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

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 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 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 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

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 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

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

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

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.

41 COMMENTS

  1. I am looking to get away from google and gmail basically because of they’re size and control over our society. Looking at the smaller companies but afraid of them plugging the plug and simply giving up trying to compete with the giant G. I’m currently sitting on the fence with Mail.com but … ?
    Maybe paper airplanes.

    • That’s exactly what I am doing as well… Big tech like Google has far too much control over all of our lives, and I no longer have any trust in these organisations…

    • GMX has been around for a long time. 20 years and widely used. It basic and rough but I like the basic interface and I don’t find to advertising emails obtrusive.
      They don’t track and it’s free.

  2. Well I am using Memail.com/mail it’s a new Germany based company and it’s pretty much working for me over Gmail.

  3. Don’t bother to try GMX or MAIL.COM. They have a ridiculously low sending limit of about 25 messages per day, and what annoys me most is that whenever you try to send a message to MORE THAN 5 PEOPLE (yes, you have read well), a warning message appears informing you that you cannot send a message to more than 5 recipients.

    It drives me nuts! Are these people for real?

    I have seen other customers complaining about the same thing in different websites, and what amazes me is that the company boasts of being one of the World’s biggest internet providers… Come off it!

    I have contacted them several times letting them know that their sending limit is MISERABLE, and that no serious email provider can do that today if they want to stay in business.

    But I suppose that I am wasting my time! Never had an answer. I suppose the time has come to look somewhere else.

    • Well, not many people are there which would like to send more than 25 messages per day, so this limit is to limit the people which like to spam other people. Maybe their services were used in this way before, so they had to use this kind of deffence, idk… (Everything according to your saying, bcs my exp is not as expended) yeah but you are right, 5 recipients is quite small amount, it is discouraging for wider usage, no competition against failbook or bird or telegram,
      but for quicker and wider conversations you should use telegram or just continue with email, but without that many boundies:
      Like for example ctemplar.com gives you opportunity to send only 200 messages per day, while 2000 just for $6/m. recipients unknown. attachment just 10 MB, while 50MB when paid…
      You may consider this or just find something else.

    • If you want your client to be used for business (blasting), just get a different client. Search for “email clients for bulk email”. There are dozens, maybe even hundreds.

  4. Google has recently informed me that they will be discontinuing gmail as of April 2, 2019. So it is no longer an alternative.

  5. Do not use the services in Switzerland and Germany. Any prosecutor has for any reason unlimited access to the emails.

  6. Is no-one going to answer Lisa’s question or does no-one know the answer…..??? I guess by now she has given up and moved on!

  7. So now every time I use web mail I have to submit to the cookies and privacy policy harassment from the web mail provider in addition to all other sites and a lot of times multiple times per site?

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  9. I’ve had fastmail for a couple months, and now I’m looking again. The can’t seem to stay connected to my gmail account, and have no customer service whatsoever, as in, they just don’t respond for days on end, and when they do, some kid says something pedestrian that isn’t at all helpful. Terrible, terrible company. Stay away.

    • I’ve used Fastmail for over 10 years and never had an issue with the service. The web interface is clean, extremely quick to load on a phone or from the early days of internet based email. being an IMAP based protocol, you have access to your mail anywhere in the world. The spam filters are very effective, I might get 1 spam e-mail per quarter, privacy is good and no ads supporting the site. It’s everything that a paid service should be.

        • More problems with Fastmail. Their calendar app was randomly deleting my appointments for about a month. Needless to say, I can’t trust them anymore and I use a different calendar app. I’ve also been getting bizarre .aol.com spam just on my fastmail account. That also seems to have stopped for now. Fastmail seems to be understaffed and overworked. You just can’t trust them.

  10. anyone have any experience with Tutanota? I really want to switch from Gmail to a more safe/secure email source. I thought it would be Protonmail, until I learned that there’s no way to import emails and folders. That is a MUST!! Any other suggestions greatly appreciated

  11. Good summary Srikanth. Maybe you’ll consider adding Greatmail to the list? An email service provider since 2003 offering standard and groupware email hosting packages, Greatmail is an affordable option for businesses, groups and resellers looking for private cloud security, privacy protection, variable and unlimited mailbox quotas, multiple domains, customizable spam filtering and expert email support.

    • Hey there! I’ve a question wonder if you may be able to answer. I’d love to switch from GMAIL over to Protonmail-due to security etc. I’ve discovered that there doesn’t seem to be a way to import emails and folders over. I NEED that stuff. Any suggestions? Can you do that on Thexyz.. and is that one as secure as Protonmail? Thanks kindly for any input! It’s challenging navigating and learning all this stuff!

  12. The fact that you’ve put Yahoo Mail as 2nd best alternative to Gmail and did not mention ProtonMail makes me greatly doubt your knowledge of advising on this matter.

    • Hey there! I’ve a question wonder if you may be able to answer. I’d love to switch from GMAIL over to Protonmail-due to security etc. I’ve discovered that there doesn’t seem to be a way to import emails and folders over. I NEED that stuff. Any suggestions? Can you do that on Thexyz.. and is that one as secure as Protonmail? Thanks kindly for any input! It’s challenging navigating and learning all this stuff!

  13. Yahoo mail is shit. The worst email so far, always reset my password(I’m using the same computer and same IP!) and failed to send messages sometime, tons of issues on the new look version….It’s just a shit.

  14. In my opinion, Proton Mail created by three guys from CERN in Switzerland (and MIT) is the best alternative to Gmail on the market. It was designed to be more secure because of the way emails are encrypted. And, Google “buried” them for months for natural/organic searches likely because they feared a new competitor with real credibility.

    • ? for you Don-or anyone.. I’d LOVE to switch from GMAIL to Proton Mail. Challenge I’ve discovered is that there’s no way to import emails and folders???? I need all of that stuff. What’s the alternative? Any suggestions please?

      • Protonmail has terrible customer service, they tie your inbox to the VPN and if they reset the account like for login issues or password resets, you lose the keys and all your data. It’s secure because it’s not user-friendly on the backend.

    • Proton mail is secure, but the downside and the reason I am looking at alternatives, you can’t search the email. Since its encrypted, you can only search subject and sender, but not subject. Sometimes there is that email you need and vaguely remember what it was about and well you are out of luck with protonmail. Too bad for me because I transferred so many of my important accounts to that email!!!

  15. Good comparison! I used flaskmail.com when I registered my domain, and I think that they deserve a place on the list 🙂

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