If you're looking for the best email hosting service -- one that is super easy, cheap, and 100% dependable -- you're in the right place. Our team signed up for accounts with all the popular email hosts and tested each based on reliability, security, ease of use, and more. We were pleased to discover that several offer free, unlimited email addresses; free webmail; and free auto-responders with their plans. See below for our picks of the best email hosting services:
Post initial setup, a primary concern will be the log-on issue. If your organization is fine with a separate log-on for your email provider, then this step will be quick. However, that's not typically what businesses want or users expect. In general, users expect to sign onto their desktops and have their email and file sharing sign-ons happen as part of that one-step process. Not surprisingly, this is called Single Sign-On (SSO) and it's enabled in one of three ways: through the use of a back-end directory service like Microsoft Active Directory (AD); an identity management service, like Okta (one of our Editors' Choice winners in that category); or several compatible web services that include SSO along with other apps and email services, like Google G Suite Business and Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium (two of the top providers reviewed here). Which method you choose depends on how your business is configured today and your long-term cloud services strategy. It's definitely a conversation you'll need to have either with your in-house IT staff or your outside IT consultant.
Many dedicated server providers include a service level agreement based on network up-time. Some dedicated server hosting providers offer a 100% up-time guarantee on their network. By securing multiple vendors for connectivity and using redundant hardware, providers are able to guarantee higher up-times; usually between 99-100% up-time if they are a higher quality provider. One aspect of higher quality providers is they are most likely to be multi-homed across multiple quality up-link providers, which in turn, provides significant redundancy in the event one goes down in addition to potentially improved routes to destinations.
While most businesses will have such suites in place, it often falls to the email service to provide an additional layer of anti-phishing and anti-malware protection. Our reviews found a surprising variance in this department, however, ranging from very robust to completely non-existent, so be careful. Since it's such a huge liability for business owners, this could be one of the most important factors in terms of background features. At the very least, it's better than filing an insurance claim or outright losing funds due to simple social engineering tactics.
Syntactically correct, verified email addresses do not guarantee that an email box exists. Thus many mail servers use other techniques and check the mailbox existence against relevant systems such as the Domain Name System for the domain or using callback verification to check if the mailbox exists. Callback verification is an imperfect solution, as it may be disabled to avoid a directory harvest attack.
Well, depending on your email provider, you can often define several different email addresses that are all delivered into the same mailbox. For example, it’s not at all uncommon for various standard email addresses like “[email protected]”, “[email protected]”, “[email protected]” and so on, to all be delivered into the same mailbox – the mailbox of the administrator for that mail server. I actually go so far as to have many email addresses on my “askleo.com” domain, but only one account. All the email on that domain is delivered to that single account. (I then use rules and filters to sort the email, based on what address it was sent to.)
Some mail services support a tag included in the local-part, such that the address is an alias to a prefix of the local part. For example, the address [email protected] denotes the same delivery address as [email protected] RFC 5233, refers to this convention as sub-addressing, but it is also known as plus addressing, tagged addressing or mail extensions.
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.
Dedicated hosting server providers utilize extreme security measures to ensure the safety of data stored on their network of servers. Providers will often deploy various software programs for scanning systems and networks for obtrusive invaders, spammers, hackers, and other harmful problems such as Trojans, worms, and crashers (Sending multiple connections). Linux and Windows use different software for security protection.
The transmission of electronic mail within the Internet uses the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), defined in RFC 5321 and 5322, and extensions like RFC 6531. The mailboxes may be accessed and managed by users with the Post Office Protocol (POP) or the Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) with email client software that runs on a personal computer, mobile device, or with webmail systems that render the messages on a screen or on paper printouts.
Formal and informal standards: RFC 3696 provides specific advice for validating Internet identifiers, including email addresses. Some websites instead attempt to evaluate the validity of email addresses through arbitrary standards, such as by rejecting addresses containing valid characters, such as + and /, or enforcing arbitrary length limitations. Email address internationalization provides for a much larger range of characters than many current validation algorithms allow, such as all Unicode characters above U+0080, encoded as UTF-8.
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