There really is no such thing as a free lunch
For many years most of the software platforms that are used to host websites have also included a licence-free email server solution that has enabled web hosts to offer free email services.
These email services work on either POP3 or IMAP technologies, and they have many technical limitations, such as:
Some small businesses were prepared to overlook the lack of functionality because, after all, it was free.
- No option to share mailboxes with colleagues
- No option to link calendars and contacts to mailboxes to synchronise across devices
- Sent items not synchronising across multiple devices
However, over the last couple of years, these free and lower-cost email services have become a go-to target for cybercriminals, resulting in many prolonged periods of service disruption and even loss of emails.
Because the revenue is not there to support the service, the end users have had to put up with poor service in the event of an outage, which has led to frustration, but to be fair, what kind of support should you expect with a free service?
If your business, like many, relies upon email to receive orders, then would you really want to rely upon a free service with no service level agreement, especially when you can subscribe to a service with a 99.997 uptime for a cost of £3.00 per month?
Pro's and Con's of the different types of email services available:
✔️ Cheap solution and email available locally on the device ❌ Emails are removed from the hosting provider ❌ Sent items are only available on the local device ❌ One-way synchronisation ❌ contacts are not synchronised ❌ calendars are not synchronised
✔️ Incoming emails are available across multiple devices ❌ Sent items are only available on the local device ❌ Mailbox size is limited ❌ contacts are not synchronised ❌ calendars are not synchronised
✔️ Incoming emails are available across multiple devices and via browser ✔️ Sent emails are available across multiple devices and via browser ✔️ contacts are not synchronised ✔️ calendars are not synchronised ✔️ distribution lists and shared mailboxes available ✔️ two-way synchronisation