What’s the Best Free Email Service?

March 1, 2018

We are often asked which of the free email services is the best one.

Before we answer this question, I want to remind you that we do not recommend using the email account given to you by your Internet Service Provider. These services usually aren’t very good and if you move or change service providers, you have to change email accounts and can’t set up automatic forwarding.

Defining the best free email service is a little tricky since the word “best” is a subjective term.
Here are some of the things to consider when selecting an email provider:

  • Reliability
  • Security (from hackers)
  • Privacy
  • Speed
  • Features
  • Spam filtering
  • Integration
  • Ease of Use (if using webmail)
  • Storage

While I would think Reliability and Security are important to everyone, the rest of the features may vary in how important they are to a particular person or organization. With that in mind, here are our recommendations.

Let me first start by saying that we do not recommend using AOL Mail or Yahoo Mail. We do not recommend AOL Mail because it is missing some key features. You can’t even set up automatic forwarding. And we don’t recommend Yahoo Mail because of all of the email services, it’s the one that is always getting hacked. In addition, they frequently change their web mail interface upsetting many people.

There is one free email service that scores very well in all of the above categories (except one). It is the most popular free email service in the world for that reason. It’s Gmail (gmail.com). For most people, Gmail will be the best option for a personal email account. Gmail is also good for organizations. In fact, Gmail is so good, it would be the one and only recommendation if it weren’t for one issue. The one drawback to Gmail is the concern about privacy. Google used to scan your emails for the purpose of showing you targeted advertisements. They claim they have stopped this practice but many people do not trust them.

If privacy is a big concern for you, then you may not want to go with Gmail. For those concerned about privacy we recommend Proton Mail (protonmail.com). You’ll be somewhat restricted in that you can only access ProtonMail via their webmail or one of their apps to access your email. That makes sense because that’s the only way they can provide that level of privacy. But if privacy is important to you, it’s worth it.

Here’s some information on some other major Email providers you may be interested in.

Outlook.com (Hotmail.com, live.com, msn.com).
This is a Microsoft service. In addition to privacy concerns, there have been a lot of problems with this service in the past. Especially if you don’t use a Microsoft product to access your email. In addition, Microsoft, as it often does, has removed useful features from it’s Email service, just like it has from Windows.

iCloud Mail
This service is from Apple. It’s not bad, but it’s missing some important features and doesn’t integrate well with other accounts.

There are a huge number of additional free email providers. Too many to mention. In this article we have focused on the most popular free email services.

If you are willing to pay a small annual fee, you can get an email service that is, in many ways, better than any of the free services. For example, our email service is only $25/year. With our service you get top notch security, the best Spam filtering, very good privacy, and unlimited storage.

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