Having reliable email hosting service is essential for your business and even if you are a freelancer, if you want to look like a true professional you will want an email with your own domain. I didn’t want to choose an email hosting service without doing my research. Here’s what I found about three of the top rated email hosting services:

Here is what Rackspace offers:

  • Dedicated hosting and guarantees 100% up time. I think this is a promise the other options don’t make.
  • 24/7 phone and chat support
  • It can work on your desktop, on the web and on any internet-enabled mobile device. However it seems all of them do.
  • You get 365x24x7 support.
  • Premium spam protection.
  • Your business email is ad free.
  • Syncing services and many other helpful tools for managing your emails.
  • Webmail has shared calendars and contacts.
  • Includes 10GB of storage space per user.
  • There is no need for system maintenance, backup solutions or software upgrades.

There is not a free plan option.

Pricing: $2 per mailbox per month.

Fastmail offers features that were appealing to me:

  • It can automatically filter your email into all unread personal notifications.
  • Offers IMAP migration tool. Get your old email out of Gmail easily with their migration tool.
  • It’s secure, it supports two-factor authentication, one-time passwords and is fully encrypted. Plus, Fastmail is an Australian legal entity, which means it’s harder for the US & UK intelligence services to bully. Your likelihood of personal data privacy and safety is much better with Fastmail than the other options. This is actually why I chose Fastmail.
  • Fastmail is, well, super fast. It does away with all the extra bells and whistles of Gmail but it’s faster.
  • Fastmail allows you to save attachments & other files into their own file storage.
  • There’s an app that allows you to manage your tools on the go.
  • A major plus with Fastmail is that there is a human support team. Fastmail provides actual real humans support… I haven’t had to use it yet but isn’t that nice?!

The biggest CON for Fastmail? It’s not free.

Pricing: Plans range from $10-$120/year

 Gmail for Business

  • An obvious major advantage with Gmail for Business is how it integrates with all of the Google Apps for business. It has the hangouts, calendar, and Google drive. All of the connectivity that Google Apps offers can help incredibly with teamwork!
  • It will connect across Android, iPhone, Blackberry and more.
  • You can host a video meeting with up to 15 people straight from your inbox.
  • You get 24/7 phone and email support.

Privacy. Many people know that Google scans email for advertising purposes

Pricing: starts at $5 per user, per month

There are two problems with email privacy. How do you know that only the intended people are reading your message? And, How do you know if the sender is who they say they are?

The second problem is that most email is sent over the open web in plain text which can be read by anybody with access to a server on the path to the recipient. Do you trust all of them?

The best choice for you may depend on your type of business. If you are in the finance, healthcare industries or a therapist and privacy is a major concern then I would recommend Fastmail. If you are running a business where the 100% downtime guarantee matters because automated emails are being sent at all hours of the day or night, then perhaps Rackspace might be your best option.

And if all the integration of Google’s apps are so useful to your business that you can’t imagine life without it then perhaps staying with Google is the right choice.