Just like a website, emails need hosting too. Most hosting plans come with email hosting baked in, but that’s not always the case. Furthermore, where do you turn if you just need to host emails? Great question. Our research team spent two weeks researching and testing the best email hosting providers and narrowed hundreds of options down to our top picks. Based on those efforts, Bluehost stands out as the best option for most because it’s feature-packed and comes with built-in spam and antivirus tools—all at an affordable price.
The Best Email Hosting Provider for Most
Bluehost makes it easy for any business to secure a professional branded email domain without breaking the bank. Aside from getting email addresses that match your business name, you’ll also benefit from tons of extra features to help improve the way you communicate, collaborate, and manage contacts.
Plans come with an integrated calendar, cloud storage drive, and a customizable inbox. Security is also top-of-mind, as Bluehost offers a safe unsubscribe feature along with spam filtering and antivirus included with every plan. Sign up today for just $14.99 per year.
The Best Email Hosting Options to Consider
- Bluehost — Best for most
- Google Workspace — Best for cloud-based collaboration
- Office365 — Best for Microsoft users
- Zoho Mail — Best free email hosting provider
- IceWarp — Best for creating email accounts for clients
When It Makes Sense to Invest Into Email Hosting
Email hosting providers make every effort to simplify the process of purchasing their services. But that doesn’t mean you have to buy email hosting. Below we’ve discussed three circumstances when it genuinely makes sense to invest in email hosting.
Situation 1: When You Want to Standardize Your Business Emails
You likely have more than one email address for the whole of your business—customer support emails, informational emails, and individual staff emails.
Email hosting helps match all these emails with your website domain, standardizing how all emails within your business look. In turn, this makes your business appear more professional and establishes brand consistency.
Moreover, you can create different emails for different departments within your business to organize and structure all communications. Having separate email IDs for different departments and purposes will help you keep track of every message—even if you’re the only one responding to them.
Situation 2: When You Find Yourself in Your Subscribers’ Spam Folders Frequently
Email marketing can be an invaluable (and highly profitable) marketing channel—provided your emails end up in your subscriber’s inbox.
Most recipient email accounts are likely to mark a message as spam if it comes from free providers like Yahoo or Gmail. Eventually, this takes a toll on your conversion rate, hurting your business’s bottom line.
On the other hand, getting branded emails from known platforms signals your messages are less risky and it’s okay to accept them, helping you stay out of your subscriber’s spam folders.
Situation 3: When You Want Greater Security for Your Sensitive Data
With data breaches increasing drastically in recent years, email security is understandably a top priority. More so, for businesses dealing with sensitive and confidential data.
Permitting employees to use free, personal email accounts presents a serious risk to your business’s data. You have no control over aspects like data privacy, who they share their information with, among other concerns.
Luckily, the best email hosting providers provide you with top-notch encryption and security measures for your business, preventing unauthorized people from gaining access to your emails.
#1 — Bluehost — The Best for Most
Bluehost holds the top spot on our list of the best web hosting services, so it should come as no surprise to learn that they’re also our favorite email hosting provider. Just like the web hosting plans, Bluehost’s email hosting services are top-notch.
If you’re looking for a simple and affordable way to get a professional email domain that matches your website URL, look no further than Bluehost.
Beyond the ability to add professionalism to your brand with a domain-specific email address, Bluehost’s email hosting service is packed with additional perks and benefits.
It comes with a customizable inbox, integrated calendar, contact management tool, task management feature, and a cloud drive for sharing files with your team. The email service is ad-free, supports unlimited email filters, and comes with a built-in spam and antivirus function.
There’s also a safe unsubscribe service that comes standard with every plan.
Bluehost’s email hosting is so affordable that you don’t really need to think twice about the price before signing up.
- Professional Email — Starts $14.99 per year
- Professional Email Plus — Starts at $24.99 per year
The two plan features are nearly identical. The biggest difference is that the Plus tier comes with 80 GB of storage and 50 email aliases compared to 25 GB and 25 aliases with the entry-level plan. The Plus package also comes with one-click email and file encryption.
Note: The above prices are discounted and can increase when the offer expires.
#2 — Google Workspace — The Best for Cloud-Based Collaboration and Communication
Best for Cloud-Based Collaboration and Communication
If you want the power and recognizability of Google behind your email hosting, you want Google Workspace. It’s completely cloud-based, guarantees 99.9% uptime, and includes a whole suite of office tools on top of email.
Formerly known as G Suite, Google Workspace integrates an enterprise-level Gmail management interface with your favorite productivity tools like Google Docs, Meet, and Calendar.
It’s a complete cloud-based business management tool that gives you unrestricted access to tons of tools to streamline your business without any professional help. You can create, edit, and store everything you need in the cloud.
Then there’s an entire set of workplace communication and collaboration tools, such as Hangouts for messaging and voice/video conferencing, Keep for note-taking, and Team Drives in Google Drive for shared cloud file storage.
Also, Google guarantees 99.9% uptime on their servers for business email, including advanced spam filters to save time sorting junk email in your inbox.
Standard security protection features keep your data secure and help manage lost or stolen devices. Plus, you can exercise various administrative controls—two-step verification, single sign-on, and endpoint management—over your email server to significantly boost data security.
Google Workspace is one of the more expensive options on our list, but this makes sense considering it offers a lot of value beyond just email hosting.
You can choose between three Workspace plans:
- Business Starter — $12 for 30GB cloud storage per user per month
- Business Standard — $12 for 2TB cloud storage per user per month
- Business Plus — $18 for 5TB cloud storage per user per month
There’s an Enterprise plan too if you want customized email hosting solutions. You can avail of a 14-day free trial to test-drive any plan you like.
#3 — Microsoft365 — The Best for Microsoft Users
Best for Microsoft Users
If you’re a fan of Outlook and want to run your email hosting through it, look no further than Microsoft 365. On top of full email hosting, it offers a full suite of Microsoft products--and let’s face it, you’re probably already using most of them.
Microsoft365 goes beyond just the Microsoft Outlook email client, providing comprehensive services perfect for individual users, small businesses, and large-scale operations.
You get access to the whole Office package—the standard bestsellers (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Skype) and newer workplace tools (Yammer, Microsoft Teams, Planner)—plus email hosting.
You can use its advanced collaboration tools to share documents directly instead of sending them as attachments while ensuring everyone works on the same version of the document. Customize and store every email you receive, as well as collaborate across different departments and locations.
Together, these features help you run, manage, and streamline your business with ease.
You also get the Microsoft365 Business Premium for your email hosting account. This bundle includes all the features you need, including email sending and receiving, custom domain addresses, spam and data loss prevention, and so on.
WhileMicrosoft365’s cloud storage is exceptionally fast, it can feel a little limited. If you want unlimited storage for your email, you’ll have to upgrade to enterprise-level packages.
Microsoft365 offers solutions for home and business.
- Microsoft 365 Family — $99.99 per year for up to 6TB storage
- Microsoft 365 Personal — $69.99 per year for 1TB of storage
- Microsoft 365 Business Basic — $5 per month per user per month
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard — $12.50 per user per month
- Business Premium — $20 per user per month
- Microsoft 365 Apps for Business — $8.25 per user per month
You can avail of a 1-month free trial to test-drive any plan you like.
#4 — Zoho Mail — The Best Free Email Hosting
While Zoho Mail may not enjoy the same recognition as others, over 60 million global users can vouch for the excellence of Zoho Mail, along with other Zoho Workspace products for file management, chatting, online training, and virtual meetings.
Zoho Mail is Zoho’s modern take on email, with social networking-style features. You can send a quick stream message to colleagues—or share a client email with your team—instead of sending a long message with the usual subject and signature.
But the main reason why Zoho Mail made it on our list is its free email hosting plan.
This forever-free email hosting plan supports up to five users, with 5GB storage per user and a 25MB attachment limit. This makes it an excellent option for small entrepreneurs or freelancers. Keep in mind this plan only allows for web access, so you’ll have to use Zoho Mail’s webmail client instead of, say, using it with Gmail.
Zoho Mail’s affordability is another appealing selling feature. Other than the free plan, you have the following plans to choose from:
If you only want Zoho Mail:
- Mail Lite — $150 for 5GB per user per month
- Mail Premium — $400 for 50 GB per user per month
If you want Zoho Mail, plus access to Zoho Workplace:
- Standard — $3 for 30GB + 5GB per user per month
- Professional — $6 for 100GB + 100GB per user per month
There’s also a one-month money-back guarantee for monthly subscriptions and a 45-day money-back guarantee for annual subscriptions.
#5 — IceWarp — The Best for Creating Email Accounts for Clients
Best for Creating Email Accounts for Clients
Sometimes it’s not your email you need hosting for, but your clients. In that case, check out IceWarp--not only does it offer email accounts on behalf of clients, it also includes white labeling capabilities and a full workspace software suite.
If you create email accounts on behalf of your client, look no further than IceWarp. It gives you tools to manage email accounts and addresses on multiple domains.
The company used to sell its own mail server software but has since pivoted to become a full-fledged email hosting provider. Other features include collaborative document editing, shared contacts and calendar, web meeting, mobile apps, mailing list management, and archiving.
IceWarp also offers its own suite of collaboration tools. You get access to custom document, spreadsheet, and presentation editors, team chat, and voice and video conferencing functionalities.
Besides this, the email hosting provider offers white labeling. You can customize the webmail for different clients with their own branding or add your company’s branding to the webmail accounts you create for clients.
IceWarp offers three types of plans:
- Lite — $2.50 for 50GB email and 20GB FileSync
- Standard — $3.90 for 100GB email and 1TB FileSync
- Professional — $7 for 500GB email and 5TB FileSync
You can also opt for a 14-day free trial to test-drive features.
Methodology for Choosing the Best Email Hosting Provider
We wanted you to have a list of email hosting providers that are genuinely the best of the best. Here’s the list of factors we considered to narrow down options and weed out unsuitable providers.
Level of Security
The best email hosting providers should prioritize protecting your email content from unauthorized eyes and access. Look for services that use a combination of advanced tools to protect your information, such as end-to-end encryption, pretty good privacy (PGP) encryption, open-source code, two-factor authentication, and metadata handling.
The idea here isn’t to have all the security features but rather the right combination of advanced security tools. We recommend providers that use metadata handling, along with an advanced security tool to protect an email’s contents.
Compatibility and Flexibility
Being a business owner, you may already know the importance of productivity. It’s why you need an email service that works for you and not against you.
Regardless of whether you’re a team of ten employees or over 100, you want your email to be able to collaborate using global address lists, shared calendars, and tasks. To ensure this, look for email hosting providers that offer enterprise-level syncing with web-based applications and mobile devices.
Additionally, you also want the flexibility to choose your email features and customize your platforms. Pick an email hosting provider that offers a diverse range of features and various service levels and lets you upgrade as you and your business grow.
Storage and Attachment Limits
Your prospective email hosting provider should offer at least 2GB of email storage, plus additional storage for archiving. Make sure all your archived data is continuously backed up with data protection mechanisms in place to protect it from data breaches as well.
Attachment limits are another crucial consideration. While it’s reasonable to assume you cannot send large files directly via email, the prospective service should offer a file-sharing tool that lets you include a link to where the file is stored on the server for streamlined collaboration.
Customer Support Availability
Any good email hosting should give you complete autonomy over the email environment while also granting 24-hour access to customer support. This way, you’ll always have technical assistance at your fingertips while simultaneously preventing any downtime for emails.
Look for the following customer support options to determine a prospective provider’s customer support efficiency and promptness:
- Live chat
- Self-help support through the use of FAQs, video tutorials, and online documentation
- Integrated ticketing system that allows users and customer support staff to communicate using a single email thread
- Direct calling during working hours
Opt for providers that offer you all four support options—or at least three of the above.
Considering the online world we live in today, even an hour of downtime—email or otherwise—can cost your business thousands of dollars. Email, in particular, is a crucial part of any business’s productivity and often contains vital company data. Therefore, it’s important to find a hosting service that guarantees at least 99.9% uptime.
This guarantee will ensure you’re reimbursed for any unscheduled downtime that extends beyond expectation—provided you didn’t cause the downtime.
With so many amazing and affordable email hosting providers on the market, it all ultimately boils down to your preferences and requirements.
So, sit down and take out time to map out your requirements. Then choose a hosting provider based on your priorities and requirements.