Many businesses use email as a service. The economics can be very compelling. Email as a service is simply defined as getting your email delivered from a company centrally hosting a mail server and software. Another common method is to have your own email server and software.

If you’re already using an email service I hope it has the following features implemented:

– Spam filtering. I really don’t know how anyone lives without a Spam filter, but some still do. Spam is an avenue for malware and whether you use a service or have your own server, you need this protection.

– Anti-virus filtering. Like Spam filtering above, scanning your email before it’s delivered for known malware is an important and valuable layer of defense.

– Redundancy. As I have discussed before, everyone needs their email. It’s mission critical. If you can’t get it because your email service is down, find another service. A good service has multiple data centers with servers mirrored over separate geographic regions and can guarantee 100 percent up time.

– Supports all standard protocols such as POP3, IMAP4, and SMTP. This means your users can check and send email from various desktop email clients like Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird, plus wireless devices like Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, and Droid smartphones.

– Security. SSL and TLS encryption for the standard protocols mentioned above encrypts your data so that others cannot view it.

– Attachment size capability. Some services severely restrict the size of attachment you can receive. This is frustrating when you’re expecting a larger attachment.

– Mailbox capacity. A small capacity mailbox means you have to keep cleaning out your mailbox.

– Daily backups. Account data is saved nightly to top tier data centers and can be restored from the past 14 days.

– Ad free. A professional service doesn’t insert ads in your email.

If you’re paying more than $1.75 per month per mailbox for the services listed above, or if you aren’t receiving those features, it’s time to consider alternatives to your existing email service. If you’d like to know the service we recommend, give me a call or shoot me and email.

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