Gmail Vs Exchange: Which Is The Best Email Provider For Your Business?

Choosing the best email provider is critical to the success of your business. Your business email service plays an important role in determining whether messages reach your employees in a timely manner. Plus, it controls which email client you can use, whether your inbox will be filled with spam, and whether you can get help if something goes wrong.

For many businesses, choosing the best business email comes down to two proven platforms: Google Gmail and Microsoft Exchange. Both of these providers have a lot to offer, but which one is the best business email for your business? In this guide, we’ll compare these two platforms face to face to help you decide.

Characteristics

Gmail and Microsoft Exchange have many key business features in common. Both services allow you to use a custom domain for your email accounts and access multiple email accounts with a single connection. Each platform comes with robust security features including two-factor authentication to protect your account. Plus, Gmail and Exchange come with built-in calendars and address books to help you and your employees stay on top of work.

One major area where the two platforms diverge, however, is how they deal with spam. In Exchange, you can only choose to enable or disable the spam filter. In Gmail, you have a lot more flexibility to create custom spam filters and to blacklist or whitelist specific domains. Considering the amount of spam, some of which contains malware, arrives via email every day, this is a win for Google.

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You can create custom spam filters in Gmail, but you can’t change the default filter in Exchange (Image credit: Microsoft)

These two services also differ in the amount of storage you have. All Exchange users get 50 GB of inbox space, compared to just 30 GB for Gmail users with a basic account. On top of that, Exchange allows you to send emails up to 150MB in size, while Gmail will require you to send Google Drive links to all files over 25MB.

Performance

Exchange and Gmail work well when used on their own and store all incoming emails on your central mail server for archival purposes. But not many people use their email platforms in a vacuum, so it’s worth considering how these email services fit in with the rest of your productivity suite.

The most important thing to note here is that Exchange and Outlook email client integrate seamlessly, while using Gmail and Outlook together can be problematic. If your business relies on Outlook, the difference in compatibility may be reason enough to switch to Exchange. Outlook works fine if you want to check and write offline emails with Exchange, but the client often fails to load offline emails when logged into Gmail.

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Exchange integrates seamlessly with Outlook, while Gmail’s Outlook integration often performs poorly (Image credit: Microsoft)

One of the main concerns many businesses have about Gmail is privacy. Google is known to use data from Gmail, including work email accounts, to serve ads to users. If your business works with sensitive data, Exchange is by far the most private hosted email option. Microsoft explicitly states that all data transferred through Exchange is not used for ad targeting, and this service is designed to be fully HIPAA compliant.

Support

Google and Microsoft each offer 24/7 phone and email support for their hosted email services. Having said that, you will probably have a better chance of troubleshooting issues with Microsoft. An Exchange subscription allows you to talk to IT technicians rather than just service representatives, as is the case with Google. If your email goes offline for some reason, having support you can count on is extremely important.

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The Google G Suite help center. Google provides 24/7 phone and email support for Gmail (Image credit: Google)

Tariffs and packages

A big draw to Gmail for many businesses is that it is significantly cheaper than Exchange.

Gmail is part of Google G Suite, which starts at just $ 6 per user per month. For that price, you not only get Gmail, but also all of Google’s productivity suite. This includes Docs, Sheets, Hangouts, Drive, and more. If you want to give users unlimited cloud storage for your inbox and whatever your business creates, you can upgrade your G Suite plan for $ 12 per user per month.

Microsoft offers Exchange as a stand-alone product or as part of the Office 365 productivity suite. Exchange alone costs $ 4 per user per month for 50 GB of storage per account or $ 8 per user per month for one. unlimited storage. Office 365 with Exchange costs $ 12.50 per user per month. Note that you get 1TB of cloud storage per user, but only 50GB of email storage with this plan.

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Pricing options for Microsoft Exchange (Image credit: Microsoft)

Verdict

Google Gmail and Microsoft Exchange are both great hosted email services. Gmail is the most attractive to businesses looking to cut costs while switching to Google’s G Suite office software. If you don’t need a new office suite, Gmail’s price tag is a little less attractive.

Exchange is by far the best option for businesses that use Outlook as their email client. Additionally, companies working with sensitive data should prefer Exchange, as Google uses data that passes through Gmail to target ads. Microsoft guarantees the confidentiality of data in Exchange, and the email service is fully HIPAA compliant.


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June J. Lopez

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