We have looked at different kinds of web hosting plans. These are all plans geared at hosting websites on either one or more servers that are owned and leased out by Web hosting providers.
Now, we change gears slightly and move to a very vital part of the business that can at times be overlooked, even though it is highly important for communication on the internet.
Just as texting quickly overtook voice calls in day-to-day communication, so has emails overtaken phone calls in all but the most urgent of business matters.
There are many free email hosting providers out there such as Google and Yahoo. These emails usually have the providers name as the domain name on the email address like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Businesses, however, may need a more professional email address with their own domain rather than Google.com and this where Email Hosting companies in India comes into the picture.
There is a clear distinction between Web hosts and Email hosts. A key difference is what each of them, hosts. A Web host hosts websites, while Email hosting hosts emails, a no-brainer, right?
This seems like a simple affair, but there are more differences between the two. It should be noted that web hosts almost always include Email hosting as part of their package, while Email hosting does not always include Web hosting.
So, which are the top companies that offer Email hosting in India? What packages do they offer? Let’s find out!
What is Email Hosting?
In our search for the top Email hosting in India, we first have to know what Email hosting is.
Emails are the electronic version of the letter. They are sent and received in bulk on a daily basis. They are fast and most times free to send. You also have the added benefit of sending one email to multiple people at the same time with zero hassles. At this point in our technological era, it would be rare to come across someone who has not sent or received an email, let alone heard of it.
Hosting has been explained in great detail in past articles where we looked at the best hosting companies in India for different types of hosting as well as the operating systems in use. Email hosting is a part of the broader hosting industry, however, it focuses on a specific service, this being emails.
As has been mentioned earlier, there are many companies out there that offer free emails. If you have ever sent an email through Google, then you fall under the customer base of this company.
Other companies take hosting a step further and host their own emails from their servers. This is usually done in bigger companies who can afford the costs involved with self-hosting their emails.
The other option is to go to a provider that specialises in hosting only emails. This would be the truest example of Email hosting, as you would have a hosted account on the host’s company’s servers.
However, the only thing you would have hosted from that server would be the emails and email applications that your business uses. This is especially good for those businesses that deal in email intensive processes which cannot be supported on the free services, but who do not yet have the resources to buy their own email host server.
Features of Email Hosting
Before you can decide if Email hosting services are for you, or try to find out who provides the best business Email hosting in India, you have to first look at the possible features. We will look at the number of mailboxes at your disposal, IMAP/POP3 choice, SMTP and spam filtering. These are all very important for you as you prepare to have your emails hosted.
Number of Mailboxes
The number of mailboxes or email accounts that you can actually use or have at your disposal, depends on your Email hosting plan. These would each have their own separate login and password details. Using the Admin mailbox you would then administer all the other mailboxes.
Personal Email hosting plans come with only one email address and mailbox, while all business email hosting plans allow you to have more than one account. The number varies depending on the Email hosting provider you choose. After you choose a plan, you may upgrade at any time as your needs grow. Should your needs outdo even the highest limits of the email hosting plans available, there are some hosting companies that offer customised plans for such occasions.
IMAP and POP3 are two different email protocols. They both have different uses for different circumstances. POP3 is usually the choice when you will be viewing and accessing your mail from one central computer. This protocol usually means that emails are downloaded locally to the computer in use.
However, if you will be using your email from various places then it is best you choose IMAP as it keeps the emails saved on the server until you have no use for them. If you want to use a third-party email client such as Outlook with your email service, you will have a choice of setting it up using IMAP or POP3. Most hosting companies give tutorials on how to set these depending on your need.
Spam is a near unavoidable fact of life in the digital age. We get spammed on our phones, airwaves and more importantly in our email account. So it is important to choose an Email hosting plan that has a great spam filter. Note: this is usually a default feature that most top email hosting providers in India offer.
Look for a spam filter that has a very high success rate such as one that uses Bayesian filtering and smart rules. On the other hand, also make sure it is one that is able to tell the difference between spam and legitimate emails. You don’t want to miss important information because it’s in your spam folder.
Another nuisance that has become ubiquitous with our digital lives is malware. We need to always make sure we are adequately protected against viruses. As such, when you choose an Email hosting in India you should see what virus protection they are able to offer you.
Look for one that scans emails as they arrive as well as when they leave. Scanning is merely half the battle, the other side is making sure that the system updates its virus definitions as well as how often they do so.
So, in your search for the best Email hosting company in India, you should consider these features, as well as how good a fit this tool is for your business.
Is Email Hosting Right For You?
Is Email hosting the right choice for you? To answer this you have to ask yourself why you would like to use Email hosting? What features of Email hosting would you like to capitalise on? You also have to look at how business Email hosting can improve your business.
- First, if your business is growing steadily and you are looking to get a more professional looking Email that links the contents of your email to an established or growing brand identity, then Email hosting may be the best choice for you.
- Secondly, if you have the need to create emails under your domain name and having a growing staff number, then Email hosting may be great for you.
- Finally, if you have a company that deals a lot in emails, that sends out and receives a huge bulk of emails per day then Email hosting may be the best option for you.
If you find that you are in one of the above situations it may be a good idea to delve into the subject of the best Email hosting providers as they may have the perfect solution for you.
Email Hosting – Advantages and Disadvantages
In the search for the top Email hosting provider in India, one has to consider what the advantages of Email hosting are. Why use an Email host instead of just going the usual free route?
Also, while there are some very good advantages to using Email hosting, one should not overlook the disadvantages. For this article, we will look at four possible disadvantages of using Email hosting: cost, downtime and privacy.
- Privacy: Using Email hosting will let you have more control over the privacy of your data versus using other methods. As the plan is specifically dedicated to your email accounts you can rest assured knowing that you have control over who sees and who doesn’t see your data.
- Policies: As you are the administrator of the accounts under your domain name, you will be able to dictate the policies for use of those emails. This may even extend to policies about data retention and deletion.
- Features: When you use third-party systems for emails, you are at the whim of that company. Meaning, in the event, features & applications are added or removed, you may have to adapt your business. However, with Email hosted on either private servers or with host providers, you can schedule when you would like these updates to happen as well as what features are most important for your business.
- Branding: With the use of your company name as your domain name you will have a very important and powerful branding opportunity. Used effectively it can steer more clients your way and it will give your emails more clout where it is important.
- Cost: This may seem an arbitrary issue for bigger businesses, however, it can be a very big one for those businesses which are starting up. Email hosting may be a little cheaper than most hosting but it is still more expensive than using free email services out there.
- Downtime: While this is not an issue that occurs a lot with email hosts, it is still an issue worth considering. If you have a host with bad uptime this will be passed on to you and your business will suffer.
- Privacy: This is where it is important to choose a reputable hosting company who will help keep your privacy secure. However, if you host with a cheap email hosting company your privacy may get compromised, wherein, you could find yourself on the short end of the stick.