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    The 5 best free email account services you can use online

    The 5 best free email account services you can use online

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    Some of the best free email accounts include Gmail, Outlook, iCloud, ProtonMail, and Yahoo Mail.
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    • The best free email accounts, like Gmail and Microsoft Outlook, offer users reliable and easy-to-use features.
    • You can also go with more niche free email account services, like ProtonMail.
    • When picking a free email service, consider what features are important to you, like security, data storage, or add-ons like video conferencing. 
    • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference section for more stories

    In the early days of the internet, it seemed like there were thousands of free email service providers. Since then, a select few have dominated the space thanks to their reliable features, customizable interfaces, and extensive storage options. 

    The best free emails accounts

    While Google’s Gmail and Microsoft’s Outlook stand above the rest in terms of well-rounded, accessible features, there are a couple outliers users should consider depending on their email needs. 


    Gmail is an obvious choice for many reasons: It’s free, customizable, and gives users access to the full Google Workspace (formerly known as G Suite). More than a billion people use Gmail across the world. 

    Here are the features that make Gmail stand out:

    • Schedule send (which lets users can schedule when an email is sent out)

    Gmail schedule send page

    Instead of sending an email immediately, you can schedule it to go out at a specific time.
    Meira Gebel/Insider
    • Automatic Out Of Office replies 
    • Advanced search via the toolbar to find specific emails 
    • 15 GB of free storage
    • Offline access (with Google Chrome)
    • Spam mail filter provides security against phishing and bugs
    • The ability to snooze emails for later 

    Gmail Snooze until window

    When you snooze an email, it’ll reappear unread at the top of your inbox at the time you select.
    Meira Gebel/Insider
    • Share files directly from Google Drive with email recipients without leaving the message box
    • Automatically filter emails into categories for Promotions, Social, and Updates
    • Undo send
    • Send confidential emails that expire within a specific period of time upon receipt 

    While Gmail has a highly customizable interface and sleek design, its labeling system could use some work. Users often have to customize labels and manually filter emails into folders, rather than the service doing it intuitively. 


    Microsoft Outlook has such a vast array of features that can either be incredibly useful, or overwhelming to those who want a simpler email service. Like Gmail, Outlook integrates with other Microsoft programs like Office, OneDrive, Skype, Calendar, PayPal, and DocuSign

    Here are the features that make Outlook stand out: 

    • Schedule send (where users can schedule when an email is sent out)
    • Automatic Out Of Office replies
    • Advanced search function via the toolbar to find specific emails 
    • 15 GB of free storage (subscribers get 50 GB)
    • Offline access (via the Outlook Web App)
    • Junk mail filter provides security against phishing and bugs
    • The ability to snooze emails for later 
    • Automatic email filtering (Outlook organizes emails it deems important to go to the “Focused Inbox”)
    • Works seamlessly with other Microsoft-related apps within the platform

    Outlook integrated Microsoft apps

    Outlook integrates Microsoft apps like Word, Skype, and OneDrive into the email platform.
    Meira Gebel/Insider
    • Similar editing abilities users would find in Microsoft Word

    Unlike Gmail, Outlook’s template for automatic email replies is restrictive and doesn’t offer many options. However, it’s ability to filter, label, and find emails puts it a notch above the rest. 


    Most Apple users know about iCloud’s email service, but don’t have one. The good news is you can set up an iCloud email account in a few minutes. iCloud’s email service is for anyone looking for a no-frills option that can accomplish basic email functions without much fuss. 

    Here are the features that make iCloud stand out:

    • Automatic Out of Office replies
    • 5 GB of storage (additional space can be purchased in monthly or yearly installments)
    • Junk mail filter provides security against phishing and bugs
    • Filters can be easily set up using Rules, which can be fo und on the sidebar
    • Access to Apple apps like iCloud drive, Notes, Reminders, Photos, Calendar, Contacts
    • Can be synced with any iOS device
    • Minimalist design is easy to use 
    • Allows users to designate “VIP” senders

    The biggest downside of iCloud’s email service is that you must have an Apple device to get full access to all its features. An iCloud email account also doesn’t have the ability to schedule send emails, snooze emails for later, or access email offline. However, if you have an Apple ID, signing up for iCloud is the easiest, quickest way to get an email address. 


    Users who are looking for the epitome of email security should look no further than ProtonMail. ProtonMail’s mission is to provide users with the privacy and security, which has made it a favorite among journalists and government figures.

    All emails are automatically encrypted unless otherwise selected, making it the best choice for anyone looking to ensure the security of their correspondence, but who can also overlook the service’s lack of extra features. 

    Here are the features that make ProtonMail stand out: 

    • End-to-end encryption on every email, even with those who don’t have ProtonMail


    ProtonMail messages can be encrypted even for non-ProtonMail emails.
    Meira Gebel/Insider
    • Encrypted email data 
    • Email expiration dates (automatically deletes an email after a certain amount of time, ranging from one hour to 28 days)

    ProtonMail expiration date window

    You can set an expiration date for an email in ProtonMail.
    Meira Gebel/Insider
    • Recipients will receive a one-time password to access an encrypted email
    • Anonymous sign-up 

    There are a few downsides to using ProtonMail, like only being able to send up to 150 messages per day. And at just 500MB, it’s free email storage is abysmal compared to other services. There’s also no way to filter messages into more than three folders.

    Yahoo Mail

    Don’t cast Yahoo Mail aside just yet. Yahoo has been around longer than many of the other email providers, but doesn’t get enough credit for its features and hefty storage options. In recent years, Yahoo has scrapped the flashy, page-length advertisements for a more robust, polished email interface that resembles its competitors. 

    Here are the features that make Yahoo stand out: 

    • Schedule send (where users can schedule when an email is sent out)
    • Automatic Out of Office replies
    • 1 TB of free storage (significantly more than most providers)
    • Junk mail filter provides security against phishing and bugs
    • Easy ability to connect external apps, like Google Drive and Dropbox
    • Disposable email address (users can create up to 500 disposable email addresses that can’t be linked back to their primary account)
    • Customizable folders and layout 
    • Ability to easily unsubscribe from unwanted emails without leaving your inbox
    • GIF keyboard

    yahoo gif uploader window

    Yahoo Mail has a built-in GIF uploader.
    Meira Gebel/Insider
    • Import contacts from sites like Facebook 
    • SMS and text message capabilities 
    • Track packages and mail within the Yahoo Mail app 

    Yahoo’s biggest downfall is it can, at times, be buggy and slow. Creating filters isn’t as intuitive as other competitors, making organization time-consuming. However, if you want to add Yahoo Mail to the mix, the app makes it easy to integrate your other inboxes (Gmail, AOL, Outlook) all in one place. 

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