Free Email Services Guide

Email

Having an email account is virtually a requirement if you use the Internet. Online banking, social media, multiplayer games and community groups all ask you for an email address.

Most readers probably already have one. But even if you do, it might be worth considering some of the popular alternatives. There are many reasons to change, including, more storage space, better reliability, better security and junk filtering, to name a few.

There is no need to pay a premium for a basic email service. Nor are all email services created equal.

Making the Right Choice

There are a variety of factors you should probably consider when you choose your next email service:

  • Reputation - do a quick search for user reviews
  • Longevity - a service that has been around for at least a few years
  • Country & support - may impact how easily can you get on the phone to resolve any difficulties
  • Storage space - is it adequate for your use?
  • Security - encrypted connections, password recovery options and anti-virus
  • Spam filter - can it flag junk mail?
  • IMAP - reliable access to your mail on many devices, eg. phone, tablet and laptop
  • Extras - filter rules, holiday auto-responder, quick setup tool, calendars, etc.

When considering reviews, be aware that all services will get a few negative reviews once in a while.

You don't want to change email service frequently. So having a provider who won't disappear next week or next year is important. Remember that every time you change provider, you must update your details with everyone who uses the address.

Email is technically a very challenging service to get right - from the provider's point-of-view. Choose a larger provider with a good service history.

Top Picks to Consider

All the providers listed provide both web and application (POP, IMAP, SMTP) access to your mail - so you can use your mobile or laptop too.

In no particular order:

  • Zoho Mail
    founded 21 years ago, based in India, 5 GB storage, two-factor authentication, spam filtering, anti-virus, filter rules and calendar
  • Gmail (Google)
    founded 13 years ago, based in the United States, 15 GB storage, two-factor authentication, spam filtering, calendar and file sharing
  • Outlook.com (Microsoft)
    founded 21 years ago, based in the United States, 5 GB storage, two-factor authentication, spam filtering
  • Yandex Mail
    founded 20 years ago, based in Russia, 10 GB storage, two-factor authentication, spam filtering
  • iCloud (Apple)
    founded 17 years ago, based in the United States, 5 GB storage, two-factor authentication, spam filtering
  • Mail.com
    founded 22 years ago, based in Germany, 2 GB storage, spam filtering, anti-virus, organiser and file storage
  • GMX.com
    founded 20 years ago, based in Germany, unlimited storage, spam filtering, anti-virus, calendar and file sharing

A Final Word

If you want greater flexibility, many of these providers have low-cost paid account upgrades. Advanced users can consider a vanity domain to provide freedom from any specific service provider.

Fortunately, there are a variety of free email service providers from which to choose. There is probably no reason to be 'stuck' if you are not satisfied.

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