GoDaddy's Economy plan is presented as though you can't sign up for a month-to-month payment plan (the lowest price displayed is for a three-month minimum sign up period), but once you add the plan to the cart, the one-month plan appears. We're glad the option exists, but we do wish it were easier to find. We couldn't find it until a GoDaddy pointed it out after we complained that the option didn't exist in a previous version of this review.
Along with the slew of desktop apps, you also get access to Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA), a sleek and modern web adaptation of the Outlook email client. It offers a familiar layout for calendars, contacts, and tasks, and a new "focused inbox"—all available in your browser. What Microsoft means by a "focused inbox" is that, rather than just being a dumping ground for all incoming email, it defaults to a dynamic view that's constantly being updated. This tech is based on a machine learning (ML) algorithm that attempts to figure out which email is most important to you; everything else goes to the regular inbox. As you sort emails between the focused inbox and the regular inbox, the algorithm gradually gets better, helping you to concentrate on email that matters most. You'll also be able to use mentions. When creating a new email, if you prepend someone's name with the @ sign, then it will automatically Cc that individual. You can also apply a filter that will show you emails in which you were directly mentioned.
If you want to purchase email, here's the breakdown: Email Essentials (starting at $4.99 per month or $3.99 per month with a two- or three-year commitment) gives you 5GB of email storage. Online Essentials (starting at $9.99 per month or $7.99 per month with a two- or three-year commitment) ups the email capacity to 50GB and adds 1TB of cloud storage. Business Premium (starting at $14.99 per month or $9.99 per month with a two- or three-year commitment) raises the email storage capacity to 50GB and adds unlimited web conferencing and access to online Microsoft Word and Excel. Premium Security (starting at $24.97 per month or $14.99 per month with a two- or three-year commitment) tosses in encryption and Microsoft Office mobile applications.
Most companies will prefer a third-party solution since not only will these be more capable, they'll also be supported more effectively by related back-end apps, such as mobile device management (MDM) platforms and mobile-oriented endpoint protection solutions. You'll also have an easier time pushing a third-party platform out to registered client devices, though some hosted email providers can help with this step.
All the aforementioned features are valuable parts of the web hosting experience, but none matches the importance of site uptime. If your site is down, new clients or customers will be unable to find you or access your products or services. As if that weren't bad enough, regular customers may lose confidence in your service if they can't reach your site. Or they may simply need access to a service or widget today, which means they might go to a competitor to get the job done—and they might never come back. Anyone who's ever tried to build customer loyalty understands what a catastrophe this is.
Your next major concern will be compatibility. It's not a shock that most businesses run on Microsoft Windows and use some form of Microsoft Office. Being able to use common third-party clients such as Microsoft Outlook can often be a concern, and even today, compatibility with Microsoft Outlook isn't necessarily guaranteed. This is especially true when sending and receiving meeting invites. It only takes one garbled meeting invite to realize how frustrating this can be in the real world. Even if using Microsoft Outlook isn't a concern, portability is. If the service is entirely web-based, then is there a means for me to take my email offline and send email when I connect?
Data protection is another key email security concern. Inboxes often contain GBs of business-critical and personal data, so not just hackers but also legitimate marketing companies can make big money off mining email data—and this sometimes includes the very company that is providing the email service to you. Fortunately, most companies, including your hosting provider, are pretty good about keeping out of private data, but it's important to be aware of when these policies have failed. Security breaches are commonplace and it's important to know how your data is being managed. To protect yourself, be sure to inquire about data safety capabilities on the provider's side, especially around encryption and malware scanning. But be sure to implement additional measures on your side, as well, including encryption for those using local email clients as well as deploying personal virtual private networks (VPNs) to folks accessing their email from multiple locations.
In terms of security for its hosted email services, you'll find this is all hosted in Microsoft's data centers. That means you'll have all the same security benefits as those provided to other Microsoft Office 365 users. Your email data will be encrypted in transit and at rest using SSL and Bitlocker technology. Per Microsoft's publicly available terms of service, Microsoft employees only have highly limited access to your data and only under specific, audited circumstances.
If privacy is your number one concern, perhaps you should go with Protonmail. You can upgrade to an email with your domain easily on a web interface under “Protonmail Plus” or “Protonmail Visionary” plans. However, the plans can be rather expensive, as getting only 20 GB storage space could cost you at least €24/user/month/yearly. Most email hosting providers retain your emails for months even after you delete your account. This Swiss email provider will destroy all your data when you delete your account.