Skip to content
Step by Step Internet ­čîÉ Guides for learning to surf the Net

Microsoft Exchange What is it, what is it for, and how is it different from Outlook?

As one of the most used email services in the world by companies of all kinds, Outlook has a particular email client, prepared for the volume of work involved in the work environment.

It’s about Microsoft Exchange, a mail client that contains a series of tools that greatly facilitate the work and collaboration between users of the companies that purchase their services.

In the next few paragraphs, We will teach you everything you need to know about this server management client, the benefits it brings to labor productivity, and how to hire their services for your company.

What is Microsoft Exchange and what is it for?

Microsoft Exchange Access Site

Exchange is user collaboration software used to manage business mail services, offering personalized addresses for various users. It is primarily intended for the use of servers with a large volume of data.

It natively includes a wide variety of collaborative organization tools to manage the working times of each member of the group. Exchange offers the user an email, calendar, contacts and task list platform. Basically, it is a service that any small or large entrepreneur can hire to fully optimize collaboration and the transfer of data and information in your internal processes.

Functions and Features What can Exchange do?

Exchange it works as a server client, which are assigned to a member of the work team.

Generally, Exchange has 5 main functions:

Mailbox server

Mail service with Microsoft Exchange

The Exchange mail server is in charge of the management of incoming and outgoing messages, contains storage spaces such as mailboxes, public folders, address lists, calendars, and time organizing items. This server is that allows the operation of the communication platform between the members of the work team. Administrators of this server have the ability to deploy mailboxes high availability for the company.

Client access server

Advantages of imap and POP in Outlook mail

This server It is the one that manages the connection between all the clients that may need to access the email service. One of the main advantages of the client access server is that it handles all the protocols necessary for human access. These protocols include POP3, IMAP4, MAPI and HTTPS. The server also adds support for Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Anywhere, Outlook Web App, and Exchange ActiveSync (EAS).

Hub Transport Server

The Hub Transport server manages the filtering and formatting of messages, verifies the validity and authenticity of attached files, thus providing the data verification capacity that a company needs to control internal and external email. This server also logs emails on a daily basis, adds disclaimers, and executes other actions that are necessary to comply with the legal requirements of the companies.

Edge Transport server

Exchange Edge Transport Service

This feature is optional, and once installed, this server provides an extra layer of security between the organization using Exchange and the external network.

This server is responsible for conducting an exhaustive review of messages that arrive from outside the organization, in order to verify that they are free of spam before sending them to the Hub Transport server. As soon as an email leaves the Hub Transport server, this is redirected to the Edge Transport server, if installed, before leaving the company that uses Exchange.

Unified Messaging Server

Unified messaging structure with Exchange

In the same way as the Edge Transport server, this server is optional and stores company communication data, as voice messages, along with emails, calendar records, and contacts in users’ mailboxes. They also get benefits like the ability to answer calls, automated answering services, and message recording.

Benefits of using Microsoft Exchange

A server software like Exchange It is widely used for email management and many other purposes.

For which it has a large number of benefits, among which we can mention the following:

  • Automatic Updates: Exchange Online versions will have access to new features and tools as they are added to the web.
  • Savings in server maintenance costs: All server maintenance will be performed by the Exchange service provider at no additional cost.
  • Anti-spam and anti-virus filters in the Exchange cloud: Data protection is in the hands of the Exchange provider, thanks to the fact that it includes a series of security tools between antivirus and filters against SPAM.
  • Extendable storage: Exchange Online has a variety of plans, which allow you to extend the storage of mailboxes.

Plans and Fees How much does Microsoft Exchange cost?

Microsoft Exchange plans and fees

Microsoft Exchange is, in essence, a paid server service with a large number of tools included in their plans.

To contract this service, it is necessary to inform you about their plans and rates, which can be found here:

  • Exchange Online (Plan 1): base plan of the server program that provides its subscribers with a 50 GB mailbox per user, for a price of 4 euros per month per user.
  • Exchange Online (Plan 2): For € 8 per month per user, Exchange plan two includes unlimited storage mailbox, cloud-backed voicemail, and data loss prevention.
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard: In addition to the features of the previous plans, it includes the Office applications to install on the computer, together with 1 TB of storage, video conferencing and many other functions, for the price of 12.50 euros per month per user.

When is it convenient to use Microsoft Exchange?

Since Outlook is a tool for business use, It is necessary to bear in mind that there is a time when it is convenient to hire their services, in order to get the most out of it.

Basically the best option is to purchase Exchange services as soon as your company can afford it. This is because the biggest problem for many companies, SMEs in particular, is the cost of maintaining physical servers. Because Exchange works entirely through the cloud, with servers active 24 hours a day and with maintenance included in your hiring costs, making it one of the most profitable options for server data management.

Alternatives to Microsoft Exchange for Professionals

Microsoft Exchange is an application that allows the management of various types of servers for internal communication of the organization and data storage. However, it is not the only option, since there are several alternatives that perfectly fulfill the function, in case Exchange is not for you.

Let’s see next:

Ubuntu Server

Ubuntu Server download site

It is a very solid solution when it comes to internal collaborative server hosting. It offers a very profitable formula and provides the user with internal communication messaging, in addition to another groupware function. If there is a downside to this alternative, It is the fact that it does not have a GUI (graphical user interface), so you will have to know how to configure it from the command line, a task that can be demanding even for the most experienced Linux users

Google Apps for business

Google Apps for business download site

Provides all the security and stability of Gmail for the internal communication of your organizationplus many other business applications such as calendars, shared file storage, and many more remote work tools.

Google business apps are available at a cost of around $ 5 a month per user. On the other hand, in order to access all its functions, you must provide Google with your company data, which in certain cases is not possible, even with the policy of Do no evil of Google. For this enter to the web:

OX application suite

OX Application Suite Access Site

The Open Xchange application suite has the ability to manage internal communication and collaboration messaging for small, medium and large companies, with huge numbers of employees. For this enter to the web:

As it is a white label groupware, has the ability to easily integrate your company’s brand. It has powerful open API standards that make OX App Suite one of the best alternatives to Microsoft Exchange.

Zimbra Access Site

Zimbra is a tool for open source groupware presenting a robust alternative to Microsoft Exchange. It is used by powerful companies like Mozilla, Comcast, Titleist, and Dell. It has a higher cost option called Zimbra Collaboration Server 8.5, which includes server maintenance and management services, thus relieving the user of this responsibility. While the tool itself is more expensive, it can help reduce maintenance overhead.

Kerio Connect

Kerio connect download site

Kerio Connect is an Exchange tool that can be installed on the computer or run from the cloud, and provides the user with a collaborative software that, although basic, is quite complete, easy to administer and with a low monthly cost per user. For this enter to the web:

Although it does not have all the tools that an Exchange server provides, its low cost and the number of tools available make it a very notable alternative to Microsoft Exchange.