Understanding The Email Hosting
Email hosting is a service in which online hosting service providers lease email servers to their clients. Different providers have different focuses, based on their target users, concerning their technology and services; one may fixate on security while another does on email filtering and management. Email hosting is a hot topic for discussion as more than 90% of phishing scams are related to email frauds.
The average person often thinks that it’s the same as domain or web hosting; however, these are different services and should not be used interchangeably.
How Email Hosting Works?
Contrary to what you may be thinking, free webmail sites such as Yahoo and Google are not examples of email hosting. In email hosting, the host provides a server that is: (a) specifically designed to handle the client’s or user’s email service requirements, and (b) in which all the email messages and necessary files of the client or user are stored.
When someone sends an email to the user, the email is directed across the cyberspace and stored on the server of the addressee’s host. The server is responsible for the next chain of events – receiving, distributing, or relaying of the emails. The server admins will decide on the best course of action – to deliver it to your inbox, flag it as spam, etc. – considering various elements like whether or not the sender is on its blacklists, re-routing requests, and spam filters, etc. The server will host all incoming and outgoing emails in this way for the client.
Variants Of Email Hosting Servers
Typically, we come across email hosting services that are usually restricted to POP3 email hosting and provide basics of virus and spam protection. Users also have the choice of premium features with other server types like IMAP email hosting that offers advanced virus protection and anti-spam services.
POP3 (Post Office Protocol Version 3) Email Hosting
POP3 is a client/server protocol in which e-mails are received and held by the Internet server. It downloads received messages from the email servers and stores it on your device. The recipient can easily read emails even in offline mode, but the downloaded emails may be gone from the server and no longer be available. So, it sometimes happens that if you’ve downloaded an email on your smartphone, you may no longer be able to find it when you access your email from a PC.
IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) Email Hosting
IMAP hosting allows you to read the email offline, and the email stays with the server as well. The email client and all connected devices always sync with the mail server, so that it can be retrieved from any client device. IMAP is capable of providing various features like folder sharing, sieve filtering, IDLE, subscriptions, etc. The server saves the status of an e-mail, i.e. read, unread, replied, etc. allowing users to see the status from any device.
MORE: The best free email forwarding service
ISP (Internet Service Providers) Hosting
ISP hosting is primarily designed for personal email communication. ISP servers typically limit the number of emails you can send; thus, the service is not for sending mass emails and may not be suitable for enterprises looking to email marketing campaigns.
Cloud hosting offers excellent features – including secure data recovery, operational efficiency, and low cost – that are unmatched by the other types of hosting servers. Other advantages of cloud hosting include regular security patch updates and secure back-up of data.
MORE: Understand Domain Email Forwarding
Free Versus Paid Hosting
There are both free and paid/professional hosting services to choose from, and the choice will entirely depend on your requirements.
Free Email Hosting
Popular free email hosting options are Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, etc. While these are free and may be adequate for small enterprises, there are various limitations to using these services. Their disadvantages include advertisements, weaker security, unbranded email IDs, minimal customer support, less storage space, etc.
Professional/Paid Email Hosting
The saying that “you get what you pay for” is true when it comes to email hosting, too. While free hosting options are, of course, more economical, they don’t always offer the high standards that larger or more important organizations require. It is highly likely that the paid hosting options are the best for many businesses that depend a lot on emails and that use them as value drivers. The benefits of paid hosting services include:
- Ad-free platform.
- Large storage space.
- Personalized domain names and email addresses.
- Credibility proof.
- Reliable security measures, antivirus, and spam filters.
- Great disaster recovery solutions.
- Synchronization of email among multiple devices.
- Email authentication schemes.
- Effective email management.
- Capacity for large attachments.
- Secure archiving and back-up
Emails are the core business function of today, and it is safe to say that no organization today can function without them. Enterprises should carefully consider their requirements and accordingly choose email hosting services to help them increase their operational efficiency, optimize their communication channels, ensure the security of sensitive data, and grow their business to new heights.
Regular and free e-mail accounts detract from the value you want to offer your clients and give a wrong impression towards the business. These free e-mail addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail are considered unprofessional by many customers. Hence, having your enterprise’s custom email address is essential to build a business reputation, trust with your customers, and that is where email hosting can help users to a great extent.
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