Choosing a Gmail Alternative: Top 9 Email Services

Gmail seems like an easy way out — need an email account? Create it with Google! And why wouldn’t you, especially if you are using Google as a search engine. Gmail is ever-present in the top right corner. But there are so many Gmail alternatives that are equally as good or even better than Google’s email service.

If you’re concerned with Google’s attitude towards the privacy of data or you just don’t want to go with the mainstream options, in this article, you’ll find information about different Gmail alternatives to help guide you through the vast number of options.

What to Consider When Choosing an Email Service Provider

The convenience of the user interface

While you might be drawn to a more sleek and good looking design, the UI should also be convenient for you to use. Consider the layout and possibilities to change it, color schemes that don’t irritate your vision, and other elements of design that can enhance your experience with the interface.

Availability of features

If the service you are considering has a paid and free version, compare the different plans to see if feature availability and storage capacity differs. The free version might be too limited for your needs.

Internet protocol support

IMAP allows you to view emails on any device as it stores all data on its servers. POP, on the other hand, downloads emails onto the device you’re using at the moment of reading emails. This makes email available offline, but only on the device it was downloaded to. This distinction might be crucial if the service you choose doesn’t support either.

Privacy policy compliance

Please note that Gmail also states that it complies with the GDPR policy and values privacy, however, its track record isn’t the brightest. Take time to research the service you’re interested in more details and not just what is written on the website.

Custom domain availability

In most services it is available, the feature costs an extra fee per account or is included in a paid plan.

Open-source application

Otherwise, if the community is small and the service isn’t commercially supported, you might run into issues that won’t be quick to resolve.

A Comprehensive List of the Top Email Services

Tutanota

Based in: Germany

Storage capacity: starting at 1 GB

Price: starting at 12€ for private use and 48€ for teams.

Features

  • Support of all devices — works with all platforms (web, Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux).
  • Contact manager — encrypted contacts.
  • Calendar — encrypted calendar events.

Pros

  • It’s highly secure. Tutanota uses the TOTP (Time-Based One-Time Password) algorithm and U2F (Universal 2nd Factor) for second-factor authentication.
  • Its servers are in Europe. This means that the service provider is legally obligated to comply with the GDPR policy.
  • It’s ad-free. The service is paid and doesn’t analyze user data, and therefore it’s ad-free.

Cons

  • Doesn’t use OpenPGP or standard email protocols (POP, IMAP, SMTP). This means that the service does not support other email providers or third party apps; for example, email clients.

Posteo

Based in: Germany

Storage capacity: 2 GB to 20 GB

Price: 1€ per month for email, 0.25€ per every additional GB

Features

  • Support of all devices — Can be used with any mobile or stationary device, and most email clients (e.g., Mailbird, Thunderbird, Outlook).
  • Spam and virus filters — built-in filters to protect your inbox from unnecessary and potentially dangerous messages.
  • Country codes — You can have the .net ending on your email address as well as .de, .co.uk, and other country codes.
  • Contact manager — encrypted address book.
  • Calendar — encrypted calendar events.

Pros

  • It offers email migration. You can migrate up to three email accounts from other services.
  • As well as contacts migration. You can migrate your contacts from select email services. This includes Microsoft email services, iCloud, AOL, and GMX.
  • Its servers are in Europe. This means the service provider is legally obligated to comply with the GDPR policy.
  • Can be used anonymously. You can opt out from giving your personal information during registration and payment (anonymized payment system).

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a spam folder. Any email deemed suspicious or viral by the filters will be rejected.

StartMail

Based in: The Netherlands

Storage capacity: 10 GB

Price: starting at $29.99 (USD) per year

Features

  • Unlimited aliases — can be used as temporary disposable email addresses.
  • Access from any device — can be used on all mobile and desktop devices.

Pros

  • Highly secure. StartMail uses PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) encryption as well as server-side encryption to protect your email communication.
  • Based in Europe. StartMail complies with the GDPR policy as all Europe based companies are obligated to.
  • The service accepts cryptocurrency. You can pay for email services with any currency.

Cons

  • It doesn’t have a mobile app. This could be troublesome if you check emails on the go, though the interface can be accessed with a mobile browser.

Runbox

Based in: Norway

Storage capacity: 2 GB to 50 GB or email storage; 200 MB to 5 GB of file storage.

Price: starting at $19.95 per year

Features

  • Access from any device. You can access your account on any mobile or desktop device.

Pros

  • Supports all email accounts. You can use your Runbox account to send messages from other non-Runbox accounts. It also supports different email clients, including Mailbird, Thunderbird, Outlook, and Apple Mail.
  • Supports different payment methods. You can pay with cryptocurrency and even send anonymous payments.
  • It is GDPR compliant. Since the company is based in Norway, it is bound by the data protection policy.
  • 60-day money-back guarantee. Although it has a free trial, Runbox also offers to pay back if you are not convinced their services are for you.

Cons

Mailfence

Based in: Belgium

Storage capacity: 5 GB to 50 GB in paid versions

Price: free or starting at 2.50€ per month

Features

  • Digital signatures — to prove an email was sent by you.
  • Keystore — for managing OpenPGP keys.
  • Expiry date — for sending time-limited emails.

Pros

  • Supports email migration. Mailfence allows you to migrate messages to a custom domain.
  • Spam and virus protection. Mailfence has algorithms for filtering spam messages and can protect anything that is transferred by email from viruses (anti-virus algorithms don’t extend to the information stored on your device).
  • Supports different payment methods. You can pay for services with the standard card and wire transfer methods, and also using cryptocurrency.

Cons

Zoho Mail

Based in: India

Storage capacity: from 5 GB and up to 1 TB

Price: free limited or starting at 0.9€per month.

Features

  • Admin panel — for managing your business domain.
  • eDiscovery — for email retention following legal protocols.
  • Support of different devices — web, iOS, and Android applications.
  • Scrub — for bulk deleting or archiving.

Pros

  • Integration with Zoho apps. You can use the email service in conjunction with Zoho CRM and other apps for scheduling, note-taking, Zoho Docs, etc.
  • Ad-free service. All email plans are free of advertising materials.

Cons

iCloud Mail

Based in: US

Storage capacity: starting at 5 GB

Price: starting at $0.99 for additional storage

Features

  • Two-factor authentication — for added security.
  • Apple sync — for seamless Apple experience.

Pros

  • Ad-free. Your email experience won’t be interrupted by advertising pop-ups.
  • Reliable performance. iCloud Mail has a standard feature set, however, it’s made for steady operation. It’s also well protected from spam and viruses.

Cons

  • Doesn’t support POP3. It only works with the IMAP protocol, meaning you can view emails on any device, but also would need to set up offline access separately.

Yahoo Mail

Based in: US

Storage capacity: up to 1 TB

Price: free or up to $3.19 per month for business use

Features

  • Stationary — for email personalization.
  • Tabs — for easy browsing experience within Yahoo.

Pros

  • Supports all standard protocols. You can use either IMAP or POP to receive emails and therefore use Yahoo with other email services and email clients.
  • Huge storage space. Yahoo is also one of the few email services that offer up to a Terabyte of storage.

Cons

  • Not add-free. You will be bombarded with advertising materials. This also suggests that Yahoo monitors your email communication to customize ads.

AOL Mail

Based in: US

Storage capacity: up to 1 TB

Price: starting at $9.99 per month

Features

  • Reputation monitoring — for tracking your contact details online and alerting you if any mentions were found.
  • Multilingual support — 54 languages, arguably the most translated email service.
  • AOL instant chat — for communication with other AOL users.

Pros

  • Huge storage space. Most services offer up to 50 GB of storage, whereas AOL offers 20 times more than that.
  • Support of all devices. Aside from the web version, AOL also has mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.
  • Adjustable spam filter. You can choose how strictly you want to filter incoming emails.

Cons

  • Not an ad-free email service. Ad-free email use requires a Desktop Gold subscription plan.

Comparison Table of Top 9 Gmail Alternatives

Conclusion

Once you choose the most suitable Gmail alternative for you, check out Mailbird — a desktop email client that improves your inbox experience with advanced native features and popular app integrations. It’s also designed for managing multiple email accounts in one place. You can register with different services depending on the purpose and manage them all in one app instead of opening too many browser tabs or juggling a few apps.

The best Windows app to manage multiple email accounts