A small road map has started to form, with respect to this blog, with everything else I think I am doing, and everything else I think I want to do - to build a brand online, to create value, connections, and to make a living. Keeping that road map in mind, I opted to get a more personal email address - to build trust, and personalisation being the other reasons.
Being just about a couple of days away from completely shifting over to indefiniteloop.com, it seemed more logical to get that new shiny email address sorted. With this came the dilemma that there are no email hosting service providers left, who offer email hosting with custom domains for free.
Previously, Google had a free basic plan for small businesses. We could create email addresses with custom domain names for free. Google stopped providing this service for free, and the only other service provider that was left, which would provide the same, free email hosting service was Microsoft’s Outlook.com; but more recently so, Microsoft too stopped providing this service with a free plan for small businesses, and brands online.
Thus, I started searching for email service providers that would offer email hosting for less, for a small brand like mine. Here’re three email hosting service providers that I found to be a good match, with great offerings.
Out of these three services, I found Namecheap’s Email Hosting to be the best in terms of Cost vs. Value. For $29 USD/year (~1500INR/year), you get unlimited email aliases for one domain, 10GB of email storage, 10GB worth of file storage, and Namecheap’s email hosting is private - this is their Business plan. For someone with much smaller, and simpler requirements, like I, they have a basic private email hosting plan for $10 USD/year (~700 INR/year). The basic plan offers 3GB of email storage space, with 1GB of file storage, OX drive - which can be used to sync files, and data across devices and single mail box (email id/user); additional mail boxes (with the same custom domain) cost about $3 USD/year/user. Awesomely great for someone who’s looking for a simple, no frill solution to email hosting. Namecheap keeps on amazing me, and it’s definitely one of the best Registrars, and Email hosting providers I’ve had the pleasure of doing business with.
Full Disclosure: I am not liable, or obliged to write all these praises for Namecheap - I am doing so, because I truly see the value in their many offerings. The only thing I wish for, is that Namecheap would start offering domain privacy for free. Apart from that, I love everything Namecheap.com
Namecheap's Email Hosting Plans</a>
FastMail was my number one goto place for buying reliable, simple, no-frills email hosting. This was before I found what Namecheap had to offer in terms of personal, private email. I only bothered to check with Namecheap, because I wasn’t able to sign up for an account over at FastMail.com. First I thought that they’d stop offering trial accounts. So, I tried registering for a paid plan, which I wasn’t able to register for either. I assumed that they do not provide email hosting solutions to customers in India, or for that matter out of the U.S. But on further research, i.e. by reading some of their tweets, on their timeline, I realised that FastMail’s “anti-fraud protection can be a little over-zealous…” - their words, not mine.
Over-Zealous anti-fraud protection: Good or bad?
On further reading tweets, and replies from their timeline, revealed what seemed like teething issues of some sort.
But wherever, and whatever I read about email hosting providers, FastMail was there; it was mentioned, and recommended by tons of users. Too bad that I never got the chance to take them out for a whirl. Apparently they’re good at what they do.
In the end, I guess it all worked out just fine for me though. Because FastMail’s most basic plan starts at $10 USD / year, and offers 250MB of email storage, with no custom domain setups. Compare that to Namecheap’s almost $10 USD/year plan mentioned above, and it was a no-brainer for me.
FastMail's Email Hosting Plans.
3. Google’s Email Hosting For Business A.K.A Google Apps For Work:
Then there’s Google. Google’s Apps For Work seemed great; that is before I had done any other research in the area of good email hosting service providers. It seemed like a steal, with google offering 30GB of online storage for file syncing, and sharing, custom domain names, 24/7 email and phone support - all this for around $60 USD/year per mailbox/email/user in the U.S. (~1500 INR/Year/user in India - it’s more affordable in India). Great! But, then again I found Namecheap’s email hosting services. And for $10USD/Year (~700INR/Year) - it was the best option for someone like me, who’s just looking for a small mailbox, private email, and no frills. Add to that fact, that Namecheap offers additional mailboxes/email/users for $3 USD/year - just incase I want to create another basic private email at Namecheap.
Nonetheless, I have no complaints, or misgivings for what Google’s offering or for that matter what FastMail offers. I just think that I do not need Google’s entire eco-system along with a personal email address, and also that I am in love with Namecheap’s service, support and their email hosting plans are a good fit for me.
Google Apps For Work Pricing
PS: Prices mentioned above are not binding through time, and may change. They are/were valid at the time of writing, and publishing this post.
BONUS: Want To Host Your Own Personal Email In The Cloud?
Initially, before I decided to buy email hosting, I had planned on launching my own email server, for all my email hosting needs. It would’t cost much, for almost 30GB of space, with unlimited custom domains, aliases, and inboxes/users - it was a great plan. But, time to set one up, and manage the console was the reason I opted for subscribing to a service, instead of rolling with launching an email server of my own. But, if you have the time, and the willingness to launch your own email server than do look into iRedMail.
iRedMail is a free, open source email server solution with awesome support. It’s a full fletched email server solution that uses only open-source software. iRedMail is compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Scientific Linux, Debian, Ubuntu, FreeBSD, OpenBSD. And it has been around since 2007. Definitely a good fit for launching your first, very own email server.
Setup your own email server using iRedMail