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What is the best email hosting service for small business?Every business needs a secure, collaborative, and powerful email hosting service. What are the best products out there?
In this blog, we’ll cover the best email hosting services for small businesses and startups. From big tech offerings, such as Google Workspace and Microsoft Outlook, to smaller but rising products, including Zoho Mail and Skiff Mail, every product offers different feature sets, privacy levels, and interfaces. After choosing a product that suits your business’ collaboration and cloud storage needs, it’s critical to ensure your product is properly set up and secured alongside your web hosting solution (such as Wordpress hosting, Squarespace, or Webflow).Having an email service with a custom domain, the ability to add multiple users, and a robust productivity suite is one of the first steps to setting up a new business, and we hope this blog helps. Using an existing email service provider has significantly greater ease of use than setting up your own email servers (using Amazon AWS or Rackspace), with built-in antivirus or anti-phishing software, office suite products, and plenty of email storage.Ultimately, we highly encourage you try Skiff Mail for its privacy-respecting features, generous free plan, and low-cost storage storage for a complete email and collaboration solution.
How does email hosting work?Email hosting is a service that provides businesses and individuals with a secure and reliable way to manage their email communications - a necessity for internal communications, external meetings, customer support, and so much more. When a business or individual signs up for an email hosting service, they are provided with a unique email address and access to a web-based interface that allows them to send and receive email messages from their business account.The email hosting service is responsible for managing the underlying infrastructure and technology that makes email communication possible. This includes maintaining servers and other hardware that are used to store and process email messages, as well as implementing security measures to protect businesses' and individuals' data from unauthorized access.When a user sends an email message using their email hosting account, the message is first sent to the email hosting service's servers, where it is stored until the recipient retrieves it. When the recipient checks their email, the message is transferred from the email hosting service's servers to their email client (such as Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail) and displayed on their computer or mobile device.The email hosting service also manages the various technical details involved in sending and receiving email messages, such as routing messages to the correct servers and ensuring that messages are delivered to the correct recipients. This allows businesses and individuals to focus on using email to communicate and collaborate, without worrying about the technical details of servers, uptime, or managing hosting packages.In addition to providing businesses and individuals with a secure and reliable way to manage their email communications, email hosting services often offer a range of additional features and tools, such as support for multiple email accounts, customizable filters and rules, and integration with other business applications. This can make email hosting a valuable tool for businesses and individuals looking to improve their email management and productivity.We’ll start with big tech solutions, of which Google and Microsoft offer products that are intended for businesses. Yahoo and other consumer email products are not as well suited for business use, particularly given weak privacy and virus protections. In the final part of this blog, we’ll cover privacy-first webmail solutions that offer more secure hosting plans, as well as built-in security features such as end-to-end encryption.
Big Tech: Google WorkspaceThere are a number of reasons why a small business might want to use GSuite, including the following:
- Google Workspace and Gmail offer a variety of tools and services that can help small businesses manage their operations more efficiently, including multiple products in the work suite (such as Google Docs and Google Drive).
- Google Workspace/GSuite allows businesses to access these tools and services from, which can be particularly useful for small businesses with employees who work remotely or any device, who need to access business data while on the go.
- Google Workspace integrates with a number of other popular business tools and services, including Salesforce, Slack, and Trello, which can help businesses streamline their operations and improve collaboration. The products also have built in anti-malware and anti-spam.
- Google Workspace is a cloud-based service, which means that businesses need to have a reliable internet connection in order to access and use the tools and services it offers. This may not be feasible for businesses in areas with limited or unreliable internet access.
- Google Workspace is not always as customizable as some other business tools and services, which can be a disadvantage for businesses that have specific needs or preferences.
- Google Workspaceuite may not be suitable for businesses that handle sensitive or highly confidential data, as it is not as secure as some other options that offer more robust security features and controls.
- Google Workspace may not be the most cost-effective option for businesses that have very limited budgets or that only need a few of the tools and services it offers.
Big Tech: Microsoft OutlookThere are a number of reasons why a small business might want to use Outlook, including the following:
- Outlook is a well-known and widely used email and calendar application, which can make it easy for businesses to integrate it with other tools and services they use.
- Outlook offers a range of features and tools that can help small businesses manage their email communications and schedule more efficiently, including support for multiple accounts, customizable filters and rules, and integration with other Microsoft business applications.
- Outlook offers strong collaboration features, including the ability to share calendars and contacts, which can help small businesses improve communication and coordination among their employees.
- Outlook is available as part of the Microsoft Office app suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), which can be a cost-effective option for businesses that need multiple tools and services.
- Outlook may not have all of the advanced features and capabilities that some businesses require, such as support for large attachments or specialized tools for managing email campaigns.
- Outlook may not be as customizable or user-friendly as some other email and calendar applications, which can be a disadvantage for businesses that have specific needs or preferences for add-ons.
- Outlook's customer support may not be as responsive or comprehensive as some businesses would like, which can be a disadvantage for businesses that need help or assistance with their email and calendar service.
For CRM usage: Zoho MailThere are a number of reasons why a small business might want to use Zoho Mail, including the following:
- Zoho Mail offers a range of features and tools that can help small businesses manage their email communications more efficiently, including support for multiple domains, customizable filters and rules, and integration with other Zoho business applications.
- Zoho Mail is affordable, with affordable prices that are designed to be flexible and scalable to meet the needs of small businesses.
- Zoho Mail offers a number of collaboration features in the basic plan, including shared calendars and contacts, which can help small businesses improve communication and coordination among their employees.
- Zoho Mail is a cloud-based service, which means that businesses need to have a reliable internet connection in order to access and use the features it offers. This may not be feasible for businesses in areas with limited or unreliable internet access.
- Zoho Mail may not have all of the advanced features and capabilities that some businesses require, such as support for large attachments or specialized tools for managing email campaigns. It does have a huge attachment feature, however, for raising attachment limits.
- Zoho Mail may not be as well known or widely used as some other email services, which can make it more difficult for businesses to integrate it with other tools and services they use.
- Zoho Mail's customer support may not be as responsive or comprehensive as some businesses would like, which can be a disadvantage for businesses that need help or assistance with their email service.
For security and privacy: Skiff MailSkiff Mail is an end-to-end encrypted, privacy-first email service and productivity suite. Out of the options on this list, it is significantly more secure and private, as only you have access to your data. We’ll lay out some of the products that Skiff offers and how they may compare to Outlook, Google Workspace, Zoho, and other alternatives.
- Skiff Mail is the only end-to-end encrypted provider on this list. That means that only you, and no one else - not even Skiff - has access to your email content and subjects. For businesses that use email regularly, across timezones or countries, or in any sensitive industry (law, finance, tech, media), end-to-end encryption is critical and much stronger than basic SSL encryption (https).
- Skiff Mail comes with a full collaborative suite, including Skiff Calendar, Drive, and Pages. These products enable real-time team collaboration on docs, folders, files, wikis, and events. Having access to collaboration tools and file storage should be considered critical functionality for any business that expects to conduct a significant amount of business online, or with remote team members. On the Business plan, users can take advantage of up to 1 TB of storage space each.
- Skiff Mail allows users to add custom email domains. Using a custom domain name is critical for professional email use and any business email hosting provider. Note that most providers do not offer free domains or free custom domain usage; this is a paid feature across each email hosting solution.
- Skiff Mail also integrates extra privacy features, including image proxying, tracking protection, and two-factor authentication. These services - particularly 2FA - are critical.
- Skiff Mail also embeds spam protection and spam filtering into email inboxes, preventing malicious or advertising emails from making it to your inbox.
- Every Skiff Mail user, even on the free plan, can create four aliases. On Pro and Business plans, you can create up to fifteen. Given a feature-rich free email plan, you may also consider trying out the product for personal use.
- Skiff has incredibly accessible customer service, including a support email, open Twitter DMs, a long FAQ page, and more.
- To use a custom domain, you will need to purchase the Pro or Business plans. However, most other service providers on this list also require paid plans.
- Skiff does not yet have a sheets product. Although the Pages product can be used with tables for data entry, it does not yet have Excel-level sophistication.
ConclusionNew business owners or startups should choose a product that combines powerful features with security and ease of use. Skiff Mail is an excellent email and workspace solution with free email hosting on the basic tier, as well as custom domains, storage space, and an office suite of products on the paid plans.For more questions, reach out to us at [email protected], or contact us on Twitter, Discord, or Reddit.
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