My company has decided to move away from G Suite to reduce costs, so I'm in charge of providing alternatives.

They are accustomed to using Gmail, and don't handle many emails per days (probably around 50 emails received and 50 sent, in 4 mail accounts).

As I don't have much experience with setting up server emails, I thought of setting up an email like Amazon SES, and setup an email client like Thunderbird of configure their Gmail accounts to send and receive via Amazon SES.

For what I read Amazon SES is more used in apps, to mass mail. But maybe it can be used as standard mail anyway.

Is there a downside to this? Is there something that will change that I should mention them?

Note that Amazon WorkMail is not an option, since they carry around the same cost than G Suite.

  • 5
    I kinda feel like your company should have figured out what the alternatives were and their relative costs before deciding to move away from gmail because "it's too expensive".
    – Rob Moir
    Jan 17, 2017 at 14:56
  • 1
    Exactly, now you're in a tough spot because any of the top 3 (365, amazon, google) have roughly the same costs
    – Jim B
    Jan 17, 2017 at 15:14
  • Yep, they decided to run away from G Suite, now I need to tell them where to run :P
    – Veehmot
    Jan 17, 2017 at 15:43
  • @Veehmot I'd bet within a year they've run right back to G Suite. Heh.
    – ceejayoz
    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:43
  • Are they not using any of the other features of G Suite (Drive, Docs, etc.) that Amazon doesn't have an alternative to?
    – Michael
    Feb 16, 2018 at 0:10

2 Answers 2


SES is not designed for this - SES is primarily for automated sending email, with the facility to receive email and send it to automated systems via Lambda, SNS, or stored on S3. Sending would actually work fine from email clients. The thing that won't work is receiving email, as below - it doesn't store it for collection by IMAP or similar.

You can use Amazon SES to receive messages and deliver them to an Amazon S3 bucket, call your custom code via an AWS Lambda function, or publish notifications to Amazon SNS.

You should consider FastMail and Zoho as well, both are cheaper than the big three and provide a quality service. As Michael points out Amazon Workmail is designed to do what you need, but at a price similar to the big three.

If you can't afford a reliable hosted email service then you're probably going to have to host your own email server. This comes with complications, primarily around spam. You'll have to factor in setup costs, hardware or VPS (an AWS t2 nano or micro would probably be fine), configuration, maintenance, and support. I suspect that unless your company is fairly large the costs will be similar to using a hosted email service.

  • Or there's Amazon Workmail from AWS. Jan 18, 2017 at 1:19
  • So the cheapest alternative (without taking into account maintenance hours) would be a self-hosted email server, with IMAP/SMTP/POP support, right?
    – Veehmot
    Jan 18, 2017 at 14:30
  • Also, I'm curious how mailinabox.email would work. Can anyone recommend that?
    – Veehmot
    Jan 18, 2017 at 14:58
  • Sever Fault explicitly doesn't do product recommendations. This question should probably be closed.
    – Tim
    Jan 18, 2017 at 18:10

Amazon Workmail would work but it shares servers with Amazon SES which means you will experience bounces because SES is occasionally blacklisted because people use it to send bulk emails.

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