What is email hosting?

Introduction to email hosting

At Farbyte we offer UK email hosting plans that are suitable for personal & SMB use.

Email hosting is a service that offers sending, receiving & storage services of digital messages (emails) for a privately owned domain (e.g. your-domain.com).

Each domain will have one or more email accounts associated with it that can be used to both send & receive email messages.

Email hosting providers usually offer a variety of email services to facilitate this including:

  • Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3)
  • Internet Messaging Access Protocol (IMAP)
  • Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP) and
  • webmail

POP3 & IMAP are used by email client software to access email messages in an email account.

For example, Outlook & Thunderbird email clients use these protocols to connect to your email server & display messages in your inbox.

SMTP is used to send email messages from one server to another, or from your email client to your server, which in turn will then usually send it to another server. 

Email hosting often comes in the form of different hosting plans that are suitable for different use cases such as personal, business, and enterprise needs.

A variety of email security features, including anti-spam & anti-virus protection, is often also offered by email hosting providers. 

The benefits of email hosting

The biggest advantage of email hosting is that it allows you to manage your email accounts how you want them.

You can also customise your email addresses and create an email alias which can be very useful for organising your workflow & providing additional security to your email account.

You will also be able to set up auto-responders, anti-spam filters, and secure email accounts.

With email hosting services, you can create public or private email lists, manage your email accounts, and use your email addresses for marketing campaigns.

Email hosting services also allow you to create custom email addresses for your employees.

This is a great way to keep your email accounts organised and ensure that your employees have unique email addresses.

Email hosting services also allow you to create a private email account for your employees.

This is a great way to keep your employees from accidentally sending unsolicited emails to your customers or clients. 

The features of email hosting

The features of email hosting will vary depending on the provider, but some common features are typically included.

These include:

  • Webmail access: This allows you to access your email from any computer with an Internet connection & a web browser. In the case of Farbyte, we offer three different webmail client applications for you to choose from!
  • POP3 and IMAP access: This allows you to access your email from a desktop email client, such as Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail or Thunderbird.
  • Email forwarding: This allows you to forward email messages from one email address to another.
  • Autoresponders: allows you to set up automatic responses to email messages that you receive. 
  • Spam filtering: helps to protect your inbox from spam and other unwanted email messages.
  • Virus protection: helps to protect your computer from viruses that may be sent via email.
  • Email aliases: allows you to create additional email addresses that all forward to your main email address.
  • Mailing lists: allows you to create and manage mailing lists for sending email messages to multiple recipients.
  • Mailbox limits: restrict the amount of storage each email account can use.
  • Increased email delivery rate: avoid the recipient's spam box with advanced email authentication such as SPF & DKIM.
  • Catch all address: set up an email account that will receive all emails sent to your domain that don’t have a specific mailbox.
  • Email filters: automatically handle incoming emails based on filter rules that you create.
  • Email archiving: allows you to archive email messages for future reference
  • Multiple users: allows you to create multiple email accounts for different users.
  • Web hosting: allows you to host your website on the same server as your email account.
  • Domain name: allows you to use your own domain name for your email address.
  • Support: supports you when you need it. 


The different types of email hosting

There are generally two types of email hosting services offered:

  1. Shared
  2. Dedicated

With shared email hosting your email services are provided from an infrastructure that hosts multiple client email & possibly web hosting services.

This allows for cost reductions & is a great option for most personal & small to medium businesses.

Dedicated email hosting is where your email services are hosted on a hosting infrastructure that is used solely by one entity or organisation.

This is usually limited to virtual or dedicated servers, but in some cases, such as large enterprise customers, this can also include dedicated network & security devices.


The cost of email hosting

As with most things in life, the cost of email hosting can differ greatly based on the service you want & the provider you choose.

Shared email hosting is the cheapest option & is most suitable for the majority of situations.

Dedicated email hosting costs can vary greatly.

The cheapest option is running an email VPS, where only one server needs to be deployed.

On the other end of the scale, huge corporations will need dedicated email hosting solutions that require multiple physical servers, network & security devices.



Email hosting is an essential component of any online & offline business nowadays. Shared email hosting is usually the right choice for most people & SMB owners.

Email hosts will usually provide various email hosting plans that differentiate based on various aspects of an email hosting service. These can include:

  • Number of allowed email accounts
  • Amount of disk space & bandwidth
  • Number of domains allowed on a single accounts
  • Number of sub-domains allowed
  • How many forwarders/aliases are available

The above is not an exhaustive list, but are quite common differentiators for email hosting plans.