Gmail may be one of the most popular email services, but there are many people who feel that it’s far from the best. For starters, there are many users that complained about the new compose window, as they feel it’s less user-friendly and buggy. If you have more than one email account with Google, you can only view one account at a time (in a single tab).
There’s also no way to import your accounts from other services into Gmail. You are free to have more than one tab open for different email accounts, but this is less than ideal. But most importantly Google scans each email message that is sent and received in your account. This is done so that advertisers can better target users and display ads that are more relevant to them although from a Gmail user’s standpoint, this is considered an invasion of privacy.
If for these reasons or other reasons you want to get away from Gmail/Google or just want to try something new, here are 10 great email services other than Gmail for you to try.
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Hushmail is a web-based email that also works on iPhone, Android and BlackBerry (via IMAP, POP, or mobile website). With Hushmail you get built-in encryption, no advertisements and a 25GB storage allowance. You can choose from the following domain names: @hushmail.com, @hushmail.me, @hush.com, @hush.ai and @mac.hush.com.
Unfortunately, you can only use email aliases if you upgrade to a Premium account, and you must sign into your account at least once every three weeks to keep it active.
Zoho is a secure, ad-free email hosting service that works with your own domain(s). With the free (lite) plan you can host one domain, and have up to 5 users (5GB storage each) and up to 3 groups. If you’d like to host multiple domains, you’ll need to upgrade.
The good news is Zoho can work on any mobile device that supports POP and IMAP, or via the mobile site. Plus, it also works with external email clients that (via POP and IMAP). Even though you can fetch mail from other email accounts in Zoho Mail, currently POP access is the only method (no IMAP).
Mail.com is a free service that lets you choose from over 200 domains; you can choose a domain related to your profession (ie. @graphic-designer.com), your hobbies (ie. @petlover.com), technology (ie. @techie.com) etc. Mail.com also comes with unlimited email storage, spam filters, an antivirus, calendar integration, mail collector, mobile service and 50MB attachments.
Mail Collector is a feature that lets you send and receive messages from all of your external email services (via POP access) from within your Mail.com account. It supports Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo.
Outlook.com, which replaces Hotmail, brings with it Office Web Apps and SkyDrive, so if you’re a hardcore Microsoft user, you’ll love it. You can import your emails from Outlook Express, Windows Mail or Windows Live Mail. Plus, you can use Outlook.com to send and receive email from your other email accounts (via POP access). It offers a virtually unlimited storage which will automatically increase when needed.
Outlook.com also has deep social integration. You can import your contacts from Facebook for easy access and for chatting, with the Messaging feature. Plus, you’ll also be able to view your friends’ updates, access and publish your Facebook photos, videos, and statuses from Outlook.com.
GMX owns Mail.com so expect a few similar features such as Mail Collector, unlimited email storage and 50MB attachments from GMX. However GMX only uses the @gmx.com domain but will let you add widgets to your homepage for quick access to Facebook, Twitter, and more from your email account. If you need to transfer larger files, you can use GMX’s secure FileStorage feature.
GMX also uses a sophisticated anti-spam module to help block unwanted emails and will scan your incoming mail for viruses and trojans. There are several different backup systems in use to secure your data and an additional 2GB of space to store your documents, images and videos.
Many people don’t realize it, but if you have a Facebook account then you also have a @facebook.com email account. Not only can you email your friends at their Facebook email address, but you can also send email to external addresses (ie. Gmail, Yahoo). When you send messages to external emails, it will show your Facebook email account as the sender.
Sending emails through Facebook is just like sending a private message on Facebook, except instead of entering a name you can enter an email address. With Facebook you can send group messages, see full conversation history, mute or leave conversations you have no interest in, and mark messages as spam.
With Inbox.com you get 5GB of storage for email, a 50MB attachment limitation, a photo module that lets you easily store, organize, and share your photos with friends and family, an integrated Organizer to help you boost your productivity. It also includes a calendar, reminders, and task manager, plus a Notes feature that is great for lists, ideas, to-dos, and more.
All of your messages are automatically scanned for spam, viruses and spyware to keep you protected at all times. Plus, there’s no email scanning for advertising purposes. If you want to receive notifications of new emails, you can install the Inbox.com Toolbar with Email Notifier.
Yandex gives you a free @yandex.com email address, with 3GB of storage on Yandex Disk. You can unlock 7GB more if you do a few simple steps like install the Windows program, upload a file or two, or tell a friend about the service. Yandex is popular in Russia but has language support in 9 other languages including English.
Unlike the others on this list, Yandex lets you import your emails using POP or IMAP access. You can also enable the tasks feature, and RSS so you can read your RSS feeds from the same interface. Yandex is also available in iOS and Android Apps or as a mobile version of the site.
One of the cool things about Shortmail is that you can use your Twitter handle as your Shortmail address (ie. email@example.com). You can also sign up using Facebook or Google, and then create your own email handle. All emails are limited to just 500 characters, but using Shortmail Connect, you can direct shorter emails to your Gmail to your Shortmail and longer ones to your connected Gmail.
You can’t send attachments with your messages, but if attachments from other email services are sent to your Shortmail account you can opt to save them in your Evernote – just connect it in Settings. Shortmail is available in email clients and on mobile devices that support IMAP, POP, or SMTP and in an iOS app.
Many people may skip the once-horrible Yahoo Mail but it has really come a long way and is now much more modern! Yahoo Mail can be accessed on your computer, in most email clients that support POP, and on mobile devices (iPhone, Android, Windows). Storage limits have gone unlimited and you can import your contacts from Facebook, Gmail, Outlook and more.
The Spam protection has been upgraded, along with SSL encryption (though you have to turn it on manually). Yahoo’s popular Instant Messaging service is also included in your Inbox, so that you can chat with friends while reading your email. You can also send and receive SMS messages via Yahoo Messenger.
So now that you’re aware of other free email services besides Gmail, what will you choose? Have another one to add to the list, suggest it in the comments.