It is time to stop hosting my own SMTP server and search for a Small Business eMail host. For most Small Businesses selecting an eMail host is a necessary startup task. But, where to start?

The Starting point for my search

I started with two key decisions. 1. I need a hosted eMail solution using SMTP. 2. I want a 3rd party to manage the servers.

SMTP vs Exchange

The two most frequent type of email servers are Exchange or SMTP. An Exchange email provider will provide Microsoft Exchange mail services, these can be slightly more expensive depending upon the options provided. An SMTP Mail provider works great with mixed platforms at a lower cost.

Do it yourself vs using a 3rd party provider

Do it yourself, will give you greater control over the configuration at a lower upfront cost, but security, spam and system maintenance can be costly and time consuming. Your 3rd party provider can perform this non-core business functions for you.

A brief description of the business environment.

The business I am consulting with wants to migrate its email from Yahoo Business Services to an alternate service due to some security concerns. The business has just a few employees, with the CEO on the road a lot. eMail is critical and needs to be dependable, secure and easy to use.

What I am looking for

The mail services will be separate from the Web Hosting services, so that we can get the best of breed for each service. In addition, we are looking for a provider for email one to one communications. We are also looking at a separate provider to handle bulk email campaigns, mailing lists and newsletters.

Provider requirements

  • A domain based email (
  • Sufficient storage for emails, contacts and calendars
  • Synch across all devices
  • Free email aliases
  • Low cost
  • eMail Backup/Security

The contenders

The following is a list of the services I investigated.

  • GoDaddy
  • GSuite / MSN
  • Rackspace
  • IceWarp

The final solution

It came done to price. Rackspace provided the lowest cost solution to receive emails with the users domain name.

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