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Microsoft 365 vs Hosted Exchange: What should you choose?

Web Hosting Blog

When searching for the right business email hosting solution for your company, you’re likely to choose a brand you already know and trust, Microsoft. But with several well-known Microsoft products on the market, including Microsoft 365 and Hosted Exchange, you need to pick the right product for you.

Microsoft 365 is a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution that integrates traditional Microsoft applications, like Word and Excel, Microsoft application services, and Microsoft Outlook.

Hosted Exchange allows your provider to create a Microsoft email account on a cloud-based solution. 

So how can you choose between the two? We’ve broken down some of the key deciding factors for you:

Data security 

With a Microsoft 365 email solution, you receive automatic updates against newly discovered security threats, built-in protection against data loss, and adherence to security standards such as ISO 27001. But, you have to remember that you are still responsible for your data security. You will need to create and implement your data security and GDPR policies. It may sound like a lot, but this is the best practice for any SME, especially since the introduction of GDPR.

Additionally, Microsoft 365 now offers UK data centres and EU Model Clauses perfect for most companies’ data protection needs.

Your hosting provider will look after your security concerns with Hosted Exchange, so you need to pick someone you trust.


How much control do you need? That all depends on your IT department and how much experience they have.

With Hosted Exchange, you only receive a login to your email, so you do not have access to the user and security settings. If you want to make any changes, you need to contact your hosting provider.

Microsoft 365 gives you an admin login that allows you to manage all your users, update security policies, access rights, and access to applications, so you know who can access what.


If you plan to grow your business over the next few years, you need to pick a mail system that will grow with you.

Another benefit to Microsoft 365 being cloud-based is that you can access your emails and applications from any location and device.

One of the key differences between Hosted Exchange and Microsoft 365 is the mailbox storage size. With CWCS, we offer 50GB storage for Microsoft 365 and an impressive 250GB for our Hosted Exchange.

One-stop-shop vs pick and choose

Nowadays, businesses use various tools to help the company run smoothly, from online booking systems to internal chat software companies rely on these online tools.

With Microsoft 365, you get a wide range of Microsoft products included. Standard Microsoft applications such as Word and Excel, Microsoft Teams, Bookings and many more applications are included in Microsoft 365 suite.

Allowing you to build a system which suits you. Hosted Exchange only gives you the mailbox, which means you are not tied into Microsoft for any other applications, so you can choose from any software you might need. For example, you might use Slack instead of Teams or Google Docs instead of Word. 

Pricing and Plans 

With Hosted Exchange, you pay a flat fee per mailbox per user. It’s a simple pricing plan that will help you to monitor your outgoing costs. 

Microsoft 365 has a range of different plans at different price points. At CWCS, we offer three plans Business Basic, Business Standard and Business Premium. You can mix and match these plans, so if you have some employees who need Business Premium and others who only need Business Basic, we can combine the plans so you are only paying for what you need. 

To learn more about Hosted Exchange and Microsoft 365, talk to one of our specialists today.