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Topic # 198780 22-Jul-2016 09:57
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I work in an office with only 7 employees, and we have used a NZ based email/website hosting business for many years with no major issues.


In the last 12 months the amount of spam we received became unbearable (hundreds a day through their spam assassin 'filters') but thankfully in the last few weeks they have implemented a new filter and we're now pretty much spam free.


However, since this change we've had several days worth of email down time (an intermittent inability to connect to their smtp servers and client emails bouncing back to them). We've been working with them, and them with us, to get it resolved, but it's ongoing and I feel like we're being used as guinea pigs for a service we actually pay for...


But we pay so little that it's hard to warrant trying to make a point about the 99.9% uptime guarantee. I mean, should we expect 0.1% refund for the extended downtime? It seems ridiculous.


But today, their whole network of services seems down so we're looking at our options. Particularly with email where we need to feel secure knowing the service will be robust.


Has anyone here used the Gmail or Office365 (or other?) business email hosting services? What are your thoughts? They're significantly more expensive than our current hosting, but do offer storage which far exceeds what we have now.


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  Reply # 1596704 22-Jul-2016 10:30
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Spam Assassin is pretty useless these days. Google email is super reliable with great spam filters, I've moved a couple of dozen people onto it. FastMail is also fast and reliable, and is significantly cheaper than Google. No idea about Office365 but I bet it's fine.

 

There's another thread on this, I'll see if I can find it.





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  Reply # 1596706 22-Jul-2016 10:31
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Try this thread, and this one is also relevant.





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  Reply # 1596710 22-Jul-2016 10:38
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Thanks, will have a look/read and see what we like.


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  Reply # 1596714 22-Jul-2016 10:56
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We use Google Apps (Gmail) here with 15 users, I'm always impressed on how much spam it keeps out.


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  Reply # 1596727 22-Jul-2016 11:01
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If it's just Email you need, then the Office 365 plan is only $6/$11.90 per user per month depending on what features you need. Pretty cheap for 7 users really. I set it up for myself just to see how it all works. It's pretty easy to set up. 


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  Reply # 1596755 22-Jul-2016 11:36
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lxsw20:

 

If it's just Email you need, then the Office 365 plan is only $6/$11.90 per user per month depending on what features you need. Pretty cheap for 7 users really. I set it up for myself just to see how it all works. It's pretty easy to set up. 

 

 

 

 

The pricing changed a while back - $7.50 and $13.50 excl GST now for new customers

 

Office 365 Business plans

 

 

 

Clint


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  Reply # 1596766 22-Jul-2016 11:52
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Gmail and Office 365 do a 'reasonable' job of filtering spam by themselves but it's far from perfect. Also note there's a huge difference in the filtering between the essentials/premium plans and E3 for 365.

I think Office 365 is definitely the better choice for businesses when you look to start combining your Office licenses as well it makes a lot of sense. I support probably 40 businesses using 365 and on the whole it's pretty good. Personally I wouldn't shift to either service just for better spam filtering, but for functionality is a no brainer.

If your interested in a hosted mail filtering platform there are a few options which you can combine with 365/Google apps there are a couple of options.

SMX has been an industry favorite for a long time, my company also runs a Spam Filtering service 'Mail Security' which is slightly more cost effective for smaller businesses (Shameless plug).

Our core business is supporting small to medium businesses, would be happy to catch up for a coffee and discuss options with you if your interested? No obligations happy to give advice.


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  Reply # 1596767 22-Jul-2016 11:56
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You get what you pay for. Many hosts aren't up to a business grade of service, so shouldnt really be used by businesses.. So you could just get a better host. 

One thing about some of these big email providers, is that their support can rely on you using their forums to find an answer, as the big cost is providing customer support. So you may not get good fast personal support, which is something you will likely get with a NZ provider. 

 

 

 

I also avoid companies that guarantee uptime, as they aren't really aren't worth the paper they are written on. Often you have to apply for the refund and prove there was an outage and the most you may get is a percentage of the month you have paid for. Not worth the time or effort. 


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  Reply # 1596789 22-Jul-2016 12:32
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Onenet is pretty good. Local support, local servers. NZ owned. More expensive than o365.


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  Reply # 1596791 22-Jul-2016 12:37
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Would be interested to know how much you are currently paying. I know of one medium sized company with 10 staff who were paying just $20 per month for their website and email hosting. That is not much considering what you are getting.


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  Reply # 1596792 22-Jul-2016 12:39
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Another recommendation for Office 365 with SMX. Where about in the country are you based?




Do whatever you want to do man.

  

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  Reply # 1596798 22-Jul-2016 12:52
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billgates: Another recommendation for Office 365 with SMX. Where about in the country are you based?

 

 

 

That is not surprising, with a  username of  Billgates :)


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  Reply # 1596801 22-Jul-2016 12:55
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mattwnz:

 

Would be interested to know how much you are currently paying. I know of one medium sized company with 10 staff who were paying just $20 per month for their website and email hosting. That is not much considering what you are getting.

 

 

Yeah, one support call a month and they're losing money. You do generally get what you pay for. 

 

Fastmail hosting with 2GB of space per user, 7 users, would be US$225 per year. Going up to 25GB takes it to $425. Google Apps is $350 per year for 7 users with 50GB storage and you get a lot more functionality. Office 365 could be good value if you don't own office, but they have email only plans. I find the Office 365 option a bit more fiddly.





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  Reply # 1596803 22-Jul-2016 12:59
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We pay about $20 a month for our hosting and email, however our website is actually now hosted on Squarespace so it's really just domain hosting and redirecting. Our office is Wellington based.

 

We currently have a joint 15GB of mailbox storage and it's filling fast so that will cause an issue before the year is out I suspect.


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  Reply # 1596830 22-Jul-2016 13:06
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I have a small consultancy as sideline.  Just me.  I have an office 365 subscription which includes office applications, cloud and email. 

 

All works fine.  Never had an issue. Costs not much and of course it's all tax deductible and I can use it for private purposes as well.  

 

My only capital overhead is a Surface Pro ... 

 

OneDrive is handy for online collaboration with clients etc.

 

Might get one or two spam messages per month.





Mike

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