Even with the rise of office chat platforms, the importance of email cannot yet be diminished. But unfortunately, not every email service is completely free. And even the free ones might not be the easiest to use or may lack features.
Emails serve as the only online communication that can be considered official and valid. People need it for job recruitment, networking, sending reminders, and downloading files. To effectively send emails, you must sign up with an email service provider, most of which are free.
Free email accounts are usually taken for granted, and email service providers are a dime a dozen. But before you register with a provider, it’s important to know which ones are worth your time because some can potentially put you and your device at risk.
When you’re choosing a free email service provider, look out for a few key features to determine their authority.
Email providers offer services that differ in:
- How much storage they offer
- How many customization features they have
- How tight their security features are
- How integrated they are with other apps
Most email service providers offer users the ability to send and receive emails, along with other complementary features, such as encryption, cloud storage, importing and exporting contacts, etc.
With that in mind, it can be challenging to find a free email service provider that offers you the best mix of security, customization, ease of use, and the right features you need for smooth correspondence.
Therefore, we’ve put together a list of the 13 best free email service providers to make your job easier.
Table of Contents
- 1. Gmail
- 2. Outlook
- 3. Yahoo! Mail
- 4. AOL Mail
- 5. Yandex Mail
- 6. ProtonMail
- 7. Zoho Mail
- 8. GMX
- 9. Lycos
- 10. Tutanota
- 11. iCloud Mail
- 12. 10 Minute Mail
Gmail is probably the most ubiquitous emailing service, and it’s the go-to provider for most users.
It’s tuned to provide a modern feel, boasts a smart user interface, and is integrated and synced with all other Google services, such as Hangouts and YouTube.
It allows users to schedule emails that they want to send later, send expiring emails, snooze emails, and even attach a code to emails that will enable only specific people to open them.
Gmail is primed for ease of use, allowing offline access for mails, undo sending, and setting up vacation responses if you’re planning on taking a break.
Furthermore, it syncs with your Google Drive, letting you share files directly, and you can also send and request money through Google Pay.
Space is also not an issue since it allows you to store your messages in a 15 GB vault, which is more than enough for the regular user.
You can even customize the appearance of your inbox, applying different themes to switch things up, add in new filters and labels, import emails from other email accounts, and even install add-ons for greater functionality.
We rate it highly for its 15 GB storage vault, its integration with other services like Google Pay and Drive, and its strong spam filters. However, we also feel that the layout could be better, as the files can be hard to navigate through at times.
- Integration with Google Pay and other Google services
- 15GB storage vault
- Strong spam filters
- Files can be hard to navigate
Outlook.com clocks in as the second most popular free email service after Gmail as the Microsoft brand name adds a certain level of authority to it.
The interface is smooth, easy to navigate, and pretty similar to other Microsoft services. Some users would even rate it at the same level as Gmail in terms of popularity and ease of use.
It is also the successor, or the evolution of arguably the most recognizable email service in internet history, Hotmail. Therefore, Outlook has inherited a massive chunk of its users.
Moreover, since it’s a Microsoft service, it is integrated with other Microsoft services like Skype and Outlook Calendar.
So, if you have an Outlook account, you can log in directly to Skype without signing up separately. The transition is clean and easy to grasp, with all the options and features pretty much self-explanatory.
Outlook also supports many email rules, granting you the luxury to categorize emails, move them to specific folders, flag them, or forward them under different circumstances. It also allows you to install add-ons like PayPal and DocuSign.
Lastly, your email address ends in either Outlook.com or Hotmail.com, depending on what you choose. You can even use multiple aliases to hide your actual email address.
Our only gripe with this service is that it takes comparatively longer to load.
- Has a large user base
- Easy to navigate interface
- Supports add-ons like PayPal
- It takes a long time to load
3. Yahoo! Mail
Yahoo! Mail is another popular free email service, with the Yahoo! stamp of approval. Although it has fewer users than Gmail or Outlook, it’s still quite popular with its long-running user base.
The interface is slightly similar to Gmail, with the Compose Email window sharing the same aesthetic.
A handy feature that sets it apart from other services is that you can easily switch between inline image attachments and file attachments. It also allows users to seamlessly attach files within an email or separately.
The most noteworthy feature of Yahoo! Mail is that every new user gets a staggering 1 TB free storage allocation.
It’s also the most suitable service if you want to make aliases or alternate identities. Users have the luxury of creating up to 500 disposable addresses associated with their main email address without linking back to the original address or its personal data.
If you wish to avoid spam or tend to make new accounts for different reasons, such as signing up for forums, these alternate addresses can prove to be quite convenient.
And if you no longer need the alternate account, you can delete it and switch back to your main account with the utmost ease.
Also, Yahoo! Mail lets you attach GIFs directly to your emails through its built-in GIF library. Adding to its numerous additional customization features, users can change the background and color schemes, as well as add a built-in news reader and notepad.
When it comes to integration, Yahoo! Mail takes the cake, letting users:
- Import contacts from their computer and other sites like Facebook or Outlook
- Link files from Google Drive or Dropbox
- Connect to external accounts like Gmail
Also, it features an online calendar that users can easily access. And each email addresses end with @yahoo.com, which can prove to be a limitation with multiple aliases.
Additionally, Yahoo! Mail does not feature as many email rules and filters for emails when compared to other services like Outlook.
- Allows many customization features
- Features a built-in GIF library
- Integrates with external apps
- It does not include strong email rules and filters
4. AOL Mail
AOL Mail is another popular email service that is ranked quite highly by committed users. It is integrated with AOL.com, and you can also access the latest news stories from the site’s home page.
Some users prefer this integrated feel, while some feel it clutters up their page and serves as an unnecessary distraction.
AOL mail allows you to filter your messages based on read status and flagged status. It also features a few unique settings native to AOL, like tweaking the spam filter sensitivity, controlling who can send you mail and blocking out emails that contain particular marked words.
Also, this email service can be configured to sync with your phone and notify you when you receive an email, based on the settings you apply. You can also access a to-do list and utilize the calendar to mark events concerning your emails.
If you wish to freshen the interface, AOL allows you to change the background, with many themes to choose from.
Additionally, you can apply a spell-check on your emails before sending them as well. You can also read the IMAP and POP server settings when using this service for offline clients.
Many people confuse AOL Mail with AOL Instant Messenger, which has now been discontinued. The AOL Mail is an exclusively email-based service, while AIM was an instant messaging service.
- Email service can sync with your phone
- Allows customizability
- Includes a spell-check
- It can be hard to navigate
5. Yandex Mail
If you’re looking for free email services outside the US, Yandex is a great service based out of Russia.
Don’t be thrown off by the name or the fact that it’s not well-known in the English-speaking world; Yandex features an incredibly easy interface with a simple layout that is seamless to navigate.
At the same time, it is equipped with all the necessary tools, such as email filters, hotkeys, and easy importing and exporting of contacts.
It is integrated with the Yandex search engine and the Yandex calendar, letting you log in to these services with just one click. You can also sign up with an existing Facebook, Gmail, or Twitter account.
Besides that, it comes with a whopping 10 GB of cloud storage and automatically sorts emails based on categories and the filters you apply.
Also, because of its Russian roots, it comes with a built-in translator to assist and encourage users from other parts of the world.
With Yandex, you can forward multiple messages, send file attachments, download emails as EML files, and allow delayed messaging.
On top of that, it will send you a notification when an email is received and a reminder if you don’t get a reply.
Yandex gives users the ability to use the part after the ‘@’ symbol as their website domain name without any charges. All addresses end with @yandex.com, which can be a drawback for some who wish to use multiple aliases.
Additionally, it shores up security protocols by providing users with detailed information about their account login and access history.
And to make it fun and interactive to use, users can easily customize their account according to how they want it to look.
However, the major drawback to this service is that you’ll need a Yandex app for 2-factor authentication, unlike other services which accept Google Authenticator.
- Easy to customize
- Includes 10 GB storage
- Features a built-in translator
- Requires a Yandex app for 2FA
What sets ProtonMail apart from other free email service providers is its encryption features. ProtonMail prioritizes its users’ security and privacy, letting them exchange emails without fear of unauthorized access.
All emails sent to other ProtonMail users are encrypted by default. If you wish to encrypt other emails, you can choose your preference just before hitting send.
Also, you can set an expiry date, after which your emails will automatically be deleted and be rendered unreadable.
This expiration period can be applied for a maximum limit of four weeks or anything less than that, including hours, days, or weeks. For non ProtonMail recipients, the emails self-delete after four weeks.
Recipients of encrypted messages will be asked for the password and must follow a link that takes them to the decrypted message.
If they choose to reply, they can do so through an encrypted channel set between the same decrypted email, regardless of whether they have a ProtonMail account or not.
Furthermore, an added security feature included in ProtonMail is Link Confirmation. This feature helps protect users against any phishing attacks by displaying a popup window of any link they click on, allowing them to confirm the site before taking them to that page.
The storage capacity of ProtonMail is rather limited, with users being allocated 500 MB and a limit of sending 150 emails per day at most.
Moreover, the email rules and filters are also limited, with only three folders being available for emails. However, users can choose between an @protonmail.com or @protonmail.ch email address.
- Includes encryption features
- Emails self-delete for non ProtonMail recipients
- Includes Link Confirmation which protects against phishing attacks
- Limited email rules, filters, and storage
7. Zoho Mail
Zoho Mail is a part of the larger Zoho brand, which is geared towards business use, and as such, Zoho Mail is customized for business correspondence.
Keeping in line with its purpose, the interface and the overall aesthetic of Zoho Mail is minimal and designed for efficient communication.
It’s incredibly easy to navigate between messages and folders, and you can simultaneously access the rest of your mail while composing a new mail through the tabs at the top.
It is integrated with other Zoho apps, and connecting to them is a breeze for its users.
Zoho Mail is designed to work well for teams, and it boasts a unique feature called Streams which allows users to create groups where they can interact as team members and send each other messages and attachments.
If you’ve used Google Hangouts, the premise is similar to it, and Streams works almost like a social media site at times. This feature makes professional collaboration quite easy in work-from-home scenarios.
The cross-platform usability is also rather impressive: Zoho Mail users can add files from Zoho Docs, Google Drive, OneDrive, and other services, with plenty of integration with other apps.
Users can also create notes and tasks, enable vacation replies, set up allow and blocklists, and enable customized filters that can be managed automatically.
- Suitable for business use
- Integrated with other Zoho apps
- Includes Streams group feature
- Minimal interface
GMX Mail is another smart choice if you’re looking for a free service that offers encryption options.
For users who prioritize safety, this is an excellent service. It also comes with 65 GB of free storage, along with attachments up to 50 MB.
Moreover, it is equipped with built-in antivirus software to keep users protected from malware, not having to worry about shady emails wreaking havoc on their system.
GMX allows you to have ten different aliases, all connected to a primary account. It also enables you to sort all the emails from multiple aliases into one place.
GMX is equipped with tons of customizable features, which let you create filters and group emails accordingly. You can also block spam thanks to the built-in spam filter.
Lastly, it features a MailCheck Chrome extension that lets you know whenever you get new emails.
- Includes a MailCheck Chrome extension
- Features a built-in antivirus software
- It comes with 65GB of free storage
- Hard to navigate
Lycos is another web-based email service that exudes reliability and functionality. It offers all the basic email features that you would expect from a free email service alongside some unique features that set it apart.
One of these features is Junk Mail Protection, which automatically shields you from spam or mail that you’ve tagged as unwanted.
With Lycos, you can set up customized signatures with emails, organize your inbox into different folders, and stay shielded from ads. Moreover, their spam filters are very precise and keep the inbox clear.
One standout feature of Lycos is that it allows you to assign automatic replies for all incoming mails, saving you time and making correspondence easier, especially if you run a business.
Furthermore, it comes with 3GB of storage, which is low compared to other services, but a decent capacity for most users.
- Features a Junk Mail Protection feature
- Precise spam filters
- Allows automatic replies
- Limited storage
Tutanota is another free email service provider that offers encryption for its users; however, it also allows you to disable end-to-end encryption if you wish to.
It is designed to deliver maximum security, not allowing you to create an account until you have selected a secure password. If your password does not pass their standard, you will not be cleared.
Besides that, it is seamless to use and navigate, as it has a friendly interface that features pleasant menu transitions. Also, the email folders are incredibly easy to switch between.
Staying in line with its ethos, you can also choose to make your emails password encrypted before sending them. If encrypted, recipients get a link where they must enter the password to read or reply.
Perhaps the most unique feature of Tutanota is that it lets users store messages they sent to non-Tutanota users separately, allowing them to correspond with other email service users while keeping the link open the entire time.
Tutanota might not be as popular as Gmail or Yahoo, but you get all the standard features you would expect from email services, such as an email signature.
Additionally, users can access up to 1 GB of storage and also add emailed recipients as contacts. And if they wish to tap into advanced features, they can access them for a cost.
Lastly, Tutanota lets users make an account with any of these domains: tutanota.com, tutanota.de, tutamail.com, tuta.io, keemail.me.
- Easy to navigate
- Includes encryption features
- Easy to send separate emails to non-Tutanota users
- Limited storage
11. iCloud Mail
iCloud Mail is incredibly easy for Apple users to set up, and if you have an iPhone or Mac, it’s a no-brainer to use as it seamlessly integrates with other functions.
But here’s the drawback, only users with an Apple device can access it. So, if you’re not an Apple user, you can skip this entire section!
After you’ve made your account, you can log into your iCloud Mail from any Apple device, including computer and mobile devices.
Also, you can access a complete suite of Apple products, as well as notes, reminders, photos, contacts, calendar events, and iCloud Drive contents.
As mentioned before, the main attraction of iCloud Mail is that it’s integrated with all Apple apps.
However, many people find that this service does not offer them the advanced features of other email service providers. That’s true largely as it is quite basic and does not add value with too many customized features.
But it remains popular because it’s so easy to use for anyone who has an Apple device. All they need is an Apple ID, and they can access iCloud Mail without going through the whole registration process.
With iCloud Mail, users get access to 5 GB of storage for emails and files, IMAP support, and up to 5 GB file attachment storage support via Mail Drop. Also, it features a two-click method that allows users to unsubscribe from emails.
- Integrated with all Apple apps
- Allows access with Apple ID
- Up to 5GB file attachment support
- Only compatible for Apple users
12. 10 Minute Mail
This email service is not like conventional email service providers, and its name betrays its functionality. It’s one of the only services that lets you send emails without making a user account.
10 Minute Mail is one of the best email services if you’re looking for a quick and reliable temporary email service without having to go through the whole registration process.
As the name suggests, it’s not exactly a dedicated email service. Still, it’s a nice addition to the list as a temporary email service provider and perfect for when you need a quick throwaway email account that will dissolve within 10 minutes.
With 10 Minute Mail, you access a temporary address to enter into any site. The temporary email addresses are just as legitimate as any regular address, and you’ll get emails on them.
The attraction lies in the fact that this throwaway address is not tied to your identity. You also don’t have to worry about closing it or deleting any emails as it dissolves within 10 minutes.
It might sound counter-intuitive to make a temporary email account; however, there are countless scenarios where you might need one. These include: sharing your address with an untrusted contact or testing a service that you don’t want sending ads to your primary email account.
10 Minute Mail grants you a legit email address where you can conduct your correspondence and not have to worry about it staying permanently.
If you wish to use your temporary email account for longer, just reset the clock before the 10 minutes are up!
- Allows temporary access email addresses
- Ideal for sharing your address with an untrusted recipient
- Email address dissolves after 10 minutes
What Are The Best Email Accounts For Business?
Zoho Mail considers itself as the email service best suited for business purposes. Followed by that, Gmail also tops the list as the most used email service by businesses
Which Email Providers Are The Safest?
ProtoMail and Tutanota are the safest email service providers due to their encryption features.
What Is The Most Popular Email Service Provider?
Gmail is the most used and the most popular email service worldwide.