A branded email address goes a long way in building credibility for your company. Customers will take your business more seriously with a company email domain versus a generic Gmail account.
The best email hosting providers give businesses high-end email features and strong security options.
The Top 7 Best Email Hosting Providers
- Bluehost — Best Overall
- DreamHost — Best for Email Hosting on a Budget
- Intermedia — Best for Email Security
- Scala Hosting — Best for Significant Storage
- Google Workspace — Best for Google-Centric Users
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard — Best for Microsoft-Centric Users
- Amazon WorkMail — Best for AWS-Centric Users
Bluehost — Best Overall
Bluehost is our top recommended email hosting provider because it’s reliable, secure, and packed with features. It’s flexible enough to accommodate the needs of any individual or organization.
If you want a branded email address to match your domain, Bluehost makes the process simple. But what really makes Bluehost shine above the crowd is its capabilities after you get set up.
Like every other email hosting provider, Bluehost obviously delivers the basics you need to get the email extension you want. However, other providers don’t give you nearly as many features as Bluehost:
- Custom inbox
- Integrated calendar
- Contact management tools
- Task management features
- Integrated storage drive
- Document and file sharing
- Ad-free email
You’ll also benefit from robust spam filtering and antivirus.
Overall, Bluehost has everything you need to succeed. Plans start at $14.99 per year, which includes 25 email aliases and 25 GB of storage. Alternatively, you can upgrade to the $24.99 per year plan that comes with 80 GB of storage and 50 email aliases.
DreamHost — Best for Email Hosting on a Budget
In addition to being super affordable, we like like DreamHost because of its ease of use and versatility. It delivers everything the SMB could need in an email host for a low price. With plans starting at just $1.67, it’s a fast and inexpensive option for obtaining a professional email address, especially for a small organization.
DreamHost delivers stronger security features than expected, especially considering the low price it offers. It carries a highly effective defense against spam, viruses, malware, and phishing attacks.
Users receive a strong mobile app with DreamHost, simplifying the process of working away from the office. All messages sync automatically between the web browser version and the mobile version.
DreamHost unfortunately does not offer customer support by phone. It does have live chat and email support, though.
When your organization needs more than email hosting services, DreamHost also has services like website creation and hosting, domain name acquisition, WordPress hosting, and many others. The basic email plans start at $1.67 per month per mailbox.
Intermedia — Best for Email Security
The Intermedia Hosted Exchange Email service is a great choice for those needing high-end features in a provider. It’s built over the top of the Microsoft Exchange business email service.
Security is a key component of Intermedia. Some of the benefits found with this service include:
- Multiple backup options
- Anti-spam tools
- Anti-malware tools
- Simple data recovery plans
- Regular patches and security updates implemented automatically
For those working in a highly regulated environment, high-security email is a necessity. Intermedia can provide this service for its customers.
End users can access their email messages through a web browser or through an app on mobile devices. As end users make changes on one device, the changes will sync to all devices simultaneously.
Those using Intermedia will have unlimited email storage, ensuring end users and SMBs never have to worry about how they use the email client.
With an Intermedia account, end users will have access to calendar and contact management software. It’s easy to integrate the calendar with the email client to organize a meeting, for example.
It is a bit more expensive than some other email hosting solutions on our list, as it starts at $7.49 per month per mailbox. However, it has quite a few more features than some of the lower-priced models too. For example, customers have the option of around-the-clock telephone support here, which is not a common option.
Scala Hosting — Best for Significant Storage
Scala Hosting has a wide range of different price points and features available that allow SMBs to create the perfect email hosting service for their needs.
For organizations that need large amounts of storage paired with the email client, Scala Hosting delivers. Its Medium tier offers 150 GB of storage, while the Cloud tier allows the end user to select any amount of storage.
Organizations can select among four different tiers, ranging from 10 email boxes per account to an unlimited number of email boxes, which are available in the Corporate tier.
The majority of users will select the Cloud tier, which includes significant protection against spam. It also includes a free domain name. End users will receive their own dedicated email server with Scala Hosting in this tier, creating a higher level of security for the business’ emails.
The Cloud tier starts at $14.95 per month. SMBs will pay quite a bit more, however, unless they’re willing to commit to a three-year contract. Scala Hosting does allow SMBs to adjust their account settings each month, ensuring they only pay for the services they’re actually using.
Google Workspace — Best for Google-Centric Users
With a Google Workspace account, businesses gain email hosting services, along with all of the other Google services they’re already using. For those SMBs that rely on Google apps regularly, adding email hosting through Workspace makes a lot of sense.
Through Workspace email hosting, organizations are able to gain a customized and secure business email address that runs in the Gmail client. However, the business email address includes the business’ domain name, rather than using gmail.com as the domain.
Unlike with a personal Gmail account, customers using the Workspace hosted email service do not see ads within the Gmail client.
It offers advanced security controls that protect the data the business is sending and receiving. Workspace also protects against spam messages and phishing attacks in Gmail. Google claims that it can stop at least 99.9% of these issues. Teams using Workspace to host their business Gmail account can activate two-factor authentication, providing an extra layer of security.
Workspace offers business email hosting in all of its pricing tiers. The Business Starter tier starts at $6 per user per month, and it has 30 GB of cloud storage available per user. End users will need to share this storage amount across all of the Google Workspace apps they’re using.
Microsoft 365 Business Standard — Best for Microsoft-Centric Users
Those who rely on Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Outlook, and other Microsoft apps will have good luck with this Microsoft email hosting service for business. With the subscription to this Business Standard tier, users will gain access to the hosted email solution, along with all of the Office productivity tools.
Subscribers will receive email hosting with custom email addresses based on the SMB’s domain name. In the Business Standard tier, users will have up to 50 GB of email storage per account, as well as 1 TB of cloud storage on Microsoft OneDrive.
Each license includes support for multiple devices, including smartphones and tablets. Team members can make use of the Outlook email client with Business Standard.
For especially busy organizations, this Microsoft email provider attempts to sort messages based on importance. It uses an algorithm that can help with limiting the sheer volume of messages the user must look at every day.
Users will pay a starting price of $12.50 per month per user for everything in the Business Standard tier. A 30-day free trial period is available.
Amazon WorkMail — Best for AWS-Centric Users
For an SMB that is making use of AWS (Amazon Web Services), adding the Amazon WorkMail email hosting service is a natural progression. WorkMail integrates closely with other AWS services that the business may already be using, making it highly efficient.
With WorkMail, organizations can count on the security of their email messages and data. It encrypts all data at rest and in transit. It provides protection against malware, viruses, and spam.
The service works well on mobile devices, as well as through a web browser.
Businesses that have an extremely busy email environment with dozens of employees likely can successfully make use of WorkMail. It does require some knowledge and experience with AWS to achieve the best results. Small businesses that only need a few email addresses may find WorkMail (and AWS) require too much work to set up and use for their needs.
WorkMail starts at a price of $4 per month per user. Each email box receives 50 GB of data storage, which is impressive. A 30-day free trial period is available.
How to Find the Best Email Hosting Providers for You
Here are some of the criteria we used to determine the providers included in our list. Focusing on these areas can help small or medium-sized businesses find just the right hosting provider for their needs.
Employees who work away from the office may frequently track their email messages on a smartphone. Any email hosting provider should have a strong app that simplifies accessing messages on a small smartphone screen.
Although mobile users could access their email through a web browser on a smartphone, this doesn’t always yield the best results. Some email clients running through a browser on a smartphone are tough to read or navigate. For the best results, look for an email hosting provider that offers an app.
The majority of providers that create apps will have both iOS and Android versions available.
For SMBs that frequently send sensitive files over email, the security features a provider offers are important to consider. Some of the security options that the best email hosting providers will have include:
- Spam filters
- Data protection
- Scanning for viruses
- Scanning for malware
- Alerts about potentially dangerous messages
- Two-factor authentication for account holders
- Phishing protection
Pay attention to the security features the provider offers, as well as to any guarantees it provides regarding security.
Understand that many data breaches and security issues occur because of errors on the part of end users in the SMB. However, when the email hosting provider has a strong set of security features available, this can reduce the severity of potential end user errors.
The majority of the best email providers will have clear policies in place regarding how they will handle the SMB’s data. Most of them will include a policy that states the provider will not sell the organization’s usage data statistics to third parties.
However, some providers do monitor and track the way the SMB uses its email. This could lead to targeted advertising and marketing. These are issues the business may not want to have to deal with regularly.
It’s far better to stick with an email hosting provider that guarantees the privacy of client business data.
The majority of email hosting services are extremely easy to set up and use. This is important for an SMB that needs to be sending and receiving emails as quickly as possible.
However, for those times where the business needs customer support, email hosting providers offer a wide range of options. Most providers will offer around-the-clock support through live chat or email. Depending on the service tier an SMB is using, it’s possible to have phone support available too.
Along these same lines, email hosting providers need to offer nearly perfect uptime to their clients. No business wants to discover its employees cannot send and receive emails, even for a few minutes during the business day, because of a failure on the provider’s end. The majority of providers will guarantee at least 99.9% uptime.
Some SMBs need to have cloud storage space available that’s tied to the email software. End users can take advantage of storage that comes with the email account to archive messages, for example.
An average user will need 1 GB or 2 GB of data storage space with the email provider. Those who are heavy email users and who archive huge numbers of messages may need 10 GB or more to do the job.
The Top Email Hosting Providers Summary
Bluehost is the best email hosting provider. It will deliver a nice set of features for a variety of SMBs. However, we recognize Bluehost won’t be perfect for every business.
We have several other recommendations for those who need specific features, including Intermedia, Scala Hosting, and DreamHost. Whether you need added security features or extra storage, there’s a solution for your organization in our guide.