11 Best Free Email Service Providers

Although it’s easy to sign up for a free email account, not all free email accounts make the best email service providers. Discover the top 11 web-based mail services and learn how to manage your inbox with Clean Email.

How Do I Keep My Email Accounts Organized?

Email organization is challenging regardless of how many email accounts you have. When you use your email address to subscribe to a handful of newsletters, you will soon find important messages buried in a huge, steaming pile of junk emails.

If you maintain an organized inbox, you can quickly find important emails, which will save you time and reduce your stress levels. It also enhances security by removing potential spam and keeping your inbox free of suspicious messages.

Although the options compiled in this list of free email providers all include some organization and security features, most of them are lacking and not suited for true mailbox management. Luckily, virtually all free email services are compatible with Clean Email. As we will explain later in this article, Clean Email makes it easy to remove, archive, move, label, and do other things with your emails to keep your inbox organized and clean.

Clean up your inbox with Clean EmailClean up your inbox with Clean Email

To use Clean Email, you simply sign in with your email service of choice and let Clean Email take care of the rest for you.

The 11 Best Email Providers Available For Free

Many email providers claim to be “free,” but this isn’t always the case. Some only offer free trials, while others gatekeep features behind paywalls. For the purposes of this comprehensive guide, we tested all of the included email service providers (and nearly a dozen others that didn’t make the cut) to find a list of possible solutions with truly free email accounts.

Based on this testing, the best free email accounts include:

1. Gmail

  • Mailbox size: 15 GB
  • Maximum attachment size: 25 MB

With over 1.2 billion users around the world, Gmail is by far the most popular email service in the world. It started in 2004 and quickly developed a dedicated following of avid users, most of whom appreciate its simplicity, strong spam and malware protection, and seamless integration with other Google services, including Google Drive, Google Docs, and Google Calendar.

Gmail the most popular email service in the world

Gmail offers several notable features for personal and professional email accounts, such as creating email templates and toggling between multiple signatures. It offers one of the most advanced search functions out of all the free email providers we tested, making it easy to find specific emails regardless of their age. Finally, Gmail is one of the best free email accounts, offering many keyboard shortcuts, meaning you can perform actions and navigate through menus without a mouse.

Although Gmail offers 15 GB of free storage, this space is shared with all of the other Google services you use. This means your photos and Google Docs eat into that total space, leaving less for your email. That being said, you can easily download photos and large attachments to your computer and remove the messages from your inbox.

👍🏼   Pros:
  • Seamless integration with Google services
  • Polished mobile apps
  • Rich text editing
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Supports multiple mailboxes
  • Ability to create and use email templates
👎🏼   Cons:
  • Email storage space is shared with other Google services
  • Spam filter is not always accurate

2. Outlook.com

  • Mailbox size: 15 GB
  • Maximum attachment size: 25 MB

Founded in 1996 as Hotmail, Outlook.com is Microsoft’s web-based suite of webmail, contacts, tasks, and calendaring services. Because of its wide array of features, many people compare Outlook vs. Gmail as the best email service for personal use.

Outlook is Microsoft’s web-based suite of webmail

One of the most unique features Outlook.com offers is its Focused Inbox. When you activate it, Outlook.com will use machine learning to analyze incoming email messages and rank them according to their importance. It will then show the most important email messages in the Focused tab and hide all less important emails under the Other tab. You can switch between the two tabs with a simple click.

Like Gmail, Outlook lets you create multiple email signatures and message templates and customize other inbox aspects. Unlike Gmail and many other email service providers on this list, Outlook supports quick Sweep rules that help you save time with your inbox. As a distinctive advantage over Gmail, Outlook.com does not share storage space with the OneDrive cloud service, meaning you are less likely to run out of storage quickly.

👍🏼   Pros:
  • Great integration with other Microsoft products
  • Uses machine learning to sort your emails
  • Apps for all popular platforms
  • Supports advanced automation rules
👎🏼   Cons:
  • Free version includes ads
  • Legitimate emails are sometimes marked as spam
  • Limited compatibility with other email services

3. Neo

  • Mailbox size: up to 50 GB
  • Maximum attachment size: 30 MB

Neo is one of the best email providers for entrepreneurs and small businesses seeking a professional email address. Even if you don’t have a domain, Neo will let you create a one-page website for free to establish brand credibility and use the domain for your email address. Neo's setup process is swift and effortless, and the platform is equipped with user-friendly tools that empower its users to expand and fortify their brand.

Neo is one of the best email providers

One feature we tested that proved to be especially beneficial was Smart Write, Neo’s new AI tool that helps you write a ready-to-send message in minutes. With this feature, you explain what you need, the tone you want to use, and your preferred message length. Then, Smart Write drafts an entire message with you, which you can edit or send immediately. Other features like schedule sending, email templates, read receipts, and follow-up reminders are all beneficial for busy freelancers, small business owners, and influencers.

Unfortunately, Neo no longer offers a free-for-life plan. Instead, you get a 15-day free trial before you must choose from one of two available paid plans. Also, some of the best features of Neo aren’t available in the lower-tier plan, meaning you’ll have to opt in for the more expensive plan to use everything Neo has to offer.

👍🏼   Pros:
  • A co.site domain name, a one-page website, and an email address are all included free of charge
  • Great AI email writing capabilities
  • It is possible to view several accounts simultaneously
  • Features designed specifically for small business success
  • Compatible with both mobile and desktop platforms
👎🏼   Cons:
  • No offline functionality
  • No free-for-life plan

4. Yahoo Mail

  • Mailbox size: 1 TB
  • Maximum attachment size: 25 MB

Launched in 1997, Yahoo Mail is one of the earliest top email services. The most recent version offers a web interface with a minimal look, support for keyboard shortcuts, and plenty of other features that make it a great free email service provider.

Yahoo Mail is one of the earliest top email services

However, what really helps Yahoo Mail stand out as a great free email account is its storage capabilities. All users receive 1 TB of storage space for free, significantly more than all other best free email services on this list offer. Yahoo can afford to give so much email storage space free of charge for two reasons. First, it knows that most users won't ever use even a fraction of it. Second, it displays marketing ads in the inbox to generate additional revenue.

We also love Yahoo’s customization options and settings. On both the desktop app and mobile version, you can change aspects of your inbox layout and color scheme. Also, thanks to its unique Views section, users can quickly locate messages with photos, documents, receipts, and more. It’s much like Clean Email’s Smart Folders feature, which sorts messages automatically based on what it spots.

👍🏼   Pros:
  • Lots of email storage space
  • Views let you find messages with specific attachments
  • Support for keyboard shortcuts
  • Customizable user interface
👎🏼   Cons:
  • Free version includes marketing ads
  • Multiple security incidents in the past
  • Spam filter leaves a lot to be desired

5. iCloud Mail

  • Mailbox size: 5 GB
  • Maximum attachment size: 20 MB

If you’re heavily invested in Apple’s vast ecosystem, you should consider signing up for iCloud Mail, a free email service from Apple. To use it, you must set up an @icloud.com email address, which you can do on an iOS device or Mac computer by going to iCloud and selecting the Mail option. Once you sign up, though, it seamlessly integrates with macOS and iOS devices. This makes it easy to check your emails from your computer, iPad, or iPhone without losing data between devices.

iCloud Mail a free email service from Apple

In addition to its wonderful integration with the Apple ecosystem, iCloud Mail is also one of the best free email service options in terms of customer support. Unlike most of the other free email providers we tested, iCloud offers phone and chat support anytime. You can also use the Apple Support app to troubleshoot issues with iCloud Mail, giving you instant access to customer support.

Besides these benefits, iCloud Mail only offers the same basic features as most other options on this list. You do have access to one-click Unsubscribing, an advanced search function, and 5GB of free storage. However, given it isn’t compatible with non-Apple devices and doesn’t offer a lot in terms of inbox organization, this may not be the best email service for everyone.

👍🏼   Pros:
  • Fantastic integration with Apple devices
  • Good value
  • Customer support provided via live chat
  • Easy to use
👎🏼   Cons:
  • Not suitable for users who are not invested in Apple’s ecosystem
  • Limited email organization features

6. Proton Mail

  • Mailbox size: 1 GB
  • Maximum attachment size: 25 MB

We live in the day and age of government and corporate surveillance and big data analytics. If you’re tired of being part of the system and allowing technocrats to exploit your personal information to make a profit, we recommend you sign up for a free Proton Mail account.

Proton Mail is a privacy- and security-conscious email service that uses client-side encryption to protect email contents and user data before they are sent. Unlike most free email providers we tested, Proton Mail blocks tracking pixels and hides IP addresses, meaning no emails you read or send will give away personal information to advertisers or other parties. You can also add password protection to your emails, a feature no other free email accounts for business or personal use offer.

Proton Mail is a privacy and security-conscious email service

Unlike many other encrypted email services, Proton Mail is surprisingly easy to use and optimized for productivity. You don’t just get a free email account, you get a tool made for inbox organization with labels, folders, and filters. Proton Mail’s search function is also handy since it searches all of the contents of your email, not just the subject line and sender address.

Unfortunately, we found that Proton’s email service doesn’t integrate with third-party email clients (IMAP/SMTP) due to its unique design, which prioritizes security over interoperability. That being said, you can use Proton Mail’s integration tools to transfer data from another email account to your new Proton Mail account.

👍🏼   Pros:
  • Free privacy-oriented email service
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Advanced security features for messages you send
  • Ability to label, sort, and filter messages
👎🏼   Cons:
  • Doesn’t integrate with third-party email services

Check out our detailed comparison of Gmail vs. Proton Mail.

7. Zoho Mail

  • Mailbox size: 5 GB
  • Maximum attachment size: 25 MB

Zoho Mail is a professional email service member of Zoho’s cloud-based office suite. Unlike Gmail and Yahoo, Zoho Mail makes it easy to get a custom domain email address, making it a top free email account for business-level users.

Zoho Mail is a professional email service

Zoho Mail stands out from other free email accounts thanks to its focus on security. The email platform offers features such as encryption, two-factor authentication, anti-spam filters, and antivirus protection to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of mail communications. This, along with generous storage limits (5GB per user with the free plan), are smart decisions for owners looking for the best free email provider for their small business.

In addition to business-ready email, a Zoho account allows you to organize your calendar appointments, take notes, create tasks, and manage your contacts from one place. Thanks to the Zoho Mail app for Android and iOS, you can enjoy everything Zoho Mail offers on the go. All in all, Zoho Mail is an excellent alternative to more popular free email service providers, one that fully meets the needs of business owners and entrepreneurs.

👍🏼   Pros:
  • Integrates with Zoho’s cloud-based office suite
  • Great security and encryption features
  • Comprehensive email organization options
👎🏼   Cons:
  • Not the largest amount of storage space with the free plan

Check out our comparison of Zoho Mail vs. Gmail to see which is better to use.

8. AOL Mail

  • Mailbox size: 1 TB
  • Maximum attachment size: 25 MB

AOL Mail is one of the earliest and most well-known free email accounts. Although AOL Mail’s widespread popularity has decreased in recent years, it’s still a great base-level free email account for users of any type.

AOL Mail is one of the earliest and most well-known free email accounts

AOL provides essential email features such as inbox organization, spam filtering, and the ability to create automated rules and filters. While it may not have as many advanced features as some other email providers, it covers the basic requirements for communication and inbox management.

That being said, AOL Mail is the best free email service in terms of storage. Unlike other emails to use with storage limits in gigabytes, AOL offers 1TB of storage for all base-level users. This makes AOL a great option for long-term message storage, combining multiple inboxes, or organizing items with attachments.

👍🏼   Pros:
  • Impressive built-in storage limits (1TB)
  • Spam filtering and other security features
  • Easy-to-navigate inbox and tools
👎🏼   Cons:
  • No advanced features
  • No AI tools

9. Mail.com

  • Mailbox size: 65 GB
  • Maximum attachment size: 30 MB

Mail.com is known as one of the best free email options for users who want something basic. It doesn’t offer a lot in terms of spam filtering or advanced organization, but it does make it easy to send and receive emails without paying for features or your own domain.

Mail.com is known as one of the best free email options

The largest advantage of Mail.com over other free emails is its massive 30MB attachment size limits. Most other free mail providers we researched cap attachments at 20 or 25MB. Although the additional 5MB may not seem like a lot, it can make a huge difference when dealing with documents or zipped files.

Beyond its impressive attachment size limits, Mail.com offers many of the same features as its competitors. It has an integrated calendar, cloud storage, and filtering capabilities, to name a few. That being said, it doesn’t offer much in the way of unique or added tools — just the basic email functionality you’d expect from a free email address.

👍🏼   Pros:
  • Impressive attachment limits (30MB)
  • Basic email interface
👎🏼   Cons:
  • Lackluster spam filtering
  • Lots of ads and security issues

10. Tuta

  • Mailbox size: 1 GB
  • Maximum attachment size: 25 MB

For better or worse, most free email account providers recoup the expenses of their free inboxes by running ads on the website in some form or fashion. However, that’s where Tuta stands out from every other best free email account on this list.

Tuta stands out from every other best free email account

When you create a free email account with Tuta, you are guaranteed an ad-free, highly secure experience. At Tuta, security and privacy aren’t add-ons or afterthoughts — they are included upfront with no catches. The provider offers end-to-end (E2E) encryption on your inbox, calendar, and contracts, something that most other email providers’ free versions don’t do.

Tuta’s encryption isn’t just basic either: the platform utilizes symmetric and asymmetric encryption types to deliver one of the safest options for a free email account you’ll ever find. Your data can only be collected with your consent, and its advanced security features effectively neutralize all tracking attempts within messages you receive.

Tuta has also taken a firm stance against adding any AI integrations into its email, primarily for security reasons. Although this means those who have jumped on the AI bandwagon may not be thrilled, it does provide additional peace of mind for those who worry about AI offering a backdoor into invading your privacy.

👍🏼   Pros:
  • Impressive security
  • Highly advanced encryption for inbox, calendar, and contacts
  • Easy-to-navigate inbox and tools
👎🏼   Cons:
  • No AI tools

11. Mailfence

  • Mailbox size: 500 MB
  • Maximum attachment size: 25 MB

If you work in a field where ensuring communication integrity is paramount, then you should consider Mailfence. It’s one of the best free email options in terms of security, thanks to its end-to-end encryption with no tracking and no ads.

Mailfence is one of the best free email options in terms of security

Although many of the aforementioned security features come with other options on this list, what doesn’t is Mailfence’s exclusive digital signatures. This feature allows users to digitally sign their emails as a means of adding a layer of security and identity confirmation. With this feature, you can ensure that no one is sending emails from your address, and your recipients can trust what they receive from you.

Beyond that, Mailfence offers many notable features like Gmail and other top email service providers. This includes a calendar, cloud document storage, and contact lists. That being said, Mailfence’s free plan is one of the most limited options on this list in terms of mailbox and storage size. With the free plan, you only get 500 MB for your emails and an added 500 MB for document storage, totaling just 1GB across the board. That being said, if security is important, Mailfence is a great option.

👍🏼   Pros:
  • Impressive security
  • Digital signatures for added security
👎🏼   Cons:
  • Limited storage
  • Many features are comparable to other free accounts

How to Select the Best Email Provider

When selecting the best email provider, several factors must be considered to ensure it meets your needs. Here are some recommendations on what to look for when selecting a new email provider:

1. Security and Privacy

Look for email service providers that prioritize the security and privacy of your emails. Check for features like end-to-end encryption and two-factor authentication.

2. Storage Space

Consider the amount of storage space offered by the email provider. Choose one that provides enough space for your current needs and potential future growth.

3. Ease of Use

User interface and ease of use are crucial. Choose an email service that has an intuitive interface and is easy to navigate.

4. Compatibility

Ensure that the email provider is compatible with the devices and email clients you use. Check if it supports IMAP and POP3 protocols.

5. Spam and Phishing Protection

A good email provider should have robust spam and phishing protection to keep unwanted emails out of your inbox.

6. Integration with Other Services

Consider whether the email service integrates well with other services and applications you use, such as calendars, file storage, and productivity tools.

7. Reliability and Uptime

Check the provider's track record for reliability and uptime. You want an email service that is consistently available and reliable.

8. Customer Support

Look for email providers that offer responsive customer support. This can be crucial in case you encounter any issues with your account.

9. Backup and Recovery Options

Ensure that the email provider has robust backup and recovery options in case you accidentally delete important emails or need to recover your account.

10. Customization and Filters

Check if the email service allows you to customize settings and create filters for organizing your inbox more effectively.

11. Terms of Service and Policies

Review the terms of service and privacy policies of the email provider to understand how your data will be handled.

These factors will help you choose an email provider that aligns with your preferences and requirements.

Take Your Free Email Service Further With Clean Email

Although the free email service providers on this list offer great basic features, most of them are lacking in the advanced tools you need to thoroughly organize and automate your inbox. Luckily, Clean Email is the perfect tool to use alongside your webmail provider and is readily available through the web, iOS, Android, and Mac.

Clean Email differentiates itself from traditional free email providers with advanced, user-friendly filters for sorting emails by criteria like unread status or age, and a unique feature that groups emails, such as by sender, for more effective email management.

With the app, you can utilize a number of advanced inbox organization tools that can save you hours of time each week when checking email. Some of Clean Email’s most notable features include:

Auto Clean feature with Clean EmailAuto Clean feature with Clean Email
Stop spam emails with Screener feature in Clean EmailStop spam emails with Screener feature in Clean Email
Smart Folders feature in Clean EmailSmart Folders feature in Clean Email
Unsubscribe from emails with Clean EmailUnsubscribe from emails with Clean Email

These are just some of the dozens of handy tricks Clean Email provides. Also, since the app works with all IMAP email services, you can utilize it with all of these recommended email providers anytime.

Note: Clean Email can be used as your email client for replying to messages. When you send, forward, or reply through Clean Email, it uses your selected email account to send the outgoing message, while respecting the limitations of your email provider. However, the app currently does not support sending attachments with outgoing emails.

Final Thoughts

Selecting the best free email service provider requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure that it aligns with your preferences and needs. Although there’s no “one-size-fits-all” email provider out there, nearly everyone can find an option that works for their needs from the available choices on this list.

Also, when you find that your free email service lacks advanced tools for efficient inbox management, you can always add Clean Email.

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