Hosted Exchange is a service in which a provider hosts and manages a given business's Microsoft Exchange email and calendering server in the cloud instead of on-premises. In the past, traditional Microsoft Exchange servers needed to be physically housed at the business location, requiring space, licenses, and IT personnel. A hosted exchange, however, can minimize costs, streamline processes, and is much more scalable than hosting your own servers.

Considering the many costs associated with hosting an internal exchange, such as hardware, maintenance, and backup, hosted exchanges are ideal for small businesses that lack the budget or space for the in-house option. But in reality businesses of any size can benefit from hosted exchange services, which cut costs and deliver efficient email, storage space, and business-friendly features such as shared folders and centralized mail stores. Hosted exchanges can also help organizations avoid the perils of over-purchasing servers and licenses to couch against future growth, as most hosted exchange providers charge a flat fee for service and pay-per-user charge.

While some companies may have legal, security, or tax concerns about hosting their data on an external server, the latest studies show that cloud-based hosting can be as secure, or even more secure than physical, on-premises servers. What's more, the hosted exchange provider implements any necessary software upgrades, and handles any maintenance or management required of the system. They also offer more flexibility in access, and generally have technical support available 24/7.

However, there are some business sectors where hosted exchange may not be ideal. For example, financial and healthcare services usually have to to great lengths to prove to the government sensitive data is secure. Certain kinds of other organizations may also have to employ a level of security than cloud providers can offer at this point. Bandwidth can also be a problem. When employees rely on an internet connection to access company servers, this could prove a problem if they are traveling in some areas of the world. 


Top 8 Companies

Our Partner
9.7 / 10
  • #1 Choice of Consumers Advocate Visitors in 2016!
  • 99.999% uptime guarantee w/Enterprise-class security & reliability
  • Free migration/onboarding by Intermedia experts
  • 24/7 Support, <60 second hold time
  • Anytime, anywhere access to email 
  • Robust and intuitive control panel offering granular control
  • Over 1 million users trust Intermedia
Our Partner
9.6 / 10
  • 30 day free trial
  • Unlimited mailbox storage available
  • Per mailbox fees
  • Mobile device access
  • 24/7 live phone support
  • Anti-virus and anti-spam email protection
Our Partner
9.4 / 10
  • Anti-malware, anti-spam protection
  • Mobile access, work anywhere, anytime
  • Flexible plans and pricing
  • Admin controlled access
  • Automatic patches
  • FastTrack, onboarding service provided by Microsoft professionals
Our Partner
9.3 / 10
  • 100 GB mailboxes
  • 50 MB attachments
  • Free trial
  • 100% uptime guarantee
  • Anti-virus, anti-spam and SSL encryption
  • Skype for business ready
8.9 / 10
  • 30 day free trial
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Anti-virus and anti-spam email protection
  • No setup fees
  • ActiveSync included
  • 24/7 support
8.8 / 10
  • Free migration and onboarding
  • Hosted Lync
  • Online backup
  • 99.99% uptime
  • Multiple servers in the US and Canada
  • 24/7 support
8.5 / 10
  • 30 day risk free trial
  • No setup fee
  • 99.99% uptime guarantee
  • Daily data backups
  • Anti-spam and anti-virus email protection
  • Month to month payments
8.1 / 10
  • Ideal for medium to large sized businesses
  • Secure data servers
  • Mobile access
  • 24/7 support
  • Secure instant messaging, conference calls (optional)
  • Administrator control panel
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How We Compare Hosted Exchange

Features & Specifications


Hosted Exchange is service where providers host and maintain a organization's Microsoft Exchange servers in the cloud as opposed to physically at their location. When judging features and specifications of hosted exchange vendors, we'll examine key attributes all hosted exchanges should have, and others that separate certain providers from the pack. 

The amount of base-level storage space, maximum message size, and uptime percentage guarantee are all examples of specifications that can make a good service provider great. This may be further enhanced by additional options such as unlimited storage, as well as other productivity and collaboration features. What's more, a service provider's supported connections, which include specified versions of Microsoft Exchange and data protocols, may also be appealing to those users of a technical nature. 

Uptime Percentage Guarantee

An Uptime Percentage Guarantee indicates how many minutes of downtime is allowed before a claim may be submitted to the service provider for reimbursement. A 99% uptime percentage guarantee, for instance, permits 432 minutes of downtime per month, while 99.999% allows 26 seconds.

Productivity Features

Hosted exchange productivity features often include a control panel, integrated Blackberry support, ActiveSync, email archiving services, a spam filter, and an email disclaimer.

Collaboration Features

Collaboration features may include resource mailboxes, calendar sharing, public folders, and shared contacts.

Supported Connections

MAP and POP3 should almost always be available wherever email services are included. MAPI is used for certain collaborative features, such as live conferencing.



Since hosted exchanges primarily store and manage data, likely of a personal or business nature, security is of paramount importance. Security features, such as encryption, automatic backup, and redundant ISPs, all aim to achieve this. Hosted Exchange service providers boast these features in conjunction with any and all relevant third-party certifications.


Security features may include multi-tenant platform security, email encryption, security policy customization, automatic backup, remote device wipe, anti-virus software, and redundant ISPs.


Security Certifications may include HIPPA, FINRA, PCI Compliant, FISMA, SOC Type 2, SSAE 16, SSAE 16 Type 2, ISO 27001, EU Model Clauses, EU Safe Harbor



The starting price of a hosted exchange service is a pre-set monthly fee, which may either be based on 'per user' or 'per mailbox' basis. The true cost of hosted exchange services, however, may be affected by additional feature costs. These fees relate to services that influence security, collaboration, productivity, and storage space. While certain companies may offer one feature or another for free, most add-ons will require a levy. 



Since Hosted Exchange is all about collaboration and storage, especially within the Microsoft sphere, integrations can be highly important. Other Microsoft applications, as well as those of third parties, will allow users to yield maximal benefit from the hosted exchange service.

Supported Microsoft Apps

These are Microsoft apps that the service integrates with. These can include Outlook, Outlook web app, Office, Sync, and SharePoint.

3rd Party Integrations

These are non-Microsoft apps/ services that the hosted exchange service integrates with. These may include Skype, Salesforce, or ShareSync.

Reputation & Support


A Hosted Exchange provider's reputation is based on its third party reviews, especially from organizations such as TrustPilot and the Better Business Bureau. Furthermore, reputation is bolstered by the additional services on offer, which may include directed migration assonance.   

Migration Assistance

Many companies offer to migrate your existing email server to the online/hosted exchange server. Most of them offer different degrees of help with migration.

What's important to know about Hosted Exchange?

What is Exchange email?

Exchange email is the email portion of a calendar and email program called Microsoft Exchange. Email applications such as Outlook and Office 365 are built on Exchange, which runs on the server side. Exchange email allows multiple members of an organization to read and write email from their desktops and mobile devices.

What is a Microsoft Exchange server?

Microsoft Exchange is an email and calendaring program utilized by organizations with multiple client workstations. Typically invisible to the end-user, Exchange is the backbone of applications such as Outlook and Office 365. The program may reside on the organization’s server or as part of a hosted software-as-a-service package.

How does Hosted Exchange pricing work?

Hosted Exchange is priced on a per mailbox per month basis.

Competition from free services such as Gmail and Google Drive has pushed prices down to between $5 and $12 per mailbox per month. These prices generally include not only a mailbox but unlimited data storage and technical support as well.

What's the difference between Outlook and Exchange?

Microsoft Exchange is the server-side program that facilitates an organization’s email and calendaring applications. One of those applications is Microsoft Outlook, which proves the client-side interface that members of the organization use to send emails and maintain their calendars across a variety of devices.

What's the difference between Hosted Exchange and in-house Exchange?

Microsoft Exchange provides the infrastructure for an organization’s email and calendar services. The program can be purchased and located in-house on the organization’s own server, or it can be owned and hosted remotely by a third party which charges the organization a monthly fee for using it.

What's the difference between Office 365 and Hosted Exchange?

Office 365 is a bundle of applications that includes the Microsoft Office suite of productivity tools (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), shared and personal data storage, email, calendaring, and other programs. It is constantly and automatically updated. Hosted Exchange provides only email and calendar services to individuals and small organizations and is not updated automatically.