Let’s start with the basics.
Google Apps emails are stored on Google’s email servers.
cPanel emails are stored locally on your web hosting server.
With Google Apps email accounts, you get 20+ GB of storage included.
With cPanel email accounts, you get as much as your hosting account storage space allows. For example, depending which host you’re with, your hosting account has a maximum of 1,5, 10, 50, 100, 200GB (or anywhere below or above that). Some webhosting companies give you ‘Unlimited’ accounts, however that’s generally ‘shared hosting’ which, by nature, is cheap and crammed onto servers with hundreds of other customers. Read more about shared hosting here.
Google Apps emails are great for accessing on your phone – the copy on your phone is synced with the copy in the Google Apps web access account.
You can set up syncing with cPanel emails too, however it’s not as advanced. You’d need to set up your cPanel account in the IMAP format, and the configure your mail program and phone to use those settings.
Google Apps email accounts currently cost $50/user/year.
cPanel email accounts are free (well, included in your web hosting service – up to the limit of your account).
For this reason, many people prefer to go with a cPanel email, however, they may not be saving much. That is, unless they’re on cheap shared hosting offering ‘Unlimited’ web storage.
If, however, they’re using a premium web host, they’re likely to have a limit on their storage. Whatever limit that may be. They can, of course, increase the limit, but it will bump them up to the next, and the next, and the next hosting plan… which could end up costing from $10, to $30, to $90, or even $150+ per month. Now, multiply these figures by 12 months, and you have yourself a pretty hefty hosting bill.
And that’s why, for people who need email accounts with lots of storage, we recommend Google Apps email accounts. Yes, you pay $50/user/year, but that’s it (unless you need more than 20GB for that account).
Not to mention that Google Apps email servers are more reliable, faster, are better for syncing on your phone and computer, and generally have the best uptime.
Not everyone would really need to have Google Apps email accounts… however, at $50/user/year… it’s not expensive for a great service which gives you peace of mind when it comes to your email accounts performing.