There are a number of possibilities available to you, all offering a different service, different costs, different advantages and different disadvantages, so what is the best option for you and your business?
Let’s have a look at three of the options we offer you at TerraMedia and compare them.
Standard POP3/IMAP Email
This is the standard email that comes with your hosting when TerraMedia is your hosting provider.
These email accounts require you to either use an email client like Outlook or Apple Mail or to use one of the three available webmail clients.
The way POP3 works is that they are downloaded to your computer by the client and then generally removed from the server, and sent items that are sent are stored by your client, not by the server. So, if you access webmail when you normally use an email client, if your client deletes emails from the server as they are downloaded, you may find that there are no emails there, or that your sent emails aren’t there.
If you and your employees work primarily on a single computer and generally don’t need to access email from anywhere else, then this is likely more than sufficient for you.
The alternative is IMAP, it works the same way, but your emails are all stored on the server. This can use a lot more space on your hosting account, but it means that you can access all your emails from any device at any time, and if your device is lost or fails, your emails are safely stored on the server.
Whether POP3 or IMAP is used, these email accounts are limited in size to the size of your hosting plan.
Gmail Custom Domain
The next level up that we offer from the standard POP3/IMAP account is a Gmail Custom Domain setup on the Google Apps platform. With very similar functionality to the standard Gmail service, this allows you to use your domain name on Gmail. So you might have [email protected] but access it through Gmail.
This gives you some more flexibility than the standard POP3 email as you are able to either download your email to a POP3 client or through an IMAP client, as well as access it directly online.
POP3 functions the same way as the standard POP3 email, IMAP works similarly, except that everything goes back to the email account, so you will have a record of all your sent emails in your Gmail account as well as in your email client.
Similarly, you can access all of your emails online using Gmail’s excellent webmail application and when using the web application, you can also make use of Google Calendar and other built-in messaging services.
If you primarily access your email via the web, or regularly alternate between the web and an IMAP email client on your computer, this may be the solution for you.
Microsoft Exchange Email
On a similar level is Microsoft’s Exchange Server.
Using this option, you can utilise the power of Microsoft’s Exchange with Outlook to have your email, contacts, calendar, tasks and notes synchronised between any number of computers, smartphones and PDA’s like Windows Mobile devices, iPhones, Blackberries and more. Similarly, you also receive access to your email, contacts, calendar and notes via the Exchange webmail view.
The Exchange webmail view offers a near replica of the functionality found in Outlook when accessed through Internet Explorer, or with slightly reduced functionality in other browsers. This represents one of the most functionally comprehensive web-based email clients available.
If you regularly access your email from a number of computers, such as a desktop and a laptop, or computers spread across a number of locations and on a phone, then this option may be the most suitable for you as it keeps all of your data up to date no matter where you are.
If you aren’t sure what the best solution for you is going to be, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today and have a chat about your needs.