Ask colleagues or friends which email service is the best, and you’ll receive different answers.
Usually, preference is shaped by availability. Which email service was available when you needed it? Think of Outlook, Live Mail, AOL, or Yahoo, which were available in the early years of the internet and are still in use today.
Or perhaps you’ve been using webmail or an email program provided by your web host because you have your own business with your own domain name/website. As a serious entrepreneur, you can’t just use a Live or Outlook account for email, right?
Times change. Let’s first look at the email services available today.
Gmail is familiar to many, especially since it comes with every Android smartphone. You need a Google account to use your Android phone, and the Gmail app is often pre-installed.
In recent years, Gmail has become an accepted address for many entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Huh? What? ProtonMail is an email service based in Switzerland. It offers the added benefit of strict rules/laws regarding data storage and sharing.
In other words, your email is less likely to end up in the hands of governments or authorized individuals.
This is partly because no IP addresses are stored and because the emails are encrypted.
In a time of privacy concerns (and the lack thereof), this might be an interesting choice.
Especially when compared to Gmail, where much is known about its practices.
- Microsoft Exchange
Microsoft Exchange is an email service commonly used by businesses. Microsoft servers are heavily monitored and filtered to prevent spam. Microsoft uses a comprehensive system to allow or block emails, and various security protocols are in place.
The learning curve may be slightly steeper than with Gmail or other email services, but as a business, you can get much more out of it.
- Webmail – Server mail
This refers to email that is sent and received through your hosting provider or via your website.
You have your own email box on your web package, you can create custom email addresses (as long as they end with your website address), and in some cases, you can set up filters and rules. This option has its advantages, but you need to have a bit more knowledge compared to Gmail, where everything is taken care of for you.
- ISP mail – Your internet service provider
Various internet services also offer email services. Think of providers like Ziggo, Delta, KPN.
In many cases, this service is free, and you can choose an email address or get one automatically with your internet subscription. Convenient! But keep in mind that an ISP has access to a lot of your information, including your address and IP address. There have been legal cases and rulings in the past stating that “a provider reading email without the user’s permission is not illegal.”
Which email service is the best?
We can’t determine that for you 😉
We’ve listed a few options for you, and now it’s up to you to decide which one YOU prefer.
Now that you know, you can consider the following:
- Where is the email stored, and who can access it? (Server administrators, Google?)
- Do I want
my email to be encrypted? (ProtonMail)
- Do I want a professional email address or an address ending with Gmail, KPNmail, etc.?
- Is email crucial for my business, and do I need to ensure its delivery? (Microsoft Exchange)
Webmail (via the browser)
Almost every service has a web version, which means you can access your email through a browser. This is convenient when you don’t have your laptop or smartphone with you.
Emailing with a program
Almost every email service allows you to send and receive email through a program, also known as an email client. You’ll need the POP/IMAP and SMTP settings, along with your email address and password.
If privacy and security are crucial to you, pay attention to multiple factors.
Ensure that your emails are encrypted, that you use HTTP/SSL for sending emails, that your browser or email program doesn’t share data, that your ISP and/or web host cannot access or view your data, and that the receiving party also meets these requirements.