What service do you recommend for non-marketing email?

For personal use, Gmail is free and has many features. Switching from another service is easy. You can backup all of your e-mail to your own computer, for free, using MailStore Home.

For business use, there are two options for setting up email service so that the addresses use your own domain name (e.g., "John.Doe@example.com"):

  1. We could use the email servers of your Web hosting company, but this has a number of disadvantages: You would have to set up your own email management using a desktop program (such as Outlook Express, which introduces security risks) installed on a local computer. If you were ever away from that computer and needed to access your business email, then you would have to log into one of the hosting company's online mail programs, but their user interfaces are awful and the spam protection is useless.
  2. A better option is Google Apps. All email is managed online; no programs need to be installed locally; and the spam protection is excellent. The free plan allows up to 10 addresses; the unlimited plan costs $50 per user per year.