Best Email Solutions on a Budget
Why Cheap Gmail Alternatives?
Google Workspace, formerly G Suite, is by far the most popular and feature-rich business email service that includes such collaboration tools as Calendar, Meet, Drive, etc. With 30 GB of cloud storage and great support on top of the familiar ad-free Gmail platform, even the basic Business Starter plan offers mind-boggling value.
So, why do so many people choose a variety of Gmail alternatives? Besides the fact that some simply do not like Google (or any big tech, for that matter), there are three main reasons to get a business email elsewhere:
Below you will find three ways to get cheaper email hosting that suits your needs, with three best email services in each category. Regardless of which option you choose, you can be certain that all of the email providers below offer the following essentials:
Simplicity: Quick Mailbox for Any Domain
We are not talking about regular shared web hosting where you can host both your website and email. We refer to professional email hosting streamlined specifically for managing a mailbox for your business.
We have picked three email providers that give you the freedom to use the domain you own. If you need to register a domain name and get an email account in the same place, you may want to consider also Porkbun and Dynadot.
Namecheap’s private email hosting includes one mailbox and 10 forwarding addresses (aliases) on the cheapest plan. An additional mailbox costs $4.88/year. You can test any email plan for 60 days. If mobile sync is crucial to you, you can get a Pro plan for $33.88/year.
DreamHost offers both G Suite integration and its own email hosting. Its email hosting costs $19.99/year per mailbox. If you need multiple mailboxes for your domain, you will be better off getting a Shared Unlimited plan starting $5.95/month. Additionally, a shared hosting plan includes a 97-day money back guarantee.
Web Hosting UK offers inexpensive email hosting in the UK. While its cheapest email plan has all the essentials, we recommend the Standard plan. Priced at £43.08/year, it includes 5 GB of storage, 5 mailboxes and email archiving.
Privacy: Extra Secure Email Account
If you are looking for an email account that is both cheap and extra secure, you can choose from a wide range of privacy-focused email providers.
We have selected three best secure email services that are reasonably easy to use, allow you to connect a custom domain and provide professional support.
Because, similar to VPN services, the jurisdiction and email server locations are so important for email privacy, we have excluded several popular email providers, most notably Fastmail, an Australia-based company with servers in the US.
ProtonMail is easily the most popular privacy-oriented email provider. It is, however, also more expensive than others. Its cheapest plan includes 5 GB of storage and costs $48/year. You can further customize your plan, e.g. by adding extra domains ($18/year per domain). If you need secure email for up to 10 domain names, ProtonMail has the Visionary plan that also includes ProtonVPN, a premium VPN service. In 2020 the company also launched ProtonCalendar, a fully encrypted calendar. ProtonMail’s free plan does not support custom domains and includes 500 MB of storage.
Tutanota is a fully open source email provider. Even its Android app is open source and available through F-Droid as well as through Google Play. While you can use Tutanota for free, only paid plans allow a custom domain. Should you need more storage, you can buy a storage package starting at €24 per 10 GB annually.
Although mailbox.org does not have a free plan, it offers a 30-day free trial. While you may need some technical understanding, mailbox.org has a strong knowledge base with detailed step-by-step guides on how to set up your email the way you want it. The mailbox.org service is prepaid. You can cancel it and get reimbursed for unused credit.
Freedom: Email for Unlimited Domains
If your priority is the ability to set up email addresses for an unlimited number of domains within one plan, you can still find email services that are cheaper than Google Workspace / Gmail for one domain.
You do, however, need somewhat more technical knowledge compared to using Gmail and many email options above. Also, the level of support is typically another sacrifice for the freedom to host unlimited email domains.
We have picked three quite different email services that all let you set up email accounts for unlimited domains. If you need email for multiple, rather than unlimited, domains, Runbox provides secure email hosting starting at $34.95 for five domains.
In business since 2013, MXroute is one of the most popular email services for unlimited email accounts and domains. MXroute switched from cPanel email hosting to DirectAdmin in 2019. While it has servers throughout the globe, MXroute does not let you choose your preferred location.
Mailcheap uses OVH’s global infrastructure, with most plans located in France. It provides a wide range of dedicated email services as well as cheaper shared email hosting starting at $2/month. Maicheap’s 14-day money back guarantee applies to the Shared Basic plan only.
Migadu offers not only unlimited email domains and addresses but also generous email storage with ‘soft’ limits. The main limiting factor is, however, the number of in- and outgoing emails, with a soft limit of 200/20 daily emails on the cheapest Micro plan. In 2020 Migadu’s Micro plan replaced its free plan for one domain with 1 GB of storage and 10 outgoing emails. Unlike higher plans, the Micro plan can only be purchased on a yearly – not monthly – basis.
So, out of a myriad of cheaper Gmail alternatives, the above-listed email providers offer the greatest value depending on your needs. If the price is your main concern, nothing really beats Namecheap‘s email hosting. If you need email for unlimited domains, MXroute may be a good option. And if you are after the best email service that truly values your privacy, ProtonMail is worth every cent.