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Things to Consider When Choosing Your Email Service Provider

Email is one of our primary forms of communication. Whether you’re emailing friends to tell them about your day, sending notes to coworkers, or chatting with a potential client about your services, you probably find yourself using email several times a day.

It is little wonder that there are so many different email providers to choose from. Each provider offers slightly different features in an attempt to reach a target audience.

What works for one person might not work for another—you need to look at what features each provider offers and make an informed decision based upon your needs.

Even if you have a trusty email service provider that you’ve used for years, it never hurts to look at what else is out there. Other providers may offer more up-to-date security features or increased storage options.

If you’re considering making a change in providers, here are some tips you’ll want to keep in mind. 

Why you want an email address

Knowing why you want an email address can help you narrow down your options. Decide whether or not you want an email address for personal reasons or business reasons.

If you’re using an email address for personal reasons, you might not care whether or not the provider offers unlimited storage or a calendar feature.

If you’re using it for business purposes, however, there are certain features you might need to run your business successfully. Depending on how large your business is, you might even have to purchase a private email server. 

What features are offered

Once you know why you want an email address, it is time to start looking at what features each provider offers.

Maybe you want a custom email address that reflects the name of your business. Or perhaps you want a chat feature so that you can talk in real-time. Some providers even integrate additional applications into their services, such as cloud storage or a collaborative calendar.

As you look around, please make a note of what features are important to you and what providers offer them. 

How much storage there is

Most providers put a cap on storage space. This cap sets a limit on how many emails and attachments you can save in your account. Most of the time, providers will give an estimate of how many emails you’re able to hold onto.

Some providers also put a cap on how many emails you can send and receive in a day.

If you’re running a business or you send large email files, you may need a provider that allows you to purchase additional storage. Most providers offer multiple plans. 

What security is in place

The security features your email service provider has in place helps prevent outsiders from gaining access to your account and your files. These features also help protect you from malware, spam, and phishing attacks.

These days, most providers offer email authentication features that help block harmful email and users.

Some providers also offer encryption services that help protect sensitive information, or they offer the ability to add a third-party encryption service. To learn more about encryption, check out:

Is it user-friendly

You’re going to want to find a provider that allows you to navigate their platform and organize your emails easily.

Whether or not a provider is user-friendly depends on your familiarity with email services. Beginners might prefer a service that organizes their emails for them, while more advanced users might want the option to create their folders.

It is always a good idea to read reviews about whatever provider you’re considering. It will give you an idea of how others feel about the provider. 

Is there a mobile option

Smartphones and tablets allow you to check your email even when you’re not at a computer. If you’re like most people, you’re probably already in the habit of checking your email throughout the day from your phone.

Look for a provider that connects to the mail feature on your phone or that offers a downloadable app. It will make checking email easier when you’re on the go.

If they don’t offer a mobile app, you’re going to want to make sure the online site is mobile-friendly. 

Final thoughts

With so many different email service providers available, it might be hard to narrow down your options. The list above is an excellent way to start thinking about what you want in a provider. Each provider comes with pros and cons, so take the time to find the one that best meets your needs. 

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