Advice on getting a free business email ([email protected]****)

Advice on getting a free business email ([email protected]****)

Any links or help on where to go.



  • It can be done for free, but free doesn't always mean best.
    You'd need to get a domain name and while there are free providers, they are generally used by spammers and don't rank well (if you are sending email, most likely it'll go to spam).
    You would also need to find a free email provider (again, if you go free then you get limited features such as the inability to use Outlook or your preferred phone app to send/receive emails)
    The process itself isn't too difficult, just a matter of "buying" the domain and creating an account with the email provider (such as Zoho) and setting the MX settings on the domain which most providers would run you through anyway.
    I would recommend buying a domain however (for $10-40 a year) and maybe looking at Gmail (I think it costs $9 a month to use custom email).

    • A very good response. Thank you.
      That's really about what I was guessing. I have a domain with a website running.
      I will look into your suggestions to see what will suit me best.

      Cheers 😊👍

  • If you already have a domain, it is not all that hard to setup your own mail server - PostFix on Ubuntu say. You will need to maintain it though - running periodic updates etc.

    Maybe you have access to a spare MS Windows Server and Exchange that are already paid for?

    Depends what you mean by 'free' too - you'd need an internet connection (maybe zero marginal cost to you), fixed IP (you could use a dynamic DNS solution, for which there are free options), and the physical server to run it on (maybe you have a ten year old PC lying around, or room to add a VM to an existing machine, in which case maybe also zero marginal cost). If you enjoy that kind of thing, maybe you don't count your time either - you might even regard it as an enjoyable 'hobby'.

    If you go with that approach, you are not using a free provider's mail server, so reputation issues are entirely under your own control.

    Be aware though, that everything has a cost of some kind, even if it is only opportunity cost.


    • Thanks Alan for your detailed reply.
      I will check out all of my available options in the morning. I think the simplest option for me is to pay for a service. Wix offer a 50% discount at $3us per month per mailbox. Seems pretty good to me.

      Thanks again.

    • Reputation is probably the key issue.

      While I've never done it, from all I've read running your own mail server for a small business is problematic nowadays, especially for outgoing emails. The big providers MTA will just assume it's spam, whether sending it to the spam box or just blocking you completely. Setting it up properly and adding DKIM, SPF are not going to help.

      If you do want to do it, you will need to do that and also make sure the IP your server is own is entirely clean (and this comes to the provider) and properly set up (PTR etc).

      Although I don't use it for business, I'm lucky enough to still have one of the free G.suite accounts. I didn't even bother to set up SPF etc for a while and AFAIK, it normally wasn't blocked although I didn't use it for much.

      Unfortunately the cheapest option for Google Workspaces is NZ$9/month as someone mentioned. There is also Outlook, Fastmail and other providers who tend to be reputable enough that. Note that if you have Outlook 365, you may want to look at the options available.

      • I've never had any issues with my personal mailserver. I have all the required records setup (SPF, DKIM etc etc), and reverse lookup (PTR record) from my ISP.

        Maybe you had something setup incorrectly which caused a problem and your rejections? There are numerous sites online that will check your records for you - might be worth using those, but if you have already been marked as a dubious source, it might be hard to recover from that (you'll be starting from a negative position, rather than purely neutral).

        Also possible if you were using a fixed IP that it was previously impacted (not your fault, but third party mailservers don't know that). If so, ask your ISP for a new fixed IP - last time I did that for a client, there was no charge (might have been SlingShot - can't recall for certain) on top of the monthly fee for the fixed IP.

        I also have a number of free GSuite Accounts - one with up to 1000 mailboxes, and many more that have hundreds of free mailboxes - I use that for my business email, and run my personal mailserver for no particularly good reason other than I like to fiddle :-)


        • For clarity, I've never done it, but have read a lot of people who have done so who have found it didn't work well. Possibly running your own mail server off a NZ ISP IP is a little better than most in the US etc or a cloud providers, since I don't think many spammers bother to set up servers in NZ although of course they may be part of some bot net and NZ ISPs are I think generally fairly responsive to abuse complaints.

          While you and some others disagree, personally all I've read is enough to convince me I wouldn't try this if making sure your email gets through matters to you which I assume is the case for any business. For fun or even for personal use where it's fine to you to say screw you to anyone who doesn't get your emails? Sure. But for something serious where that isn't an option? No. Especially for a business who I assume needs reliable contact to customers, suppliers etc. Remembering in particular you may have no idea which of your emails are not getting through until your customers complain WTF didn't you email me to tell me my order was delayed or respond to my complaint or whatever. (I guess for a small subset of businesses it might be fine. E.g. for a Twitch or Youtube streamer big on privacy or whatever. And even for serious personal use, e.g. if you're blogger you can probably afford to explain to people why there's a problem and try to deal with it.)

          If the OP wants to try, good luck, hopefully it will work fine for them. I definitely wouldn't recommend they try if they want to do any sort of bulk mailing, even completely legitimate and where no one complains about your emails until and unless they have a very well trusted reputation, and even then I think it's likely to be difficult. (I'm including stuff like account signup confirmation etc.)

          If you're entirely self hosting you should also consider how you can guarantee very low downtime. If you MX is not responding especially for hours, emails sent to your domain may just fail. Nowadays most people expect email to just work, and if they get an error when they send you an email, most people are not going to try again and instead may think you're email is broken, and frankly that your business can't be trusted. Having 4G backup may help, and you definitely want business fibre not consumer, and of course you'll need a UPS which can last for hours. But even then, I'd personally suggest you at least have a backup MX for fallover when your server goes down. (That's one of the reasons for priorities after all.) It'll also make it easier to handle updates etc.

          P.S. My G.suite was when it was 100 and request more if you need it. I'm not sure what happened when they made it legacy, whether it now means I can have unlimited users or I'm limited to 100. I only have about 30 users and most of them aren't for email. Frankly I don't need them any more since I finally but the bullet and also got a Workspace Business Standard account for the technically 1TB but currently unlimited Drive. Ironically when I decided to sign up I found they'd made the change to Workspace where they seemed to imply unlimited was gone, and was one of the first to publicly demonstrate on Datahoarders it seems to only be a TOS change at the moment.

          • @Nil Einne: As I said, never had an issue myself, and nor have any of my clients (except when they did something silly themselves!), many of whom have run their own mailservers for many years (almost everyone ran their own until perhaps five years ago).

            I still have most clients with an on-prem mailserver (almost all run Exchange of course), although an increasing number are now hybrid, and will likely transition to purely cloud based in the future. I am not expecting to see huge uptake on MS Server 2022 / Exchange 2022 when they come out).

            In terms of downtime, it is pretty minimal, especially if you exclude ISP downtime, which is pretty rare nowadays. Not sure if you are aware of how email works, but it has been a 'store and forward' protocol for a long time (at least since the 80s) and is not (generally) a user controlled process once they hit send. If a sending mailserver fails to connect to a recipient mail-server, it does not (generally) just 'give up' as you seem to imply. You can configure your mail-server to do whatever you want, but most will retry after a minute, then a few minutes, then maybe again after 10 / 20 mins, then again in an hour, and continue that for at least 24 hours, and often longer than that. As a user, you may have seen system generated messages, but if you have read them carefully, the first one or maybe more will just be advising you of a delay, not a complete failure, although you might get a complete failure eventually, that will usually be due to something other than downtime. Pretty rare to setup a server to 'give up' in less than 24 hours, and often you'd see 48 or 72 hours. That's all invisible to the user though - once sent, they will usually just forget about it and assume it will get delivered unless their server advises otherwise. You should always have a backup MX (I used those free GSuite accounts for this for many years). I have also provided a backup server myself for many clients over the years - very rare to see any email coming in there except spam, as for some reason, spammers seem to think that secondary / tertiary / etc mail-servers will have less spam protection - might be true elsewhere, but not here!

            In terms of your GSuite accounts. If it was originally 100, then I believe it will now be fixed to be a max of 100 (although I have not actually tested that myself, I'm sitting on maybe 60 or 70 accounts on one domain) so take my statement with a grain of salt - its just hearsay.

            Agree on the space usage - I maintain most of those free accounts as archive stores for clients, and charge a nominal fee for that. I like having them all in separate accounts - it means if I need to give access to a client, they only see their emails, and only for the period of the stored account (maybe calendar 2017 for example).

            For my own personal storage, I am using an MS 365 Family account which gives me 5TB online (split into 5 x 1TB) which is fine for now - I think I paid about $139 a couple of months ago, using a discount from TheMarket against Warehouse Stationery. I had been considering paying for the Google Business account, which has the 1TB nominal limit you mentioned, but everyone I know who has tried it has been able to get past that limit without getting charged. However, I am now wondering if that barrier is about to drop, since Google just announced (last week) the end of unlimited free storage of photos for 'non-business' accounts effective 30 Jun 2021. Worth loading up before them I guess, but I am wondering if they will follow up with enforcing the 1TB limit on their current Business accounts too.

            If I wasn't such a cheapskate, I'd pay for storage (maybe MS, Google, or AWS - maybe someone else entirely), but for now, I haven't seen the need :-)


  • you need to buy your own domain.

    depending on which domain provider you get it from, you can then create a email address* and forward it to gmail.

    you can then configure gmail to send and receive from your custom email too. so only cost is to buy the domain.

    *you might need to get a hosting account to do this as some domain providers have limited features. or if you point your mx records to google workspace then google will handle it for you (but you have to pay for google workspace).

    • Thanks puppety. I've just seen on 1st domains (who I have my domain name registration with) it's $2.75 + gst per month for one mailbox or five mailboxes for $4.75 + gst per month.
      Thanks for pointing me in that direction 👍

  • I use GSuite for my business email - it means I can use the Gmail interface with my address. From memory it's around $5 a month (plus the cost of my domain), and it's fairly easy to link and set up.

  • I use protonmail for business email

  • Hi,

    I've personally used Yandex for my business email and they offer unlimited mailboxes for free. You can also link your own domain name using the Yandex Connect portal which allows you to create mailboxes etc.

    Yandex offers IMAP and POP mailboxes which can be linked to any desktop email client e.g. Thunderbird, or a mobile app e.g. Gmail. They also have a web-client which can be accessed at (if configured)

    For my setup, I used Cloudflare (free plan) as my DNS manager which allowed me to easily add the DKIM, SFP and MX records which prevent your emails from appearing in the Spam box.

    Some remarks:
    - Yandex is a Russian organization, therefore, your data is hosted off-shore.
    - Since its hosted off-shore, there is some delay between sending and receiving mail (around 10 seconds) compared to other services

    For my personal email, I have setup a local hMailServer running on an older Windows based system. I have not had any issues with a 2Degrees static IP in regards to emails appearing in Spam boxes. Also, this setup is super snappy and emails are sent / received almost immediately.

    If you need any help setting up something similar, feel free to let me know.

  • Thank you everyone for all of your advice and help. I really do appreciate all of the time and effort that you've all put into replying to me 😊👌