If you are looking for the best email hosting account then there are quite a few things that you need to consider. There are lots of different companies that offer email hosting, but the best email hosting will depend on your exact requirements.
In this article we will outline the different types of email hosting and we will describe what we think is the best email hosting that you can go for.
The different types of email accounts
There are various different types of email account providers out there. the most common types allow you to register a free domain that is branded to their service. Good examples of this are yahoo.com, google.com and outlook.com (Formerly Hotmail).
This is great if you want a quick, generic and most importantly free email account such as email@example.com.
But what about if you need an email account for your personal domain name?
If you have your own domain, for example johnsmith.com, then you will need email hosting, rather than just a free email provider. How do you know which is the best email hosting to go for?
The best email hosting for you will probably depend on these factors:
- How much does it cost?
- How easy is it to set up?
- How many features does it provide?
Most email hosting providers with tick certain boxes, and perhaps not others. For example, its sometimes possible to get a free email hosting provider which you may instantly think is the best email hosting option. You may be able to get that free email hosting from the same company that provide you with your domain name. But thats not necessarily the best email hosting you can go for.
popular email hosting providers
There are lots of email hosting providers out there. Some of the most well known providers are:
- Google Mail – yes they offer a branded service (@gmail.com and so on) but they also offer a service whereby you can attach your domain name to your Google mail account and thus be able to send and receive email via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Godaddy – the hosting provider Godaddy also offer email hosting services and in fact most domain providers do. so if you are looking for a low cost option its worth enquiring with your current domain provider about the best email hosting option they have.
- Google Apps – Google also offer a business class email hosting service in the form of Google apps. This is roughly £3.30/month but gives you a much more feature rich email system that will allow you to synchronize your email across multiple devices, share calendars and much more.
- Microsoft – Microsoft offer email hosting in the form of office 365. You can often purchase this service directly through your domain provider. In cases where thats not possible, you can go directly to Microsoft. Microsoft promote office 365 as being suited to enterprise, however you can get the service at a very reasonable cost which we will discuss in more detail below.
best email hosting
In our opinion functionality is the most important factor when considering the best email hosting provider.
Of course cost is important too, but it is becoming harder to get a free email hosting provider. This is especially true if you are looking for a feature rich email hosting experience.
Syncronising across multiple devices
Most free providers will give you IMAP or POP access to your email. You can almost always use web mail as well. The disadvantages to these methods are that they do not syncronise very well across multiple devices.
If for example you have a computer, a laptop and a smart phone, then you will quite possibly want to have your email set up on all three of those devices.
If you use POP access then each device will receive and store its own local copy of all emails. They will not syncronise amongst each other.
If you use IMAP then you can get some syncronisation between devices, but IMAP is an antiquated technology and doesn’t work as well as some of the other systems out there.
Best email hosting : Google Apps
In our option Google Apps is one of the best email hosting options you can go for. The reason is that they have their own technology for email syncronisation. Their email system can be set up on a computer, iphone and or any other device that supports Activesync (Which most popular smart phones do support). Once set up, all devices will be completely syncronised automatically.
For example if you send an email from your PC, it will automatically appear in the sent items on your phone and vice versa.
There are lots of other features that come with Google Apps including support for your own domain, unlimited alias email addresses, shared calendars and much more.
the other advantage of using a system like Google apps is that all of your email is stored on Google servers and thus by definition is always backed up. Unlike traditional POP and IMAP systems where part or all of your transactional email is stored on your local PC and not backed up.
You can find out more information about Google Apps pricing as well as signing up here.
Best email hosting : Microsoft Office 365
Microsoft office 365 is in our opinion the joint best email hosting solution along with Google Apps.
Office 365 is slightly different in that it operates via Microsoft Exchange which is a trusted enterprise email platform developed by Microsoft.
Once again, this system will work with all popular email clients and any device that supports Activesync.
With office 365 all of your devices will be completely in sync with each other, you can have shared calendars, contacts, unlimited alias’ as well as group email addresses if required.
Microsoft office 365 does have the advantage of working natively in Microsoft office outlook without the need for an additional piece of software (Unlike Google Apps which requires Googel apps sync for outlook).
Whilst office 365 with enterprise email is normally fairly expensive and aimed at business, you can get their system at an even lower monthly cost than Google Apps.
You can start a trial of their solution here (Note that its the more expensive Enterprise E3 option, but can be downgraded to the correct package before the trial ends).
Or you can sign up directly for the Exchange Online Plan 1 here which is just £2.50 / month.
Summary about the best email hosting
Some other websites may provide you with different information but in our opinion the best email hosting providers are Google and Microsoft with their Google Apps service and hosted exchange service respectively.
You may also read that these services are both aimed primarily at businesses. Despite that fact we feel that the level of service and functionality offered by these products makes them just as well suited to individuals.
And the prices being just £3.30 and £2.50 per month respectively makes us feel that these services are well worth that small monthly payment when their features are compared to those of other lower cost email hosting providers.