server
  • MySQL databases
  • SpamAssassin protection on the email spool
  • MailMan for discussion lists

I wish I had simple CalDAV and AddressBook services on the Linux server at Dreamhost; and I can get them, for a price… $50 (Australian) one time charge for AddressBookServer with 2 user license is not bad… And some of this is possible through free Google services (Google Calendar; Google Contacts, though they don’t sync with iPhone/iPad yet).

So, I am trying to figure out if I can consolidate the two services to save a little money. I am not unhappy with either; just unhappy at paying for two good services when I might be able to do only one.

Bluehost, Hostmonster, Hostgator all compete directly with Dreamhost and appear to offer comparable deals these days…

The gotcha is, no one has the gorgeous gallery software that Apple does; or do they? Please let me know… I have tried Gallery2 – and I am not impressed, and I want to own my own server space; so Flickr/Facebook/Picassa are not the solution for me though we use those services for specific tasks.

Am I stuck continuing to pay for both types of cloud services? Or has someone found something that syncs multiple devices, publishes photo galleries, and allows hosting all at once?

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