20 email hosting terms you need to know [2023]

calendar iconJune 20, 2021

When looking for the right email hosting solution, the technical terms, and features that you come across are countless.
Email hosting is the place where emails are delivered to. It's also the process of storing email for safekeeping. Whatever your day to day email management needs, you'll find it in our guide to 20 essential emailing terms.

The question is: Do you actually know if you need these features or not?

You need to be aware of key essential terms to make an informed decision when choosing an email hosting solution.

Here are the most common technical terms you need to know about email hosting:

1. Shared email hosting

Most web hosting plans come with email hosting services. If you are hosting your email through a provider like Link datacenter, you can also have your email hosted there as well. Often, email hosting is included with web hosting plans for free. 

2. Free email hosting

Free email hosting refers to email hosting that usually comes along with a web hosting account.

Most bundles allocate the same server space to be shared between your web and email hosting accounts. Also, you’ll be sharing the amount of bandwidth allocated to your hosting account. 

Top free email hosting providers include Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook.

3. Dedicated email hosting

Dedicated email hosting provides a set amount of space and bandwidth that is separate from web hosting. This is an account that is focused on email hosting only – doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have an entire server for your use.

4. Business email

business email is an email that uses your own domain name. For instance, [email protected] is an email linked to a domain name called: xxxbusiness.com. 

These email addresses reflect your profession or your company’s service offering.

To get a business email, firstly, you need to register a domain name with a domain name registrar. Then, you need to find an email hosting provider that fits your business needs and requirements.

5. Control Panel 

Usually, hosting companies provide their users with control panels to manage their accounts and websites. Control panels provide you with a wide range of options such as managing domain names, installing a Content management system – such as WordPress-, adding email addresses, and more.

While there are several control panels available, Plesk and cPanel are two of the most common ones. 

Also, some companies have custom-built control panels.

6. cPanel

cPanel is one of the most popular hosting control panels.

It is well-known for its ease of use. cPanel allows its users to easily manage all aspects of email and web hosting. It offers features such as mail, file, database, and domain management, and security features as well.

7. DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail)

This is an email authentication technique that allows the receiver to check that emails received in the inbox were indeed sent and authorized by the owner of the domain.

Conceptual map

This occurs by giving emails a digital signature that is further verified by the recipient. 

Usually, these signatures are not visible to end-users and the validation takes place on a server level.

8. Uptime

Uptime refers to the amount of time in which the server is up and running without any interruptions. The opposite is Downtime.

Hosting providers usually offer 99% uptime and some offer uptime guarantees too. 

Uptime guarantees allow users to receive compensation when the email hosting provider’s uptime falls below a certain level.

9. SLA (Service Level Agreement) 

SLA is a written agreement between the user and the hosting company. It provides an outline of the level of service a user should expect from the hosting provider. 

It usually includes details on the uptime stating that the user can ask for a refund if the service provider fails to offer and maintain the promised uptime level.

10. Autoresponder

This allows you to set up automated responses which can be for several purposes.

For instance, autoresponders can allow you to send your prospects a free resource whenever they sign up for your mailing list or newsletter.

11. Disk Space 

Disk space refers to the amount of storage space allocated to each account on the server. The amount of disk space dictates the amount of room available on a server to store your files and assets. 

Certain hosts offer ‘unlimited’ disk space on their hosting plans.

12. Bandwidth 

Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can be passed along a communications channel in a given period. In the hosting world, bandwidth commonly refers to the total data transfer. 

 It is typically expressed in bits per second. For example, 50 Mbps shows a data transfer rate of 50 million bits per second.

13. SPF Record (Sender Policy Framework Record) 

Advanced DNS

SPF record is an email authentication technique that prevents spammers from sending messages on behalf of your domain or organization. This way companies can publish authorized mail servers and can show receivers the level of trustworthiness of the origin of an email.

It typically indicates which mail servers are permitted to send emails on behalf of your domain.

14. Cloud email hosting

Simply, you will use the vendor’s service to host your own email solution.

Cloud email provides its users with robust email tools that they can access over the internet.

With cloud-based email hosting, the vendor will serve and represent an email like any other cloud-based service.

t will provide you with tools to send, receive and store email messages, and security and maintenance.

15. POP3 (Post Office Protocol Version 3)

This is a server protocol in which an internet server receives and handles the emails. It downloads and stores email messages received from email servers on your device. Recipients can read emails easily – even offline – however, emails can sometimes disappear from a server and no longer be available. 

This is to say if an email was downloaded on a smartphone, you may no longer be able to find the email message when you access your email from another device.

16. IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) 

IMAP allows its users to read an email offline and the email will stay on the server as well. This is through synchronization between the email client, all connected devices, and the mail server, which allows users to retrieve an email from any client device.

IMAP provides several features such as IDLE, subscriptions, sieve filtering, and folder sharing. Additionally, the server can save the email status – read, replied, unread, etc. – so that users can view it from any device.

17. SMTP

SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. It is an application that has the primary purpose of sending, receiving, and/or relaying outgoing email messages between senders and receivers. 

Mail clients or applications can set the server’s address which is formatted as smtp.serveraddress.com. 

When an email is sent, the SMTP processes your email and then decides which server should receive the email. Then, the SMTP server relays the message to that server. 

Afterward, the recipient’s inbox service provider will download the message to place it in the recipient’s inbox.

18. DNS (Domain name system)

DNS is short for domain name system. This is a system for naming computers and network services. It is one of the things that make the internet user-friendly.

It translates the alphanumeric domain name into a string of numbers, which makes up the IP address of a website. This is how browsers connect with servers to display to the user the website they are visiting. 

Without the DNS, users would have to enter complicated, numerical IP addresses of every website they want to visit.

Note: Every hosting company has its DNS nameservers. 

19. MX Record (Mail exchange record) 

MX record is a type of DNS record. It directs an email to the mail server. Following the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), it indicates how email messages should be routed. 

MX Records

Priority numbers refer to preference. A lower priority number is more preferred.

So, servers will try first the ‘Mail Server’ with priority ‘20’. If a failure occurs when sending a message, the server will try the second mail server by default.

20. Microsoft Hosted Exchange

Microsoft Hosted Exchange is also known as Exchange Online.

It is a service whereby providers make the Microsoft email box available on the server so that the clients can host their data. It is a version of the Microsoft Exchange server. It can be delivered and accessed either through a remote server or a cloud service provider.

It is installed, configured, and hosted on the service provider’s platform, where users can have access through a VPN connection or secure connection. Also, users can access Microsoft Hosted Exchange over the internet.

Users can configure email messages and also manage their calendars, inbox, and contacts.

Explore LDC’s email hosting solutions and get started with email hosting today.