The Best FREE email providers

Remember when you set up your first email account? And how you agonized over just the right way to express yourself, address-wise? And how excited you were when YOU GOT MAIL!

Yeah, well, that ranks right up there with your first transistor radio with headphones. Yawn.

Unlike the Walkman’s (i-Pods?) of old, some of the old standby email providers are still around.

Like us, they have matured and may even be better than ever. Some specialize in services to different types of users.It can be a challenge to find an email service provider at no cost that balances the right features for you with easy usability.

So, here is a list of the different types of email accounts you can set up, followed by the seven best email service providers you can host your account on right now for free.

So let’s take a look at Types of Email Accounts

There are two main types of email service providers to choose from: email clients and webmail. When you use your provider to access your email from a different device or location online, you can use one of three major email protocols to do so: POP3, IMAP, and Exchange.

Let’s briefly go over these different types of providers and protocols.

Email Clients

Email clients are software applications that you install onto the computer itself to manage the email you send and receive. To access this email, the client interacts with a remote email server.

Email clients you’ve likely heard of include Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, and Apple Mail.
If you want to access this type of email from the web, rather than the client’s computer application, the email client uses one of the email protocols described below. For example, although you might have Outlook installed on your computer, you can also log in to your email account via outlook.com using a specific email protocol.


Webmail is a form of email you access exclusively from the internet, and therefore exists primarily on the cloud rather than your computer. Instead of an installed application fetching your email, you manage your inbox right from your internet browser.

Webmail providers you’ve likely heard of include Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and AOL (all of which have made our list of best free email accounts, below).
If you want to access your webmail from a mail app on your mobile device, rather than your desktop web browser, your webmail provider can use one of the popular email protocols such as POP, IMAP,  WEBMAIL or EXCHANGE. You can read more on these email protocols here.

Now, take a look at seven of the best free email service providers you can get your hands on today — both webmail and email clients included. For each email service provider, we highlighted a unique feature to help you find the best fit.

Best Free Email Accounts in order of popularity:

1. Gmail

  • Unique Feature: Native File Collaboration
  • Sign up here.
  • Type of email: Webmail
  • Who should use it: anyone who already uses and loves the rest of Google’s products.
  • Note:
    • It might seem like an obvious top pick, but Gmail is just too versatile to not award the first slot. Gmail has the second-highest email provider market share.
      Gmail is an everyday email inbox you can sign up for by registering for a Google account. But it’s built into Google Suite, a group of free apps that allow you to chat, video-conference, and share files with the people in your contact list.
    • Offering a generous 15 GB of free email storage, Gmail does everything it can to make your inbox less chaotic, including advanced filters that automatically push emails into separate folders as they arrive. And none of these functions costs a dime.

2. AOL

  • Unique Feature: Unlimited Storage
  • Sign up here.
  • Type of email: Webmail
  • Who should use it: people who use email for most of their communication.
  • Note: America Online has kept up with today’s standards for a good user experience. The classic AOL is now once again one of the best free email accounts available to you.

3. Outlook

  • Unique Feature: Multiple App Integrations
  • Sign up here.
  • Type of email: Email client
  • Who should use it: people who use many different platforms to connect with others.
  • Note: Free Outlook.com email address has many progressive features waiting for you.
    • While it touts a calendar and message filter that is similar to Gmail, Outlook also integrates with a number of other popular communication apps. You can connect Skype, Facebook, PowerPoint, PayPal, and even task-management software such as Trello — making it very easy to reach and work with non-Outlook users without leaving your inbox.
    • Outlook offers 15 GB of free storage for each user, along with a super-clean interface.

4. Zoho

  • Unique Feature: 25 Business Addresses
  • Sign up here.
  • Type of email: Webmail
  • Who should use it: startups and small businesses.
  • Note:
    • This is the first of the lesser-known free email accounts to make our list, but it holds a lot of potential for businesses.It offers user-friendliness and offers all the standard features.
      The real difference-maker, though, is the ability to customize the domain name for up to 25 connected email addresses.
    • Want to replace “@zoho.com” with the name of your business’s website? You can do so under Zoho Lite, which gives you 5 GB for free — all under username@yourdomainname.com.

5. Mail.com

  • Unique Feature: 200 Custom Domain Names
  • Sign up here.
  • Type of email: Webmail
  • Who should use it: small businesses, freelancers, and the self-employed.
  • Notice Mail.com offers only 2 GB. But what this webmail service lacks in gigabytes it makes up for with 200 free custom domain names. You can replace “@mail.com” at the end of your username with just about anything that describes you. For example:
    • • Bartender.net, Musician.org, Columnist.com, etc.

6. Yahoo! Mail

  • Unique Feature: Media and attachment history
  • Sign up here.
  • Type of email: Webmail
  • Who should use it: creatives and those who send and receive attachments frequently via email.
  • Note:
    • Yahoo! Mail, another well-known platform, sits just behind AOL in storage space with a whopping 1 TB (that’s a terabyte) for free, along with a few key social media integrations.
    • Yahoo! Mail also makes it easy to find every photo, video, and document you’ve ever attached or received via email in their own tabs on your inbox’s sidebar. Helpful for those who share documents on a regular basis or simply want an album made of every photo they’ve ever had shared.

7. ProtonMail

  • Unique Feature: Encrypted email
  • Sign up here.
  • Type of email: Webmail
  • Who should use it: people who send and receive sensitive information.
  • Note:
    • ProtonMail offers just 500 MB of free space, but for the worthy trade of encrypted email, allowing you to send messages that nobody else can see, and disappear after a month.
    • ProtonMail is easy to use on any device without any software needed to encrypt your emails. Its inbox interface is as easy to understand at a glance as the other email services on this list, and offers quick color-coded labels to help you further organize which emails deserve the most care and protection.

Hope you find this email review helpful. And maybe you can contact me at Donna@WebGoddess.net. Hmmmm…maybe not.

Credits: Excepts borrowed from the excellent blog by Braden Becker