How Should I Host My Mail Server?

So, your business needs a mail server, and you’ve been tasked with making that a reality. It’s not such a tall order, really. Provided you understand the resource and security demands of your organization, it’s actually one of the easiest decisions you’ll make. Here’s why.

If you think about it, the sticking power of email is pretty impressive. It was around back when the Internet was still in its early stages. It existed as a medium of communication since before smartphones were even a thing – it actually played a major role in kicking off the developments that led to smartphone technology in the first place.

It’s really not a big surprise, mind you. Email just works. It’s simple, convenient, and familiar.

You know this, of course. It’s why you’re setting up a mail server for your business. The first decision you’ll have to make (aside from your email client) is what kind of hosting plan you’re going to use.

On the surface, you might expect it’s a matter of demand. That if you’re a small business, you can host your mail server on a shared plan, scaling up as demand increases. That can be risky, however – you don’t want all emails sent from your domain to be blacklisted if someone else who hosts a website on the same server does something illegal.

Never mind the fact that if you’re going to run DLP and spam protection services, mail servers actually take up a surprising amount of resources.

With that in mind, you might gravitate towards VPS or Dedicated Hosting. Yet configuration for the former can be a logistical nightmare, depending on how your hosting plan is set up. And as for the latter, the obvious drawback there is cost.

What I’d like to say is that if you have the money, you should host your mail portal on a dedicated server (or failing that, co-locate). Full stop. You’ll have dedicated resources, control over the baseline hardware, and full customizability.

There are other alternatives, of course. A good cloud platform can offer all the security and flexibility your mail server needs. And there are specialized email hosting plans you can sign up for, too.

The best option, however, might be to let someone else do it. Unless you have a very good reason to host and maintain your own email portal, it may be in your best interests to put the responsibility in the hands of one of the many corporate email providers you can find online. They all offer a wealth of high-quality, high-security business email services coupled with the expertise necessary to deliver those services to you with the utmost quality.

At the end of the day, though, it’s really all about your specific needs. What security requirements you need to consider, what your budget looks like, how many users you’ve got, and how they’ll be using them. Take all that into account, and the answer should become clear very quickly.