If you have a business that uses email, or are in the process of starting one, you may have come across the task of choosing a business email hosting provider. What business owners will tend to find is that there are two distinct forks on the email hosting path. One leads towards “cloud email” services such as Google’s G Suite, or Microsoft’s Office 365, while the other leads towards more generically named “email hosting” services, offered by most web hosting companies.
So what are the differences between these two pathways, and which one is right for your business?
The Differences Between “Cloud” Email Hosting & “Traditional” Email Hosting
Just to make things a little more confusing, we’ll let you in on a secret right upfront. At the end of the day, “cloud” hosting services of any kind are technically similar to “traditional” hosting services in the sense that the data stored within the “cloud” does exist on a hard drive somewhere. That hard drive will be sitting inside a server, of which is inside a datacenter, somewhere around the world. With traditional email hosting, your data does the same thing (exists on a hard drive on a server somewhere), however it is then usually downloaded locally to a computer or device.
So what does it all breakdown to? Let’s get started!
Simplified Set Up
Cloud email hosting usually offers a far more simplified set up process than traditional email hosting. That’s because it is typically accessed through your web browser, with no need to install or set up any extra email software such as Mac Mail or Microsoft Outlook. This means you’re instantly ready to go on any computer you use with just a username and password.
With cloud hosting, you’ll be able to download an app to your mobile or tablet device, which will closely replicate the web browser interface. This gives you a very consistent email experience and offers a lot more features than your mobile device’s built-in mail app is able to provide. One such example would be a consistent email signature. Since the app is part of your cloud hosting’s ecosphere, the email signature you use through the web browser will automatically carry across and be available to use in the app too. With traditional email hosting, you must set up each of your devices totally individually. This includes setting up your signature on each device from scratch, leaving the possibility for inconsistencies in both the accuracy and formatting of the signature.
Because cloud hosting refers to data that is essentially stored online (as opposed to being stored on your computer or device), there is only ever one copy of your data. Whichever device you access your data from, you are basically logging in to a singular place, meaning your data is always going to be the same across any device. With traditional email hosting, all devices stored a local copy of your data, making it sometimes quite a complicated situation, with the heightened possibility of either data duplication or data loss.
Since your email is hosted online (“in the cloud”), instead of on your computer, you’ll never have to worry about email loss if your computer crashes. You can get into your email from any computer, instantly, rather than having to set up access through a mail client. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is less secure than traditional email hosting however, as cloud hosting actually offers superior security features, including the option of 2-factor authentication. With traditional hosting, a hacker would just need to crack your email account’s password, and then gain instant access. With cloud email hosting, even if they crack your password, they will still get stuck at the secondary authentication checkpoint.
Cloud hosting usually comes with online storage space that can be used for just about anything! With this, you can enjoy the convenience of accessing your files, folders or photos online from any computer with no setup. Best of all, your data is always in sync, since it isn’t technically being stored locally on any of your devices. There are apps which will also help you to instantly “stream” your files/folders/photos to your local hard drive, for quick desktop access. On the other hand, traditional email hosting usually does not offer online storage space for anything other than emails.
In this day and age, we’ve gotta’ say, there’s no looking back at traditional email hosting. Cloud email hosting is a huge improvement in all aspects, and is a worthy investment for any business that relies on email on a daily basis.
That’s it from us! As always, if you have any questions about this post or our shared hosting, VPS, reseller or dedicated server plans, simply call us on 1300 MY HOST (694 678) during business hours, or submit a ticket through our Support Portal and one of the crew will be in touch!