6 Best Free Email Accounts, Ranked

Need an email account and don’t want to pay for it? Sometimes “free” means great features, less hassle, and exactly what you need without the fluff. Here are six free email services to check out, ranked from best to still great.

About Our Ranking

If you search the web, you’ll find plenty of lists of the best free email accounts. Of course, the truly best choice is subjective to the reader, except perhaps if you’re ranking by one particular attribute of the service, like ease of use, security, or platform support. Even then, not everyone will agree that one attribute is the most important.

One thing that virtually all free email services have in common, though, is a limited set of features compared to their costly upgrades or alternative paid services. Plus, each provider normally has one standout feature or offering that gives it an edge above its competitors.

So, for our ranking, we’re listing those free email accounts that give you the most bang for the buck. Or, in this case, which provider gives you the most for free. You can review each list of features and determine which are important to you and your unique email needs.

1. Gmail

Gmail inbox on the web

Gmail from Google is one of the most widely known free email services with good reason. Google continues to enhance its offerings for Gmail with new and improved features all the time.

Gmail is at the top of this list because of its robust feature set. Email scheduling? Yes. Email recall? Yes. But what else is there that makes Gmail such a winner? Let’s take a look.

Notable Features

  • Automatic email filters
  • Confidential mode
  • Smart Compose and Smart Reply options
  • Advanced search
  • Nudges to respond
  • Email translations
  • Snooze for later
  • Email templates
  • Management of multiple email addresses
  • Customizable application interface
  • Save attachments to Drive and pictures to Photos
  • Integration with Google’s other apps

Cons: Privacy concerns have grown over time for Google’s products, with Gmail being one of them. Many users are worried about email skimming, the lack of end-to-end encryption, and the integration with other Google services giving hackers easier entry.

Use Gmail: Web, Android, iPhone (Install a third-party app like Thunderbird for a desktop experience)

2. Outlook.com

Outlook inbox on the web

You might think that you need Microsoft Office on your device to use Outlook. But Outlook.com is available with a free Microsoft account and accessible from any web browser.

While you might find limited features with Outlook.com compared to its desktop versions, you’ll still appreciate the large number of useful offerings you get for free.

Notable Features

  • Email scheduling
  • Missing attachment reminders
  • Automatic rules
  • Message recall
  • Clean up conversations
  • Ignore conversations
  • Important message alerts
  • Mentions to highlight people
  • Email templates
  • Management of multiple email addresses
  • Outlook Calendar integration for reservations

Remember that these features are available on Outlook.com. If you have the desktop version of Outlook, you have more features not listed here.

Cons: The interface can feel overly complicated, and retrieving older messages can be difficult at times.

Use Outlook.com: Web, Android, iPhone, Windows, Mac

3. ProtonMail

ProtonMail inbox on the web

If email security is your top priority when looking at free email accounts, then you want ProtonMail. It uses end-to-end encryption for messages and zero-access encryption with digital signatures to keep your contacts safe.

The ProtonMail app is open source and third-party audited, offers PhishGuard phishing defense, link protection, device-level security, and much more.

Notable Features

Cons: ProtonMail prides itself on security and privacy. So, you may not see as many features as other email services like message scheduling or email recall.

Use ProtonMail: Web, Android, iPhone, Bridge for using Protonmail with desktop email clients (requires paid account)

4. Tutanota

Tutanota inbox on the web

A lesser-known service that also concentrates on security and privacy is Tutanota. The free service uses end-to-end encryption in its emails, mailboxes, calendars, contacts, and other services.

Tutanota provides an anonymous email service without tracking. So you won’t find things like targeted ads in your inbox. Additionally, the company doesn’t log your IP address, doesn’t require a phone number, and is open source with its code on GitHub.

Notable Features

  • Incoming mail rules
  • Automatic replies
  • Email aliases
  • Ad-free inbox
  • Offline support
  • Email export options
  • External email encryption
  • Email encryption including the subject line, body, and attachments
  • Plans for shared mailboxes, subfolders, conversation view, and a group send feature

Cons: Tutanota isn’t as well known as the other services on this list and is still working on its feature set (above).

Use Tutanota: Web, Android, iPhone, Linux, Mac, and Windows

5. Yahoo

Yahoo Mail inbox on the web

Yahoo Mail has been offering free accounts for over 25 years, and you’ll rarely find someone who hasn’t heard of Yahoo in general. Once one of the most well-known search engines, Yahoo’s mail service is still going strong with millions of active users.

When it comes to its free email service, Yahoo Mail does offer features and functionality that might be just what you’re looking for today.

Notable Features

  • Disposable and send-only email addresses
  • Email signatures
  • Stationery for composing emails
  • Cloud storage sync for attachments with Google Drive and Dropbox
  • Automatic replies with date range options
  • Incoming email filters
  • Email address and domain blocking
  • Built-in contacts, calendar, and notepad
  • Report as spam and unsubscribe options

Cons: Some users report problems with signing in, unresponsiveness, and long load times. And you’ll find a good amount of inbox ads. Additionally, Yahoo had its share of security breaches which still concern many people.

Use Yahoo Mail: Web, Android, iPhone

6. iCloud Mail

iCloud Mail inbox on the web

If you’re an Apple device user looking for a great free email service, then iCloud (Apple) Mail is a no-brainer. Anyone, though, can take advantage of the free mail account you receive with an Apple ID.

Taking a page from Google’s book, Apple has been improving its email service over time with better and more useful features. Although more limited on the web than the mobile or desktop app, iCloud Mail is still ideal for Apple device users.

Notable Features

  • Flags for following up
  • Folders for organization
  • Automatic forwarding with a delete-after-sending option
  • Mail Drop for sending large files
  • Automatic replies with date range options
  • Rules for incoming messages
  • Email signatures
  • Email aliases
  • VIP inbox

Keep in mind the above features are available specifically on iCloud.com. If you own an Apple device, you have additional features in the Mail app.

Cons: One of the biggest issues for those considering an iCloud Mail account is the limited device availability. While you can access it on the web and Apple devices, it’s not available on platforms like Android. This can make transitioning to iCloud Mail less attractive for those who primarily use mobile email.

Use iCloud Mail: Web, Mail app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

When you need an email account and don’t want to shell out cash for fancy features, these several options give you just what you need, and some, give you even more. And while you’re considering a new email service, look into other ways you can upgrade your productivity with a new to-do list app or note-taking app.

Original Article