According to a report published by Gartner Research last year, 13 percent of businesses were using Google and Microsoft cloud email services, with 4.7 percent using Google Apps for Work (Gmail) and 8.5 percent using Microsoft Office 365 (Outlook). “Among public companies using cloud-based email, Microsoft is more popular with larger organizations and has more than an 80 percent share of companies using cloud email with revenue above $10 billion,” Gartner Research Vice President Jeffrey Mann said in a press release. “Google’s popularity is better among smaller companies, approaching a 50 percent share of companies with revenue less than $50 million.”

Google, Microsoft, and iCloud Mail offer quality email solutions, but which one is best? To help you decide, we’ve compiled a list of the best email providers for small businesses. Here’s some of the best email platforms we could find.

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Gmail – Free

According to a 2016 TechCrunch report, more than one billion people use Gmail, a free email service provider commonly used for business and personal communications alike. Gmail offers advanced features such as email forwarding and the undo send feature. In addition, Gmail includes a powerful search utility and filter system. Google has made it nearly impossible to hack into a Gmail account with its two-step verification process.

Outlook – Free

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Outlook is another popular choice among small business owners. Statistics from Microsoft show that Outlook had more than 400 million users in 2016. Outlook provides users with features such as “Clutter,” an addition that filters through low-and-high priority emails and separates them within users’ inbox. Outlook also gives users the ability to undelete or recover emails after they’ve been discarded. Like Gmail, Outlook also offers a two-step verification.

iCloud – Free

If you have an Apple ID, then you can sign up for an iCloud email address. iCloud email makes it easy for Apple users to access their email through any Apple device, i.e. an iPhone or iPad. iCloud offers a spam filter, two-step verification, and other features such as an auto responder. iCloud is part of a larger suite of cloud-based tools, including a calendar, contact list, and a note-keeping app.


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This article was written by Tabitha Shiflett for CBS Small Business Pulse