Gmail unreliable?

Lately I've been getting errors or slow performance accessing my Gmail account. A little digging shows that I'm not alone.

Lately I've been getting errors or slow performance accessing my Gmail account. A little digging shows that I'm not alone. In fact there's a whole Google group called "Gmail down". Here's the error I'm getting today:

The dreaded error code 766

Searching the Google help center for "error code 766" returns no hits. But the error is familiar to many users of the service. Mysterious errors codes such as 600 and 704 have also been reported. It looks like there was a spate of these errors in July, but I can find references to problems going back to last year.

Gmail has a wonderful interface, and provides tons of space, so I'm usually a big fan. I know it's a free service, and marked as being in beta, but email communication is important. If Gmail can't be relied upon then maybe it's time to look at some of the alternatives.

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