Professional Email Servers
By Shannon C
, last updated July 23, 2011
When selecting a professional email server the first question to be answered is always what level of functionality your company is seeking versus your budget. Luckily, in today's global open market technology these two facets don't always indicate that companies on a smaller budget must sacrifice features or functionality, but rather comes as a call to investigate where you may be able to get the same or similar functionality for less money or even for free, provided you have the intellectual capital to be able to select and install a professional email server without hiring outside professionals to complete this task for you. Learn about your range of options for professional email servers and select the option that will work best for your company's needs.
What Professional Email Servers Do
A professional email server can be as simplistic or holistic as your company desires. The highest level professional email servers will include powerful firewalls, spam blockers, virus protection, a dedicated MSP or "managed service provider" which monitors the email activity generated to and from your company, monitoring of employees' outgoing emails, email filtering and routing, and much more. A full service provider will take care of hosting and management of your professional email server, relieving your company of the need to set up, configure, route, or maintain your employees' email service. However, for companies on a smaller budget or with fewer concerns about email communications, it is also possible to get by on simpler self-maintained systems.
Options for Low Cost or Free Email Servers
With the advent of free and open software sharing, there has arisen a range of new free email servers, or clients, that aim to compete with or even replace traditional email clients like Microsoft Outlook. Armed with better features, integration options, ability to function with equal effectiveness on a wide range of operating systems, excellent email filtering and spam and virus blocking features, and more, these new freeware programs compete with the big ticket email servers and don't ask you to pay a dime for their use. Free email servers that come highly recommended include Thunderbird by the makers of the popular Mozilla Firefox browser, Windows Live Mail by Microsoft, Zimbra Desktop from Yahoo, SeaMonkey from Mozilla Firefox, Pegasus Mail which works in LAN settings, eM Client which integrates with Google and Skype, Free Mail Commander which is ideal for netbook users who have limited storage capacity on their machines.
How to Choose a Professional Email Server
Any professional email server worth installing will have certain basic features, including the ability to conform to a company website URL, the ability to maintain multiple email accounts, the ability to allow for sorting and filtering emails, the ability to create and maintain an address book, the ability to control for spam and viruses, the ability to maintain some type of calendar setting, and the ability to work well on whatever operating system your company uses. Beyond these basic features, it is most important to look for ease of use and employee training in how to use the new email server system.