Small businesses and startups need to use a professional business email address, but they also need affordable email. We looked at more than a dozen business email service providers and narrowed the list down to the top five, comparing each on price, storage limits, accessibility, reliability, spam and virus protection, and available integrations to find the best overall.
5 Best Business Email Providers in 2020
Business Email Provider
(Best Overall) Small businesses that want a competitively priced, scalable email with great apps
Best for free business email for those who don't need a lot of storage
New businesses that need web hosting and email
Best for businesses that need a ton of storage at a low price
Businesses that want low-cost, commitment-free business email
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How We Evaluated the Best Email Services
All businesses need an email address that can be accessed quickly, securely, and reliably with enough storage to keep messages from bouncing. However, some companies only need a single address while other businesses require a scalable email solution. For that reason, we looked at a range of options that can serve anyone from the sole proprietor wanting a free address to a growing business with multiple employees.
The criteria we used to evaluate each of these business email providers include:
- Ease of use
- Available storage
- Security and accessibility
- Spam and virus protection
- System integrations
- Customer support
Based on the criteria above, we’ve determined that Google Workspace is the best email service provider for small businesses. While it is not the lowest-cost option, its overall reliability, available productivity tools, best-in-class security practices, and ease of integration with other products is the reason it is the dominant provider in the market for small businesses.
Google Workspace: Best Overall Email Service Provider for Businesses
Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) is Google’s productivity and collaboration suite, which includes Google’s email service, also known as Gmail. Starting at $6 per user, per month, Google Workspace features tools like email delegation designed around supporting business communication and collaboration. It is the best email provider for businesses that need an email provider with easy access to great apps like Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides.
Interested in all the extras Gmail comes with? Learn more about Gmail for Business.
Modern, user-friendly interface
Not the cheapest option
Comes with productivity and collaboration tools
Does not include bulk email cleanup tools
Industry-leading security tools built-in
Google Workspace Pricing
Pricing starts at $6 per user, per month for their basic plan and $12 per user, per month for its business plan. Google Workspace also offers an enterprise-level plan that includes advanced customization, and pricing is tailored to a business’s specific needs.
Google Workspace Tiered Features
Recover Deleted Emails for 30 Days
|Centralized Admin Console|
|Supports Multiple Aliases|
Vault for e-Discovery and Archiving
Data Loss Protection
Integration With Third-party Archiving Tools
Zoho Mail: Best Free Business Email Service Provider
Zoho Mail is a business email provider that offers a suite of personal productivity tools, advanced analytics, and integration with third-party apps that businesses can start using for free. Zoho is best if you’re looking for a free email address as part of a larger office productivity service featuring reporting and the ability to scale without changing providers.
5 free business email addresses
The free version does not integrate with Gmail
Built-in marketing and analytics tools
Small storage and attachment limit included with the free and low-cost plans
Low-cost plans for those that need more than 5 email addresses
Zoho Mail Pricing
Zoho Mail is the only solution on our list to offer a free plan that supports up to five users, and it’s widely regarded as one of the best ways to get a free business email address. Paid plans range in price from $1 per user, per month (billed annually) to $8 per user, per month and include additional features like multiple domain hosting, email forwarding, and system integration.
On a budget but not sure if Zoho Mail is right for you? Check out the best cheap email hosting services.
Zoho Mail Tiered Features
|Supports Rich Text Email Signatures|
|Multiple Domain Hosting|
|G Suite Integration|
Bluehost: Best Free Business Email Provider With Web Hosting
Bluehost is a website hosting provider that also offers email hosting as a value-added service with pricing starting from $3.95 per month. It provides email with IMAP and POP support and website hosting plans, making it a good choice for startups that need email services along with web hosting for a new business website.
Free business email hosting with low-cost web hosting plans
Cannot get email hosting without web hosting
Free domain name with web hosting plans
Short-term plans are not available
Get unlimited business email addresses as low as $5.45/month
Advertised prices reflect a long-term contract
Bluehost offers hosting on a shared server, which ranges from $2.95 to $13.95 at its introductory price. Aside from hosting for a WordPress site, plans come with a free domain name. The entry-level Basic plan comes with up to five free business email addresses, whereas all of its other plans include unlimited free business email addresses. So even if you don’t need hosting, it may be an affordable way of getting a large number of business emails.
Bluehost Tiered Features
Access to Spam Experts
Hover: Best Business Email Provider for High Storage Limits
Hover is a domain name registrar and email hosting provider that offers low-cost email hosting. What makes it a good option for small businesses is that you can purchase email hosting for under $2 per user, per month, or you can get a huge amount of storage (1TB) for under $2.50 per month. Email hosting plans also come with built-in antivirus and spam protection, and you can connect and access your email through your favorite apps, such as Apple Mail or Outlook.
Hover offers two email hosting plans. The Small Mailbox plan costs $20 per year and includes 10GB of storage space, whereas the Big Mailbox plan costs $29 per year for 1TB (or 1,000GB) of storage space. Those who don’t need a large amount of storage, but want the cheapest possible email provider, may find Zoho Mail to be a better option, whereas Hover is by far a better choice for those who need high storage limits at an affordable price.
Ultra-low-cost, high storage plans
Monthly plans are not available
Built-in security tools
Doesn’t include extras like a free domain or data processors
Access via email you already use, such as Apple Mail, Outlook, or Thunderbird
Hover Tiered Features
IMAP, POP, and Webmail
Built-in Anti-virus and Spam Protection
Private, Ad-free Email
DreamHost: Best Email Provider With Month-to-Month Plans
DreamHost is a top-rated web hosting company known for its reliable service that also offers low-cost business email hosting. It stands out for its availability of commitment-free, month-to-month email plans that do not require you to have a website. Contract-free plans cost just $1.99 per user, per month with 25GB of storage, whereas annual plans cost just $1.67 per month for the same amount of storage.
Doesn’t come with extras like word processing tools
Doesn’t come with a free domain
Reliable and secure
DreamHost offers one straightforward email hosting plan, which comes with 25GB of storage and costs $1.99 per month with month-to-month billing, or $1.67 per month with annual billing. This makes it a very affordable way to get business email, and unlike other providers such as Bluehost, which offers email hosting within its web hosting plans, with DreamHost you can just purchase email hosting without web hosting.
DreamHost Tiered Features
Connect a Domain You Already Own
IMAP, POP, and Webmail
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which is better: Google Workspace or Office 365?
The answer might depend on what you’re looking for, but for most, Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) is the superior product to Office 365. Not only are its productivity and collaboration tools more modern and user-friendly, but it’s half the price. A business email with Google Workspace costs $6 per user, per month, whereas Office 365 costs $12.50 per user, per month for the equivalent set of features.
Get the complete comparison of G Suite vs Office 365.
How do you create a custom email address for business use?
It’s surprisingly easy to create a custom email address, or an email address that uses your own domain name (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org). First, get a domain name (e.g. yourbusiness.com), which you can purchase from a domain name registrar such as GoDaddy or Hover for around $12 per year. Then, get email hosting and set up your email with your favorite email app. Get the step-by-step instructions on how to create a custom email address.
How do I choose a professional email address?
There are three main rules when choosing a professional email address. First, always use your own domain, so that your email address shows as, say, email@example.com (as opposed to firstname.lastname@example.org). Second, maintain a consistent username format across your company. And third, create generic email addresses, such as email@example.com, to display on your site. Check out these three rules to choosing a professional email address.