Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365

I have tried various places to host my email services. Usually, I used the email services that came with my hosting account. My experience was OK but not great, I got a bunch of SPAM and spent a lot of time trying to create filters in Outlook to block the spam.  Here is my break down on Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365 for email.

I then decided for performance reasons, and the nature of the work I do to move to a Virtual Private Server. I enjoy having lots of flexibility but found the mails services I provided myself to be lacking. The most obvious thing was the complete lack of time to train the spam filters and get good spam filtering. Also, I had a single point of failure for my email since it was hosted on one VPS system.

I looked at two dedicated mail providers to see what one worked best for me.

  • Google Apps
  • Office 365

With both providers, you can use your domain name by changing the MX records for your domain. Both services have multiple data centers to handle my mail if needed.  My Review of each service below:

Google Apps ($5 per month, $60 per year)

Pros

  • Provides email services using the Google Gmail Interface
  • Provides minimal spreadsheet, word processor, slide presentation
  • Provides 30 Gb of disk space for Google Drive
  • Grive is available to provide syncing between my Linux system and my google drive
  • Most freelancers I work with also use this platform making it easy to communicate with them.
  • Simple pricing
  • Support for my android tablets and phones

Cons

  • The office suite – Spreadsheet, word processor, presentation software is minimalist at best.
  • The calendar is not very tightly integrated
  • Some issues getting google analytics to work with the new account

Office 365 Business ($8.25 per month, $99 per year)

Pros

  • Email support using the Outlook Web Interface and Outlook Office application
  • The calendar is tightly integrated with Outlook
  • Get full access to all the desktop app for office and web versions
  • 1 TB of file storage and sharing
  • Office Apps for tablets and phones.
  • Good Spam Filtering

Cons

  • More Expensive and complicated packages
  • No real support for Linux

Ultimately the Linux support for Google Drive sold me on Google Apps. I work mostly on an Ubuntu workstation and prefer that as my desktop environment. It does pose some challenges since I cannot run all windows programs. However, with Oracle Virtualbox and several Windows PCs in my office, I am able to get what needs to be done accomplished.

So far my experience with Google Apps has been filtering of about 25 emails a day that I no longer have to view at all because the SPAM filter did the right thing. I have been using the google apps to create spreadsheets and docs they are easy to sync between my systems using Google Drive.

If you want to transfer your email services to Google Apps or Microsoft’s Office 365, contact the IT Experts at Blazedog Computer Consulting.

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