Gmail is a popular email service provider used by millions, however there are many features that it misses out on or isn’t very good with. The lack of certain features puts users in search of a good alternative that offer precisely the things they’re looking for in an email service.
So in this post, we are featuring some of the best email service providers as alternatives to Gmail. From privacy-focused to OS-centric, different items in the list offer different features. Let’s read on to know about each service in detail.
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1. Zoho Mail
Zoho Mail 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.
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. 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).
Hushmail is a web-based email that also works on iPhone, Android and BlackBerry (via IMAP, POP). 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.
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.
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.
8. Yahoo Mail
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.
These days, some of the most popular email service providers cut a sorry figure when it comes to user privacy. And Fastmail is based precisely to cater to this issue. It is a security-focused email service provider that keeps the unwanted ads and spam emails away from your inbox.
“One of its most interesting elements are the anti-spam filters that can be customized according to your requirements. You can establish spam rule settings to filter out the unwanted messages and configure your emails to land into a specific spam folder.
The thing, however, most users dislike about Fastmail is the pricing. Though pretty feature-rich, the service is not free, not even for individual customers and personal use. If you’re alright with some annual cost, then Fastmail can be an ideal email provider.
10. iCloud Mail
For avid iOS and macOS users and fans of minimalism, iCloud Mail is a great email service provider. This Apple’s own email service allows you to create an account through your Apple ID and allows you to access iTunes and App Store right through it.
You’ll be pleased to know about some of its many wonderful features including, a highly efficient spam and archive folder, creating a list of VIP senders whose emails and data is collected in special folders, two-factor authentication, and support for all Apple devices among many others.
There are, however, some downsides too when you’re using the iCloud mail. For instance, the amount of free storage (5 GB) is a bit too low and buying extra storage is expensive. Also, for those who’re not used to the iOS environment, the interface and functionalities can be a bit tricky.
Bonus: 2 more…
A rapidly growing email service provider from Germany, Tutanota Mail offers secure and ad-free email service with much emphasis on privacy and user experience. What’s most interesting is that the service is not jus rich in features and functionaries, it is also free.
“The service is pretty solid when it comes to privacy including features like secure calendar with end-to-end encryption, sending confidential messages at any other email provider, and and a desktop app for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Talking about unfavorable features is Tutanota Mail’s slow and rather inefficient customer support. Also, the pricing option for businesses is a little too high that makes it expensive to run your business account through it. But for individuals who want a free, secure and private email provider, it is a boon.
If you’re concerned about the security of your online data and don’t want to go for paid option either, then ProtonMail is the service for you. It is a privacy-focused email service provider that is free for individual use, comes with an innovate inbox and utter ease-of-use.
What you’ll like about ProtonMail service is the end-to-end encryption feature that enables you to send secure emails even to the users of other email providers. You can also password-protect your emails for non-users. There’s also message expiration feature that deletes your email for the sender after a set period.
One thing I find rather discomforting is that the free version gives you very few features. In fact, even the premium versions have a limit on daily messages, though they’re quite efficient in their privacy features. However, if these limitations don’t bother you and your basic requirement is the privacy of your emails, then ProtonMail would work best.