Almost everyone on the web uses a free email service provider. It’s nearly impossible to use the internet without one. Whether you are just casually blogging, doing some online shopping, or even conducting business online; having the right email provider is a necessity. Many have come and gone over the years, but the main ones such as Gmail and Yahoo are still around. The most popular email service providers are constantly updating their platforms in order to retain their user base.
When choosing an email service provider, it’s important to know which features you are important to you. You may need a large storage capacity. Maybe you’d like a complete package with a single login for your calendar, contacts, and email. What about a domain that allows your emails to look professional? Or maybe the look and feel of the user interface is the most important feature for you. This guide includes 8 of the best free email service providers to help you make the decision.
Undoubtedly the most popular option out there, Gmail has been around since 2004. Created by none other than Google themselves, Gmail has been the leading free email service provider for the past 12 years. 2016 marked a milestone for Gmail, as it was the most widely used web-based email service with over 1 Billion users worldwide.
Free Gmail accounts feature 15gb of storage, which should be plenty for 99% of it’s users. For those that need additional storage space, paid plans that provide up to 30tb of storage space are available.
Perhaps the most convenient feature of Gmail is that your login information can be used for all of the other services and products offered by Google. Other features include:
- A clean and fast user interface.
- Integration with other Google apps such as Google Drive and Google Docs.
- Free app for all major mobile and tablet platforms.
Most commonly confused with Microsoft’s desktop email and personal information management software, Outlook.com is a free web-based email service that is offered free of charge. Outlook.com has evolved many times in it’s 20 year lifespan. It started it’s life as the well known MSN Hotmail service until it was acquired by Microsoft in 1997. It was then rebranded as Windows Live, until finally evolving into the Outlook.com email service that we know today.
The user interface is perhaps the cleanest out there, and the platform does not scan your emails or attachments in order to place advertisements. The user interface closely resembles Microsoft’s signature “Metro” style theme.
Outlook.com features virtually unlimited storage space, and is well integrated with Microsoft Office online. You can easily create and edit Office documents directly in your web browser. Integration with Microsoft’s OneDrive allows 5gb of cloud storage space (1tb for paid Office 365 Subscribers).
3.) AOL Mail
Dating all the way back to 1993, AOL Mail is still one of the most popular free email providers. It has gone through many changes over the past 23 years, and is directed towards the casual internet user. Perhaps the most unique feature of AOL Mail is the ability to choose from multiple domains such as:
- @ygm.com (you’ve got mail)
Inbox storage space is unlimited, though attachment size is capped at 25mb. Spam and virus protection work great, and the security settings are ample for the casual user. It is important to note that accounts are deactivated after 90 consecutive days of inactivity.
4.) Yahoo Mail
Yahoo Mail is one of the most well known free email service providers out there. It’s been around since 1997 and boasts over 281 million users worldwide as of 2012. Much like AOL Mail, Yahoo Mail is more suitable for the casual internet user. The interface is not the greatest, and has not been updated for some years now.
While storage space for the free email plan is 1tb, which will surely be enough for almost anyone. Email attachments are limited to 25mb, though there is a built in app that can raise that to 100mb. Spam and virus protection are both ample, and it is possible to create up to 100 custom filters for incoming messages.
Yahoo Mail accounts are automatically deleted after 1 year of inactivity, and it is impossible to retrieve the account or it’s contents after expiration occurs. In addition, advertisements are displayed in the user interface, and since early 2011 Yahoo has been placing text ads at the footer of outgoing messages.
iCloud is a unique offering from Apple. It is largely targeted towards iPhone, iPad, and Mac users. It is a free email service that is provided as part of an Apple ID. While it is targeted for users of their products, Apple does allow users to login to their iCloud mailbox via any web browser.
Apple iCloud is an extremely simple and feature lite email provider, but can provides enough useful tools to make it suitable for millions worldwide.
IMAP connectivity is possible, but POP is not supported. The storage limit is on the lower end of the spectrum at 5gb, and “push-notifications” can be enabled on Apple devices.
6.) Zoho Mail
Zoho Mail is a part of one of the most popular CRM offerings on the market. It is a free email service provider with a clean and simple interface. IMAP and POP Integration are available, and an app is available on iTunes and the Google Play store.
The most powerful feature of Zoho Mail is it’s integration with the parent CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) software. It is well suited for business use due to the vast amount of apps available such as accounting, contact management, procurement, invoicing, sales, and more.
Yandex is relatively unknown to most Americans, but it is a powerful free email service provider that is run by the largest internet search engine in Russia.
Yandex mail provides a proprietary spam filter that works extremely well. It is well suited for most internet users. Access via SSL is possible for security.
IMAP and POP are supported by Yandex Mail, in addition to a free mobile app.
Inbox.com is a free email provider that boasts a simple interface, and 5gb of storage space. Free online photo sharing is available in addition to calendars, tasks, and notes.
The most unique feature of Inbox.com is the ability to customize the user interface. A drag and drop editor allows the homepage to be modified, and color customization is also possible.
POP and SMTP are supported, but IMAP is not. RSS feeds are also available to allow users to view their favorite news, history, comics, and other content.
These 8 free email service providers are just a few of the countless choices out there. Of these 8, Gmail and Outlook.com are the most popular. Their features, user interfaces, security, and domain reputation provide an excellent email service.