Exchange Server alternatives: Can you really say goodbye to Microsoft?

Microsoft Exchange Server is the most widely used email server in the world, and for good reason. It comes packed with features that make it easy for users to access their emails and for organizations to provide a secure way of communication. Other features such as setting up an out-of-office reply, sharing calendars, and more make it a popular choice for email handling and collaboration. But like any other tool, it also comes with a bunch of shortcomings. First off, it is expensive and upgrading it can be a big hassle. Also, it requires a fair amount of maintenance and all this can quickly add up to the costs. It can be a big drain for many small and medium businesses to maintain this server. If you’re one of those people caught in the web of Exchange Server’s shortcomings, here are some Exchange Server alternatives that can help you.

Kerio Connect

GFI Software

Kerio Connect is one of the best alternatives to the Exchange Server because it also comes loaded with features that score high on flexibility and usability. In other words, this is a secure and enterprise-style email client that offers calendar and other collaboration features but without the high cost of Exchange Servers. This award-winning messaging and collaboration system offers a robust feature line-up and this makes it the ideal choice for organizations of all sizes. Besides cost, this server is also easy to deploy and use, and improves the overall email experience for employees. Security is also top-notch and is built seamlessly into business emails.


Some of the key features of Kerio Connect are:

  • Email is integrated with shared calendars, scheduling, tasks, notes, contacts management, and instant messaging.
  • Synchronizes well with mobile devices.
  • Streamlines team communication by allowing users to group contacts and share them with coworkers.
  • Allows users to create tasks and notes, sort them into different groups, assign tasks, and share them with colleagues.
  • Comes with many time-saving features such as full-text search, auto-completion of email addresses, draft auto-save, a quick preview of attachments, and more.
  • Supports IMAP, POP3, SMTP, and EWS protocols.
  • Enables multiple addresses per user, email aliases, multi-language support, message filters and rules, public and shared messages, desktop notifications, and more.
  • It has advanced calendar and tasks features that include reminders, agendas, labels, travel time, scheduling and response tracking, free/busy assistance, and more.

From the above list, it is clear that Kerio Connect comes loaded with many features that are sure to make emailing, task scheduling and tracking, and collaboration a breeze for employees. Due to these reasons, it has earned a score of 4.8/5 in an independent Microsoft MVP test and received a Gold Star rating from TechGenix. Above everything, it is highly affordable, making it one of the best value options when it comes to choosing an email server.

All these aspects make Kerio Connect one of the best alternatives to the Microsoft Exchange Server.

Click here to try Kerio Connect for free.


exchange server alternatives

MDaemon is a secure and hassle-free email server ideal for growing businesses as it gives complete control over the communication and collaboration processes. It also comes with advanced encryption and security features, making it a secure communication choice for your organization.


Here is a look at some of the important features of MDaemon.

  • Supports IMAP, SMTP, and POP3 protocols.
  • Incorporates multiple layers of security such as relay controls, IP Shielding, SMTP authentication, reverse lookups, and more to reduce the possibility of user exploits.
  • Uses advanced email authentication techniques such as Vouch by Reference to validate and sign messages.
  • Encrypts emails and attachments.
  • Comes with advanced archiving capabilities.
  • Works well with most mobile devices.
  • Allows remote administration.
  • Has a web version for anywhere access.
  • Its instant messenger offers logging, file sharing, instant communication, address book synchronization, and more.

These features clearly show that MDaemon is a good choice for small and medium-sized businesses that are looking to get a feature-rich email server with a low total cost of ownership.

Click here for a free trial.


Zimbra Collaboration is a suite that includes an email server and a web client for businesses of all sizes. This robust tool brings email, calendaring, and chat together for an enterprise-level collaboration used by customers in more than 140 countries.


Let’s take a look into some of the prominent features of this tool.

  • Enterprise-level chat and video calls are built into this tool.
  • Installation is a breeze.
  • Works on all devices.
  • The Allow/Block/Quarantine (ABQ) feature provides granular control over what devices can connect to the server.
  • Supports the latest version of Exchange Activesync (EAS) to sync your mailbox, calendar, contacts, and tasks.
  • Offers real-time backup and restore.
  • Its archiving and discovery feature helps with legal and audit purposes.
  • Comes with advanced security features such as two-factor authentication, digital signatures, encryption, and SSL SNI for HTTPS.

Thus, these features make Zimbra a great option to provide a streamlined collaboration for your employees.

Download a free trial here.


hMailServer is a free and open-source alternative to Microsoft Exchange that provides all the important functions needed to run an email server.


Below are some of the important features of this tool.

  • Simple to install and configure as it comes with an easy-to-use administration tool called hMailServer Administrator.
  • Supports POP3, SMTP, and IMAP4, thereby making it compatible with most email clients.
  • Comes with a bunch of high-security features to ensure that no one can send spam messages to your server. It uses the open-source virus scanner, ClamAV, to protect against virus and malware attacks.
  • Configuration can be done with the help of a web browser.
  • It has a COM library that can be used to integrate with other software.
  • Supports virtual domains, SSL encryption, SQL backend, scripting, and routing.

All these features make hMailServer a good free alternative to Microsoft Exchange.

Click here to download the latest version of hMailServer.


exchange server alternatives

MailEnable is an end-to-end secure email and collaboration service that comes packed with a ton of features comparable to Microsoft Exchange. It is also an affordable and cost-effective solution for small and medium-sized businesses.


Here’s a look at some of the most important features of MailEnable:

  • Provides powerful messaging services like Exchange Activesync, IMAP. SMTP, and POP3.
  • Offers a plethora of collaboration tools such as calendaring, contacts, notes, tasks, and more.
  • Integrates extensively with Microsoft Outlook.
  • Supports real-time updates
  • Comes with many advanced features such as XMPP sockets, SOCKS5 proxy, HTTP upload service, and more.
  • It has an integrated chat for WebMail and mobile devices.
  • Supports proxy and multifactor authentication.
  • Enables remote administration.

All these features make it a cost-effective alternative for Microsoft Exchange.

You can buy MailEnable here.

Yes, Microsoft Exchange Server is the most popular email server in the world, but other options like Kerio Connect and Zimbra are catching up fast by providing better value for organizations. So, if you’re looking for an alternative to Microsoft Exchange Server, these options are your best bet.

Let us know your favorite in this list and why.

Featured image: Shutterstock

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Scroll to Top