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January 29, 2016

Email Hosting – How to Select the Right Provider and Type of Email

Author: Harry Casimir

You are an expert in your field and focused on your passion, and you need to feel confident that you are choosing the right tools for your team to be successful. Email has become a primary communication tool across all industries, but to some it can feel like you need an IT degree to figure out exactly how to get started or what to do when your current email hosting is not meeting your team’s needs anymore.

When it comes to setting up business email, there are endless options available, and it can be difficult to know where to start. At Atilus, your business is the driving force behind everything we do. We partner with the best hosted email provided to you with a service and product you can rely on.

Hosted “Cloud” Email vs In-House Server

There is a lot to be said for choosing a hosted email provider rather than managing this yourself, and with all the options available there is a good fit out there for any size business.

What is an “In-House Server”? By managing your company’s email on your own server, this requires… a server. And someone on staff with that IT degree. Expensive hardware, software license, storage limits, limited network capacity, having to back up your data, and labor costs involved with all of the above are just some of the reasons that many businesses choose to use a professional email hosting service for their needs. Challenges with remote access to email Exchange mailboxes, calendars, contacts, and other data, issues with syncing messages across multiple computers and mobile devices, insufficient security and failed backups can cause disasters for your operation. Luckily, with the multitude of alternatives available, all of these challenges can be avoided.

With a hosted email service, there is no hardware to purchase and in most cases no software to set up. Getting started is easy, and anyone can set it up. Challenges associated with having your own in-house server are negated – email hosting providers strategically build in backups and contingencies to minimize the possibility of lost data or downtime, so that your team can focus on what they do best and not have to think about email servers or data security.

Free vs Professional Hosting Services

Once you know that you need to choose an email hosting provider, the next step is to actually find a provider that fits your business’ needs. With so many options available, this may seem like a daunting task. However, this is an important step and allows you to evaluate and address your needs today and your business’ changing needs as your team grows.

There are many free email hosting options available that are household names: Google, Yahoo, AOL, etc. There are also paid email hosting services that may fit the needs of a growing business better.

Free Email Hosting Pros & Cons


  • Free service
  • Many free options provide enough file storage to meet the needs of individuals or small businesses
  • No commitment or contract


Professional (Paid) Email Hosting Pros & Cons


  • Personalized domain name – key to building your business’ brand
  • Hosting packages that include hosting your business’ website
  • Larger cloud storage
  • No advertisements
  • Shared calendars and other collaboration tools
  • Email exchange synchronization across all your team’s devices

How to Choose a Provider and Type of Email

As you start researching email hosting providers, here are a few questions to ask yourself and your team to help you narrow down options that will work for you now and long-term.

  1. How big is your business? How many users do you have, how much email data do you currently store, can any of it be archived before you move to a hosted email service? Do you want to migrate your current data to the new provider when you switch over?
  2. What features does your team need? Data protection, special security requirements, an exchange server, shared calendars, and more should be considered when comparing different provide options.
  3. What is your budget? You get what you pay for. For a small business, a free service may make sense, but for most medium to large businesses, looking a professional options may be a better route to go.
  4. What software are potential providers using? Make sure any provider you choose is utilizing up to date email software.
  5. How difficult is it to get started? Do they offer migration services, will there be an interruption in service while you’re getting set up initially?
  6. Will there be a charge for migration or any other initial fee besides the monthly/yearly fee for the email? Do they charge per mailbox or per account?
  7. How do you want to set up your email? Will your team access email strictly from a website (web-based email), or will they access it from an application on their computers (lMAP or POP3) or from a mobile application? Do they require all emails sent and received, calendars, and tasks to be synced across all devices (Email Exchange)? Ensure as you choose a provider you are thinking about accessibility and how to best support your team.
  8. Do you want to automatically archive your email? If so, does the provider offer archive services?

By going with hosted email service, you do not need to personally purchase hardware, and you do not need to be a technical genius or security expert to implement tools that support your team and your business operations. Redundancies and security are built in to evolve as the technology evolves, because the company you choose to host your email is in the BUSINESS of email solutions. As you start your search for the right provider, assess your business’ needs and where you want to be in the future to decide which type of service will best fit you and your business.

At Atilus, we help you grow your business with compressive solutions to your technical challenges. Our team will provide a personalized consultation to help assess your business needs, and make recommendations based on options we have personally tested and stand behind. Through planning, technical expertise, and dedication, we partner with our clients to help them manage their email and other hosting services so they can get back to what they do best.

Harry Casimir

Harry Casimir is our CEO and co-founder. He specializes in all aspects of technology from hosting to server maintenance and provides overall strategic direction for our team.

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