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So, you think chat apps, mobile messaging, texting, and Facebook will kill email? Think again. The number of email users worldwide has been steadily growing year by year. In 2017, there were 269 billion emails sent each day. By 2019, that had grown to almost 294 billion. And by 2023, Statistica estimates, we'll be sending more than 347 billion messages a day.
Clearly, email is still a force for communication. Suppose, if you want to go beyond the free email offerings, present a professional email address, and have some level of control over your corporate email communications. In that case, you'll want to sign up with an email hosting provider.
In this article, we present you with a number of excellent email hosting providers who specialize in email and office productivity. Then, we'll introduce you to some web hosts that also offer solid email hosting packages, in case you want to contract for web hosting and email from the same vendor.
Check out: Cloud-based email services: Everything you need to know
Here are some of the top email-focused hosting providers. It's probably no surprise we kick off with Google's Workspace (formerly G Suite) and Microsoft's Microsoft 365 and Exchange. But they're not the only games in town. Keep reading to see some alternative options if you don't want to live entirely in Microsoft's or Google's ecosystem.
It was really a coin toss whether we kicked this email provider list off with Workspace or Microsoft 365. Both are excellent. Workspace integrates an enterprise-level Gmail management interface with Google Docs, Meet, Calendar, and a wide variety of other tools.
Pricing is a lot simpler to understand with Workspace than Office 365. Microsoft offers a wide variety of plans and options that also integrate into its other licensing pricing structures. Google gives you just three simple choices: $6 per month, $12 per month, or $18 per month per user, depending on what management features you want.
Unfortunately, when G Suite transitioned to Workspace, the non-enterprise plans lost their unlimited storage. While G Suite was compelling on its own, the unlimited storage made it a must-have. Removal of that capability has reduced Workspace's appeal, but it still does a great job of mail management.
Here's a special tip: If you want to get support from Google, get a Workspace subscription. As a Workspace customer, I've been quite pleased with the level of support provided.
Office 365 is becoming Microsoft 365 because... why not? Except, not entirely. Home users will still get Office 365. This is a fabulous product, but I swear Microsoft goes out of its way to confuse folks with its branding changes. It's like it's a hobby or something.
That said, Microsoft 365 is all the Office desktop apps, all of the Office online apps, Microsoft Teams, all the benefits of Exchange, calendaring, mobile apps, and more. I also have a Microsoft 365 subscription, mostly for the Office apps. That said, you can not go wrong with Office, er, Microsoft 365. And if you love your Outlook email client, you'll feel right at home with Microsoft 365.
So, let's be clear. You're looking at email hosted on AWS. That's pretty much the gold standard of cloud environments, on a rarified level that coexists only with Google and Microsoft Azure. Because it's an AWS-based service, WorkMail integrates with all the other AWS services, allowing you to build out a relatively rich cloud-based, customized infrastructure.
If you're a small company, just trying to set up a few email boxes, I wouldn't necessarily go with WorkMail. AWS can be a little challenging to get your head around. But if you're building out a cloud-based corporate infrastructure where you need a lot of flexibility, security, and Active Directory integration, WorkMail is definitely a viable and proven solution.
Rackspace is one of the original cloud infrastructure providers. Today, the company offers a wide range of infrastructure-as-a-service options, including full Exchange hosting, Microsoft 365 management, and traditional email hosting.
The company offers migration assistance from other hosts, a large team of MCSA certified staff, and the ability to support an existing Microsoft Enterprise Agreement.
You know, when you're stuck at home during a worldwide pandemic, you have a lot of time to think. And, I've been thinking about the name IceWarp. It easily has to be the best name of all our hosting providers, hands down.
More to the point, IceWarp is a company that used to sell its own mail server software, an installable application that competed with Exchange. It has since pivoted to become a hosting provider, using software that runs on its IceWarp server. Its cloud offerings now included shared contacts and calendar, collaborative document editing, mailing list management, web meetings, audio and video calls, mobile apps, and archiving -- all available from even the most basic plan. That said, it still offers a way to move off Exchange, claiming "You can easily replace Exchange with IceWarp to save half the cost."
We reviewed Hostinger quite positively when looking at website hosting providers. It should be noted that the company's shared web hosting plan does include email accounts and mailboxes.
Also: Hostinger web hosting review: Good support and a killer entry-level price
That said, the dedicated hosting service provided by Hostinger goes a step further, using the Titan email hosting service. Titan email hosting service that provides integrated calendaring along with email management and scheduling features.
Let me make this simple for you: If you want a no-brainer decision, just choose Google Workspace or Microsoft 365, depending on whether you're more tied to the Google or Microsoft ecosystem. That's it. Both are excellent offerings, that provide solid, if sometimes, frustrating support, and will get you where you need to go. Full stop.
If I were to pick the absolute best, I'd have to go with Google, and I have. That's what I use to manage my email. I actually have a Google Workspace Enterprise account, but most folks can get by with one of the business plans. I found that Gmail and its tight integration to Google Docs was a bit more to my liking than Outlook -- but both, as I said, are excellent.
Email hosting service
30GB, 2TB, and 5TB
Office 365 Business
1TB and up
5GB, 100GB, and 500GB
10GB or 30GB
There are an absolute ton of email hosting providers. Every web hosting provider also offers email. We included one such player, Hostinger, in our recommendations. if you want special case situations, there's undoubtedly a hosting provider out there that can help. But if you just want basic, solid email hosting and maybe collaboration and office productivity apps, it's Google or Microsoft.
Choose this email hosting service…
If you want…
A comprehensive office suite and prefer the Google ecosystem
Office 365 Business
A comprehensive office suite and prefer the Microsoft ecosystem
AWS and are comfortable with the AWS ecosystem
Microsoft features, but want to work with a non-Microsoft provider
Comprehensive email services, but prefer to avoid Microsoft and Google
Email hosting and you're also buying web hosting
I did some calculating back in the day and realized I'd sent out something in the order of 740 million email messages. I've built, coded, managed, sweated, and swore at email and list servers for a few decades now. From all that experience comes one unyielding truth: It's far, far better to have another company manage your email.
I've personally done business and been a customer of about half the vendors on this list. I've run my email on Exchange servers, through Office 365 (now Microsoft 365) and G Suite (now Workspace). I've migrated email accounts across the internet and vendors. I've increased my profanity vocabulary by an order of magnitude.
Also: How to build a website for any business: Your step-by-step guide
My point is: I've been down this rabbit hole in just about every way imaginable. In making recommendations, I started with the vendors I'm personally familiar with and feel comfortable recommending.
This doesn't just apply if you're using Google for your email. If you're using another hosting provider, but also using Gmail, you might need to get this answered. It's obviously easiest if you can still log in. But even if you can't, Google offers a set of steps for you to follow. Here's Google's page to get you started.
But keep in mind that the best way to avoid having to recover a stolen email account is to properly protect it. Be sure to set up multi-factor authentication and get your recovery codes from Google.
There are free email services, but be careful: free services often come with other costs, including your privacy. Since it's costly to maintain an email hosting service, those using free services may not get much support or may find the service just disappears one day.
Also be careful of free services that are essentially phishing sites, capturing all the email you get, including personal identifying information. That said, mail.com is a fairly safe service that offers email addresses with the linuxmail.org and musician.org domains. Other free services, like Yahoo and Google, allow you to set up email aliases, so if you have another mailer that supports .org, you can get that email at your Yahoo or Gmail account.
There's not one single answer for that. It generally depends on your email provider and phone OS. That said, if you use any of the common email providers, you can go to this troubleshooting page for iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch and this troubleshooter for the Google Android email app.
There are a tremendous number of hosting providers. As we said, just about every web hosting provider also offers email. But here are three more providers that specialize in email. They might be worth a look, especially if you want to stay out of the Google ecosystem.
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