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If you’re managing any sort of organization today, you need to sign up for email hosting. Sure, you can use free personal email services like Gmail and Yahoo Mail, but it makes you look unprofessional and you’ll quickly lose credibility with customers, vendors, donors and even employees.
There are some email hosting providers that do offer free packages, but they’re often restrictive: filled with advertising, provide minimal storage for your emails, and are unsecured. That’s not really a great option for an organization that wants its employees and email recipients to take it seriously, but if you’re on a really tight budget, you may have no choice.
Fortunately, there are several very affordable professional email hosting options, some of which offer free trials, that can help you manage your emails, showcase your domain name, and provide other useful features as well.
Let’s review some of the best cheap email hosting providers on the market today. Below we’ve listed a side-by-side comparison chart of your best options, followed by a more detailed analysis of what each provider offers.
Best Cheap or Free Email Hosting Providers
|Provider||Monthly Cost||Storage||Inbox Usability|
|Google Workspace||$6.00||30 GB||Excellent|
|Microsoft 365||$6.00||1 TB||Good|
|Rackspace||$2.99 (must buy 3+)||25 GB||Fair|
1. Google Workspace
Google Workspace comes with the benefit of being one of the most trusted email providers on the planet. Purchasing your professional email with them also makes integrating with their other platforms and tools completely seamless. If you’re already a Gmail user, you may find it really difficult to use any of the other providers on this list.
As with other providers, Google guarantees 99.9% uptime on their servers for business email, including advanced spam filters to minimize time sifting junk email in the inbox. They offer standard security protections to keep data secure and to manage lost or stolen devices. Google plans start at $6 per user per month for one email, including 30 GB of cloud storage, although you can save some money if you have their promo codes. Unlike other services, they also include 100 participant video meetings.
Their second least expensive package is the Business Standard plan for $12 per user with all the same benefits plus 2 TB of storage per user for files.
- $6 per user, per month
- 30 GB cloud storage per user
- 100 participant video meetings
HostGator is a low-cost web hosting provider that includes webmail when you sign up for a hosting account. This will allow you to use emails with your custom domain name. The email hosting and webmail tools provided by HostGator come with a variety of helpful tools for managing your inbox and day-today communication. Included with each package are unlimited email accounts, several webmail platforms for you to choose from, IMAP support (for getting emails on your phone), spam filtering tools, autoresponders, mailing lists and unlimited email aliases.
For an extra fee, you can also configure your account to work with Google Workspace if you’d like to gain access to their business tools, but that is completely optional.
HostGator’s claim-to-fame is that their disk space and bandwidth are “unmetered,” which means they don’t limit users to a set amount of storage space each month. Like others, they also offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee, free SSL certificate, WordPress installs, and a free domain for a year. Also, they advertise a 45-day money-back guarantee.
First-year pricing for their basic Hatchling Plan is $2.75, which then goes up to $5.95 per user per month.
- $2.75 per month
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited email accounts
- Money-back guarantee
Namecheap offers a basic, no-frills email plan at a low cost with easy-to-understand pricing and options and a fair amount of storage for the price.
All plans begin with the first two months free with full functionality. The lowest cost package they offer, the starter plan, costs just $0.91. You can add more users for $0.66 per month each. For that price, you receive 5 GB email storage and 2 GB file storage, which won’t get you very far but might be ok if you’re just getting started.
Their next-level Pro Plan starts at $2.16 per user per month and comes with 3 mailboxes, 30 GB email storage, and 15 GB of storage for files.
Namecheap’s inbox is powered by Open-Xchange, a cloud-based software for management of email, calendar, contacts, tasks and document storage. It’s more or less comparable with the Outlook platform platform offered by GoDaddy.
- $0.91 first user, per month
- $0.66 for each addition user, per month
- 5 GB for emails
- 2 GB for files
4. Microsoft 365
Microsoft 365 is a widely used set of business productivity tools that includes email, calendars, communication tools and much more. If you choose to use them exclusively for business email, that’s fine, but you will quickly find yourself enjoying some of their other features.
Plans start at $6 per month and include 1 TB of storage, far more than anyone else. Their email inbox is managed through Outlook, which is fine, but hard to adjust to if you’re used to using the significantly faster and more user-friendly Gmail inbox.
If you choose to upgrade beyond their Business Basic plan, you’ll get access to desktop versions of their Office apps such as MS Word, Excell, PowerPoint, Outlook and others.
- $6 per user, per month
- 1 TB cloud storage per user
GoDaddy has more than 18 million users, and as such, it’s one of the most popular domain, email, and web hosting providers globally. Their Email Essentials plan is the entry-level GoDaddy email hosting plan. It starts at $0.99 per email account per month and goes up to $5.99 after one year. With the Essentials plan, you receive online calendars and syncing across all your device as well as 24/7 expert support.
They offer one-click email backup, advanced security, and email archiving to help keep regulated businesses in compliance by storing emails in a secure, easily searchable database.
The second tier Email Plus plan starts at $6.99 per user per month and includes 50 GB of storage. Your inbox with both of these plan is managed through the Microsoft Outlook web application. It’s user-friendly and comes with lots of features, though still pretty far behind Gmail in terms of usability and convenience.
- $0.99 per user, per month
- 10 GB storage space
- Outlook email web application
Zoho offers a privacy-guaranteed encrypted emails service free from ads. They claim the highest security and email surveillance, with the standard 99.9% uptime guarantee. For regulated businesses or those dealing with sensitive information, it’s an appealing feature.
The Forever Free plan is free for up to 5 users and includes 5 GB of storage per user with an attachment limit of 25 MB, which is not enough for most people unless you plan to clean out your inbox every week. The plan also includes one domain but excludes the popular email formats IMAP/ POP mail configurations. That means you cannot use this email hosting package with Gmail or Office 365.
The next level package, Mail Lite, costs $1 per user per month. It includes a 15-day free trial, attachments up to 1 GB, white labeling, email backup, and more.
Users of Zoho manage their emails, contacts, calendars and more via Zoho Mail. This is among the more user-friendly and impressive tools we’ve explored.
- Free for up to 5 users
- 5 GB of storage per user
- 5 inboxes
Bluehost is a well-known and trusted provider of hosting for those on a tight budget. They offer 24/7 customer service, industry-standard speeds, the requisite security options, and a money-back guarantee.
The best way to take advantage of Bluehost’s low price is to sign up for their web hosting plan, which starts at $2.95 per month. Once you’ve done that, you can use one of their webmail tools, which work like Gmail or Yahoo Mail and let you send and receive emails using your custom domain email address.
If you want a more professional email service, you can also just configure your Bluehost account to work with a different provider like Google Workspace or Office 365, whichever you prefer. This will allow you to still use your custom domain email address, but you’ll get access to a ton of great features for organizing your calendar, managing your documents in the cloud, and working collaboratively with your team. Just note, you will have to pay an additional monthly fee for each email account you use.
- $2.95 per month
- 24/7 Customer Support
- Unlimited email accounts
Rackspace offers the prerequisite email and calendar tools, and they claim a 100% uptime guarantee with 24/7 support 365 days a year. They offer premium spam and anti-virus protection and a strict ad-free policy.
The basic plan is free for the first 14-days. After that, it costs $1.99 per user per month with 25G of storage. After the first 90 days, it goes up to $2.99 per user. However, Rackspace requires a minimum monthly spend of $10 (3 user accounts).
Rackspace Email Plus includes Mobile Sync capabilities and 30 GB of online cloud storage for $3.99 per user per month. You can access Rackspace Email via a web application or MS Outlook.
Email Archiving and Microsoft Office costs extra.
- $2.99 per user per month with a minimum spend of $10
- 25 GB storage
With so many affordable and (almost) free email hosting providers on the market with similar features, the provider you choose will ultimately come down to how much you can pay, your storage needs, the number of email accounts you need, and how picky you are regarding which inbox interface you use. Consider the cost over time versus the entry-level pricing when deciding. Ensure it will have space and the features you’ll need to grow and will allow you to manage your business or organization effectively.