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The 5 Best Free Email Accounts in 2024: Find the Perfect Email Service for You

The 5 Best Free Email Accounts in 2023 Find the Perfect Email Service for you

A free email account is a modern day necessity for anyone with a digital footprint. Short for electronic mail, email or e-mail is a paperless method of exchanging messages (text, image, audio, video) digitally. 

You need an email account to use smartphones (Android, iOS), Instagram, YouTube, Amazon, Verizon, Indeed, save attachments, and more. In fact, if you use PayPal or Payoneer, your email account doubles as your account number.

According to Statista, 4.37 billion users (individuals, businesses, organizations, institutions, and even governments) exchange more than 347 billion emails every single day!

But in order to send or receive emails, you need an email account. And with hundreds of email service providers, choosing can become challenging, especially if you don’t know what to expect.

In this article, we highlight the best free email accounts for 2023 and beyond. Whether you’re a business owner or a teen who just turned 18, you’ll find this handy when choosing a free email account service.

Best Free Email Accounts

So, we went digging, and these are the absolute best free email services we found.

1. Gmail

Screenshot showing an opened email in Gmail inbox

With more than 1.8 billion users, Gmail is easily one of the best free email account services. Launched in 2004 and powered by Google, Gmail seamlessly integrates with other Google services. It features a Material You theme and a user-friendly UI.

Google offers 15GB of free storage across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. You can purchase additional Google One storage up to 2TB for a monthly fee and this will be spread across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos.

Gmail lets you create an unlimited number of Gmail accounts and switch accounts easily. You can also send an unlimited number of emails daily with a maximum attachment size of 25MB per email. 

Other key Gmail features include Smart Compose, Auto-Correct, Sender Photo, Email Snooze, Email Nudges, Email Signature, Message Unsend, All Mail (single inbox), Labels, Message Scheduling, Vacation Response, and Offline Mail.

Gmail also supports Smart Filters, AI-enhanced Spam Filtering, Importance Markers, Delegated Accounts/Shared Inboxes, Send Mail As, Dynamic Email, Email Client Configuration, and a free SMTP Server.

There’s also an in-app browser, Package Tracking, Developer Add-ons, Extensions, Customizable Keyboard Shortcuts, Desktop Notifications, a dedicated Android and iOS app, and Dark Mode support.

In terms of security, messages are end-to-end encrypted, you can set up two-factor authentication (2FA), get unrecognized device sign-in alerts and proactive alerts, use Confidential Mode, and enjoy safe browsing, but sacrifice some privacy.

Download Gmail: iOS | Android

2. Outlook

Screenshot of Outlook inbox showing an opened email

Hot on the heels of Gmail, as the next best free email account provider is none other than Outlook. In terms of user base, Microsoft Outlook comes a distant second with around 400 million users although it launched in 1997. Still, it is not to be underrated. 

Outlook features a simplistic, minimalist, and roomy design by default. It has a customizable user-friendly UI that lets you reorganize the reading pane. It seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft services like Office, OneDrive, To-Do, and Microsoft 365.

With 15GB of free storage space, Outlook offers plenty of room for your essential stuff. You can also purchase additional OneDrive storage up to 1TB with a Microsoft 365 plan. As for attachments, the maximum attachable file size per email is 20MB. 

Outlook supports unlimited accounts creation and unlimited number of messages per day. It also supports email aliases (same inbox, sent, items, and contact list, but different sender name and address) as well as Dark Mode.

Like Gmail, it also supports sender image, so you can recognize people who message you. And if you don’t want a particular sender or domain contacting you, you can stop them with Sender and Domain Blocking.

Other interesting features include Automatic Replies, Mail Forwarding, Message Translation, Read Aloud, Snooze, Sweep, Flag, Unflag, customizable Quick Actions, custom Rules for handling incoming mail, and Email Signatures.

Outlook also has dedicated Android and iOS apps, uses end-to-end encryption, and supports two-factor authentication, but, as of May 10, 2021, only premium Microsoft 365 subscribers can add other mailboxes like Gmail to their Outlook accounts.

Download Outlook: iOS | Android

3. Yahoo Mail

Screenshot of Yahoo Mail primary inbox showing received messages 

Launched the same year as Outlook, Yahoo, now Yahoo Mail, has come a long way to rank #3 on our list of the top free email account services. It boasts a massive user base of more than 227 million, which is still a far cry from its glory days.

Although it historically has less users, Yahoo Mail now boasts more competitive features. For instance, it integrates smoothly with other Yahoo services and offers a whopping 1TB of free cloud storage across the board.

With Mailbox List, you can create up to 50 free Yahoo Mail accounts and send an unlimited number of emails daily. You can also attach files of up to 25MB per email that you send.

Yahoo Mail also features a decent modern UI which feels a little cluttered with ads competing for your attention. Thankfully, you can fully personalize your inbox, organize emails, and customize filters.          

Other noteworthy features include Emails to Myself (a lifesaver if you send emails to yourself often or save notes in Drafts), Send-Only Email Addresses, Temporary or Disposable Email Addresses, Blocked Addresses, and Blocked Domains.

Other things we love about Yahoo Mail include 1-Click Unsubscribe, Auto-forwarding (forwards emails to a preferred address), Link Preview Generator, Dynamic Messages, Android and iOS apps, and of course, Vacation Response.

Yahoo Mail also supports email signatures and desktop notifications. With Enhance Contacts, Yahoo Mail will automatically extract phone numbers and physical addresses from emails. It also supports 2-step verification, message encryption, and safe sign-in methods.

Download Yahoo Mail: iOS | Android

4. Proton Mail

Screenshot of Proton Mail inbox showing welcome mail

Coming in at #4 is none other than Proton Mail, another popular free email account service. Only recently launched in May 2014, Proton Mail is the youngest of the top five free email account services and already has more than 70 million users.

Of all the free email account services on this list, Proton Mail offers the least free cloud storage of only 500MB which is expandable to 1GB after completing certain actions such as importing your emails or contacts and trying its Android/iOS app.

Proton Mail features a standard, intuitive, and user-friendly UI that supports different degrees of customization. It easily integrates with other Proton services such as Proton Drive, Proton VPN, and Proton Calendar. 

Proton Mail Free limits you to just one email account (with unlimited aliases) and 150 emails per day with no support for bulk or programmatic messaging. You can attach up to 100 files per email provided the attachment size is no more than 25MB.

Per email security and privacy, Proton Mail is reputed as the most secure and privacy-friendly email provider. It uses asymmetric end-to-end encryption and zero-access encryption (not even Proton Mail can view your password).

Proton Mail also supports anonymous sign-ups and payments with Bitcoin, two-factor authentication, password-protected emails, encrypted contact details, as well as self-destructing emails.

Other interesting features include Dark Mode support, Easy Switch import assistant, folders (3), labels (3), and custom filters (1). Proton Mail attributes its comparatively “lean” feature set to its ad-free email model.

Download Proton Mail: iOS | Android

5. Zoho Mail

Screenshot of Zoho Mail inbox showing welcome email

Last but by no means the least on our list of the best free email account services is Zoho Mail. Launched in 2008, Zoho Mail is mainly targeted at businesses seeking custom domain-based email accounts. 

Zoho Mail Forever Free Plan offers free email accounts that can only be accessed via its web client and mobile app (Android, iOS). As of 2020, Zoho Mail had a user base of more than 15 million

Zoho Mail offers free cloud storage of up to 5GB per user for up to 5 users and a file attachment size limit of 25MB for free email accounts. However, free email accounts don’t get IMAP/POP/Active Sync support.

Zoho Mail sports an impressive user-interface and spacious reading pane with superb customization options and a host of useful features. It seamlessly integrates with other Zoho services like Calendar, Tasks, and Notes. And there are lots of them.

Highly secure, with end-to-end encryption, you can also add SecurePass protection to emails. This will require the recipient to enter an OTP to open your email. It further prevents forwarding, copying, printing, or downloading, and self-destructs.   

Zoho Mail supports email scheduling, email reminders/nudges, draft sharing, Twitter alerts, email prioritization, email signatures, encoding, delivery receipts, and tags. You can even record audio right in your inbox.

It also features sticky notes, dark mode support, desktop notifications, passworded downloads, programmable junk mail clean up, custom keyboard shortcuts, extensions, shared folders, out of office replies, Send Mail As, Developer Space, and much more.

Download Zoho Mail: iOS | Android

Frequently Asked Questionss

1. What is the best free email service for privacy and security?

Given its unique feature set including anonymous sign up, self-destructing emails, asymmetric end-to-end encryption, and zero-access encryption, the best free email service for privacy and security (for personal use) will be Proton Mail. 

Zoho Mail also offers best-in-class enterprise-grade email privacy and security features for businesses and organizations. This includes features like end-to-end encryption and SecurePass Email (complete with OTP and self-destruct timer).  

2. How much storage do I need for my email account?

How much storage you need for a free email account largely depends on your particular situation and hierarchy of needs. If storage is your biggest need, then we recommend Yahoo Mail with a massive 1TB of free storage.

But, if you’d rather pick privacy and security over storage, then consider either Proton Mail or Zoho Mail. If you ever need more than 1TB of free storage, then feel free to sign up for multiple email accounts with the same or different providers.

3. Can I use a free email service for business purposes?

Yes, you can use a free email service for business purposes if you’re a solopreneur, freelancer, (really) small local business owner, or cash strapped. However, you’ll be trading off enterprise-grade security and business suite features.

If you’re a growing, small, or big business, then the answer is no. A free email account comes with limitations that can stifle your business. For instance, your messages can easily be ignored and flagged as spam.  

4. How do I import my contacts from another email service?

Every email provider has specific methods for importing contacts from another email service. Upon sign up, most free email account services on this list will prompt you to import your contacts.

If you missed this step during setup, you can always go to Settings and look around for Contacts-related menus. If you can’t find any, contact your email service provider, or check out their Help or FAQs pages.

5. Can I access my email account on my mobile device?

Yes, you can always access your email account on a mobile device whether it is Android or iOS-based. You can do this by downloading the mobile app (see links for each email service beneath its entry). 

Another easy way to access your email on the go is via web apps. Most free email account providers, including Zoho Mail, have web apps. These allow you to access app-like services on a browser without downloading the apps.

6. How do I set up filters to organize my inbox?

Filters help you to easily organize your inbox and sort your mails to your taste. How you set up filters differs from email provider to provider. For most email account services, you can find Filters on the home screen.

For other email services or for more advanced filters, you may have to go through the Settings. Note that filters can go by different names including Rules, so make sure to also look out for those too.  

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