10 Free Email Account Providers and How To Choose One

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 22, 2021 | Published September 10, 2020

Updated February 22, 2021

Published September 10, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Individuals and businesses alike use email to communicate with their contacts, share valuable information and schedule calendar events. Email is a way to stay organized too, as the amount of available information becomes larger.

Since everyone's needs are different, it's important to research your email account options before signing up for a provider. In this article, we share why it's important to have an email account, how to choose a free email and a list of free email accounts you may want to consider.

Related: How To Write a Professional Email

Why is having an email account important?

An email account is an important part of staying connected. You can use your email address to apply for jobs, network with others in your industry, keep up with friends and family, download files and resources and attend meetings with your colleagues. You can also use a calendar function to get reminders and schedule events. Many businesses use email to communicate important company news, form a thread on a certain subject and keep a team informed about project deadlines and more.

There are countless ways that an individual or business may want to use email, so it's important to have access to your own so you can join in on the conversation and receive valuable information from a sender.

Related: Guide To Improving Team Communication in the Workplace

How to choose a free email account

When you're choosing a free email account, consider doing the following to have a better understanding of the best email provider for you:

1. Define your goals

Every individual and business will have different goals, and the email provider may be a large part of goal success. Think about how you'll need to use email, or what having an email account can provide for you, so you can keep this in mind when you're selecting a provider.

2. Determine what you need

Once you know your goals, think about the features and benefits that'll support your goals the best. Here are some you may want to consider:

Integration

Consider the other applications you use on a regular basis, and look into which email providers support integration. For example, some email providers may seamlessly integrate with your favorite project management tool, making it easy to use both together for efficiency in the workplace. Others, like Gmail, provide a suite of tools that are great for collaboration and communication among teams.

User-friendly interface

Sometimes what you may need most is a user-friendly interface. An email provider whose interface is easy to navigate makes using email a more pleasant experience and allows even the technologically challenged to use their email with success. You should take less time to find what you need and be able to show others how to use the program without complications.

Storage

Different email providers provide different amounts of storage for free. Some provide a certain number of gigabytes while others may provide terabytes. It's important to know how much storage you're going to need so you don't sign up with an email provider who can't support it. The more emails you hold on to, the more attachments you usually receive and the more large files you share, like photos and documents, the more storage capacity you'll require.

Messaging

Another option to consider is if you need or would benefit from a messaging feature. With a messaging feature, you'll be able to chat with others on your team or who use the same email provider as long as you've shared your contact details with them. This could be helpful if you want to host virtual meetings with your coworkers or need to have a sidebar conversation with a manager.

3. Decide if a custom domain is important to you

A custom domain is when you have something non-generic as part of your email address. For example, a start-up company called Software Dynamics may want to have @softwaredynamics.com as part of every employee's email address. A freelancer who is available for hire may consider having their business name as part of their domain so they seem more professional.

It's not common for free email providers to give their users custom domain abilities, and if they do, it usually comes at a price. If creating a custom domain is important to you, some free email accounts offer it.

4. Analyze delivery rates

You can experience different delivery rates depending on the email provider you use. Some email providers, because they may have more market share or are more recognizable, may experience more success at being received by other email providers instead of being sent to a spam folder. If you plan on sending a large number of emails out to different email providers, you may want to consider how likely it is that your important email will end up where it should.

5. Check their support options

Email providers offer varying levels of support to their users. While one provider may have a robust help section to assist with all types of trouble you may run into, others may have customer service lines so you can speak with someone directly.

Free email accounts

Not all email service providers provide the same features or usability, so it's important to know what each has and how they operate so you can select a provider that fits your needs best. Here is a list of free email accounts you could consider:

Gmail

Gmail is one of the most popular free email accounts. It's a great option if you or your team want to collaborate on files and already use other Google products, like their Google Suite of free apps for file sharing and messaging. Other useful options for this webmail provider include the ability to snooze emails and schedule emails you write to go out at a later day and time.

Other Gmail features include:

  • 15 gigabytes of free email storage

  • Spam protection

  • Vacation responder

  • Easy-to-use calendar

  • Advanced filters so your emails can filter into separate folders based on rules you set

  • Offline usage through Gmail Offline

Yahoo! Mail

Yahoo! Mail is a webmail email provider that is known for providing its users with a media and attachment history so you can easily find previously sent and received documents, audio files, videos and photos. Yahoo! Mail offers free customized themes so you can make your user interface a little more fun to use along with a valuable search option.

Other Yahoo! Mail features include:

  • One terabyte of free storage space

  • Social media integrations

  • Built-in GIF database

  • A news reader

  • A notepad

Related: How To Take Notes

AOL Mail

AOL Mail is a webmail provider that provides unlimited storage for free to its users. It's easy to use the included calendar and to-do list so that everything flows through your email to help you be more efficient in your work.

Other AOL Mail features include:

  • A homepage that focuses on news and current events

  • Spam filter

  • Different import options for your contact list

  • Text message alerts based on rules you set up

Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook is another popular free email account, especially for businesses that operate on the Microsoft platform. This email client offers a generous 15 gigabytes of free storage for each individual user and plenty of email rules so you can create filters and more to make working within your email and finding what you need happen quickly and easily.

Other Microsoft Outlook features include:

  • Application integrations, which is especially helpful for collaborative teams that operate mostly online

  • Filters for your calendar and messaging features

  • The ability to work with non-Outlook users with ease

  • A simple interface

iCloud Mail

iCloud Mail, also known as Apple Mail, is a great option for those who use other Apple products. Although you have five gigabytes of storage available, it's for more than just your email. Any files, photos or online documents you have on your other Apple devices, like your smartphone, contribute to the total amount of storage you have. There are upgraded plans available for a monthly charge if you like the look or function of iCloud Mail but just need more storage capacity.

Other iCloud Mail features include:

  • Application integration, especially with iPhone apps

  • The ability to label certain senders as VIP so you pay special attention to important emails

  • An easy-to-use search function and rules

Mozilla Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird is another option if you want a free email account, providing users with an email inbox that's easy-to-use, simple and can be set up quickly. Mozilla Thunderbird may be a top option for you if you value simplicity and don't need too many extras.

Other Mozilla Thunderbird features include:

  • Customized themes

  • Application extensions

  • The ability to open multiple emails at the same time

Mail.com

Mail.com is a webmail email provider that may appeal to you if you operate a small business, do freelance work or are self-employed because Mail.com offers its users up to 200 custom domain names. While this provider only offers two gigabytes of free storage space, the option to create a custom domain is unique among free email providers.

Other Mail.com features include:

  • An integrated calendar

  • Online file storage

  • A user-friendly interface

Zoho

Zoho is another webmail email provider that appeals to small businesses and the self-employed because you can create up to 25 different business addresses with different domain names. Zoho also provides a clean interface so you can interact with your email easily.

Other Zoho features include:

  • The ability to integrate with cloud-based applications and file managers

  • A built-in task manager

  • Up to five gigabytes of free storage using Zoho Lite

GMX Mail

GMX Mail offers an impressive 65 gigabytes of free storage and the ability to send attachments that are up to 50 gigabytes in size. GMX Mail is a webmail provider that makes it easy for users to manage multiple email addresses within one inbox.

Other GMX Mail features include:

  • Ability to create up to 10 alias email addresses, which is helpful for both personal and business use

  • Video chat

  • Ability to create multiple emails using the same custom domain, like if you have one email for sales and other for marketing

Yandex Mail

Yandex Mail is a free global email tool that integrates well with Gmail accounts and some social media networks. Yandex Mail gives you the ability to personalize your email inbox so you can prioritize emails from different people and filter messages based on your preferences.

Other Yandex Mail features include:

  • 10 gigabytes of free cloud storage

  • Keyword recognition

  • Email notification when your recipient has received your message

  • Email remainders if your recipient hasn't responded in a certain amount of time

  • A built-in translator

ProtonMail

ProtonMail is a webmail email provider that you may want to consider if the emails you send or receive include sensitive information. ProtonMail only provides 500 megabytes of free storage space, but if encrypted email is important to you, then this may still be worth it.

Other ProtonMail features include:

  • An easy-to-use interface

  • Color-coded labels to assist you in organizing your emails

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