The whole email industry had to undergo complete change and reinvent itself because of the growth of free email service providers like Google, Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail. Most of the people who used to use paid services migrated to one of the free providers. As time passed by, emails either started getting combined with the web hosting package or were offered to the customer as a free add on service.
It is a service provided by most web hosting companies these days. It facilitates sending and receiving mails. These are not configured like the web servers Email1and1. They have a completely different configuration. Every company may not be able to own email servers. As a result, email hosting is slowly growing as a service that is provided to different business owners depending on their needs.
There are a large number of free email service providers in the market. Why should one pay for email hosting then? This is because when you create an email id with a free service provider, your id will have the domain name of the service provider. On the other hand, a paid service provider will allow you to have the domain name of your business in the email id. If your business mail does not have the name of your domain, it can give an impression of a cheap and unreliable business organization.
Make sure you check the kind of email access that your service provider is giving you. IMPA and POP are protocols that are used to read and access the mails. SMTP is used to send the mails. Try and choose a service provider that lets you choose the protocols you need.
Some service providers may not permit webmail access to your email. Even among the ones that give you access, some of them may not be set up to give you exchange email. Ensure that your service provider gives you webmail and exchange access depending on what you need. This will let you check and reply to your mails from wherever you are, whether you are travelling, from your computer, laptop or phone.