Google Apps Standard Edition is free so this solution is perfect for small start-up companies.
Here are the major features of the Google Apps Standard Edition:
- User Accounts: You can setup 50 user accounts or 50 email addresses with the Google Apps Standard Edition.
- Nick Names: The 50 email addresses does not include Nick Names or email alias for each user. For example a user can have email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org etc.
- Email Forwarding: A user can forward a copy of the Google Apps or company email address to another address using the Google Apps email interface which is the same as the Gmail interface.
- Email Storage: You get 7.3 GB of email storage per account.
- POP / IMAP Mail Protocols: Both Pop Download and IMAP email protocols are supported. (The default is off so you will need to turn them on.)
- Web Access: With Google Apps Standard Edition, you have Web access to your company email at http://mail.google.com/a/companydomain or http://mail.companydomain.com (you will need to add a CNAME record for this to work).
- Spam: If your current company email contains many spam messages, Google Apps Standard Edition uses the same high-quality spam filters as Google Gmail. You will notice a significant decline in the number of spam emails received. In addition, you can setup the Positini Spam Application for greater control.
- Mail Client: The Google Apps Setup Guide contains excellent documentation for setting up Microsoft Outlook 2003, 2007, Mozilla Thunderbird, Outlook Express, Apple Mail and other clients for both IMAP and POP Support.
- Support: The Google Apps Setup Guide is an excellent piece of documentation.
- Mobile Devices: The Google Apps Setup Guide contains excellent documentation for setting up a Blackberry, iPhone, Windows Mobile, Android and other devices.
- Mail Service Setup: The initial mail server setup requires two major steps: 1) Adding a Google Validation HTML file to the root directory of your server, the same process required by Google Analytics 2) Pointing your MX Record to Google. There is an extensive list of specific MX record records.
Google Apps Sign Up Links
Google Apps Sign Up Page with links to Standard Edition, Premier, Education, non-profits, Government
Google Standard Edition Sign-Up (Free Edition)
Google Apps Setup Guide