Best Email Hosting Services in 2024

People send billions of emails daily, and businesses rely on email for internal and external communications. While generic email addresses get the job done, domain-based emails purvey professionalism and ensure brand consistency. The best email hosting services provide individual and shared email accounts managed through a central administrative panel.

We assessed dozens of email providers, spoke with customer service representatives and reviewed user feedback. Our evaluation considered pricing, features and ease of use. Explore our top-rated hosted email solutions in 2024.

Best email hosting services

  • Fastmail: Privacy-focused email host for multi-domain management.
  • Google Workspace: Best email and productivity suite for remote teams.
  • Microsoft 365: Top-notch enterprise solution for hybrid deployments.
  • Rackspace: Outstanding reseller support and services.
  • DreamHost: Basic, budget-friendly solution.
  • Zoho Mail: Best free email hosting services.
  • Amazon Workmail: Excellent for AWS and Microsoft users.
  • A2 Hosting: Most secure small business email hosting.
  • SiteGround: Best integrated website and email hosting solution.

Why trust our small business experts

Our team of experts evaluates hundreds of business products and analyzes thousands of data points to help you find the best product for your situation. We use a data-driven methodology to determine each rating. Advertisers do not influence our editorial content. You can read more about our methodology below.

  • 12 companies reviewed.
  • 8 hours of product testing.
  • 504 data points analyzed.

Best email hosting services comparison

*Total storage for email, photos and files.

We extensively research the key competitors within an industry to determine the best products and services for your business. Our experts identify the factors that matter most to business owners, including pricing, features and customer support, to ensure that our recommendations offer well-rounded products that will meet the needs of various small businesses.

We collect extensive data to narrow our best list to reputable, easy-to-use products with stand-out features at a reasonable price point. And we look at user reviews to ensure that business owners like you are satisfied with our top picks’ services. We use the same rubric to assess companies within a particular space so you can confidently follow our blueprint to the best email hosting services of 2024.

Email hosting services should have a wide variety of features, including a large inbox size (the larger the better), calendar functionality to keep all your meetings aligned, a mobile app to easily check your inbox and the ability to attach large files. For your safety, an email hosting service should also have email encryption, phishing protection and two-factor authentication.

With a business, you also want to make sure your email hosting service has a variety of customer service options. It is best for a company to offer support by phone, live chat and email. It is also best to have a self-help knowledge base available for business owners who are too busy to chat with a customer service representative during business hours.

What is email hosting services and how does it work?

Email hosting providers maintain servers that store email files and facilitate the sending and receiving of emails. These vendors offer email tools, such as webmail interfaces and collaborative calendars. Many have spam and virus protection and follow standard security procedures for safeguarding servers. 

With email hosting services, the end user signs up for the service and provides a domain name for emails. The domain might be for live or parked websites hosted through the email host or a third party. In some cases, you can purchase domains from the email hosting service. 

The vendor provides instructions for configuring your domain’s records so mail goes to the email host’s server. From there, you can view email using the host’s applications or through an email client, like Apple Mail or Thunderbird.

Benefits of email hosting services

It’s hard to argue against the fact that every business or independent professional needs one or more email addresses. While a free Gmail address works in a pinch, domain-based accounts have several advantages. 

Benefits of hosted email solutions for your company include:

  • Reduce email infrastructure and maintenance costs. Cloud-based email hosting doesn’t require on-site storage or maintenance. Your vendor updates, upgrades and maintains the equipment and software. 
  • Supports branding efforts. Brand awareness and consistency are critical to business success. Companies use domain-based email addresses to ensure leads and customers know where the email comes from, which increases trust. 
  • Centralize email communications. A key component of email hosting services is central administrative control. Business leaders can configure individual and shared accounts and set corporate data retention policies.
  • Strengthen your security posture. Most email providers offer spam, malware and phishing protection. Some vendors have end-to-end encryption and HIPAA-compliant solutions. These features and others help prevent harmful activities without intervention on your end.
  • Receive ongoing support. The best email hosting services have experts on hand to assist with issues from lost passwords to fixing account errors. This could reduce the burden on your IT staff.

Who uses email hosting services? 

Anyone wanting domain-based email accounts can rent server space or host them in-house. Many small and medium-sized businesses prefer online, cloud-based solutions over on-premise solutions. Outsourcing server maintenance and email support may cost less than maintaining your own equipment. 

Often, enterprises that host email servers or use hybrid options (cloud and on-site servers) choose third-party email hosting software. For instance, you can use your own equipment with Microsoft Exchange software. 

Individuals and businesses use email hosting services to:

  • Create and manage multiple email aliases.
  • Access additional storage.
  • Comply with email retention and data privacy laws. 
  • Gain central administrative control over employee email accounts. 
  • Establish shared email accounts, like [email protected]
  • Bundle email hosting with website services or office tools.
  • Provide employees with professional email addresses.

How to choose the best email hosting services 

Email hosts offer standalone and bundled solutions with varying account limits and features. Comparing services thoroughly and finding the right email host helps you get the most value. 

Learn what features to look for, explore add-ons and see how usability, customer service and security impact your company.

Key features to look for

At a minimum, email hosting services should support domain-based email addresses. However, other features may differ by plan or provider. 

Look for email platforms offering:

  • Spam filters. Vendors typically use software to detect malware-infected or unsolicited mail. In addition, providers may have allow or block lists.
  • Email storage. This refers to how much space your mailboxes can use on the server. Limits range from 2 GB to 100 GB. 
  • Contact database. Email hosting services allow you to manage individual or shared contact lists. Some provide advanced search and segmentation options. 
  • Webmail tools. These features may include snooze, scheduled send or read receipts. 
  • Email client support. Email protocols like POP, IMAP and SMTP let users handle messages from their preferred email client. 
  • Administrator panels. Businesses can manage domain names, email addresses, universal settings and users from a central dashboard.

Add-ons and extras 

Many email hosting solutions offer additional features and services. These can hasten deployment and simplify vendor management. While some bundle advanced tools in higher-tier plans, others have add-ons.

Consider the following options:

  • Web hosting. Companies like DreamHost, SiteGround and A2 offer website builders and e-commerce sites. Their plans may include email hosting, allowing you to pay one price for email and web services.
  • Domains. Several email hosts sell domains. If your business doesn’t have a website or you’re switching from free accounts, you can register a domain name through the email host.
  • Support services. Most email services include some form of customer support in all plans. However, they may restrict live assistance by only allowing system administrators to request support. Add-on technical services can provide premium support as needed. 
  • Migration support. Not all email hosts have native migration tools. Check out their solutions if you need to transfer one or more databases to the new email service. These may include email migration wizards, live migration support, full-service migration or third-party apps.
  • Office suite. Email vendors may bundle other business software with hosting solutions. Alternatively, you may buy standalone services through the vendor that integrate seamlessly with your email system. Zoho Mail, Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace are examples of providers that offer collaborative content creation tools, team chat and video conferencing support. 

Email service limits and restrictions

Review specifications to ensure the email service you choose can meet the demands of your organization. 

Look for details on the following specs:

  • Email send limits. Email providers may set daily or hourly send limits. How they count an email send varies by vendor. Most services have allowable use policies as well. These typically reiterate that the web host doesn’t support bulk emailing. 
  • File attachment size. Email hosting services may have restrictions on inbound and outbound email attachment sizes. Some offer a workaround for large files, allowing users to email a link to a cloud document.
  • Email retention periods. If your company must adhere to data retention policies, check with the provider to ensure you can archive or otherwise store emails for the required timeframe. 
  • Email recipient limits. Aside from email send guidelines, some providers restrict the number of contacts you can add to each email and how many recipients you contact by hour or day.

UX and ease of use 

If most of your employees will use applications provided by the email host instead of third-party email clients, then it’s vital to review usability. Take advantage of free trials to test webmail, mobile and desktop apps. 

The best solutions allow users to customize inboxes, from appearance and themes to organizational structure and labels. Some deploy a conversational or threaded messaging format resembling a chat thread, whereas others have collapsible email chains. Productivity can vary depending on how employees use email and which tools they need to be most efficient. 

Further, administrators should find adding or removing email addresses and applying data policies convenient. Mobile management tools can also protect email data if a device is lost or stolen.

Email security and privacy 

Aside from standard spam protection, email hosting services may provide anti-virus and phishing prevention tools. These can inform users or administrators of potential problems with proactive alerts and push notifications. 

Encryption methods also vary. Many services encrypt messages during transit using the TLS protocol. Some also encrypt data during rest with the AES-256 standard. You may also have the option to encrypt single emails, password-protect them or prevent users from forwarding them. 

In addition, DKIM support can prevent your emails from ending up in spam boxes or being used in a phishing scheme. Google recommends enabling DKIM for domains, stating, “Without DKIM, hackers and other malicious users can impersonate your domain and send messages that appear to come from your organization or domain.”

Remember to check if the hosting company offers 2FA. This sign-on method adds an extra layer of security. 

How much does email hosting services cost?

Standalone email hosting services charge on a per-user basis. On the flip side, the best website builders may include unlimited email addresses with web hosting plans. Vendors like A2 and DreamHost provide basic email services, whereas Google Workspace is a complete productivity suite with content creation and collaboration tools. Therefore, pricing varies greatly between products.

When looking at email-only services, base plan per-user costs range from $1 to $4. Higher-priced packages from Google and Microsoft have more applications and functionality. Zoho Mail is the only vendor offering a free email hosting service. The free version supports five users and one domain. 

In order to use most email hosting services, you need a domain. You can get a free domain name with some web hosting packages, such as those through SiteGround. Alternatively, you may be able to purchase a domain through the email host. However, you may find cheaper prices through a third-party domain registrar

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Fastmail stood out as the best email hosting service based on our assessment. It supports up to 100 custom domains and allows ample daily email sends. The affordable base plan costs $2.50 per user with annual billing, and you can mix and match subscriptions. Fastmail makes it easy to migrate from another provider in less than 10 minutes.

Start by checking out the last part of your email address — the section after the @ sign. If it says Gmail, then it’s Google, whereas iCloud is Apple. Alternatively, you can use the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) lookup tool. Enter the last part of your email into the box, then scroll down to view the Registrar information.

Start by signing up for a new account and reviewing instructions for configuring your domain name. This involves configuring nameservers and redirecting your domain name to the new email server. Consider choosing a provider that offers migration tools and guides. These can be helpful if you want to transfer email files and folders from your previous provider. 

Yes, you can self-host email on a computer at home, in the office or in the cloud. It requires hardware and software configuration. Although you gain control over your data, it’s also time-consuming. You must manage server security, uptime, anti-spam tools and deliverability issues. 

Yes, domain names, web hosting and email hosting are three separate components. You can purchase them separately or bundle them together. In each case, your vendor will provide instructions for configuring the accounts, regardless of whether you purchase them separately or together.

Related Posts