Email is currently an essential tool to communicate, both in the corporate and personal spheres. In our day-to-day lives we now send and receive an abundance of emails. Although all free email providers deliver this basic service, the truth is that each of them has different characteristics.
At ShuttleCloud we are experts in the migration of information between them. In fact, our clients include more than 200 different email providers. Here we take a look at the characteristics of the most popular free email services:
With its 1.2 billion users, Gmail is the world’s leading email service. Blocking suspicious attachments for security reasons, the ability to send files up to 25 megabytes in each message (if exceeded, a link is sent to Drive), the automatic translation of messages, smart responses, the organisation of emails into folders, labels, and access to tools as complete as Drive, Calendar and Maps are some of its main advantages. However, free accounts have limited storage space (the maximum is 15 gigabytes) and there is also a daily limit for sending messages (500 messages or the same email sent to more than 500 recipients, if a Google group is not created).
Microsoft’s email service has recently been integrating many of the functions boasted by Gmail. A simple and intuitive graphical interface (for example, at the top there is a broom icon, to easily clean boxes), the classification of messages by colour, and the application of marks, warnings and colours are some of its advantages. Outlook users also have a space limit with a free account (15 gigas), and there are restrictions when sending mass emails. Another disadvantage that some users may find is that to attach a file one must take two steps (selecting whether you want to share it as a link or as a copy)
Although Yahoo email has declined in popularity over the years, the fact is that it has many interesting features for users of its free service. Its storage space is huge (1,000 gigas), allows users to recover emails sent in the previous seven days, even if they appear as deleted, and allows for the creation of disposable addresses that function temporarily, to provide greater control over privacy and spam. However, the labelling system is not as flexible as Gmail’s, nor does it have some extra features that would facilitate the user’s experience.
Users who are more concerned about their privacy also have some email services that attach the utmost importance to this feature. This is the case of ProtonMail, an open source project developed by entrepreneurs from the CERN and MIT. Its most salient feature is its end-to-end encryption, which guarantees that nobody can read the content of the messages. In its free version it is not compatible with other email clients that support IMAP and SMTP protocols, and it only allows one to store 500 MB of encrypted content, which is definitely a drawback.
Although the most logical thing is for users of Apple devices to create their accounts using this service to send emails through the Mail app of their iOS device or Mac, it can also be accessed via Microsoft Outlook. Although its design is one of its strong points, one of its limitations is its storage space: only 5 gigabytes.
In addition to allowing us to send email, Zoho Mail, a business-oriented service, integrates with a series of its own apps that make it possible to create and edit documents and spread sheets. Although its pay version, particularly, features a series of strengths, the free version also has its upsides: it makes it possible to create accounts for 25 employees, each one with 5 gigabytes of storage.
Users who require a lot of space to store their messages for decades may opt for another alternative: GMX offers unlimited storage capacity and also allows you to send very large attachments, up to 50 gigabytes. The interface is simple, although its functions cannot be compared to those of the most popular services.
Another of the least-known free email services is Mail.com. It offers much less storage space than others (2 gigabytes), but allows one to send files of up to 50 megabytes in a single message. There is also an integrated online calendar to schedule meetings.
If a user is concerned about his security, this is another of the email services that can come in very handy, as it also uses end-to-end encryption and, like Zoho, is open source. The service is very simple, although its free storage capacity is weak: only 1 gigabyte.
Created by the Russian company of the same name, this email service is also another alternative to the most popular options. It stands out for its interface, similar to Gmail’s and very easy to use, and it offers almost all the tools one might need: filters, tasks, keyboard shortcuts, the capacity to customise the interface… However, its storage space is less than that of other services (10 gigas).