Email is a critical communication channel for any business. Having a reliable email hosting provider ensures your business makes the best impression on customers and partners. However, the types of email hosting available in Canada can be confusing. This article will compare the main options to help Canadian entrepreneurs pick the right solution.
There are four primary types of email hosting:
- Shared hosting
- VPS hosting
- Dedicated hosting
- Cloud hosting
Each has their own pros, cons, and typical use cases:
The best type for your business depends on your technical expertise, budget, email volume, and growth plans. We’ll explore the key differences to simplify your decision making.
By the end, you’ll understand:
- The four main hosting types and their typical applications
- How each option compares for resources, control, security, and scalability
- Which solutions best align to a small, medium, or large business
- Where to find reputable Canadian email hosting providers
So whether you’re a startup getting off the ground or an established company looking to upgrade, read on for everything you need to know about email hosting in Canada!
Types of Email Hosting in Canada: How To Choose The Right Solution
The types of email hosting available in Canada can be confusing.
This guide will compare the main options to simplify your decision making.
Shared Email Hosting
Shared hosting is the most affordable and common entry point for email:
- You share server resources with hundreds of other accounts
- The provider manages infrastructure, security, and updates
- Costs just a few dollars per month
- Very inexpensive
- Quick and easy setup
- Often included free with web hosting
- Limited resources can impact deliverability
- Higher security risks from other accounts
- Account shutdowns if too much email sent
Shared hosting works well for very small businesses, startups, and light email users sending less than a few thousand emails per month.
VPS Email Hosting
A Virtual Private Server (VPS) gives you dedicated resources without the cost of an entire server:
- The VPS host partitions resources from a single server
- You have full control over a slice of resources
- Costs between $25-$100 per month
- More resources than shared hosting
- Often better deliverability
- Ability to install custom software
- More expensive than shared plans
- Requires some technical expertise
VPS hosting is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses sending 5,000+ emails per month that want good deliverability without the cost of dedicated hosting.
Dedicated Email Hosting
With dedicated hosting you rent an entire server:
- Full control and access to the server
- Maximum performance and resources
- Costs $100+ per month
- Complete control over hardware
- Maximum performance and resources
- Excellent deliverability rates
- Very expensive
- Time-intensive server management
- Significant technical skills required
Dedicated servers work well for medium & enterprise businesses sending over 50,000 emails per month that have the technical expertise to manage their own server.
Cloud Email Hosting
Cloud hosting leverages clustered servers and elastic resources:
- Providers pool resources across data centers
- Accounts easily scale computing power
- Costs variable based on usage
- Pay only for the resources used
- Instant and automatic scalability
- Often include managed services
- Base plans still cost more than shared hosting
- Some technical skills helpful
Cloud hosting balances scalability and affordability making it ideal for medium to large businesses with variable email volumes.
Now that you understand the core types of email hosting in Canada, let’s examine key decision factors for picking the right solution.
Key Considerations For Canadian Email Hosting
In the previous sections, we compared the main types of email hosting available in Canada across factors like cost, control, scalability, and security.
Now let’s dive deeper into key considerations to ensure you pick the right solution for your business.
Email Hosting Security
Protecting your email infrastructure from threats is critical. Here is how the main hosting types compare:
|Basic firewalls, filters provided by host
|Firewalls, ability to install security add-ons
|Complete control over security provisions
|Built-in DDoS protection, advanced security
All reputable providers will provide basic protections like:
- Encrypted connections via SSL/TLS
- Spam monitoring and filtering
- Anti-virus scanning of attachments
- Brute force attack prevention
However, with shared hosting and VPS you are somewhat reliant on host-level protections so risks come from other accounts on the server.
With dedicated and cloud hosting you have much more control to implement robust security like:
- Web application firewalls
- Two-factor authentication
- Customized malware detection
The right level for your business comes down to your security needs and technical abilities versus your budget.
Complying With Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL)
Canada has strict anti-spam legislation regulating:
- Obtaining proper consent
- Honoring opt-out requests
- Revealing your postal address
Fines under CASL can be up to $10 million per violation so you must ensure your email hosting provider supports compliance. Most will provide:
- Detailed logging for compliance auditing
- Opt-out management and list validation
- Guidance on adhering to CASL
If you plan significant email marketing, look for more advanced CASL-focused solutions.
Data Residency Considerations
With growing data privacy regulations, where your email data is stored and processed is increasingly important.
98% of Canadian companies prefer keeping data within Canada.
Many foreign-owned email providers have data centers in Canada to facilitate this.
However, some still route data back to global headquarters.
Prioritize providers that offer clear commitments to domestic data handling and privacy.
As regulations tighten, data residency will only grow in importance.
Why Local Support Matters
Even with everything online, having access to local, Canadian-based support can save you headaches:
- Time zone aligned so more available during business hours
- Native English and French language support
- Better understanding of Canadian regulations
Look for providers listing specific information about their Canadian phone/live chat support.
Avoid offshore chatbots or fragmented international teams.
The ability to quickly get human help from experts familiar with Canada’s landscape is invaluable.
Now let’s move on to reviewing your options and putting everything together…
Final Thoughts and Recommendations
When choosing an email hosting provider in Canada, you now understand the key options and decision factors:
The 4 main types of email hosting are:
- Shared – affordable but limited resources
- VPS – more control and deliverability
- Dedicated – maximum performance but complex
- Cloud – auto-scaling resources
Factors to consider:
- Email volume (current and expected)
- Technical expertise of your team
- Budget available
- Security protections required
- Compliance with CASL
- Data residency preferences
- Local support options
With this foundation, here are some recommendations based on business size and technical ability:
- Startups/small businesses: Choose shared hosting if you have very basic email needs. Opt for a VPS if you expect steady growth or need better deliverability.
- Medium/large businesses: VPS plans offer the best balance. Get your own dedicated server if you have specialized infrastructure needs and an expert IT team.
- Technical teams/developers: Dedicated or cloud hosting allows you to customize everything.
- Non-technical teams: Stick to shared, VPS, or managed cloud plans rather than managing your own server.
Whatever you choose, look for Canada-based providers that align with your data residency and support preferences.
Spending a bit of time upfront determining the right hosting aligns to your budget, growth trajectory, technical abilities, and business requirements pays major dividends long-term.
Read also: #7 Best Free Email Accounts for Canadians