Your business has plenty of choices for email. For instance, Google Apps and Office 365 are two popular choices from big providers. However, many companies stick with inexpensive POP email, often provided through a website host, to keep costs down.
While POP email is functional, it pales in comparison to what Office 365 offers. Just like when we compared Office 365 to personal email, let’s take a look at some ways that Office 365 is better than basic POP email service.
What is POP?
Before we discuss the benefits of Office 365, let’s describe POP email.
POP stands for Post Office Protocol and is a basic way of accessing email. It features a workflow like this:
- Connect to the email server.
- Get all new mail.
- Store that mail on the computer accessing it.
- Delete the mail from the server.
- End the connection.
When POP was developed, computers typically didn’t have a steady internet connection like they do now. Thus, users would get online, download their email, and disconnect.
Notice in the workflow that POP deletes the email from the server once you download it. Some email providers let you keep the email on the server too. But if that’s not an option, that means once you download new mail, it only exists on your computer. You can’t re-download it if you accidentally delete it.
Usually, businesses source POP email from their web hosting provider. When you purchase the yourbusiness.com domain name from a hosting company like HostGator, you can create email addresses for each employee @yourbusiness.com.
We start with one of the biggest advantages Office 365 has over POP email. When you sign into a new email app or computer with Office 365, your email is completely synced just like it is on your main computer. If you delete a message on your phone, it’s deleted everywhere. But POP is an older email protocol, and syncs mail to each device individually.
This means that if you sent an email from your phone, it wouldn’t show up in the Sent folder on your computer. And because what you do on one device doesn’t sync to the others, you essentially have multiple copies of your email on every device.
Office 365 also syncs your calendars and contacts without an issue, but POP won’t. Thus, you have to use additional apps to sync this information or you could end up losing some details. POP email becomes more frustrating the more devices you use it on.
In addition to all this, many POP email providers don’t keep your email on their servers once you download it onto one of your devices. If you download email onto your PC, that’s the only place it exists — making it easier to lose.
With Office 365 mail, your email and password get you into everything you need. Webmail lets you check and send email from any device, and nearly all mobile email apps support Office 365 mail.
POP email doesn’t enjoy this convenience. You’ll need to enter a server name and some other information whenever you connect a new device, which might confuse inexperienced users. Most email programs do support POP mail, but you’re more likely to run into an issue with it than you are with Office 365.
3. Storage Space
Most POP email servers only provide a tiny amount of space for keeping email. This becomes an issue if someone receives a lot of mail, especially with large attachments. Micromanaging email is a waste of your valuable time, and having to delete mail constantly to free up space is an inconvenience you can avoid.
With Office 365, each user gets a generous amount of space for storing email. This ensures that even users who rarely delete messages won’t have to regularly clean out their inboxes due to storage limits.
Most POP email is tied to the provider’s web hosting. So when your provider’s server goes down, your email won’t work either. This doesn’t happen every day, but even a few minutes of downtime can disrupt your business flow. You likely won’t find a guaranteed uptime with POP email. In addition, you don’t have a lot of options for support if you do run into issues.
Contrast this with Office 365, which includes 24/7 phone and web support with every plan. It also guarantees 99.9% uptime, minimizing outages that slow down your business. A huge company like Microsoft can provide these guarantees because they have a larger operation. Your company benefits from this greatly and won’t be shocked from surprises.
5. Extra Features / Microsoft Office Integration
Office 365 provides several other useful features that you can’t get with POP email.
For example, Office 365 lets you set up shared inboxes so that multiple users can work from one central account. This is useful for incoming customer requests, like [email protected]. You can’t do this with POP email due to how it downloads mail onto one device.
Office 365 also provides advanced messaging features and sign-on security that your IT provider can take advantage of. If your business also needs Microsoft Office, you can select a plan that adds Office apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint too. This lets you roll up multiple costs into one.
Many POP email servers also use an insecure connection to sync your mail, which could open it up to third parties. Office 365 uses secure connections instead, keeping your information safe.
POP Email Isn’t Your Best Option
We’ve seen five big reasons why POP email probably isn’t the best choice for your business. It was an acceptable option in the past, before the age of using email on multiple devices and 24/7 uptime. Now your company needs better, and Office 365 is a great way to work with email.
No matter which email provider you use, make sure review our tips for better email communication.