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What is the Best Email Hosting for Small Business?

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Finding reliable email hosting for your small business helps you combat outages and downtime in your business. We’ll compare the top business email hosting services and offer pros and cons for each.

What is Email Hosting? 

In its simplest form, email hosts rent out server space to customers. Some email hosts provide shared servers, while others offer private storage for your incoming and outgoing messages. 

You can tap into free and paid email hosts, but if you use email for business, you should consider choosing a secure paid option. The ability to use a custom domain, such as yourname@mybusiness.com will help your business email look more professional.

Poor email security can lead to serious problems for your business, including data loss, impersonation of your employees and more serious implications. Consider your options carefully as you review email hosting providers.

What Factors Do Small Businesses Care About?

When evaluating email hosting providers, small businesses care the most about 5 main factors:

  • Cost
  • Data security
  • Configuration
  • Compatibility
  • Mobile

Let’s take a look at each of these major factors and how they could impact your business operations.

Cost

Most businesses want a scalable email hosting service to prepare for growth. You should evaluate the affordability of your hosting options based on your current state but also where you hope to be in 5 to 10 years.

Each hosting provider might charge you based on different factors. For example, some providers base their cost on storage space while others base it on the number of email addresses you maintain. 

Look at the total cost of your hosting provider, including additional services such as access to Microsoft Outlook. Know what it costs if you need technical support or if that’s included in your subscription fee. 

Data Security

Your reputation, liability and finances all rely on strong email data security. 

Some email hosting providers help businesses flag and identify phishing emails. These emails seek to get your sensitive information by posing as reliable organizations, such as your business banking partner.

Other malicious email activity includes sending files via email that contain a virus to infect your computer or ransomware, which requires you to pay a fee to get access to your company’s valuable data.

While you might think that you can avoid these situations on your own but you might have no idea how convincing these phishing emails can look. However, your email host knows the servers these emails come from and can help use that information to flag them.

Hackers use email in new and creative ways every day to hack businesses and their customers. Make data security a top criterion for your email hosting provider.

Configuration

Configuring your email will make it simpler and more convenient to use. You can use any one of a number of email clients, including Microsoft Office, Apple Mail, Thunderbird and more. An email client helps you access and organize your incoming and outgoing messages.

You might want certain email addresses, such as customer.service@mybusiness.com forwarded to a specific person within your organization. You might also want to choose the SMTP ports you use for email configuration.

Review your configuration requirements and make a list before you make email hosting decisions.

Compatibility 

Look for a hosting partner that meets your needs for your chosen email client, web-based access and mobile use. Some services offer better compatibility options. 

Also consider other tools in your business, such as project management software, online meetings and instant messaging. Consider how you’ll connect these various services to make communication in your organization seamless. Then discuss those needs with email hosting providers.

Mobility

Mobile email usage accounts for nearly 62 percent of all email opens. Partner with an email hosting service that enables you to connect from anywhere. You should also consider how easy it is to send and receive attachments from your mobile device. 

Don’t forget security when using a mobile device. A mobile device can open you up to even more security concerns because your firewall can’t protect them.

The Best Email Hosting Providers

Speed, reliability and security: Some of the top concerns most businesses have when it comes to choosing an email hosting provider. This guide helps you understand the advantages and disadvantages of various services to make a sound, informed decision. 

Google G Suite

Google offers many great products and services for businesses, including Google G Suite. The integrated suite of business products including videoconferencing, instant messaging and easy-to-use calendar functions. 

What is This? 

You’re probably no stranger to Gmail, as it’s the most widely used email service available. However, the free service does not allow for custom domains. G Suite provides the great service many users love from Gmail and provides 30GB of mailbox space per user for a standard subscription. 

How Does it Work? 

One of the most user-friendly platforms for selecting and purchasing your custom domain, you’ll choose your plan option and storage needs from 30GB to unlimited. You can set up G Suite email on your favorite desktop client for ease of use.

How Much Does it Cost?

The cost of G Suite depends on your organization’s size and needs. The Business Starter option provides standard support, 30GB of cloud storage per user, custom and secure email, video meetings for up to 100 participants and security management for $6 a month per user. 

You can upgrade to 150-participant meetings and 2TB of storage per user for $12 a month per user. Business Plus offers 250-participant meeting options, 5TB of storage per user and enhanced security for $18 a month. 

What Are its Best Features? 

G Suite offers an option to set up two-factor authentication or you can implement your single sign-on protocols. You can keep your data secure with endpoint management. Because Gmail is such a popular email service, your employees will likely have no trouble navigating the platform.

What Are its Worst Features?

Gmail does not have a good way of allowing users to organize their emails into folders. You’ll need to use a mail client to improve that functionality.

Some messages and attachments sent through Gmail get distorted or don’t translate well to Microsoft Outlook users. This can cause some issues when communicating outside your organization. 

Why Would Small Businesses Consider This?

The fact that G Suite offers simple file storage and sharing, videoconferencing tools and instant messaging makes it an attractive option for businesses. The suite of services integrates seamlessly in a way you won’t find with other email hosting providers and outside communication tools.

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 provides a suite of Microsoft Office tools, including Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Teams. The company can also serve as your email hosting service.

What is This? 

Office 365 provides your business with the tools and resources you need to communicate and collaborate. The suite of products is compatible with both Macs and PCs and includes options for downloading apps to smartphones and tablets. You’ll also get 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage with your subscription. 

How Does it Work? 

The entirely cloud-based service offers your organization easy access to the tools you need for everyday business. You can access these tools through your web browser or native apps on your various devices.

How Much Does it Cost? 

Plans cost $5 to $20 a month per user based on the tools, storage and services you want access to. The basic version only provides access to Premium Office apps via the web or a mobile device. You cannot download them as an application on your laptop or computer. All plans include Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive and Exchange. The premium option also includes Intune and Azure Information Protection. 

What Are its Best Features? 

Because Office 365 is more than just an email host, you’ll encounter great convenience from its suite of services. You can send links to files without having to attach the full file size to take advantage of your cloud storage on OneDrive. The basic plan includes 50GB of email storage. Because of its cloud-based applications, you can access them from anywhere on any device.

What Are its Worst Features? 

While the suite of services includes many different types of communication tools, it isn’t very compatible with other outside tools, such as project management platforms. While Office 365 boasts Mac compatibility, it’s still somewhat clunky on Macs and Apple devices. 

Why Would Small Businesses Consider This? 

Office 365 provides outstanding options for employees to work remotely because of its cloud-based opportunities. All you need is an internet connection and you’re ready to start working and collaborating. Outlook provides some time-saving tools that help you mute message threads when people hit “reply all.” The access to Microsoft’s many tools and programs makes it an attractive option for small businesses.

GoDaddy

GoDaddy, best known for its website hosting services, offers many other ancillary services, including email. You can purchase webmail hosting email accounts or get professional email services through Office 365 using GoDaddy.

What is This? 

GoDaddy email hosting can provide unlimited email accounts with 10GB of storage. You can send and receive attachments up to 20MB and enjoy outstanding data security with spam filtering. The service is easy to use, especially if you already host your website domain through GoDaddy.

How Does it Work? 

Choose your plan options and your email domain. You can purchase both your email domain and hosting services at the same time through GoDaddy. Choose whether you want additional Office 365 services as part of your subscription. 

How Much Does it Cost? 

GoDaddy offers big discounts on its services for the first year, so be sure you know what you’re signing up for beyond those first 12 months. 

The Email Essentials package is just $1.99 a month and includes 10GB of storage. However, this won’t include any collaboration tools or Office 365 services. 

You can upgrade to the Team plan for $5.99 a month to get 25GB of storage, mobile-friendly webmail and team collaboration features. 

What Are its Best Features? 

GoDaddy guarantees 99.9% uptime, which means you should have access to your email all the time. Some services plans include HIPAA-compliance, which is great news for any organizations planning to transmit or receive patient health care information via email. You won’t face limits on the number of email accounts you can have under any plan. Its spam, virus and fraud filters protect your business.

What Are its Worst Features? 

Without Office 365, the clunky webmail platform misses many standard email features such as filtering, flagging and moving to folders automatically. While it offers good hosting services, you might want to consider getting it in conjunction with Office 365 services.

Why Would Small Businesses Consider This?

GoDaddy offers extremely affordable, easy-to-scale hosting as your business grows and you need additional accounts. Prepare yourself to purchase additional communication tools separately, as it does not include cloud storage, instant messaging or video conferencing services. 

Zoho Mail

Though not nearly as popular as G Suite or Office 365, Zoho Mail provides a suite of workplace apps. It boasts 50 million global users and provides a great option for small businesses looking for email hosting.

What is This? 

Zoho Mail, part of a suite of services that include instant messaging, online meetings and more, allows businesses to choose and register their preferred domain name and customize their company email addresses.

How Does it Work? 

Access Zoho Mail on any device using webmail or native applications. Many of the integrated services on computers and mobile devices make connecting your employees easy no matter where they are.

How Much Does it Cost?

Workplace plans start at $3 a month and include a host of services, including online meetings, cloud storage and office tools for creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

What Are its Best Features? 

Zoho Mail allows you to customize your experience. You can route your email automatically and share folders and you’ll have access offline and through mobile applications.

What Are its Worst Features? 

Your team will need to adjust to the suite of office tools the company provides. Because Zoho is not as well known as Microsoft Office or G Suite, it will take some getting used to and might have a small learning curve. 

Why Would Small Businesses Consider This?

Zoho Mail offers an extremely affordable alternative to Office 365 and G Suite. You’ll get the same features and tools you would with these other platforms but you’ll save tons of money and scale your business at an affordable price.

DreamHost

Email hosting from DreamHost provides an option for small businesses just getting started with 1 email address with a custom domain. It doesn’t come with any additional tools or services, but that also makes it extremely affordable. 

What is This? 

DreamHost provides a business email address with your chosen domain. It also includes 25GB of storage and webmail so you can access email from anywhere. You may appreciate its effective spam and phishing filters to protect your small business.

How Does it Work? 

You can choose between using your email address in your favorite email client or using the built-in webmail option. This allows you to organize and access your email in a convenient way. Use mobile apps or your mobile browser to check your email on the go.

How Much Does it Cost?

Plans start at $1.99 a month per mailbox for monthly plans. Or you can save a little bit each month by subscribing annually, in which case plans start at $1.67 a month per mailbox. 

What Are its Best Features?

The best features DreamHost provides include anti-malware, anti-phishing and anti-spam filters that protect your device and your precious time. Users also appreciate the robust and easy-to-use webmail client.

What Are its Worst Features? 

The service can help solopreneurs or those with just a few employees. But organizations that are larger or planning to scale quickly might find managing email hosting through DreamHost cumbersome. 

Why Would Small Businesses Consider This? 

You can’t beat the price tag and the ease of use DreamHost provides. It’s a great way to get your company up and running while looking professional. 

Rackspace

You’ll find reliable and easy-to-manage email services with Rackspace. That’s why more than 60 percent of all Fortune 100 companies host their email through Rackspace. The company guarantees 100 percent uptime to keep your business running smoothly. 

What is This? 

Rackspace offers plans for traditional email hosting, exchange hosting and Office 365 management. You can choose how to configure the service to meet your company’s needs.

How Does it Work? 

The highly customizable service gives you options to create the ideal workspace and productivity for your team. You can choose to purchase the email hosting alongside Office 365 tools or get standalone email hosting services.

How Much Does it Cost? 

Plans start at $2.99 a month per inbox. But with so much customization available, you can obviously increase your plans to get all the tools and resources your organization needs. 

What Are its Best Features?

Rackspace allows you to send and receive attachments up to 50MB. You can register your domain with the company or you can transfer your existing domain if you’re looking to transfer from another hosting service. Access your company email how and when it’s most convenient for you.

What Are its Worst Features? 

For small business owners or organizations without an in-house IT team, getting started with Rackspace might feel overwhelming. It’s an enterprise product with many options that might sound confusing and techy to the average person. You can get into customization options for those who want it, but for those who don’t, it’s an overwhelming product to get started with.

Why Would Small Businesses Consider This? 

Rackspace makes it easy for organizations to host many email accounts in 1 place. The option to get exchange services provides ease of management and customization of an on-site tool but without the servers and headaches. 

Namecheap

Consider Namecheap, one of the best platforms for migrating your existing email services. The company started out as a place to register your domain name but has grown from there. Today, it’s an email hosting provider that knows the process for setting up email is complicated for some small business owners. That’s why it provides migration services.

What is This? 

Namecheap provides email hosting with good online support for beginners, while also providing advanced features like two-factor authentication to allow IT teams to keep their data secure. 

How Does it Work? 

Namecheap allows you to use its webmail services or connect your email to your preferred mail client. Purchase email hosting exclusively or get access to tools like document sharing, presentation software and collaboration tools. 

How Much Does it Cost? 

Namecheap email services start at $11.88 a year, but they provide a promotion for your first 12 months of service at $8.91 a year per inbox. The top tier costs only $55.88 a year but provides increased tools and storage for your email.

What Are the Best Features? 

Managing your enterprise email addresses is simple in Namecheap, which is something large organizations really like. The upper tiers of the program allow you to collaborate on managing your email addresses with multiple users. Reviewers love the 60-day money-back guarantee to try the product as well as the easy-to-reach support team.

What Are its Worst Features? 

Namecheap’s uptime is not quite as strong as some of its competitors, which could lead to challenges for your organization. Mixed on the level and speed of support that the organization provides. 

Why Would Small Businesses Consider This? 

Namecheap provides an inexpensive and reliable email service for small businesses. Know what you’re getting with the service and choose your option tiers carefully.

Amazon Workmail

Amazon Workmail is a part of AWS, one of the largest and most reliable cloud environments on the market today. The fact that AWS provides so many cloud services means that you can customize your email experience immensely with Amazon Workmail if you know what you’re doing.

What is This? 

Amazon Workmail is a cloud-hosted email service. It integrates well with Amazon’s other cloud-hosting services for larger organizations looking to get their IT tools all in one place.

How Does it Work? 

Getting started with Amazon Workmail is simple. Visit the website and add a domain to your account. You’ll get to choose a subdomain for awsapps.com.

How Much Does it Cost?

Accounts start at $4 per user per month and include 50GB of storage per user. Unlike some of its big competitors, Amazon Workmail does not provide additional collaboration tools. 

What Are its Best Features? 

The best part about Amazon Workmail is that it’s an AWS service, which means that if you’re planning to build a full cloud infrastructure for your organization, your email service integrates seamlessly. 

What Are its Worst Features? 

Amazon Workmail is not very beginner-friendly. It’s designed for IT teams and not for small business owners. You’ll also need to look elsewhere for additional office tools and services since there are no bundled subscription options available through Amazon Workmail.

Why Would Small Businesses Consider This? 

Small businesses looking to create a cloud infrastructure will love Amazon Workmail due to AWS capabilities. 

A2 Hosting

You can enjoy incredible productivity and speed when you choose A2. 

What is This? 

A2 provides popular email hosting options including support for POP3, IMAP and SMTP. You’ll also get some built-in features like autoresponders and spam filters. Loading and delivery times with A2 occur up to 20 times faster than its main competitors, making it one of the No. 1 email hosting providers.

How Does it Work? 

Configuring your email with A2 is in your hands. You can choose how you manage your hosting and enjoy unlimited email accounts so that your business can grow and meet its needs.

How Much Does it Cost? 

Plans start at $2.99 a month for a 3-year commitment. Monthly plans start at $10.99 a month if you’re looking for less commitment.

What Are the Best Features? 

A2 guarantees 99.9% uptime. You’ll also get free helpful tools like newsletter management and list management to help you be more productive. Most plans also come with migration tools to help you move to their service.

What Are its Worst Features? 

Many services cost extra and you have to read the fine print very carefully to discover this. Before purchasing, read carefully to know whether you’re getting helpful services like backups and priority support.

Why Would Small Businesses Consider This? 

A2 provides a wide variety of tiers to meet the needs of various businesses. Because of this, it grows and scales with organizations nicely. It’s easy to use for the average person and simple to get started on.

Choosing the Best Email Service

The best email service will be based on your organization’s needs and budget. Before signing on the dotted line, just know what you paying for and have fully evaluated your company’s needs. If you’ve done that, you’ll likely avoid any buyer’s remorse and avoid the painful process of migrating later.