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🦴 Hosting your own email forwarding service on AWS
🐶 Managing with Github actions
🩺 Monitoring and failure recovery included
🍖 Almost free*

👋 Hey, why building this?

Since I bought my first domain, I am always tempted to use it as my email address. However, as I am not receiving many emails a day, hosting my mail server or paying for an email hosting service either make it too complicated or costs too much. All I want is simply a service forwarding emails to one single place.

I have been happily using mailgun for years. As they changed pricing last year, I started looking for a replacement but options are relatively limited.

After all, I open-sourced maildog and is looking for a community that shares the same needs as me. The project aims to offer an extensible email forwarding solution with minimal maintenance and operational cost.

☁️ How it works?

MailDog Architecture

Hint: you can click on the diagram for higher resolution

💸 Pricing

Yes. While it is FREE to use maildog, you are still required to pay AWS for the infrastructure setup on the cloud. To give you a better idea, here is an estimated price breakdown based on the following assumption:

  • 10k emails / month or 333 emails / day
  • 100KB mail size in average
  • Hosted in US West (Oregon), pricing may be slightly different based on the region
  • Counted without any free quota
Component Service Configuration summary Monthly Currency
Bucket S3 Standard S3 Standard storage (1 GB per month, depends on the retention policy) 0.080 USD
Mail Server SES Email messages received (10000), Average size of email received (100KB), Email messages sent from email client (10000), Data sent from email client (1 GB per month) 2.120 USD
Mail Feed Standard SNS topics DT Inbound: Not selected (0 TB per month), DT Outbound: Not selected (0 TB per month), AWS Lambda (10000 per month), Requests (10000 per month) 0.010 USD
Dispatcher AWS Lambda Number of requests (10000, with no retry attempt) 0.100 USD
Scheduler AWS Lambda Number of requests (< 10000) 0.100 USD
DLQ SQS Standard queue requests (< 10000 per month) 0.004 USD
2.434 USD

As of 30 June 2021, estimated using AWS Pricing Calculator

🚨 Limitations

Amazon SES sandbox

SES restricts new users by placing them in the sandbox. Depends on your usage, if you would like to forward emails to non-verified addresses or with higher volume, you might want to move out of the sandbox

Maximum numbers of domains/alias allowed

maildog configures SES using a receipt ruleset with a hard limit of up to 200 rules and 100 recipients per rule. In general, domains that are configured with fallback emails could be set with only 1 rule using wildcard. But for domains without fallback emails, every 100 alias will be count as 1 rule. As a result, you can set up to 20,000 alias if you are configuring only 1 domain even with no fallback emails.

Regions support

Not every region supports receiving emails with AWS SES. As of 30 June 2021, only 3 regions you can deploy maildog on:

  1. US East (N. Virginia)
  2. US West (Oregon)
  3. Europe (Ireland)

Please check the AWS documentation for the latest update.

📮 Give it a try?

You can find the installation guide here. The setup might take 10-20 minutes.


🐶 Hosting your own email forwarding service on AWS and managing it with Github Actions