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Accessing Domain Emails: Google Apps vs. Doteasy

Your Doteasy web hosting plan comes with email services. You can easily create customized domain email addresses. In addition to a webmail interface, you can also configure your email client (such as Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Mac Mail, Thunderbird, and more) to access your domain email messages. 

If you are a power-email user and need advanced email hosting capabilities, you also have the option to set up your domain email accounts with your Google Apps or Office 365 account.

What is Google Apps?

Google Apps is a suite of cloud-based productivity and collaboration applications offered on a subscription basis by Google. Included in the Google Apps are Gmail, Google Drive, Google Hangouts, Google Calendar and Google Docs. 

When you set up and access your domain email accounts with Google Apps, you will be using the Gmail interface.

What is the difference between the free Gmail account and the Google Apps Gmail application?

While your free Gmail account lets you import your existing domain email account into Gmail, in order to do so, you will need to already have created a domain email account and you will need to have signed up for a Gmail account. 

Emails sent to your domain email address will still first arrive at your Doteasy mail server. When you login to your Gmail account, Google will connect to your Doteasy mail server to download all your domain email messages. In other words, you are using Gmail as an email client.

On the other hand, when you set up your domain email with Google Apps, you are not required to have an existing Gmail account – all you need is a Google Apps account. With Google Apps, you are moving your entire email infrastructure to Google. You will setup your email accounts with Google and your domain email services will be hosted by Google. 

Another difference is the allotted email storage size. With the free Gmail account, you get 15GB of storage space. Note that this storage allowance is shared between your Gmail, Google Drive and Photos apps. 

With the Google Apps Gmail application, you get 30GB of dedicated email storage space. You also get 24/7 phone and email support from Google, enhanced security and more.

How does Google Apps’ Gmail work?

Everything in Google is online-based. Mobile applications will sync whenever your device connects to the Internet. Your calendar events, contacts and email will be synced. Google uses Microsoft ActiveSync technology to do this.

Like we have mentioned earlier, when you set up your domain email with Google Apps, you are moving your entire email infrastructure to Google. To do this, you will need to edit your domain DNS settings and create a new MX record to point your domain’s email services to Google’s servers. 

Let’s take a deeper look into this.

When you sign up for a Doteasy web hosting plan, we create the DNS records for your website, email, ftp, and more. Basically, each of these are handled by a different server: emails are handled by the Doteasy mail servers, websites are handled by the Doteasy web server, etc. When you transfer your email hosting to Google Apps, you are essentially replacing the Doteasy mail servers with Google’s mail servers. To do so, you will need to create a new MX record that points your email hosting to Google and remove the existing Doteasy mail server record.

Once the necessary DNS and MX records are made, all your domain emails will be handed off to Google and their mail servers will handled all of your domain email services. 

Is Google Apps free?

No, Google Apps is not free. While Google offers a 30-day free trial for the service, you will need to pay for a subscription if you want to continue using Google Apps for your domain after the trial period.

The first tier is the Google Apps For Work plan and it comes domain email addresses, integrated online calendars, 30GB of online storage for file syncing and sharing, a suite of Google tools (ie. Google Docs, Sheets and Forms) and 24/7 phone and email support. This plan is offered at $5/month per user.

The top tier is the Google Apps for Work Plus and it comes with unlimited email storage, advanced admin controls for Google Drive, Google Fault eDiscovery covering emails, chats, docs and files, and much more.

For more information about the pricing and features included in the Google Apps for Work and Google Apps for Work Plus plans, please visit the Google Apps website.

Is using Google Apps better than using the default Doteasy email services?

While you do get more email storage space and more advanced spam filtering tools, using Google Apps is not free. This means, in addition to paying for your Doteasy web hosting services (which email is already included as part of the package), you will need to pay for a subscription with Google.

In most cases, Doteasy email service is quite sufficient. For example, for those subscribed to our Unlimited Hosting plan, it comes with unlimited email accounts, POP3 and IMAP access, SMTP access, email forwarding, aliases and auto-responders, spam and virus protection and a choice between 2 webmail interfaces - Horde and RoundCube - that you can easily switch back and forth at any time you want without losing any emails. The Horde webmail interface comes with tools for calendar, address book, contacts management, tasks, notes, file and bookmarks sharing.

One important note is that setting up your domain email with Google Apps requires you to make changes to your domain DNS zone files, which can be done via your Doteasy Member Zone. However, we ask that you don’t edit your domain DNS zone files unless you are completely comfortable with working with the DNS zone files. Even a small change (intended or by accident) will affect your website and email services and it typically takes 24-48 hours for changes to take effect, including necessary changes to restore your website or email back to the pre-change state.

So, before you proceed with setting up your domain email services with Google Apps, take a look at your Doteasy email services and give it a try first. If you need advanced enterprise-level email hosting services that is beyond the offerings of Doteasy, you are always welcomed to use Google Apps and if you need help with making the necessary DNS changes, just contact us and we will gladly assist you. 

I want to use Google Apps for my domain email hosting. What will happen to my existing Doteasy email services?

If you want to use Google Apps for your domain email hosting, all you need to do is make the necessary DNS changes as per Google’s instructions. Once you have set up your domain email accounts with Google Apps and once the DNS changes have taken effect, all emails sent to your domain email addresses will be handled by Google and accessible via the Gmail web interface. Your domain emails will no longer reach the Doteasy mail servers.

However, because website and email hosting services are bundled together into one Doteasy hosting plan, we will not be able to cancel or refund the email portion of your hosting plan. Your Doteasy email services will remain in active state as long as your hosting plan is active and paid. Don’t worry, this will not interfere with your Google Apps email functionality - your Google mail servers will be the only ones handling your domain emails. 

The main advantage of this is that if you want to transfer your email services back to Doteasy, you can do so at any time – all you need to do is simply revert the DNS changes (ie. create the MX record to point your email hosting back to Doteasy and remove the Google’s MX record).