The Digital Forest Blog

What email service should I use?

Until the advent of the smart phones, email used to be pretty straight forward - you could pay a few pounds a month and get a basic hosting service with unlimited email accounts. The most prominent protocol was POP mail accounts which generally were set to just download mail directly to your PC. This was cheap for the Hosting providers as there was little room taken up win the server and once set up things did change much so the support costs were low as well. 

Once the ability to get your email on the move became an essential part of life however, and having access to email on multiple devices, all synced up became the norm, the small margins made in email hosting vanished. Customers now using the IMAP protocol were leaving mail on the server and requiring copious amounts on online storage. Not to mention the support costs of assisting users setting up thier mailbox on 3 or more different devices! - which were being changed annually in some cases. The increase in spam and email bourne viruses also meant that filtering and virus scans were now becoming an essential part of the service for any email provider.

So with the changing environment we saw a major shift in the email services offered. This so-called 'Business' class mail provided a more accommodating service with large mailbox sizes, full 24/7 support and a quality of service that was required from such an essential form of communication that email has now become.

Currently unless you are getting email as part of your Adobe Business Catalyst Subscription, we recommend the following email services as the provide the best value for money when all things considered.

Current recommended services:  

Rackspace email - this currently only appears to offer US based support 

Price : $2 per user per month
 24/7 Phone Support, 25Gb mailbox size 

Google Apps for Business - now called GSuite: includes email, Google ‘Docs’, ‘Sheets’, ‘Slides’, Calender, ‘Drive’etc.
 Price : £3.30 per user per month.
 24/7 Support, 25Gb mailbox size 

Microsoft Office 365 Business Essentials : Includes online versions of MS Office only
 Price : £3.10 per user per month.
 24/7 Support, 50Gb mailbox size 

Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium : Includes Desktop and online versions of MS Office
 Price : £7.80 per user per month. 24/7 Support, 50Gb mailbox size
 https://products.office.com/en-gb/business/compare-more-office-365-for-business-plans 

If you don't use MS office then the GSuite offering is the best value once you take into consideration the Google drive and other services, which are really useful..., If you have to pay for MS office licences anyway then Office 365 Premium is the way to go.

Most of the hosting companies such and act hosts and 1and1 will provide low cost hosting plans which include email. They allow you to host a number of mail accounts on on the same hosting plan - but be aware - these are normally low cost, shared hosting services with really poor support and limited mailbox sizes. As a rule of thumb - the cheaper the mail service the more likely it is going to be used by spammers! - which means potentially getting the mail server blacklisted and you being unable to send mail for 24 hours...