You need email hosting for your online business, so what are the best email hosting options? I have a dedicated guide on how to setup a professional email using a standard web hosting account. It’s a good simple solution if you just need a professional email for a contact form and so forth and don’t plan on sending or receiving too many emails.
But what if you plan on using a professional email for a wide variety of things like contacting business and professionals for partnerships, interacting with clients, your audience (if you have one) and/or perhaps for email marketing? You’ll need your own dedicated email hosting solution then.
It’s not something most small business owners and content creators think about, but at some point you are going to need dedicated email hosting services as a way to separate your business from the personal. You also get a lot of useful features with most email hosting providers.
Why pay for email hosting instead of using free email services?
Paying for email hosting allows you to have a dedicated inbox with its own custom domain, storage, collaboration tools, and data privacy. Also, long term, as your business grows, you will rely on email for more professional use, as I do.
Weekly, I interact with brands for affiliate deals, other content creators, and bloggers, as well as answering emails from the public. You’ll want the professionalism that a branded email like email@example.com provides on top of security and storage.
Bandwidth and storage
Most email hosts tend to offer some sort of storage for emails, files, attachments, videos and more. Some hosts only provide storage for everything in your email only.
With a dedicated host, you can quickly scale up your email requirements easily without service interruption, and you’re not wasting storage space that you’re either paying for and not using or space that is inadequate.
Email hosting cost
Email hosting services are quite affordable, even at scale. Depending on the email hosting provider, an inbox with a custom domain can cost as little as $1-2 a month. Most email services are also quite generous with allowing multiple email addresses.
For multiple email addresses you’ll need to decide between going with an email hosting provider that gives a few inboxes but a lot of aliases or a few aliases but many inboxes.
Email-specific security and features
From end-to-end encryption to security and additional features like collaboration tools, a dedicated email host provides a wide array of features your web host won’t.
Compared to using a free option like a Gmail account or an email hosting with your web host, you’ll get features such as upgraded spam filters, malware defense, and two-factor authentication. This allows you to safeguard sensitive data and your personal information.
Better email deliverability
If you think you’re going to use a professional email hosted at your web host for your email marketing software, you’re making a big mistake. Deliverability is essential; your email account will have the same IP address as your websites and any website you share a server with.
Having a dedicated email host, I’ve noticed better deliverability for emails, meaning they hit the inbox, not the spam folder or the “promotions” tab in Gmail.
The 10 best email hosting options
With that out of the way, here are my top choices for email hosting. You have a wide range of options, and my team and I are going to cover everything from the best budget option to the most feature rich email hosting for small businesses.
Let’s get started!
Google Workspace – Best for small teams and professionals
Leading off the list is Google Workspace, it’s basically a paid version of Gmail and associated apps where it’s ad free. Another key selling point is that because you’re paying for Workspace, Google does not collect data on you:
Google Workspace customers own their customer data, not Google.Security whitepaper
You can also set up a custom domain name for your emails and 30 email aliases. So if you’re a power user of Google services from documents, slides, drive, and Google meetings, then you’ll love Workspace. You can also integrate Workspace with a physical key and 2FA for even greater security.
Google Workspace is one of the best options for email hosting if you’re going to be using all the features provided with your account. If all you’re looking for, however, is email, then it’s too expensive as the price point is per inbox user, which can add up quickly if you want to have multiple custom email addresses.
How many email addresses do you get?
One thing I want to note before you sign up is that you get only one email inbox per workspace account, and need to pay for each additional email inbox.
You do get 30 email aliases however so if you want to have multiple addresses with Workspace it’s totally possible but everything will be sent to one inbox.
How much does Google Workspace cost?
Google Workspace gives everyone a full-featured, 14-day free trial of all their plans. The tiers are Business Starter, Business Standard, and Business Plus. The prices shown are if you sign up for a 1-year commitment.
- Business Starter: $6 monthly, 30 GB of storage, 100 video call participants.
- Business Standard: $12 monthly, 2 TB of storage, 150 video call participants.
- Business Plus: $18 monthly, 5 TB of storage, 500 video call participants. More sophisticated security features.
I’m on the Starter plan and find it more than adequate to manage my email communications. However, the 30 GB of storage is a bit limiting, as my video courses take a bit of space.
Workspace is great for email marketing
Gmail is one of the most popular email clients in the world. When you use Workspace, you get an ad-free Gmail, and when your emails are sent using email marketing software, you can have an image icon next to your email.
This helps build trust as branding with your email marketing efforts, as you can have a picture of yourself instead of a blank icon.
- It’s the paid version of Gmail and other apps, a service you’re probably already quite familiar with.
- Your data is your own, no more ads too within your email client.
- Can use a physical key to add an even greater level of security.
- Perfect for small teams as you get a suite of tools.
- Great support and easy account recovery.
- They are one of most reliable email hosting provider.
- Price is per user/inbox. To pay 6-12$ per month for one inbox is costly, particularly if you start building out a team who all need their own email address. But it’s worth if you use all the additional features Workspace provides.
My top choice for professionals and small business who need quality email, security as well as a suite of helpful collaboration tools. The best overall email hosting service.
Proton Mail – The best secure, email first option
Proton Mail is Switzerland based and follows strict privacy laws. Your data can be encrypted from end to end. Proton Mail (even a free account) is perfect for all your sensitive data, like banking and brokerage accounts.
Proton for Business vs Proton Unlimited – What’s the difference?
Proton Mail currently has two product verticals. One called “Proton for Business”with two tiers which are Mail Essentials and and Business and one for individuals called “Proton Unlimited.”
Let’s break down these plans because it’s a bit confusing to discern on Proton Mail’s own website. I am going to assume you’re paying yearly. Though Proton Mail does allow for monthly plans or to pay upfront for two years :
|Proton Unlimited||Business||Mail Essentials|
|500 GB of storage||500 GB of storage.||15 GB of storage.|
|15 email addresses||15 email addresses||10 email addresses|
|3 custom email domains||10 custom email domains||3 custom email domains|
|–||Contact group management||Contact group management|
|25 Calendars+sharing||25 Calendars+sharing||25 Calendars+sharing|
|10 VPN connections||10 VPN connections||1 VPN connection|
|Unlimited hide-my-email aliases||Unlimited hide-my-email aliases||–|
The main difference is that the Business plan is slightly more expensive than the Unlimited one and allows for more custom email domains. You also get better contact group management.
If these items are not essential, then the Unlimited Plan is quite a good deal, and Proton Mail offers a substantial discount if you sign up two years in advance.
Finally, if you’re looking for the most cost-effective plan, then Mail Essentials is a good choice, as that plan is light on storage but allows for multiple custom email addresses.
Proton Mail features
You get encrypted email, a drive storage feature, a calendar, and a VPN with Proton Mail. With their paid plans that cost roughly the same as Workspace, except you can have multiple email accounts for various custom domains, not just one inbox with multiple aliases like Workspace.
For example, the “Proton Unlimited” account for individuals that provide a massive 500 GB of storage, 15 email addresses (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, etc.), and three custom domains. If you have multiple websites where you need to use a custom domain, now you can.
As for the storage, it’s incredibly generous and ideal for YouTubers and online course creators looking for a place to store large amounts of video files.
- If all you need is email hosting, Proton Mail is one of the best option.
- Multiple custom domains and email accounts for one low price.
- End to end encryption that keeps your data private.
- You get also get a calendar, cloud drive storage and a VPN.
- Proton Mail does not have access to your password. If you forget your password you can recover your account but you won’t be able to “read all your existing emails, contacts, and other files due to the encryption we use to protect your data” – source. So you need to trust yourself not to forget your password. If you didn’t setup an account recovery option you’ll lose access to your email permanently.
Multiple email inboxes, aliases, storage, a VPN and end to end encryption for a great price.
Namecheap – The best cheap email hosting provider
Namecheap email hosting is one of the best cheap email hosting providers around and is perfect if all you need is email hosting and nothing more. You get storage for emails only and mobile sync support and mobile sync support on their Pro and Ultimate plans.
- Starter: $1.24/monthly, +0.74 for each additional inbox. 10 aliases per inbox, 5 GB of storage.
- Pro: $3.49/monthly, +$2.16 for each additional inbox. 50 aliases per inbox, 30 GB of storage.
- Ultimate: $5.99/monthly, +3.32 for each additional inbox. Unlimited aliases, 75 GB of storage.
For just a few dollars a month you can have multiple mailboxes with your own custom domain, spam filtering, gigabytes worth of storage and basic security features like 2FA.
The interface is nothing to write home about when logged into your account but you can connect Namecheap email hosting to your favorite email client (through SMTP, IMAP and POP3) for a better user experience.
- Good, basic email hosting at a very affordable price.
- If you have your domains at Namecheap, integration is even easier.
- A strong focus on spam control and security.
- Free trial for 2 months before having to pay.
- The 2FA feature works with desktop but not mobile, so if someone if trying to hack into your email on mobile there is less security. This is not a big concern though but it is something I noticed.
- No additional features beyond email and storage.
Namecheap provides affordable, straightforward email hosting. Very easy to integrate if you already have your domains at Namecheap.
Zoh Mail – The white label suite of tools choice
Zoho is a company that provides a wide range of business services from email, CRM, a customer service desk and more. Their email offer is very good because it’s incredibly affordable at just $1 a month for their “Mail Lite” plan where you get 5GB of storage, a basic calendar and premium email features like spam protection, security, aliases and large attachment support.
You could also consider upgrading to their “workplace” plan if you need a suite of tools similar to Google Workspace apps or their “Mail Premium” offer where you can white label their software as your companies own.
Overall Zoho Mail has a very compelling offer for both individuals, small teams and small business. All at a great price point.
- Three different plans ideal for different user bases: the individual who needs a basic professional email, the small business who want’s to white label and teams that need collaboration tools.
- Great price points, particularly when compared to Google Workspace.
- Customer support is lacking, particularly if you have an issue accessing your account.
Fastmail – The secure, Proton Mail alternative
Fastmail is based in Australia and provides secure email almost on par with Proton Mail. They don’t follow as strict of encryption as Proton Mail, so if you’re the type to lose your password, you may want to use Fastmail over Proton.
Fastmail offers probably the most generous policy on email address around in that you can have multiple domains, each with their own inbox and can also leverage up to 600 aliases. The only real limit is your account resources.
With additional features like “schedule to send” as well as a snooze, expert support and a great mobile app, you’ll be quite happy with this secure email offering if what you’re looking for is primarily secure email only with a good web app.
- Secure email provider, but not so secure that if you lose your password they can’t help you.
- No limit on how many domains you can add to your account.
- 600 aliases for added privacy.
- A solid mobile app to check your email.
- No additional features like a VPN or productivity apps. If all you’re looking for is email however, Fastmail is great.
Skiff – The secure productivity suite
Skiff brands themselves as a “privacy first workspace” for small businesses. They provide encrypted email, calendar, pages and a cloud storage drive. It’s a decent suite of collaboration for small business as you can easily share documents between members.
The email feature is end to end encrypted like Proton Mail and all documents are encrypted as well. You can choose who has access to what and can manage your teams workspace from one interface. Even the calendar and drive are encrypted as well.
This brings up the same issue as Proton Mail, if you forget your password it will be difficult to recover your account. Skiff does provide all new users with a recovery key that can be used to access your account (you write it down somewhere or can save it as a PDF).
They also use Shamir’s secret sharing for cryptography. So if you do forget your password an need to use your recovery key or backup email address you can recover your account data. In short, use a password manager.
- End to end encryption for email.
- A good set of productivity tools for small teams.
- A great choice for small teams.
- 100 GB of storage
- Free plan you can use and try out.
- A bit more expensive than Workspace but for one price you can have two domains.
Hover – Best cheap and simple email hosting provider
Hover is another domain name registrar that I like that offers basic email hosting for just $20 a year. At this price point you get unlimited inboxes for one custom domain and 10 GB of storage. That means you can have firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and so forth.
The only issue I’ve seen with using Hover is they charge $5 per alias. An alias is a way forwarding email from different addresses to one inbox. So with other email hosts you can have one inbox to manage everything but use multiple aliases.
- An outstanding price point.
- 10 GB of storage.
- Unlimited email addresses for one domain.
- They charge a lot for setting up an alias. You’re better of just creating multiple inboxes.
Start Mail – Privacy focused email
Start Mail is another great, lesser known, privacy focused email hosting service. With their “custom domain” plan you can set one inbox per custom domain and unlimited aliases which depending on your work flow might be significant.
In addition you also get 10 GB of storage per account, advanced spam filters, inbox layout options and premium customer support. Where Start Mail may be lacking is that they don’t provide an app for your mobile device, instead requiring you to log into Start Mail via a mobile web browser.
There is also no free plan, even a personal email found at @startmail.com requires users to pay for access. However they do offer a 7 day free trial.
- Very affordable price point per inbox.
- Unlimited aliases
- 10 GB of storage is an acceptable starting amount.
- No mobile app.
Godaddy – Microsoft 365 business choice
I’m typically not a fan of GoDaddy because I find that they almost always over charge for their services compared to their competitors, but their email hosting plans are pretty competitive.
With their “essentials” and “plus” plans you can get a domain based email, 400 aliases and 10 GB of storage on the essential plan and 50 GB of storage on the plus plan. They also offer a “business professional” plan that includes everything in the plus plan, but also access to Microsoft 365 apps.
Just be aware that like in typical GoDaddy fashion, the price point you see is only an introduction price and the actual renewal rate is much higher. But if you’re looking for an email host that provides a lot of storage with their plans then GoDaddy is tough to beat.
- Can get up to 50 GB of storage for each inbox.
- 400 aliases per inbox.
- Access to Microsoft 365 on their top tier plan.
- Their renewal rates are a bit high compared to other options.
Hostinger – The super cheap email hosting option
Hostinger offers the cheapest email hosting plan I’ve come across. At a .99 cents a month you get one inbox, 10 email aliases and 10 GB of storage. They are powered by Titan Email (a business to business email hosting provider) which provides you with an app for you to download to both your IOS or Android device.
They also offer an “enterprise” plan at $2.99 a month where the storage is increased to 30 GB per inbox. Overall, if you’re looking for cheap email hosting with a low price point per inbox in addition to a mobile app then you’ll like Hostinger.
- Low price point per inbox.
- 10 GB of storage is adequate for strictly business email.
- Mobile app.
- 10 aliases per inbox.
- No collaboration tools for teams. This is an email only hosting option.
Ice Warp – A suite of business tools
Ice Warp is a lesser known productivity suite with a good email option built in. They charge a lower fee per user than Google Workspace and provide you and your team with an email client, chat function, conference call, document management, notes and a calendar.
Ice Warp is great alternative to Google Workspace and provides similar features at a more cost effective price point. However, it’s really only designed for teams as all plans require that you pay for a minimum of 10 users.
If you have a small business with a small team or a corporation, Ice Warp has plan for you. For 10 users, they provide 200 GB of email storage and 1TB of file size transfer.
- Cost effective if you require 10 or more users.
- Lot’s of storage and a good file transfer limit.
- A suite of tools designed for team management.
- For teams only as all plans require you purchase 10 user accounts at a minimum.
Amazon Workmail – Web services email
If you use Amazon Web Services for your small business, consider using their Workmail service to host your email. WorkMail is only $4 per user each month; this includes 50GB of mailbox storage with no additional options other than the number of users.
You can get started with Workmail usin a 30-day free trial for up to 25 users. With just $4.00 per user per month, you’ll receive 50 GB of mailbox storage to store all your important emails and documents.
Overall I would suggest WorkMail if you’re going be using Amazon Web Services in general for your small business. If you’re not using Web Services, then the email feature of Workmail is quite lacking in features and there are better options on this list.
- A good choice if you’re in the Amazon ecosystem already.
- Secure email through usage of Amazon’s industrial grade cloud computing.
- End to end encryption is not possible yet.
- No collaboration tools, not even with Amazon WorkDocs which you need to pay extra for.
- Overall just a bit bare bones for the price point when compared to the competition.
Is it more important to have multiple inboxes or aliases?
Being able to create multiple aliases is very important for organizational and security purposes. You don’t want to be giving out your email when possible so giving out an alias is just better and more useful as you can hide your inbox.
The best email hosting provider depends on your needs. In general, I would recommend one inbox per team member and have that team member setup multiple aliases to hide the actual inbox address.
Best email hosting service providers
So that’s it for this guide on the best email hosting services. From budget-friendly providers focusing only on the best email hosting to complete software suites giving a range of collaboration tools, there is an email hosting provider for all use cases.
David UtkeDavid Utke is a professional blogger, YouTuber and a highly rated user experience consultant. He and his team create helpful tutorials, software reviews, videos and more based on real-world experience. Join over 30,000 monthly readers and 27k+ YouTube subscribers!
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