Choosing a Hosted Email Provider – Google Apps, Rackspace Email & Zoho Mail
Updated: March 2016
Choosing an email hosting provider for your business email (e.g. email@example.com) is an important decision. Email is a vital tool for business, and it matters if it doesn’t work properly.
We help our clients setup their business email, primarily Zoho Mail, Google Apps and Office 365. We used to include Rackspace Email, however Rackspace have a problem with their onboarding process that makes it complex to sign up for their service from Australia, and hard for a 3rd party to provide support to clients about how to set up and use their Rackspace email.
We started to help clients use Zoho Mail after Google Apps stopped offering their free mail service. Zoho, Google Apps and Office 365 all have strong email services, with large quotas on mailboxes, support for large messages and strong anti-spam filters.
Pricing wise, the choices were:
- Google Apps ($5/user per month or $50/yr)
- Office 365 (from $7 USD/mth for mail only or $13.20/mth with desktop apps)
The Zoho Mail options include both free and paid::
- Lite: free for up to 10 users, with a 5Gb mailbox
- Standard: $3.50/mth USD (15Gb mailbox).
Office 360 is an interesting, if somewhat complex, offering. Their Business Essentials subscription gives you a good quality email service, with a 50Gb mailbox. To get access to the desktop Office Apps (such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint), you need the full Business subscription. You can pay a full $17.50 USD/mth per user to get HD video conferencing added on to that.
Zoho has a nice clean interface, which is refreshing. Office 365 and Google pack in the features, but could learn something in terms of ease of use from the Zoho crew. They’ve been offering the free version for over 2 and a half years now, and I suspect they will have been adding heaps of new customers based on this service.
If you just want a good business email service, the free Zoho account is a great fit. But if you like the Gmail or the Microsoft environment a lot, for a small additional monthly fee, you can get it.
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