5 Best Free Email Service Providers

You aren’t still using your old AOL email address, are you? Regardless of what your current email situation is, it’s always a good time to switch to a better email service provider. In this article, we introduce and compare 5 popular free email service providers to help you decide what is the best email service currently available.

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How Do I Keep Multiple Email Accounts Organized?

Before we get to the meat of this article, we would first like to talk about email organization. You see, when you register a few new email addresses and use them to subscribe for a handful of newsletters, it doesn’t take much time at all before you find yourself staring at a huge, steaming pile of junk emails mixed with a few important messages buried somewhere deep below the stinky stuff.

After comparing a number of inbox cleaning methods and solutions, we’ve found Clean Email to be, by far, the easiest and most effective way how to maintain clean inbox. Clean Email automatically organizes all your emails into easy to review bundles by analyzing email headers that contain subject line, sender and recipient information, dates, email size, and similar metadata. You can then easily remove, archive, move, label, and do other things with your emails to keep your inbox organized and clean.

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.

Gmail

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.

A Gmail account is a must-have for all Android users who wish to download apps from Google Play Store, a digital distribution service operated and developed by Google that serves as the official app store for the Android operating system. One negative consequence of the global demand for Gmail accounts fueled by Android’s growing adoption is the fact that all the best email accounts are already taken. If your last name is Smith, good luck trying to register a nice-looking email address with Gmail.

Even though Gmail is one of the most user-friendly email services, it has a lot to offer to more experienced users as well. Its keyboard shortcuts allow you to keep your hands on the keyboard when composing and managing email messages, and its advanced search with support for many of the same search operators you may already be familiar with from Google Search makes it easy to find specific emails regardless of their age.

Pros: Seamless integration with other Google services, polished mobile apps, plenty of email storage space, great uptime, rich text editing, keyboard shortcuts, excellent spam protection.

Cons: All nice-looking email addresses are already taken, email storage space is shared with other Google services.

Outlook.com

Founded in 1996 as Hotmail, Outlook.com is Microsoft’s web-based suite of webmail, contacts, tasks, and calendaring services and arguably Gmail’s biggest competition in the West. Today, Outlook.com has over 400 million users, some of which use it to get the most out of Xbox, Windows, Skype, and other Microsoft Products.

Unlike Gmail and several other best free email services, Outlook.com doesn’t scan the content of users’ emails for advertising purposes. “For example, if you're emailing back-and-forth with a family member about a trip to go hiking, Gmail will simultaneously surface text ads for things like Rocky Mountain vacations, hiking boots, and protein bars,” explains Jason Hiner for TechRepublic. The fact that Outlook.com doesn’t do this alone is a good enough reason to give it a try and see what it has to offer.

The most marketed feature of Outlook.com is called 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 email messages under the Other tab. You can switch between the two tabs with a simple click.

Pros: Great integration with other Microsoft products, apps for all popular platforms, easy to use, uses machine learning to sort your email messages.

Cons: Legitimate emails are sometimes marked as spam.

ProtonMail

We live in the day and age of government and corporate surveillance and big data analytics. Everything you type, like, or search for, is collected, analyzed, and sold to the highest bidder by corporations who care about their shareholders first and ethics second. 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 ProtonMail account.

Launched in 2014 at the CERN research facility by Andy Yen, Jason Stockman and Wei Sun, ProtonMail is a privacy- and security- conscientious email service that uses client-side encryption to protect email contents and user data before they are sent. ProtonMail is based and incorporated in Switzerland, a country with strong privacy laws, and its code is open source and publicly available. Unlike many other encrypted email services, ProtonMail is surprisingly easy to use and optimized for productivity. Even if you don’t speak the language of technology, you’ll be able to use ProtonMail and reclaim your personal information.

ProtonMail offers a highly rated app for Android and iOS. The app has been designed from the ground up to provide maximum privacy and security when reading, composing, and managing email messages on the go. It’s also the only way how to comfortably access ProtonMail apart from ProtonMail’s web app. That’s because this email service doesn’t integrate with third-party email clients (IMAP/SMTP) due to its unique design, which prioritizes security over interoperability.

Pros: Free privacy-oriented email service, open source, passed multiple independent security audits, end-to-end encryption.

Cons: Limited mailbox size with the free plan, poor customer support, doesn’t integrate with third-party email services.

iCloud Mail

If you’re heavily invested in Apple’s vast ecosystem and/or own Apple devices, 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 either on an iOS device or Mac computer by going to iCloud and selecting the Mail option.

The best thing about iCloud Mail is how seamlessly it’s integrated with both macOS and iOS. Just like with virtually all Apple products and services, everything just works. Does it rival some of the other best email services described in this article in terms of features? No, but the target audience of iCloud Mail most likely won’t care because iCloud is intended to be a personal email service—not a professional one.

iCloud Mail users get 5 GB of email storage for free, and they can upgrade to a larger storage plan at any time and for reasonable prices. 50 GB of additional storage space costs just $0.99 a month, 200 GB cost $2.99 a month, and 2 TB cost $9.99. The 200 GB and 2 TB plans can be shared among family members, making the deal even sweeter.

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 features.

GMX Mail

GMX (Global Mail eXchange) is a free email service provided by GMX in four languages: German (the primary language of the service), English, Spanish, and French. GMX stands above all other email services on this list with its surprisingly large maximum attachment limit of 50 MB. “We give you the opportunity to send large files: up to 50 MB! It is much more than other email providers can offer you. With 50 MB attachments you have the possibility to email large files like documents, lots of photos, and videos!” writes GMX on its website.

Besides the ability to send large attachments, GMX also offers unlimited storage space, allowing you to keep your emails in one place without worrying about running out of space. Still, we recommend you keep your mailbox organized with Clean Email, the best inbox cleanup solution on the market.

There are actually two versions of GMX Mail: one available to German users and one available to international users. For some reason, the international version doesn’t support two-factor authentication. In the era of large-scale security breaches, not supporting two-factor authentication in addition to password protection seems unjustifiable, and we don’t understand why GMX Mail wouldn’t enable its international users to secure their accounts better.

Pros: Supports large file attachments, unlimited email storage space, mobile apps, based in Germany.

Cons: The international version of GMX Mail doesn’t support two-factor authentication, the free version doesn’t support POP and IMAP access.

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Clean Email is built to work from any device and for all email clients, with additional functionalities and support added on a regular basis as new services emerge and new devices become available. One Clean Email subscription covers your mailbox across ALL your devices!

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