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Small businesses these days are often pretty reliant on email but don't have the ressources to host a safe and secure service themselves. I am looking for an email provider for a SMB customer:

  1. I'm looking for an email-only service, no bells and whistles.
  2. The provider for this customer must be an EU business because of the stricter data protection laws around here. Here in Austria would be best, but all of the EU will be acceptable.
    Otherwise, hearing of good providers from other areas is also interesting - but please say that they don't apply in this case in the answer about them.
  3. Main priority is reliability:
    1. failover location(s)
    2. sane hosting environment
    3. reliable backups, if possible with a documented and externally audited process
  4. Next is security:
    1. good data protection history
    2. valid certificates (should not need saying, but reality...)
    3. independent auditing would be great here, too
  5. They should host a set of MXs and an outgoing relay, do SPAM filtering and allow IMAPS access.
  6. A painless price point is always a good thing.

If I have forgotten anything you would consider important for outsourced email hosting for SMBs, please say so as well!

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closed as off-topic by Iain, Michael Hampton Jul 22 at 16:58

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

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7 Answers 7

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Maybe 1&1 would be a choice, they offer standard mail and also hosted MS Exchange accounts.

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Thanks, that's looking good. –  Bernd Haug Jun 19 '09 at 18:19

Check out Rackspace Email in the UK (formerly Mailtrust) -- we've been using them for several years now in the US and have been quite happy with their service and support.

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Doesn't look to be in the EU. :( –  Bernd Haug Jun 9 '09 at 12:50
    
Hey Bernd -- I believe they are (although I've dealt mostly with their US offices) -- check out rackspace.co.uk/rackspace-email –  Ken Jun 17 '09 at 13:03
    
Thanks, missed that, will investigate. –  Bernd Haug Jun 19 '09 at 18:07
    
Ken, your link appears to be broken now. I can't find anything on the Rackspace.co.uk site about their Email privacy policy or the location of their servers. However, their support is excellent and what I've read about their architecture gives me confidence that they know how to handle email. –  Martijn Heemels Apr 13 '10 at 17:50
    
Updated the link -- it's rackspace.co.uk/email-apps/email-hosting –  Ken Sep 4 '10 at 15:41

Google Apps?

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That's what I'm personally using, but the customer wants a provider that's based inside the EU, as per the question. –  Bernd Haug Jun 6 '09 at 9:05
    
I think that this link will show you that Google Apps is compliant with the EU rules. thirdsectorit.org/blog/… off course, if it's strictly the location of the servers, that I have no info on. But I never thought that Server location (physical) is that important. –  Saariko Jul 27 '11 at 12:26

I'd go with a hosted Zimbra.

Pros:

  • Several EU Providers are available (check out the links on zimbra.com)
  • Really good Web Client and Admin Interface
  • Easy migration to local services (IMAP/Zimbra/other Groupware Suites) thru IMAP and simple HTTP ressources to import everything
  • Prepared to grow, just disable everything in your COS (Class of Service) you don't need and stay with email only, if you need a calendar later just enable it in your COS
  • Really nice server side filtering of emails
  • "Compliance features" e.g. you can forward all the mails from/to an employee to another mailbox for archiving
  • "Native" Desktop Client (apart from classic Thunderbird/IMAP/POP)

Cons:

  • it's not email only
  • not exactly light weight (about 2GB of RAM for a standard install, Java Software)
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Looks interesting; I'll keep looking for something that doesn't have the groupware albatross around its neck, but it'll be a good fallback. Thanks. –  Bernd Haug Jun 8 '09 at 11:21

Considering your description, I would think of the David 10 from Tobit. We use it in the company I work for, and it's really good and reliable. They also provide videoconference teaching system, that is not as expensive as a real administrator teaching. For the price: we pay 2€ per user per month, plus the text messages, a good service as well. Hope it's what you were expecting.

Regards.

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Thank you - do you have a link? Googling for '"david 10" tobit' brings quite ambiguous results, mostly from P2P sites, to the top. –  Bernd Haug Jun 5 '09 at 14:42
    
What I forgot in the previous comment - the best relevant-looking link I found was this: tobit.com/login/mrd.asp?CategoryID=149 - but that's a software package as far as I can tell, not a hosted solution. –  Bernd Haug Jun 5 '09 at 14:44
    
Hi. You're right, it's a software. I misunderstood your question. –  waszkiewicz Jun 11 '09 at 11:49
    
Thanks for the confirmation - it's really hard, I asked other venues as well and nobody seems to know recommendable email hosting inside the EU. It's weird, you'd expect lots because the often stricter privacy rules make hosting outside a potential liability in some areas... –  Bernd Haug Jun 15 '09 at 21:52

Fusemail offer is hard to beat, although this one is based in US.

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I know it's not e-mail only, but Microsoft's Exchange Online plans (basically hosted Exchange direct from MS) may be worth some serious consideration. The price means that it's not necessarily a concern that you have other bells and whistles. Fully supports IMAP (no need to use Outlook if you don't want to), plus ActiveSync push to mobile devices.

Regarding data protection, if you sign up as an EU customer, your data is guaranteed to be stored within the EU only (Ireland and Holland in this case). See the "Where is my data?" section section of the Office 365 Trust Center for detailed information. Lots of information on this and other privacy, security and compliance considerations on the wider Trust Center

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