Finding the right email service for personal and business needs is challenging. You probably don’t want to pay a lot of money for something you can get for free, but comparing different email providers shows they all have something unique to offer.
Whether you go with one of the many free options, set up your website’s mail servers or pay for a service, find the one that works alongside other business tools you use most frequently for better integration.
Every day, about 347.3 billion emails make their way around the globe. By 2026, experts predict the number will hit 392.5 billion per day. Email marketing is still alive and well. Having a dedicated email for business or just chatting with a friend is a crucial part of most people’s lives.
Here are the top providers and why you should consider each one.
Intricately tied to Google, Gmail is one of the free email providers of choice for many small business owners. Unfortunately, scammers also take out free emails at times, which can make the gmail.com extension seem a bit sketchy to some users.
The web-based email provider asks you to login via their website and check your email there. However, you can also integrate with a calendar, Google drive and other Google offerings.
Features you’ll appreciate:
- Unsend emails within a few seconds of hitting “Send”
- Free storage of around 15GB
- Access via desktop or mobile
- Spam filter
Use labels and create an individualized experience.
If you’re looking for email that integrates with various apps, Microsoft Outlook might be the perfect solution for your email provider needs. Through Microsoft’s revamped Outlook, you can connect to:
Each account comes with 15GM of email storage, use aliases, set up folders and labels and prioritization for some emails.
Cost: Free to bundled subscriptions starting at $19.99 per year
Neo offers a professional business name email that gives you an edge over the free email providers. Customize your email address with firstname.lastname@example.org. You won’t have to spend an annual fee on domain registration when you tap into the personalization features of Neo.
Some of the features that work particularly well for business owners include:
- Read receipts
- Priority inbox
- Email segmentation
- Follow-up reminders
- Schedule delivery
The email provider offers two plans. The Business Starter comes with 10 GB of storage and runs $1.99 per month. The Business Plus plan offers 50 GB and runs $3.99 per month.
Cost: $39 per month for up to 5,000 contacts and 40,000 sent emails
4. Yahoo Mail
The number of people using the free Yahoo email service pales in comparison to Gmail figures. At last count, 22.6% of Americans between 56 and 67 still use the service. A mere 5.8% of people between the ages of 19 and 34 use Yahoo Mail, while slightly more at 6.9% between 14 and 18 use the service.
Some of the features that keep people on the platform include:
- Vacation mode with automated messages
- Automatically send incoming mail into folders with commands
- Mark emails as important by flagging them with a star
- Collect emails from POP boxes and put into your Yahoo inbox
- Whitelist important contacts
Yahoo is highly customizable, allowing you to choose the theme or decide whether emails open in a box or full screen.
5. Zoho Mail
Are you looking for a secure and reliable email provider for your business needs? Zoho mail offers some unique features you won’t find in a free setup, including:
- Advanced security to protect you and your customers
- 99.9% uptime
- Encryption for both rest and transit S/MIME messaging language
With Zoho Mail, you can use your own domain name for a more professional look, even if you don’t have a website. Just point the registered name to your inbox.
Cost: Mail Lite runs $1 per month per user with up to 5 GB storage
Proton is a well-known business email provider known for its enhanced security and nod to user privacy. If you have sensitive discussions with clients over email, you’ll appreciate their attention to detail when it comes to protecting those conversations.
- End-to-end encryption
- Mobile apps
- Customized inbox appearance
- Organize with folders, subfolders and filters
- Link multiple addresses
One of the things we really like about Proton is that you can move your current emails and contacts with a single click.
Cost: Send up to 150 messages per day for free or upgrade to Mail Plus for $3.99 per month for 15 GB storage and unlimited emails
If you do a lot of international business, you may want to look into free email providers such as German-run GMX. They have two different sites, one for international users and one in the German language for citizens of Germany. We’ll look at the international version here.
- Unlimited storage
- Attach files up to 50 GB, which is helpful to those who send graphics
- General Data Regulation Protection Act compliant as Germany is in the European Union
While there are some advantages to GMX that might work for users, there are a couple of disadvantages. They don’t offer two-factor authentication and you won’t be able to sync with POP or IMAP.
8. iCloud Mail
If you’re a fan of everything Apple branded, then you may want to look into iCloud Mail for your email provider needs.
If you just need a basic email service, this may be the way to go because of easy integration. It misses a few of the bells and whistles of other email providers. Here’s what you can expect:
- Integration with Apple systems
- Customer support even though it’s free
- Easy learning curve
Unfortunately, if you need any extras, iCloud Mail doesn’t offer them.
Finding the Right Email Provider for You
There isn’t a right or wrong answer as to which email providers are best. The system you are familiar with and that offers the features you most need is the best choice. Select one that helps create a professional look for your brand and that you will feel comfortable interacting with from day to day. Budget might also be a consideration if you’re just starting out.
Try several and see which email you like. It’s easier to choose one early on that lets you scale up later, too. Email communication is sometimes the first impression you make on customers, so choose wisely.