Email server

Building your own in-house server for a small business email server setup can be done relatively cheap today.
With hardware pricing in the ballpark of 1500$ for lower end servers, and if you use proven Linux distributions you get the software for free.

Provided you pay someone at least 500$ to set it all up. So with about 2000$ you will get a reliable in-house email server behind your own infrastructure, with at least 3 year warranty. You might also want to factor in some electricity costs,  some physical space to accommodate your server, and some air conditioning. You want an UPS so there aren’t losses when you have power outages. And you will probably need some maintenance – security updates, patches, changing hard drives – that sort of work. If the server stops working for some reason, you might lose a few days of emails unless you want to invest more money into redundancy.

Now lets say you have about 10 employees and want to avoid all this hassle by outsourcing your email service. At 50$ per user a year, Google suite would cost you 1500$ in 3 years with no hidden costs. Your emails would be hosted on Google’s data centers with no downtime. Any maintenance will be done by Google’s experts so you can expect high security, and there is never any need to pay for maintenance. Sending from Google means there will be less chance of your email bouncing due to low rating of servers. Google has more then 1 billion email users, so when they mark an email to be spam it gets their algorithms learning – meaning you will have almost no spam in your inbox. This is not the case when you use your own email server, regardless of how good its filters are set up. We could give a lot more arguments for outsourcing your email, but to sum it all up it is: cheaper, more reliable, more secure, works better and is easier to manage.

Lets just add in the fact its not just an email server you get for 50$/user a year. But the entire Google suite with lots of opportunity to optimize your work process or just organize your office. Oh and when you get an Android phone, you can setup your email account for the phone to use for Google services and more.

Usually we try and keep the introduction short, but with so many IT “experts” still advocating in-house exchange servers for small businesses (not much changes for enterprise companies) we feel it necessary to shed some light on this foolishness.

Without getting into why not some other e-mail provider, instead we offer you some advice on how to setup Google suite’s email service.

1. Your domain

In order to receive email you need to own at least 1 domain – eg. sampledomain.com.
When purchasing, you need to bare in mind that you will also need control of your domain’s DNS.
DNS server is responsible for routing different portions of your domain to specific servers.


2. DNS MX records

Configure your MX recordsOnce you have your domain setup you need to configure DNS MX records for it. In short these DNS records point to email servers for your domain, so other servers know where to deliver email when addressed to it. Google provides a list of 5 mail servers, and you should add them all to maximize reliability.


3. Google suite email setup

With your domain setup, Google suite configuration is very straightforward. It consists of creating users accounts, their alias if any and email groups. You can setup your company logo, custom URLs to access Google suite services etc. There are a lot of advanced options, but the default setup will work well without need for adjustments.


4. Client setup

Configuring phones is just a matter of selecting Gmail/Google account and entering your full email address username@sampledomain.com. You can then use the Android Gmail app which performs better then any other Android client. For workstations we recommend the free Thunderbird, easy to setup the program performs great. You will find a lot of available add-on’s for it, and a lot of customization options.


 

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