You are looking for the best deal, meeting your business needs? Captain Obvious swoops in
Maybe for the cheap or even free email hosting, spiced up with free domains, unlimited emails, SMAP filters, and the most supportive support you've ever dreamed of? Captain Obvious flies away
So, just you know, through my career I've tested billions and billions and billions of email hosting providers, and can proudly present you the best 5 in the business!
beer hand and let's go. These are the best email hosting services:
- ProtonMail (military-grade encryption and security)
- G Suite (Google solution for businesses)
- SiteGround (a great do-your-own solution)
- 1&1 Ionos (optimized for Outlook)
- Rackspace (professional business option)
Let's have a look at why they're so good, shall we?
1. ProtonMail - Nuke-Proof Security
Price From: $0.00 /month
For the security purposes, they don't use the cloud hosting and their primary data center is located in a bunker under 1000 meters of granite rock which can survive even a nuclear blast (though, not tested yet).
ProtonMail is a privacy-focused email service with built-in end-to-end encryption and various additional security features. They run all of their servers from CERN in Switzerland which puts their services under the protection of incredibly strict Swiss privacy laws (no emails for you, NSA).
ProtonMail's end-to-end encryption guarantees that your messages are encrypted as soon as you send them and are only decrypted when the recipient opens them. This means that nobody can read your messages, even the ProtonMail technical staff.
For all the messages in the inbox, they use so-called Zero-Acess Encryption, meaning that all the messages are ciphered and can be unlocked only with the recipient's key - when it reaches the target mailbox. So if hacker-terrorists steal emails from ProtonMail servers, the poor guys can't even read them. All the hard work down to the drain, I say.
More to add, ProtonMail supports two-factor authentication which provides an additional layer of security and Secure Remote Password to protect user credentials.
ProtonMail offers 4 different plans:
- ProtonMail Free - Basic free account with limited features. Includes of 500MB storage, up to 50 messages per hour or 150 messages per day, up to 20 labels and limited support. Custom domains and additional addresses are not supported.
- ProtonMail Plus - Basic paid plan with extra features for $4/month or $48/year. Includes 5GB of storage, up to 300 messages per hour or 1000 messages per day, up to 200 labels, 1 custom domain, 5 additional addresses and full customer support.
- ProtonMail Professional - Paid plan with full features for $8/month or $75/year. Includes 5GB of storage/user, unlimited messages, unlimited labels, 2 custom domains, 10 additional addresses, priority customer support and Auto Responder (out of office reply).
- ProtonMail Visionary - Paid top-tier plan with full features for $30/month or $288/year. Includes up to 5 users, 20GB of storage, unlimited messages, unlimited labels, 10 custom domains, 50 additional addresses, and priority customer support.
For secure business communications, ProtonMail has a special offer for business emails. It's $6.25/month per user if paid annually and $8,00/month if paid month to month.
Key ProtonMail Email Hosting Features:
|End-to-End Encryption||Exceptional Security|
|24/7 Operations||Free Email Hosting|
2. G Suite - Gmail on Steroids
Price From: $5.00 /month
Free Gmail accounts are already full of useful features: Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Forms, Google Maps and a couple more.
What free Gmail doesn't have is a personal domain name, and that's where G Suite enters the party with the fanciest lounge suit.
The basic plan is only $5/month, and you'll be able to use business email through Gmail, not losing any of the lucrative perks.
With G Suite you'll manage all the company's emails, documents, slides and sheets, created by employers. To put it in simple terms, if your employer leaves or is asked to leave (politely), you'll have full access to all the business files and emails.
For extra security, the admin can force (politely) all users to add 2-step verification, that can be completed either with your phone or a set of backup codes when you are unreachable.
G Suite offers 3 different pricing packages:
- G Suite Basic ($5/user per mo.) - Includes of 30GB cloud storage, ad-free experience, 24/7 support, centralized admin console migration tools, device management and many more.
- G Suite Business ($10/user per mo.) Additionally includes additional security and administration controls and eDiscovery for emails, chats, and files.
- G Suite Enterprise ($25/user per mo.) - Includes everything as plans above, plus data loss prevention, enterprise-grade access control with security key enforcement and Gmail log analysis.
Key G Suite Email Hosting Features:
|Business Email Through Gmail||Shared Documents|
|Video and Voice Conferencing||Secure Team Messaging|
3. SiteGround - Bang for Your Buck
Price From: $3.95 /month
SiteGround offers a unique email hosting solution. You can get unlimited email accounts even with the cheapest plan.
It’s undoubtfully one of the best email hosting options for small business in the market.
Email hosting is available within all shared hosting plans and you will be able to create an unlimited number of personalized email accounts based on your domain.
Their 3 email-oriented web hosting packages are:
- StartUp ($3.95/mo.) - Includes one website, 10GB of storage, 2000MB limit per email account, ~10,000 monthly visits compatibility and 1 level SuperCasher for faster loading speed.
- GrowBig ($5.95/mo.) - Includes unlimited websites, 20GB of storage, 4000MB limit per email account, ~25,000 monthly visits compatibility, 3 levels SuperCasher for faster loading speed, free backup restore and free site transfer
- GoGeek ($11.95/mo.) - Includes unlimited websites, 30GB of storage, 6000MB limit per email account, ~100,000 monthly visits compatibility, 3 levels SuperCasher for faster loading speed, free backup restore, free site transfer, free backups on demand and pre-installed Git.
Siteground assures that their third-party and in-house developed solutions make emailing fast, spam-free and secure. Emails can be conveniently managed through cPanel.
With SiteGround solutions, you can use secured send/receive protocols, such as SMTPs, POP3s, and IMAPs.Also, all servers have anti-spam solutions enabled by default.
Key SiteGround Email Hosting Features:
|Free Unlimited Email Accounts||Top Notch 24/7 Support|
|Easy Email Management||Spam Protection|
4. 1and1 - Open Windows for Your Emails
Price From: $0.99 /month
Let's talk numbers:
1&1 is currently one of the oldest and most reliable hosts in the business, hosting over 19 million domain names and transferring over 5 billion emails and 9000 terabytes of data every month with the external connectivity speed of 300Gbit/s.
Their email hosting services are designed for mail servers developed by Microsoft; for small to medium-sized business or high-use individuals (for example, technologically advanced grandma, that just has to send millions of Christmas greetings for her grandchildren every year).
For your email hosting 1&1 can guarantee plenty of storage space, advanced security, fast data recovery, and professional support.
In addition, 1&1 IMAP server access will allow you to access your email from various devices and set up multiple email accounts.
With 1&1 email hosting, you'll not only get email address but also a personal domain for your new online identity or you can transfer your existing domain name with your old online identity.
For cloud email & Microsoft Office solutions 1&1 offers 4 packages:
- MAIL BASIC($0.99/mo.) - Includes 2GB of E-Mail storage, 1&1 Webmail for all devices and email address, matching your domain.
- MAIL PRO($2.99/mo. for 5 users) - Includes 15GB Exchange Account, Outlook Web App, and email address, matching your domain.
- OFFICEBUSINESS($4.99/mo.) - Includes 50GB Exchange Account, Microsoft Office Online, email address, matching your domain, Skype for business, Microsoft One Drive, Office 2016 Online-Version and 1TB of secure Online Storage in OneDrive.
- OFFICEPREMIUM PLUS ($9.99/mo.) - Includes 50GB Exchange Account, Microsoft Office Online with soft. download, Outlook Web App, email address, matching your domain, Skype for business, Microsoft One Drive, Office 2016 Online-Version, 1TB of secure Online Storage in OneDrive, Microsoft Office apps, and Norton Security Online virus protection.
Outlook Web App is an online version of Microsoft Outlook which will help you stay up-to-date with your employees. It grants real-time synchronization of emails, appointments, assignments, contacts, and sharing of the significant data.
You'll also get 24/7 expert support and setup service, including migration of existing data.
Key 1&1 Email Hosting Features:
|Personalized Email with Your Domain||IMAP Support|
|Spam Filter||Optimized for Microsoft Office|
|SSL Encryption||24/7 Expert Support|
|Free of Ads||Plenty of Domain Extensions|
5. Rackspace - Professional Hosted Email
Price From: $2.00 /month
Cheap email hosting for small business?
Rackspace Business Email service is just what you need.
Rackspace is a company that began as an idea of three classmates and now has become a global enterprise, operating in over 150 countries.
They have a variety of email-oriented, affordable services for all kinds of businesses. Just for $2/month (for one user), you can get everything necessary to launch your business emailing online.
$2/month/user Rackspace Business Email package features:
- 25GB Outlook-compatible Mailboxes
- 30GB Online storage per user in Cloud Drive (files are 256-bit encrypted)
- Email @ your domain
- Spam & virus protection
- Easy recovery of deleted email
- Secure IMAP (for Outlook & Mobile)
- Up to 50MB attachments
Rackspace guarantees 100% uptime with 24/7x365 Fanatical Support® (yes, that's a thing) and, on top of that - free and easy migrations.
In addition, desktop sync will make sure that all your desktop files (no matter if you're using Windows or Mac) will be safe with a copy in the cloud.
Key Rackspace Email Hosting Features:
|Free Email Migration||100% Uptime Guarantee|
|25GB Mailboxes||Experienced 24x7x365 Support|
|Outlook, Webmail, and Mobile Access||30GB Online Storage|
How to Pick the Best for You?
What are the key features worth looking for in a good email hosting provider?
I've listed most of them when reviewing email hosting providers but if you want to look further for someone to host your mailing, here's what to look for:
Multiple techniques must be used to keep your email secure and private, no matter if it is for your individual needs or for the organization. Your service provider should ensure email security by using (or forcing you to use) strong passwords and multi-factor authentications.
More to add, email hosting provider with strong security can encrypt your email messages with SSL and TLS layers, and implement a firewall and spam filtering applications. ProtonMail-style.
Custom Email Domains
Custom email is one of the most important details in the larger picture of your branding. In a single glance, your clients/recipients will see if your business is legitimate and ready to lift-off. You must ensure that your clients know what your brand is. It's the part of your marketing.
Imagine this - you are a businessman (or woman - #metoo), full of great ideas and looking for business partners. If you have gmail.com, yahoo.com or aol.com email it's like you are walking around with great business suit, Hawaii shorts, and green crocs.
Beautiful but not really professional.
With a custom domain, bearing your business name, you are fully prepared for serious business deals, wearing shiny shoes and a business suit.
It's also important for keeping control of your company. When you set up an email for one of your possible workers and he (or she) is fired for showing up drunk as a skunk, you can redirect all emails to a newly hired team member. Other option is to create a general email for some roles, like [email protected]
To sum up, look for the companies offering custom email addresses or with an easy transition of your current domain and email.
Responsive and Professional Support
It's obvious and usually overlooked when blinded by cheap prices. And only when the problem occurs, you realize that the customer support for your email hosting provider is... Well, you know what I mean.
Customer support should be available 24/7 via live chat and a nice touch is if you can reach them by phone. But it's not essential, to be honest.
The more important thing is for your customer support to know what they are doing, what are the most common (or all possible) problems and how to solve them quickly. Fast, professional and experienced.
Sometimes people just want to chit-chat with support and share some jokes. That's ok but it can be less funny when you are losing money every minute or so.
I'll give you a short example of a really bad customer support. The issue looked simple enough - migrating emails from one G Suite account to other G Suite account:
Looks bad? Well, it gets even more interesting when a student becomes the MASTER:
I really doubt that you want to teach support about their products, and that's why you should look for email hosting provider with decent support.
Storage for Your Precious Emails
Every email is important.
Ok, maybe not every, but you may never know when you'll suddenly realize that there's one very important invoice that you missed a year ago. And it's somewhere in your email history.
That is one of the many reasons why email storage is certainly important.
I like when email hosting provider gives generous email storage and monthly transfers. This allows me to feel safe.
Just keep in mind, that there's no such thing as unlimited email storage with shared hosting - you share the resources with others and if the limit is reached, the whole server performance will be affected. It is better to know that you'll have 20GB of space which is enough for multiple standard websites than get the unclear deal of unlimited resources.
Nothing is unlimited. If you don't believe me, just read the Terms of Service of a provider offering UNLIMITED something.
Simply pick the deal suiting your business and don't be Scrooge.
Which Email Hosting Service Is Best For You?
Email services have come a long way since AOL and you can find yourself overwhelmed with all the new features popping up.
But the good part is that you have a massive number of options to choose from. And the top 5 email hosting services on this list are all very good for specific tasks and specific kinds of users.
- ProtonMail has military-grade encryption and security. If you're worried about privacy, this is a great pick for you.
- G Suite is perfect if you're fully committed to Google and its platform.
- SiteGround is suitable if you're looking for a do-your-own solution as it gives you loads of server space and full freedom.
- 1&1 Ionos is a great pick if you're using Windows Office, and especially - Outlook.
- Rackspace is a professional option that's great for growing businesses.
Just try to find a perfect balance for your business and you are good to go!
Perhaps I've missed some important features or email hosts? If so, let me know in the comments!