In this post, you will find my review of inbox.eu, which provides email hosting for startups, businesses, and professionals. Read on to learn my experience with this European email service provider.
Listen to the audio version of this post by clicking below
You can find a video review below, which covers:
- Pricing plans
- Creating user account
- Setting or updating DNS entries
- Using file storage
- some (fun!) quirks
- android and iOS apps
Who is inbox.eu suitable for?
Primary use of this service is providing email hosting for business. This service also offers file hosting, which can be considered secondary use. A few months ago, I had written a post on Which Email Service Provider Should You Choose?. Whether you are considering email hosting for your freelancing gig, startup, small business or a large corporation, a paid or a professional email service provider offers several advantages. (alternately, you can watch the video on Vimeo by clicking here)
Is there anything wrong with free email service providers?
Free email services are a good starting point for : a. Individuals take up freelance gig b. Offer professional services c. Startups who are just beginning their journey.
Accounts from the major ‘free’ or freemium providers such as Gmail or Outlook or even Yahoo offer quite a few benefits, but they fall short on features.The biggest disadvantage is that it does not provide a professional appearance to your email service. In the very early stages of your business, it is perfectly okay to use one of these free providers. But as your business starts growing, issues such as data privacy etc. being to take a priority. It probably makes sense to opt for an email hosting solution, particularly when the cost of such services has reduced considerably in recent years.
Background: inbox.eu, Email hosting provider from Europe
A few months ago, I had written a post on which email service provider to choose. In that post, I had listed about eight or ten, different email hosting services, including inbox.eu. A few weeks ago, Nataly from inbox reached out to me and wanted to know if I would be interested in doing a review of their service.
In the past, i.e. since 2018 till mid-2020, I have used their service. Back then, inbox.eu were a free email service provider. Since August 2019, they are a paid service, and they offer two plans: a Personal plan at 3 Euros per month. For Businesses, it is 3 Euros per user per month. Both options include a massive 100 gigabytes of storage. In the business plan, you can create aliases. Both options include additional space for file storage.
Setting up email account with inbox.eu
Inbox.eu has pretty easy to follow menu and documentation for setting up your domain with their email service. You first have to create an admin account, and configure the DNS entries. Next, you can start creating user level accounts.
This company has been around for a while. Previously, the users could access the email through a web based interface or a control panel. Now they offer pop and imap, or apps for mobile phones. They are a European company, and the data is stored in Europe both for regular use and for backup. One can consider GDPR compliance and other privacy issues to be addressed in this service.
Testing Business Email Service by inbox.eu
I had previously used a service from inbox.eu, and for the testing purposes here, I have used a business account. This service offers free email aliases. Once the configuration is done, you can log into your main account, and that is where the real magic begins. There are two accounts like I said before. One is for the admin and the other for regular users. Advanced Features for account management include two factor authentication. There is also a provision for . That is, when you log into your account, you receive an email with a link to confirm the login. When you click on that link, you are able to access your email account. There is also an option for login using other service providers.
Side Note: Desirable features offered by email hosting providers
Some of the desirable features of email hosting service should have:
- You should be able to use your custom domain.
- The service should be secure and reliable, both in terms of email delivery and email security.
- Storage space for files and large attachments is desirable though not mandatory.
- Users should be able to create multiple email accounts. For example, if you use `yourdomain.in`, the email addresses could be `[email protected]` ; `[email protected]`, and so on.
- Alternately, they should allow email aliases.
- Pop and map access is required, android and iOS apps are optional.
- The features or interface should be easy to use.
- Ability to create folders, create and export archives, importing emails from other accounts, email filtering, email forwarding, are all desirable features.
- Finally, documentation for setting up the email service (including DNS entries) should be detailed.
Providers like Zoho, google apps, and out look have pretty well-defined documentation in this regard. On the flip side, some resellers of MXRoute who offer DirectAdmin based hosting, have very little documentation. While setting up MX, DNS, TXT and CNAME entries is not rocket science, detailed documentation is very much a welcome feature for a business owner. (note: for my podcasting venture gaathastory, we use Zoho)
I found the service to be pretty stable. Mail delivery is not an issue for services like Outlook, who are notorious for flagging emails from multiple domains as spam. At the same time, there is an option to forward emails from other accounts to your inbox.eu account. Of course, with 100 gigabyte email storage, you can continue doing so for several years. I think three euros a year for personal or professional account is really very generous. For businesses, there is no minimum limit on number of accounts. They offer a per user pricing, for example, the cost for a 10 member team will be around 30 Euros a year. Pricing will start adding up incrementally as the number of users grows. In addition to zoho and MXRoute, Inbox will continue to be on my top 3 list.
Inbox will remain in my top three list of recommendations for email service providers. -Amar Vyas
A quick note on file sharing
I have used this feature quite a bit, and it is fast both upload and download. You do have to use the web interface. An API or connectivity using RClone, etc, would be desirable. But inbox.eu are mainly an email provider, and not necessarily a file storage company. We need to keep that in mind.
Note: The folks at inbox.eu had provided me with a Business account for 1 year for this review.
Q. Where are the servers located and where is the data actually stored?
A. More than 300 own servers located in Latvian (Europe) Datacenters. No colocation or shared resources – everything is dedicated only for our services. Only our IT team maintain all servers, we don’t use other outside resource for this work.
Q. What about your backup policy for files and emails?
A. Premium version has backup version. For example, if account/email has been hacked and deleted, we can restore your mailbox from backup. Free/Trial mailbox – has backup too, but only last 2 week, and backup for trial version will be used only for force majeure cases.
Q. Who are your primary customers? Are they typically Small business/ professionals or midsize business?
A. Our service can be used for any level of business, but usually professional service want bigger possibilities/option/additional features. So our clients usually are small/medium busines or private users. Till 50 mailboxes for medium and till 20 for small business and till 10 mailbox for private email.
Q. I see two languages in the menu for the website- Bangla and Punjabi. Which is interesting and do you have many users from Bangladesh?
A. I took data from our Google Analytics stats. Yes, we translated to Bengali, because ~39% our users are from Bangladesh. Also ~8% from India.
Q. The two different logins (administrator and user account) can be confusing sometimes – atleast for me. What has been the feedback from other users? Are they okay with a two account system?
A. I totally agree with you that two login screens is confusing. After using service – they are redirected to desired login page and understand logic. But when you only start – it’s really very confusing. We have not found more easy and pretty way how to separate this two pages to make less confuse. Maybe you will have ideas?
This post was updated in February 2022. As a part of consolidating SaaS providers including webhosting and email, as on January 2022 I have discontinued using inbox.eu.