Communication is key in any business, and having a reliable Email system keeps you from becoming frustrated at simple daily activities. We can support any email system that you use, and help find the best solution if you’re looking for a change.
Exchange vs POP3 vs IMAP
These three terms are used to describe different connection protocols for Email. If you’re using Email, chances are you’re using one of these three in order to synchronize your Outlook or Apple Mail client. There are a few fundamental differences with these that exist, so here is a quick rundown on why you would choose one over the other:
POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) downloads all messages from the mail server to your local application (Outlook/Apple Mail) and removes them from the server after a pre-configured amount of time. POP3 is the oldest of the three technologies still used and has some downsides. The server space you get with a POP3 mailbox is typically small, and it doesn’t retain your email folders across all devices (workstation, phone, laptop, etc…). Also, you can potentially not have all emails on all devices if it gets deleted from the server before some of the devices are able to download it. On the other hand, POP3 can be inexpensive.
IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) is a newer protocol that stores all messages on the server side so that all of your folders and emails are the same across all devices. The only exception to this would be that sent items always exist on the machine that is sending the Email instead of on the server. Typically this service is a bit slower than Exchange since it doesn’t push emails immediately but rather synchronizes after a configured amount of time (EX: Every 10 minutes). It is also important to note that with IMAP, you’ve got a version of your email on both your workstation as well as on the server, acting as a backup in case one of them is compromised.
This is a proprietary Email solution that Microsoft created and is directed at businesses. It packages calendar, contacts, and notes with your email, and all emails are synchronized with the server. It can also create policies among different users and has many ways in which it is flexible in different use case scenarios. Finally, it synchronizes data immediately after the server receives it, along with a manual check after a predefined amount of time. This is the service that we would most recommend!
Many businesses have grown and used their own servers to host email by utilizing Microsoft Exchange. From an administrator’s point of view, it can be nice to have everything centralized. More recently, however, Microsoft Exchange has become more expensive to use than their hosted version, Office 365. If you look at per mailbox licensing over a period of 3 years, the number of mailboxes would need to be a few hundred in order to beat out the pricing that Office 365 offers. For some, it is about hosting their own email. And if this is done for that reason or because of some software integration, we are more than capable of handling it.
There are many email providers out there to choose from. Our go-to option is Hosted Exchange through Office 365, as it has proven to be a very stable and versatile provider despite their early difficulties. We can administer to other providers as well, such as Rackspace, Fasthosts, Zoho, and LiquidWeb. If you’ve already got another provider you like, we are more than happy to work with them.
Spam Filtering helps cut down on both ads as well as phishing attempts. Some Hosted Email providers maintain their own spam filters, but in some cases, it is useful for clients to have an additional layer of protection. There are several providers that we have worked with and as they all provide similar services, we can work with any that you’re currently using.