All businesses need an email address that can be accessed quickly, securely and reliably with enough storage to keep messages from bouncing. However, some companies only need a single address while other businesses require a scalable email solution. For that reason, we looked at a range of options that can serve anyone from the sole proprietor wanting a free address to a growing business with multiple employees.
Based on the criteria above, we’ve determined G Suite is the best email service provider for small business. While it is not the lowest cost option, it’s overall reliability, available productivity tools, best-in-class security practices and ease of integration with other products is the reason it is the dominant provider in the market for small business.
Zoho Workplace’s Free plan includes webmail-based email and single domain hosting for up to five users. While the plan includes 5GB of storage, free email addresses, and attachments up to 25MB, it doesn’t include the advanced email functionality found with Zoho’s paid plans such as internet message access protocol (IMAP) and post office protocol (POP) support, or integration with other tools like Zoho’s in-house document writer, chat, and video conferencing.
Data protection is another key email security concern. Inboxes often contain GBs of business-critical and personal data, so not just hackers but also legitimate marketing companies can make big money off mining email data—and this sometimes includes the very company that is providing the email service to you. Fortunately, most companies, including your hosting provider, are pretty good about keeping out of private data, but it's important to be aware of when these policies have failed. Security breaches are commonplace and it's important to know how your data is being managed. To protect yourself, be sure to inquire about data safety capabilities on the provider's side, especially around encryption and malware scanning. But be sure to implement additional measures on your side, as well, including encryption for those using local email clients as well as deploying personal virtual private networks (VPNs) to folks accessing their email from multiple locations.
Rackspace users like the simplicity of the product. It offers the key functionality they need without any of the extra features they don’t use. However, they do wish the tool allowed them to mark tasks as complete. There are complaints about the lack of documentation addressing technical support questions, but users say this isn’t a huge problem due to Rackspace’s live technical support.
Intercapping is often used to emphasize the meaning of a domain name, because DNS names are not case-sensitive. Some names may be misinterpreted in certain uses of capitalization. For example: Who Represents, a database of artists and agents, chose whorepresents.com, which can be misread. In such situations, the proper meaning may be clarified by placement of hyphens when registering a domain name. For instance, Experts Exchange, a programmers' discussion site, used expertsexchange.com, but changed its domain name to experts-exchange.com.
Bluehost uses cPanel as its site management system. The Utah-based company has done an excellent job adding simple, but useful customizations to the cPanel layout. Sections are very clearly laid out and the process is simple to follow. It strikes a great balance between simplicity for beginners, and having the functions needed for more advanced users.
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Along with specialized uses for email, you should investigate how your users are emailing on a daily basis. Email has come a long way in 40 years and the way people use it has significantly evolved. That's important because it will impact the tools and features you need to look for in your hosted email provider's client software. Sure, Microsoft Outlook is still the most popular on-site email client, but a fast-increasing number of today's email users are opting for other email clients, such as Thunderbird, or all-web clients, such as Google's hugely popular Gmail. These clients can be very sophisticated and, depending on what your users are doing with email, they can have a big impact on your day-to-day business process.
One great way to protect data is by using email encryption. This feature can do wonders for protecting your organization's privacy and that of your employees, but it demands some investigation when you're selecting your provider. Is it built-in or do you require a third-party tool? Does it use common standards that the recipient can process? What about Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates? Are they included or do they need to be purchased separately? The best-in-class tools will not only make encryption easy for anybody to configure and use, buy they'll also make it easy for you to understand pre-purchase.
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