Outlook vs Exchange - Which Is the Best Email Service?
Emailing is a fundamental part of our lives. That said, having a good mail server is essential for our organization, job, or personal life. Since there are dozens of different email providers on the market, choosing one may be a bit difficult. Thus, we have given ourselves the task of comparing two famous email providers f one of the most recognizable software companies worldwide: Microsoft. Keep reading this Outlook vs Exchange article, and find out the right choice for you.
Table of Contents:
What is Microsoft Outlook?
Microsoft Outlook is a mail and calendar server part of the Microsoft Office suite. It’s responsible for receiving and sending emails to and from client computers and mobile devices. This Microsoft email hosting is mainly issued for email, but you can also use it for managing contacts and several tasks. Outlook is an email client (a software program installed on your PC) and an online application.
What is Microsoft Exchange?
The exchange server is also part of the Microsoft Office suite and provides a wider range of possibilities regarding digital communication and collaboration in a business IT environment. Exchange tools enable digital messaging and collaboration in an organization, in addition to saving contacts and calendar data too. Exchange, unlike Outlook, is mainly used as a management app that communicates with email clients through transmission control protocols, such as SMTP, IMAP, and POP.
Outlook vs Exchange: Key Differences
To decide which is the right email hosting service for you or your organization, you first need to know that there are three primary email hosting models:
- Self-hosting: In this email hosting model, you store emails on your own personal server.
- Third-party hosting: Here, you rent email storage space on a third-party provider's server.
- Shared hosting: You bundle web and email hosting through a third-party provider.
It’s relevant you carefully evaluate providers based on different factors. This is what you should consider evaluating providers for your email hosting service:
- The cost of the service;
- The features they bring;
- If they have custom domains.
Before starting, we have to mention that Exchange can be used with several email clients while Outlook does not. Outlook can be used without Exchange, but doing this requires you to work offline. Exchange is a cloud-based service, meanwhile, Outlook is a desktop application.
Unlike other mail servers, Exchange may be a bit overwhelming due to its not-so-user-friendly interface. If you’re a newbie, it may look a bit hard and difficult to understand. For this reason, many users prefer to use Exchange in combination with the Microsoft cloud-based service.
Outlook, on the other hand, presents a more user-friendly interface. Besides, if you’re a Hotmail user, you’ll notice that it has several similarities with Outlook in terms of style and interface. You’ll feel more comfortable and familiar from scratch.
You have three alternatives to access Outlook client:
- You can use the online version available for all Microsoft users through a Hotmail account;
- You can access it through mobile apps on Android devices or iOS;
- You can use the desktop app if you have a subscription to Microsoft 365 users.
Outlook does not present any challenge to newbies or seniors since its functionality is very intuitive, at least for basic functions, such as email.
Regarding Exchange, you can access it just via the desktop application, which makes it a bit more complicated to use wherever you want. The Exchange admin center is significantly more intimidating since it has a confusing interface and integration. For newcomers, Exchange may be much more difficult to learn and take them longer to get familiar with its options. Still, its dashboard has all the applications you need to have complete control of your organization’s hosted email.
Collaboration and User Management
Despite Outlook allowing you to form and manage groups, this Microsoft iteration is more designed for personal usage. In this sense, individuals can use it as a standalone service, while organizations need to link it with Exchange to deploy it as multi-user software.
Microsoft Exchange has more collaboration options, which are opened in a new tab, and team organization. With this email server, you can easily create and share resources, contacts, or subgroups, and have total control over individual and team permissions.
All Exchange plans have organizational tools, inbox management, and contact sharing tools that make their service more complete. The Exchange’s dashboard contains all the tools and complementary services that you need to manage your organization.
Having an Exchange account will give you access to many features, such as a 50 GB storage or unlimited storage if you hire plan 2.
Besides, Exchange comes with many pre-set policies for security, but you can also develop your own based on your organization's needs.
Exchange provides you with 50 GB with Plan 1 or 100 GB and unlimited archive storage with Plan 2 for all your emails. With Plan 2, you can store all your email history without worrying about running out of space.
Regarding Outlook, Microsoft offers you 15 GB of email storage for free accounts, i.e., the free online version of the application. If you get the Microsoft Office 365 suite, you’ll enjoy 50 GB of space.
Exchange offers different email archiving solutions compared to Outlook, as we mentioned in the previous sections. But Exchange also allows you to access your account through Microsoft’s archiving solution.
Outlook provides a smart and professional design among these two email hosting services. So, accessing through it is a better archiving solution. Meanwhile, Outlook users can access it via the desktop email client or the free online service.
Exchange performance is crucial, but it may take a bit longer to get familiar with it.
We believe that using Outlook may be easier for you if you have both as it’s a rather basic program installed on your desktop.
Security and Support
In a few words, Exchange outperforms Outlook when it comes to security due to its multiple labels of security and possibilities of adding filter communications.
Outlook just offers simple spam filters, which is very useful but limited. This means Outlook filters spam emails automatically into the junk folder.
On the other hand, Exchange offers a complete set of options regarding security protocols. You can filter messages based on corporate policies or government regulations for a more efficient mailing.
Regarding support, both mail servers offer live support available through a 1-800 number and live chat interface. Besides, the subscription to Microsoft 365 provides you with 24/7 access to phone and web support.
Message Size Limitations
In this aspect, Exchange also outperforms Outlook. This latter email hosting provider just allows messages limited to 20 MB in size. Microsoft Exchange allows you to send messages limited to 150 MB.
Exchange, unlike other email hosting services, works through a subscription model, even in its standalone version.
The Exchange Online subscription starts at USD$4 per user per month (annual subscription-auto renews), as shown in the image above. This Plan 1 option provides you with a 50 GB mailbox and messages up to 150 MB. This comes with essential tools, such as calendar and contact sharing.
Plan 2 costs USD$8 per user per month (annual subscription-auto renews). This option gives you a 100 GB mailbox and messages up to 150 MB. This option adds some advanced features, such as data loss prevention and hosted voicemail. Both Exchange Online subscriptions provide interesting features for communication and collaboration.
The last alternative is the Microsoft 365 Business Standard subscription. This costs USD$12.50 per user per month (annual subscription-auto renews). This subscription gives you a 50 GB mailbox, file storage, and sharing with 1 TB of OneDrive storage and all the desktop versions of Office apps with premium features.
The Microsoft Outlook app is completely free. The hosting service Microsoft Outlook allows you to store, send and receive emails freely but with a limited storage space of 15 GB of email. If you want to use all the premium Outlook features, you’ll require an annual subscription to Microsoft 365 Personal at USD$6.99 per month for 1 person, or Microsoft 365 Family at USD$9.99 per month for up to 6 people.
The other alternative is to buy Microsoft Office Home & Business 2021 at USD$249.99 (one-time purchase). We know it is a bit expensive, but we have a big solution for you.
You can buy this Microsoft Office suite from a reliable third-party seller, just like RoyalCDKeys. For instance, you can find a Microsoft Office 2021 Pro Plus Key Retail Global at €13,50, which is by far the best and cheapest alternative out there!
Microsoft Exchange vs Outlook - Bottom Line
We strongly believe that Exchange and Outlook are better together. Both Microsoft’s flagship email services are compatible since Exchange needs email clients and Outlook work better with a server such as Exchange. Not for nothing, these two services are part of the same suite.
To perform the best results in terms of emailing in the recipient’s email client, we recommend you acquire the Microsoft Office suite through a CD Key, just like the one offered by RoyalCDKeys. Outlook and Exchange wait for you!