Nine best email providers for business 2016: Webmail vs desktop email: Google vs Microsoft vs Amazon: What’s the best email provider for business?
In a Gartner report published in Q1 this year, only 13 percent of businesses are using Google and Microsoft cloud email services, with 8.5 percent adopting Microsoft Office 365 (Outlook) and 4.7 percent using Google Apps for Work (Gmail).
Gartner research vice president Jeffrey Mann said: “Among public companies using cloud-based email, Microsoft is more popular with larger organisations and has more than an 80 percent share of companies using cloud email with revenue above $10 billion”.
“Google’s popularity is better among smaller companies, approaching a 50 percent share of companies with revenue less than $50 million,” he added. (Full report here )
So with Microsoft, Google and Amazon Web Services all offering good email solutions, deciding between them and other hosted email providers is a big task. To help, we’ve compiled a list of the best email providers on the market, some are web-based and others are traditional client email servers.
Here are the best email platforms for business
1. Webmail vs desktop email: What’s best for your business?
Webmail: Emails are stored on an online server mailbox with access to emails just requiring an internet connection. Some businesses prefer this over on-premise email hosts as it offers flexibility and doesn t take up any physical storage. So if you travel for work, this is an ideal solution. Webmail usually provides larger amounts of storage and in most cased unlimited storage is still pretty cost effective. Sadly, webmail does fail in some pretty important areas. Not exclusive to all, but most webmail services do not work offline making reliability an issue in some cases.
Desktop email: Emails are stored on-premise meaning you don t have to login online to access your emails. For some businesses this is a big positive as it means multiple email accounts can be open at one time without signing in and out of accounts. As desktop email doesn t require an internet connection it won t fail in times of poor bandwidth, getting a point for reliability. However, if your business does opt for desktop email some problems will arise. Firstly, syncing devices is more time-consuming than webmail, data is stored in one place so is potentially vulnerable and you are linked to an operating system that is restrictive if your business runs both PCs and Macs.
2. Best email providers for business 2016: Gmail and Google Apps
Unsurprisingly Gmail has made it onto our list, and rightly so. Gmail is a webmail service with a minimalist design and a user-friendly interface. If you know how to use the settings correctly, you can easily tailor your Gmail to the needs of your business. Gmail users can create multiple calendars and also share calendars with employees. Gmail offers a plethora of apps, from Google Sheets, Google Docs and Google Drive which can also be used on mobile devices. Gmail business customers will receive 30 GB of storage spread across Drive and Gmail, with an unlimited storage plan being available for 6.60 per user per month.
3. Best email providers for business 2016: Rackspace
Rackspace has both webmail and desktop email capabilities and with Rackspace mail users being able to access their emails through Outlook (desktop) and the Rackspace webmail application. Rackspace claims three million people use their email platform over mobile, web and Outlook. Its business email server is ad free and their anti-spam and virus capabilities are very good. Rackspace offers 25GB of mailbox storage and 50MB attachments with unlimited mailbox storage for an extra 2 per user/month.
4. Best email providers for business 2016: Rackspace Hosted Exchange
While there are a few good hosted exchanges out there, Rackspace’s hosted exchange is one of the most popular. Rackspace provides enterprise-level syncing of Outlook Web Apps and works across mobile and tablet devices. With Rackspace’s Hosted Exchange you benefit from integrated Skype which is a massive plus for most businesses. What’s more, you ll receive 250GB mailboxes, resource mailboxes and public folders.
Hosted exchanges use the email technology from Microsoft Exchange Servers. Here, Rackspace has bought a licence and are essentially renting out the technology and adding their own services on top.
5. Best email providers for business 2016: Exchange Online
Like Microsoft Exchange and other hosted exchanges, Exchange Online is an email, calendar and contacts provider which is located in the cloud by Microsoft but is also available on-premise through Microsoft Outlook. Exchange Online can be bought as a standalone service or as part of Microsoft 365. Its users will receive 50 GB of mailbox storage and can send messages up to 150 MB.
6. Best email providers for business 2016: Microsoft Office 365
Office 365 integrates Exchange Online and boasts SharePoint and Lync Online hosted on the cloud, meaning that setting up an ultra-connected business is pretty simple. With SharePoint, users can collaborate on documents, enable workflows and connect via social media platforms. If you opt to go for the full Microsoft Office 365 plan opposed to just the Exchange Online emails, you’ll benefit from integrated Office Web Apps and Skype at the click of a button and a 50 GB mailbox, 1 TB file storage and sharingHD video conferencing.
Microsoft Office 365 can also integrate with on-premises environments making a transition to the cloud easier.
7. Best email providers for business 2016: Outlook
Microsoft Outlook has a traditional interface with straight forward practices meaning creating ‘rules’ is very easy and Outlook does have a few more categories than Gmail for organising the inbox. Plus, Outlook integrates very well with social media channels and provides access to numerous email accounts and has an on-premise option. One downside is Outlook’s lack of video chat or IMAP support.
8. Best email providers for business 2016: Amazon WorkMail
Amazon has recently launched WorkMail, a cloud-based webmail service that boasts a managed business email and calendar service while still supporting existing desktop or mobile email platforms. Businesses can gain access to their email via Outlook, iOS or Android email applications or their web browser. WorkMail will provide 50GB of storage per user and security for enterprise-level users.
9. Best email providers for business 2016: Aabaco (Yahoo)
In December 2015, Yahoo Small Business rebranded as Aabaco Small Business. Aabaco provides business emails with unlimited email addresses and storage. Aabaco users will also receive a 20MB email attachment size and Norton Antivirus protection and spam filters. What’s different about Aabaco is users will also receive a customisable webpage with a unique domain name. This is ideal for smaller businesses.
Yahoo released an app in October 2015 that means users can access their Gmail, Outlook and Hotmail accounts.
10. Best email providers for business 2016: GMX
GMX is a free email service provider that offers webmail with unlimited storage, antivirus/spam filter, an online calendar, 50MB of attachments and specific domains. Like Gmail, GMX aims to provide an all-in-one email service.