Looking for Email Hosting Services
Pricing: Most email hosting services set their price on a per-user per-month basis, even when they require a minimum contract term of one year. The exception is our top overall choice, Bluehost, which sells its Professional Email and Professional Email Plus plans for $24.99 a year and $44.99 a year, respectively (steep discounts are offered for the first year of service). Per-user per-month rates range from $1 to $2 for basic business email plans to more than $20 for full-featured packages that integrate business management and productivity applications with business email.
All the products on this list except Zoho Mail and Microsoft 365 can be purchased by the month as well as for terms of one or more years. Free trials of 14 to 30 days are offered by the vendors we cover, except A2 Hosting and Hostinger, both of which provide 30-day money-back guarantees. (DreamHost’s free trial applies to its Google Workspace package only.) In addition to offering a free business email plan that meets the needs of very small companies, Zoho Mail sells email hosting for as little as $1 per user per month, and DreamHost’s entry-level plan is priced at $1.67 per user per month, both with annual contracts.
Storage capacity: The least-expensive email hosting plans provide 5 GB to 10 GB of email storage per user, while high-end packages feature up to 5 TB of storage per user. Microsoft 365 Business gives all users 1 TB, and Google Workspace’s Business Plus and Enterprise plans include 5 TB of storage for each user, with the option to purchase more if necessary. The typical amount of per-user storage provided in business email hosting plans is between 20 GB and 50 GB, which is sufficient to meet the needs of the vast majority of business users.
Email hosting services typically cap the size of email attachments to about 30 MB, but Zoho Mail allows attachments as large 1 GB with Zoho Mail Premium and 250 MB with Zoho Mail Lite. The increasing emphasis on machine-readable email has caused many firms to focus on text-based messages and reduce their reliance on graphics, especially in marketing communications. Not only does this enhance the accessibility of messages for people with visual impairments, it cuts the size of the average email and reduces the systems’ overall footprints.
Security features: Securing your business’s email requires protecting against dangerous incoming messages and preventing access to the sensitive information your email system sends and stores. Email hosting services include tools designed to defend against spam, viruses, and phishing attempts. For example, Google Workspace’s built-in defenses identify suspicious attachments and scripts, links and linked images, and domain spoofing.
Safeguarding private information sent by and stored in your business’s email system begins with end-to-end encryption of data at rest and in transit. Microsoft 365 Business offers customers several encryption options, including Microsoft Purview Message Encryption, Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME), and Information Rights Management (IRM), in addition to Transport Layer Security (TLS) for encrypting data as it travels between servers. Email access controls include two-factor authentication (2FA) and multifactor authentication (MFA) to augment reliance on insecure usernames and passwords.
Integration with other tools and software: Some of email hosting services have more limited options for connecting business email systems with other business processes. For example, Hostinger integrates only with Gmail, and A2 Hosting’s email integrations are limited to Gmail and the Buffer social media app. On the other hand, Zoho Mail integrates with other Zoho apps, such as Zoho Projects and Zoho Meetings, as well as with third-party products, including Zapier, Gravatar, and IFTTT.
Google Workspace’s Marketplace features dozens of third-party add-ons that include Zoom, Trello, Dropbox, Slack, DocuSign, Evernote, and Zoho Notebook. Conversely, integrating with Microsoft 365 Business requires using one of Microsoft’s Office 365 Management APIs. Zoho Mail provides REST APIs in several categories, including Organization, Domain, User Management, Account Management, and Group Management. The DreamHost API lets you link to the service by building an API call or by running a script.
User interface and ease of use: People spend a big chunk of their workday composing, reading, and replying to emails. The seven email hosting services in our list feature tools that simplify using and managing an email account. The Google Workspace interface is described by reviewers as intuitive, and the account panel and management tools offered by Bluehost are cited as productivity boosters.
Email hosting services make it easy to import and export mail. For example, Zoho Mail lets you import mail from a POP account by dragging and dropping either EML files or a ZIP file containing compressed EML files. Exporting emails is as easy as checking whether to include subfolders and archives, and then clicking the Export button. Similarly, the mail menu in DreamHost’s control panel makes it easy to create, edit, and delete addresses, manage spam filters, and create and edit MX records, announcement lists, discussion lists, and autoresponders.