Comparing Office 365 (Plan 1) Email and Standard Email

We often receive enquiries about the differences between Office 365 email and standard email services, beyond just the price. Let’s break it down:

1. Office 365 (Plan 1) Email:

  • Subscription Service:
    • Office 365 (Plan 1) is a subscription-based service that offers a comprehensive suite of productivity tools, cloud storage, and advanced security features.
    • It includes a professional email address associated with your domain (e.g.,
  • Storage Capacity:
    • You get a generous 50 GB mailbox for email storage.
    • This ample space allows you to manage your emails efficiently.
  • Apps and Features:
    • Along with email, you gain access to Outlook, a robust email client that integrates seamlessly with your calendar, contacts, and tasks.
    • Collaborate using other Microsoft 365 apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Data Security:
    • Microsoft 365 (Plan 1) prioritises data protection and offers features to safeguard your emails and sensitive information.
  • Cost:
    • The annual subscription cost for Microsoft 365 (Plan 1) is £42/year ex VAT for one user.  Find out more.

2. Standard Email:

  • Non-Subscription Service:
    • Standard email refers to traditional email services provided by various providers (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo, or custom domain email). 
    • It lacks the additional features bundled with subscription-based services.
  • Storage Limit:
    • Standard email services typically offer a more modest storage capacity (e.g., 1 GB).
    • If you have basic email needs, this may suffice.
  • Custom Domain:
    • You can still set up a custom domain email (e.g., without opting for a subscription service.
  • Cost:
    • Standard email services may be free or come with a nominal cost if you use a custom domain. Active Council provide standard email services for £120/year ex VAT for 20 email addresses.Find out more.


  • Choose Office 365 (Plan 1) if:
    • You need a comprehensive suite of tools beyond email.
    • You use other Microsoft 365 apps.
    • Data security is a priority.
  • Opt for standard email if:
    • Basic email functionality suffices.
    • You have budget constraints.

Remember that professional emails are essential for official communication, and the right choice depends on your specific needs and preferences. Feel free to reach out if you’d like further guidance on selecting the best option for your council!

Published: 26/03/2024 Published by: Admin

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