5 Best SMTP Hosting Providers (Feb. 2024)

Best Smtp Hosting Providers

Emailing seems so simple, but nothing could be further from the truth. I once tried to send transactional emails — those sent to customers for receipts, tracking numbers, and order confirmations — from a WordPress eCommerce store without an SMTP server. Boy, was that a mistake. WordPress, by default, uses your standard hosting server to send emails. It sounds convenient, but web hosting servers that lack SMTP support rarely have high enough resources for adequate email deliverability. Others can’t send large quantities of emails at one time.

Hosts with dedicated SMTP servers focus on sending emails and ensuring those servers offer high deliverability, secure sending, and scalability for large-volume senders. In short, you always need to sign up for an SMTP host for email reliability. The best SMTP hosting providers support custom domain names in emails, hefty email storage, and mass email sending.

Here, we discuss the best SMTP hosting providers to help ensure scalability, security, and reliability with your emails.

1. A2 Hosting

Touted as fast, reliable, and easy to configure, I consider A2 Hosting as one of the best SMTP hosting providers available. It all starts with its cheap hosting servers offered for just a few dollars per month. The shared servers have support to create a site and make emails with the same domain name.

The SMTP email service from A2 Hosting also includes NVMe SSD storage and server locations in the US, Europe, and Asia; these features help you run faster websites while also improving the speed and storage capabilities of your emails.

Each hosting account comes with free email addresses, allowing you to assign branded email addresses to everyone in your organization. A2 Hosting supports SMTP, POP3, IMAP, and webmail. You can control and access all your emails from the convenience of your A2 Hosting dashboard.

A2Hosting.com

A2 Hosting review

Monthly Starting Price $2.99

  • FREE software for webmail, newsletters, contact forms, list management, and spam filtering
  • Unlimited inboxes, forwarding, and autoresponders
  • Secure POP3, IMAP, and SMTP messaging
  • Unlimited storage and transfer with FREE SSL
  • Get more than 77% off today (was $7.99/month)
  • Get started on A2 Hosting now.

EMAIL
RATING
4.9 ★★★★★ Our Review

A2 Hosting: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): Combining the internet’s most popular and secure email technologies with high-speed and reliable infrastructure, A2 Hosting ensures your messages are delivered on time. As a recipient, you’ll appreciate the company’s multiple spam filtering programs, along with autoresponders and forwarding. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 100 GB SSD – Unlimited SSD New or Transfer 4 minutes

For webmail, you can receive and send emails through the Horde or RoundCube products, giving you a free email experience without having to pay for an email client. Alternatively, A2 Hosting lets you take the SMTP, IMAP, and POP3 settings to add to any third-party client.

A2 Hosting security remains one of the reasons I like the provider so much. For SMTP emails, you get continual spam protection. Each web hosting server provides a virus scanner, firewall, brute force defense, and reinforced DDoS protection. In addition, you receive a free hack scanning tool along with two-factor authentication.

With every email hosting service, it pays to have a server with developer-friendly features. This way, your IT or development team can integrate email with internal networks and configure email marketing and logging mechanisms. A2 Hosting is no slouch in this area, as it provides the latest versions of software — including Node.js, PHP, MariaDB, and MySQL.

2. Hostinger

Besides selling top-notch shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated server accounts, Hostinger caters to businesses that need custom-branded email inboxes with SMTP support.

The hosting provider includes a web app for checking emails along with built-in calendar and contact management tools. Every email hosting plan comes with a set amount of email storage, which allows you to upgrade as your business grows.

The email hosting service from Hostinger includes SMTP, IMAP, and POP3 support for sending and receiving emails with any client. Its SMTP hosting has robust security features starting with data encryption for all messages and an advanced anti-spam tool.

Hostinger.com

Hostinger review

Monthly Starting Price $2.49

  • Easily import contacts, messages, and calendars
  • FREE domain name with annual plan
  • 1-click integrations with 50+ productivity tools
  • Collaborate with polls, shared to-do lists
  • Less than $1 per mailbox per month!
  • Get started on Hostinger now.

EMAIL
RATING
4.8 ★★★★★ Our Review

Hostinger: Our Expert’s Review

Laura Bernheim (HostingAdvice.com): Showing major value, Hostinger email plans come complete with all the collaboration and productivity tools you’d expect from higher-priced hosts. We especially love the easy integrations with platforms like Twitter, Google Drive, and others. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 50 GB SSD – 200 GB SSD FREE (1 year) 3 minutes

The web host also provides a one-click import of existing emails and contacts. Make email aliases, block senders, and use a range of email templates — including HTML emails in a visual builder — for a streamlined business and bulk emailing experience.

Another way to obtain SMTP hosting with Hostinger is through its web hosting plans. This provides shared, VPS, or dedicated hosting services with a free SSL certificate and SSD storage.

You gain access to a no-code drag-and-drop website builder and hundreds of beautiful templates to launch a website that represents your business.

Each Hostinger web hosting account comes with free email. You can create up to 100 email addresses for the workers in your company. I also see Hostinger as one of the best SMTP hosting providers due to its free domain name offering (which you can attach to your emails) and its managed WordPress email tools.

3. Bluehost

Bluehost is known for its cheap web hosting, domain names, and managed WordPress offerings, but it also offers different types of email hosting.

You could, for instance, purchase a web hosting account and receive SMTP email accounts with inboxes to pair with your website’s domain name. On the other hand, you might opt for a professional SMTP email hosting account or a Google Workspace package.

The standalone email hosting offers a professional email setting with custom domains and inboxes. You can customize every aspect of your mailbox and use email templates when contacting business partners, customers, and other stakeholders.

The email product comes with a calendar, contact management, and a portal for managing daily tasks. Bluehost also provides a file management drive with an integrated suite for creating and storing documents.

Bluehost.com

Bluehost review

Monthly Starting Price $2.95

  • FREE domain and unlimited emails
  • Secure email with 3 webmail solutions
  • $200 in advertising credits with Google and Bing
  • Google app integration available
  • FREE Office 365 mailbox for your first 30 days
  • Get started on Bluehost now.

EMAIL
RATING
4.8 ★★★★★ Our Review

Bluehost: Our Expert’s Review

Ryan Frankel (HostingAdvice.com): For email hosting with security and tons of available features, Bluehost is one of our favorites. The company includes a free domain name for a year, POP3 and IMAP security for unlimited emails, plus email forwarding and three web-based email solutions. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB SSD – 100 GB SSD FREE (1 year) 5 minutes

The SMTP hosting from Bluehost has unique features, including unlimited email filters and email signing. In addition, you receive a safe unsubscribe service, an option to undelete emails, and real-time anti-phishing. It serves as an ad-free professional email inbox, and with help from SMTP, IMAP, and POP3, you can manage email forwarding and connect your email address to any email client.

For those in need of a website to go along with their business email accounts, Bluehost offers shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated server options. With support for multiple websites, a free SSL certificate, and domain name privacy, I consider Bluehost one of the best SMTP hosting providers due to its superb web hosting and email support.

Each web hosting plan comes with a free trial of professional SMTP email hosting, allowing you to test it out and potentially add the email service to your site in the future.

4. IONOS

IONOS web hosting checks in as one of the most affordable options you can find. As a customer, you can either get a free email account with web hosting or pay for a cheap SMTP hosting package with business email features, including multi-gigabyte storage, a domain name for your business, and syncing across devices.

The advanced SMTP mailbox security includes SSL/TLS encryption along with antivirus and anti-spam.

IONOS provides easy migration tools to move your emails from previous accounts to its servers. You can also manage a large inbox, use business collaboration tools, and work with email clients such as Microsoft Outlook.

IONOS.com

1&1 IONOS review

Monthly Starting Price $1.00

  • Business email with a personal consultant
  • Choice of IONOS mail, Microsoft 365, or Google Workspace mailboxes
  • FREE domain or transfer included
  • Create up to 500 email accounts
  • Premium tools for email marketing available
  • Get started on 1&1 IONOS now.

EMAIL
RATING
4.6 ★★★★★ Our Review

1&1 IONOS: Our Expert’s Review

Alexandra Anderson (HostingAdvice.com): If the budget factor is on your mind when searching for a web host, rest easy. 1&1 IONOS has a wide range of packages, including reduced rates for the first few months (or year) and starter plans for all of their web hosting and website building services. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
30 days 10 GB – Unlimited FREE (1 year) 4 minutes

The SMTP email plans from InMotion Hosting come in many forms. For example, you may sign up for the Google Workspace package, which integrates with Google email products and provides productivity tools and video conferencing essentials.

InMotion Hosting sells Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft 365 SMTP email products. This accelerates your email with a large shared team folder, OneDrive cloud storage, and MS Teams collaboration tools.

The standard SMTP email plan — called IONOS Email — has the cheapest price and includes along with spam filters, webmail, and device synchronization.

5. InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting offers dedicated server plans, VPS hosting, and standard shared hosting, and includes SMTP email services with each web hosting package. The developer-friendly host supports Python, Ruby, and Node.js, and each hosting plan provides GIT version control.

One of the reasons I consider InMotion Hosting one of the best SMTP hosting providers is that it offers a minimum of ten email addresses for even the smallest shared hosting plans.

Although InMotion Hosting lacks standalone SMTP email hosting, its web hosting plans include email addresses. This means you not only receive an email account with webmail but a fully hosted website with the same domain name. As for constructing your website, InMotion Hosting delivers a website builder and customer management tools to handle sales.

InMotionHosting.com

InMotion review

Monthly Starting Price $2.29

  • FREE domain registration or no-downtime transfer
  • Unlimited SPAM Safe™ email with IMAP
  • 1-click app installer and FREE marketing tools
  • Business-class hardware and eCommerce-ready
  • SSD storage plus FREE backups and SSL security
  • Get started on InMotion now.

EMAIL
RATING
4.5 ★★★★★ Our Review

InMotion: Our Expert’s Review

PJ Fancher (HostingAdvice.com): For business-class email hosting, look no further than InMotion Hosting. They offer a free domain name, SSD drive, and secure IMAP email, plus Google app integration with a three-step wizard. Go to full review »

Money Back Guarantee Disk Space Domain Name Setup Time
90 days 100 GB SSD – Unlimited SSD FREE (1 year) 5 minutes

With SMTP from InMotion Hosting, you get email on any device. Use SMTP, IMAP, and POP3 to send and receive emails on your phone, tablet, or computer. Link your company email addresses to clients, including Outlook, or sync them with your favorite webmail provider.

It depends on the level of your hosting plan, but InMotion Hosting also features scalable NVMe SSD storage and bandwidth. Some of the higher shared hosting plans even support unlimited email and websites.

What Is SMTP?

SMTP, or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, serves as an email communication protocol. SMTP has the potential to accept emails as well, but it’s not particularly good at it.

Because of that, SMTP typically gets used for sending emails alongside IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) or POP (Post Office Protocol), which offer stronger email acceptance solutions.

SMTP ties in with the MTA (Mail Transfer Agent) to transfer an outgoing email from your computer to the correct recipient inbox.

To establish a connection with email communication servers, SMTP uses TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), which offers ports for servers to connect with one another. SMTP uses port 25 for most messages, but it’s not uncommon to use port 587 for emails.

What Is SMTP Hosting?

SMTP hosting is a form of email hosting that enables the sending, retrieval, and storage of emails online. It uses SMTP, the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, to properly move messages from one computer to another through an email hosting server, and then to the inbox on another computer.

Email vs. Web Hosting
SMTP hosting is a form of email hosting, not to be confused with web hosting.

Unlike personal email services, companies use SMTP hosting to send large quantities of emails. For example, a business may sign up for an SMTP hosting provider to successfully send out transactional email messages and email marketing campaigns. SMTP hosting also makes sense for businesses with high-volume internal email activity, or to create custom-branded email addresses for everyone in the organization.

When a company purchases SMTP hosting, it can access a server designed to improve deliverability, send large quantities of emails, and keep messages secure. Some features you get with SMTP hosting include ever-increasing email volume support, SSL/TLS message encryption, and email management.

Do I Need Email Hosting?

You need email hosting when sending transactional emails or bulk email newsletters for business purposes. For individual personal emails (those where you send an email to one person at a time), you can stick with a non-SMTP email service such as Yahoo, Gmail, or Outlook.com.

Businesses turn to SMTP for individual inboxes when they need security, mass email support, or to make email accounts with custom domains.

Email hosting not only makes sense for businesses and mass email purposes, but it decreases the chances of security breaches, undeliverable emails, and messages hitting spam boxes. You need email hosting if you intend to run a bulk email campaign.

Email hosting typically provides bonuses, including a custom domain name for branding purposes, larger storage for your own email inbox, and even additional business features such as contact management tools and calendars.

Pro tip: Email hosting comes in handy for large-volume senders who may send out blog updates or eCommerce transactional emails to multiple people.

Can You Host Your Own SMTP?

Yes, anyone can host an SMTP server. This would forgo the option of signing up for an SMTP service provider. Hosting your own SMTP server involves setting up your own mail server with software such as Sendmail or Postfix.

The process gives you full control over the mail server and significantly decreases the cost of sending large batches of emails — but you’re left to manage every aspect of the server.

You must have significant knowledge about email servers to host your own SMTP server. For example, an email server requires continual security and maintenance to keep a high reputation and improve deliverability rates.

Every technical or deliverability issue that arises requires you to take on the problem. Otherwise, you risk emails getting marked as spam or not sending to the recipients at all. Due to these challenges, most businesses pay for an SMTP service provider instead of running their own servers.

Pro tip: Hosting your own server is rarely worth the hassle. Most people and businesses are better off purchasing a hosting plan from a reputable hosting company.

Can I Get SMTP Hosting for Free?

Yes, but the limitations on those free SMTP hosting plans tend to severely restrict the number of emails you can send per month or per day. Several hosting companies offer a free plan as somewhat of a trial, to convince users to try out the hosting and eventually upgrade to paid hosting.

A free plan, therefore, won’t work well for companies with even a few hundred email addresses on their lists. You may use a free hosting plan if you send out email newsletters to very small email lists, such as those for a personal blog.

A free trial lets you test your hosting provider risk free
Free trials are an excellent way to test your email host at no cost.

Some examples of SMTP hosts with free plans include SMTP.com, Brevo, and SendGrid, but these plans either limit your email list count or the number of emails you can send per day. In some instances, the SMTP provider gives you access to the email API for free without any streamlined tools for configuring SMTP emails with ease.

Overall, free SMTP plans function best as limited trials; they should not be confused with legitimate email marketing plans, but instead as a way to test if you enjoy the platform.

How Much Does an SMTP Server Cost?

The price you pay for an SMTP provider depends on your feature requirements, the number of emails you plan to send from the server, and the SMTP provider you consider.

If you opt for a web hosting company with SMTP plans, you can save money because the web hosts typically minimize potentially unnecessary features — such as email design tools. That means they can stick to more important elements, including server maintenance and email deliverability.

The best SMTP hosting providers — including A2 Hosting, IONOS, and Hostinger — keep costs as low as a few dollars per month.

Factors that effect email hosting price
The final cost of your email hosting plan depends on the server type and features you choose.

You also have the option to pay for an SMTP server through providers such as SendGrid and Mailgun, which function more as email marketing suites. They provide access to an SMTP server along with features like email template editors, A/B testing, and segmentation.

Those companies have plans that range anywhere from $15 to $35 per month thanks to the all-in-one email marketing tools. Whether you go with a hosting provider or email marketing suite, you must also keep scaling in mind.

Hosting companies with SMTP servers have multiple plans to upgrade email storage, spam protection, and email access on all devices. Most email marketing suites with SMTP support increase pricing based on the number of emails you send.

How Do I Choose an SMTP Server?

To choose the right SMTP server, you must first think about how your organization plans to use email. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How many people need email addresses with custom domain names?
  • Can you estimate the number of emails sent out from your entire business over the course of one month?
  • Do you require email marketing capabilities for sending newsletters and managing campaigns?

You also need to think about the extras you want, including spam protection and email analytics.

After forming a list of necessary features, explore the best SMTP hosting providers — especially A2 Hosting, Hostinger, and Bluehost. These hosting companies provide shared and private servers for managing SMTP emails.

Compare the pricing from each hosting company to figure out which one fits your budget. Use any free trials you discover, but never rely on them for legitimate business email activities. Also, complete your research on the reliability and deliverability of servers by checking online user reviews.

Choosing the Best SMTP Hosting Provider

We encourage you to explore each of the best SMTP hosting providers mentioned on this list. Consider options like A2 Hosting, IONOS, Bluehost, and Hostinger for standalone SMTP hosting plans.

InMotion only offers SMTP email hosting when you sign up for a web hosting plan. Luckily, every solution mentioned provides excellent server resources, custom email addresses, and support for sending and receiving emails to multiple inboxes on all types of devices.

If you need a system catered more to email marketing — with email template builders, A/B testing, and segmentation — you might consider a more comprehensive suite of marketing tools from a provider that’s not a web hosting company.

Regardless of your choice, SMTP email hosting makes so much sense when compared to hosting your own email server. You can’t beat cheap hosting, and you never have to think about server maintenance at times when you should be focusing on your business.

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