Tech

10 Best Gmail Alternatives You Can Use in 2021

Gmail is the default choice for a vast majority of users online when it comes to picking an email service. And that’s for a good reason. Gmail offers you a ton of features, and with Google Workspace, you get deeper integrations into Google’s productivity suite, including Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Meet. However, if you are looking to rely less on the Google ecosystem or searching for a privacy-focused email service, here are the best Gmail alternatives you should try in 2021.

10 Best Gmail Alternatives in 2021

One of the primary reasons for users switching away from Gmail is privacy concerns. Many users do not feel safe with Google having access to their private data. Also, it is not end-to-end encrypted by default. Another major concern among some users is the lack of features, which Google promised to port from the now-dead Inbox by Google. So if you want a more feature-rich and privacy-focused email service provider, check out the best alternatives to Gmail from the table below:

1. ProtonMail – Best Privacy-Focused Alternative to Gmail

Based out of Switzerland, ProtonMail is a privacy-friendly alternative to Gmail. It offers end-to-end encryption and does not require any personal information while creating an email account. For security, ProtonMail uses open-source encryption libraries, and the company says it uses secure implementations of AES (better known as military-grade encryption), RSA, and OpenPGP.

While you have to opt for the paid version for using all the features, the free tier of ProtonMail offers 500MB of storage and has a limit of 150 messages per day. For other features, including custom filters, using your own domain, and priority customer support, you can choose the Plus plan that costs $4 per month.

Key Features: End-to-end encryption, Expiring messages, Open-source

Platforms Available: Web, Android, iOS

Custom Email for Businesses: $6.25/user per month

Visit ProtonMail

2. Outlook

outlook compose ui

If you use Microsoft’s services, you have probably heard of Outlook. In case you haven’t, Outlook is Microsoft’s email offering. Just like Gmail, Outlook has integrations with Microsoft’s productivity apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. However, it is worth mentioning that the free tier of Outlook has ads.

Getting rid of ads on Outlook will cost you $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year. You also get access to 50GB of mailbox storage (15GB on the free version), custom domain names, and 1TB of OneDrive storage with the subscription. Outlook is a popular Gmail alternative for businesses.

Key Features: Integration with Microsoft Office suite, custom domains, scanning and removal of malicious attachments, 5GB OneDrive storage for free

Platforms Available: Web, Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Custom Email for Businesses: Starts at $5/user per month

Visit Microsoft Outlook

3. Zoho Mail

zoho mail

Zoho Mail is another option you can consider if you’re looking for a Gmail alternative. What makes Zoho Mail an attractive choice is that it offers an ad-free experience even for free users. You also get 5GB of storage in the free tier, along with access to Zoho’s diverse workplace apps.

Furthermore, Zoho even offers a free plan for small businesses with up to five users. That is enticing if you are just getting started with your startup and want email hosting for a single domain. You can also opt for Zoho’s Mail Lite, Mail Premium, or Workplace plans for more users and additional features.

Key Features: Ad-free experience, dedicated mobile apps, access to Zoho workplace apps, Zoho CRM integration, free business tier

Platforms Available: Web, Android, iOS

Custom Email for Businesses: Free for up to 5 users

Visit Zoho Mail

4. Tutanota

tutanota home - gmail privacy alternative

Tutanota is yet another popular privacy-focused email service that offers encrypted email service with E2E encryption. The German company stores your encrypted emails in secure data centers in the country and is compliant with GDPR. Like Zoho Mail, Tutanota offers an ad-free experience for free.

With Tutanota’s free tier, you get 1GB of storage, a single calendar, and limited search options. The paid plans offer up to 10GB of storage, and you can get additional storage with separate storage subscriptions.

Key Features: Ad-free experience, E2E encryption, open-source

Platforms Available: Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, macOS, Web

Custom Email for Businesses: Starts at 24 euros/user per year

Visit Tutanota

5. Yahoo Mail

yahoo mail inbox

Yahoo might not be as popular as it used to be before, but Yahoo Mail is still a neat alternative to Gmail. One attractive aspect of Yahoo Mail is that it offers a whopping 1TB of storage to free users. However, the catch is that the maximum file size for an attachment is capped at 25MB.

Apart from that, you can customize the look and feel of Yahoo Mail with themes. Also, Yahoo Mail lets you manage all your email addresses in one place, use filters, group conversations, view emails by topic, and more. Moreover, you can use Yahoo Stationery to create attractive emails with templates at ease. With all that said, do keep in mind that you will see ads on the free version.

Key Features: 1TB of free storage, customization features, themes, Google Drive/ Dropbox integration

Platforms Available: Android, iOS, Web

Custom Email for Businesses: Starts at $1.59/month per user

Visit Yahoo Mail

6. iCloud – Best Gmail Alternative for Apple Users

icloud login

Cloud Mail utilizes your Apple ID to offer email services. It is an excellent addition to other services that you can already access via iCloud. You get 5GB of storage space along with a 20MB file size limit on incoming and outgoing messages. That goes up to 5GB with Mail Drop. It goes without saying that iCloud Mail is the best-suited alternative to Gmail for users in the Apple ecosystem.

Before you switch to iCloud Mail, you should also keep in mind that iCloud supports IMAP and SMTP protocols but not the POP3 protocol. Another concern with iCloud Mail is that the spam filtering system in place is a bit tricky and might filter out useful emails at times.

Key Features: No ads, clean UI, best for Apple devices

Platforms Available: macOS, Windows, iOS, Web

Visit iCloud

7. StartMail

startmail home

StartMail is a private email service from the creators of StartPage, a popular Google Search alternative and a private search engine. Based in the Netherlands, StartMail complies with Europe’s GDPR privacy laws. The company uses PGP email encryption for emails and supports SMTP/IMAP protocols.

It is worth pointing out that there is no free version of StartMail. The paid plan costs $44.95 per year. You get 10GB of storage and the flexibility to use your own domain along with unlimited aliases on StartMail. You can even pay for StartMail using Bitcoin. Unfortunately, StartMail doesn’t have mobile apps at this moment.

Key Features: No ads, PGP encryption, GDPR compliant, Modern UI

Platforms Available: Web

Custom Email for Businesses: $59.95 per year

Visit StartMail

8.Posteo – Gmail Alternative Without Phone Number Sign Up

posteo inbox

Yet another Gmail alternative email service from Germany is Posteo. It lets you sign up without entering any personal information such as your phone number or address. The company also promises that it doesn’t track its users and is completely ad-free. Notably, Posteo is committed to sustainability and uses 100% green energy to operate.

It’s safe to say that Posteo is a paid email service. Although you can use it for free, there are several restrictions in the free version, including 20MB storage, email support with select providers, lack of forwarding, address book, and calendar encryption. However, these are all lifted when you get the affordable 1 euro per month subscription.

Key Features: No ads, open-source, OpenPGP encryption

Platforms Available: Web

Visit Posteo

9. Mailfence

mailfence home - gmail privacy alternative

If you want a private email service that offers a free tier, Mailfence is something you can consider. However, as irony would have it, you need an active email address to sign up for Mailfence. While Mailfence uses this for verification, it’s undoubtedly strange for an email service to demand an email address for sign-up.

In the free version of Mailfence, you get 500MB of storage for emails and documents. Paid plans start at 2.5 euros per month and go up to 25 euros per month. Staying true to its objective, Mailfence donates 15 percent of the revenue from its Pro and Ultra plans to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the European Digital Rights Foundation.

Key Features: No ads, OpenPGP encryption, 2FA support

Platforms Available: Web

Visit Mailfence

10. Mailbox

mailbox home page

Last but not least, Mailbox is a paid email service, and the company is based out of Germany. Since it is a paid service, you can rest assured that you won’t see any ads in your inbox. The service uses PGP for encryption and even uses anonymized mail headers that remove details about users such as IP addresses and software clients used.

The pricing of Mailbox starts at 1 euro/month and goes up to 9 euros. You get two weeks of trial, after which you should pay to continue using the service. If you can afford to spend money on an email service, you should consider giving Mailbox a shot as an alternative to Gmail.

Key Features: No ads, encryption, Paid service

Platforms Available: Web, Android, iOS

Custom Email for Businesses: Starts at 1 euro/month per user

Visit Mailbox

Try out These Email Services Instead of Gmail

So, those are the best Gmail alternatives in 2021 with more storage space, privacy features, and sign-up options that don’t require you to enter a phone number or address. Do you use any other email service that’s not mentioned in the list here? Let us know if that’s the case, along with the reason why you chose it in the comments section below. Besides, if you are looking for the best email apps on Android and iOS, check out our linked article.


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