It's probably not a surprise that Gmail makes the top of my list for one of the best free email accounts. Gmail is Google's free email service that has a really nice and modern feel to it, and there are numerous shortcuts you can use to make it even easier to work with.
There are different themes you can apply to Gmail's interface to customize how it appears, tons of advanced settings, and the ability to create labels and filters, import email in from other email accounts, use a chat client, and, among other features, install gadgets (add-ons) to extend Gmail's functionality.
You can even view your Gmail messages without an internet connection if you install Gmail Offline.
Gmail shares a massive 15 GB of email storage with other Google services, which makes it super easy to share files with email recipients straight from your Google Drive account without having to leave Gmail, even files as large as 10 GB!
Since Google Calendar is another part of Google's list of services, it's equally as easy to integrate it with your emails, like to instantly add events taken from messages.
An email address at Gmail is set up in the format firstname.lastname@example.org. However, messages can be sent to email@example.com as well, or even example+(anything can be written in here)@gmail.com, and they will still arrive in your regular Gmail inbox.
Tip: If you have a YouTube account, you can login to Gmail with the same information since YouTube is another Google service that's accessed through a Google account.
Outlook.com (Outlook Mail) is Microsoft's free email service that, like Gmail, has a solid interface that's easy to work with.
Free email accounts created with Outlook.com are configured as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Changing how you work with Outlook Mail couldn't be easier. You can very quickly change the color scheme of the page and choose where the reading pane should display.
I like how intuitive Outlook.com is - it's as easy as right-clicking an email to find further options like moving/deleting messages and searching for every email from that one sender, for example.
Email rules are supported with Outlook.com, which means you can set new messages to automatically move to a specified folder, be categorized, flagged or even forwarded if certain conditions are met.
In addition to regular mail features, you can also connect to Skype, Facebook and a couple other messaging services so you can stay connected without having to leave Outlook.com.
Like Gmail, Outlook Mail is closely related to Outlook Calendar so that events can be shared between the two. Also, add-ins are supported in the email service, too, ones like PayPal, DocuSign, Trello, Boomerang, GIPHY and many others.
Users can enjoy easy access to other free Microsoft services through Outlook Mail because it's part of Microsoft Office Online.
Note: Microsoft's email addresses used to be setup as @hotmail.com and @live.com. If you have one of those addresses you can still login to Outlook.com, but any new accounts set up will include the newer @outlook.com.
As would seem obvious, Yahoo Mail is the free email account offered by Yahoo. Each new user gets a whopping 1 TB of free storage for email!
Yahoo Mail email addresses are set up as email@example.com.
The compose window when making new emails is a bit similar to Gmail, but one useful difference is that it's easy to switch between inline image attachments and normal file attachments. This means you can switch a file attachment to be embedded in the email and just as easily reverse it to make it a file attachment.
You can also insert GIFs directly from a built-in GIF collection, and stationery with a similar stationery browser.
Several awesome themes are available with Yahoo Mail that changes the entire background and color scheme of the website, which makes for a pretty unique design.
Yahoo Mail lets you import contacts from a file on your computer as well as from your Facebook, Google or Outlook.com account. This makes it easy to transfer contacts from a different email provider to Yahoo Mail.
You can also create up to 500 disposable addresses that are linked to your main email address but don't contain your name or any other personal data. This is extremely useful if you're often signing up for web accounts and don't wish to have your regular inbox spammed or filled with useless email; just delete the disposable address if the spam becomes too overwhelming.
Something else I like about Yahoo Mail is the built-in news reader and notepad. You can switch to those views in seconds, and then just as easily move back to reading and sending emails.
Yahoo Mail also gives you access to an online calendar and an instant messaging service. You can even connect external email accounts to Yahoo Mail so you can use one interface to manage all your mail, even from services like Gmail and Outlook Mail.
AOL Mail is another free email account option. The main page where you find your email also shows top stories from AOL.com, which can either be viewed as a nice addition or seem cluttered depending on personal preference.
Like some email providers, you can quickly filter your messages to only show unread or read emails, or flagged or unflagged messages.
Many advanced settings are customizable like changing the spam filter's sensitivity, controlling who (if anyone) can you send you mail, enabling a reading pane and blocking mail containing specific words.
In your mail settings, you can clearly read the IMAP and POP server settings, which are very useful if you're using your AOL email address with offline email clients. Most other email providers don't display this information, so that's a positive for sure.
I also like the fact that you can configure an alert to have AOL send you a text message when certain criteria are met, such as if an email from a specific contact that includes a certain word in the subject or body is delivered to your inbox.
In-browser sound alerts are also supported, and there are several options you can choose from. This sort of flexibility is usually not available with web mail accounts, but AOL Mail is an exception.
Also included is a to-do list and calendar with the ability to make events right from emails. There's also a background changer so your emails can have a nice background image. You can import contacts in the CSV, TXT or LDIF file formats.
An AOL email address gives you an email like firstname.lastname@example.org, but you can also receive mail if someone sends you messages at email@example.com.
Yandex is a Russian company that provides many tools in addition to free email accounts, such as an internet browser, 10 GB of cloud storage service and search engine.
Similar to Google, your Yandex email account makes it possible to access all of these services using one login.
The interface for Yandex Mail is very nice to work with. It's easy to read and provides a very simple layout while still keeping all the necessary tools intact.
Like most of the other email providers on this list, Yandex.Mail supports email filters, contact importing and exporting, tasks and hotkeys.
However, unlike most others, you can forward multiple messages with ease; they'll send as file attachments, import files directly from Yandex.Disk, send an SMS copy of an email, import images by their URL, download emails to EML files, delay when the email should send, get notified when the message sends and even be reminded later if you don't get a reply.
There are also dozens of themes you can choose from to instantly transform the entire page. Some of the themes can even be interacted with, such as the Weather theme, which shows local weather below your mail.
You can add other email accounts to Yandex.Mail if you prefer to read all your mail here. This means you could make a Gmail and Yahoo Mail account, for example, and just read all of them at Yandex.Mail.
Email accounts created at Yandex end with @yandex.com.
The main difference between ProtonMail and the other email services above is that this one is centered around encryption. The idea is that you can send mail without fear that the people at ProtonMail, or anyone else besides the recipient, can read the message.
When you're ready to send an encrypted message, be sure to click that button before you send the message. That is, unless you send a message to another ProtonMail user, in which case it's always encrypted.
If you choose to encrypt the message, you can also set an expiration time so that the message is destroyed and unreadable after the duration you specify (the time starts the moment you send the message).
The maximum expiration time is four weeks (28 days) but you can choose something sooner, too, like 1-6 days or 1-23 hours, or a combination of both (e.g. one day and four hours, or just one hour).
If you send the message to a non-ProtonMail user and don't define an expiration time, the message will still expire in 28 days.
Recipients who receive encrypted messages open the message through a link that asks for the password, where it's decrypted and displayed in the browser. They can reply through an encrypted channel via the same message they decrypted, and don't even need to have a ProtonMail account.
You can choose to have a @protonmail.com or @protonmail.ch email address.
Since there is a premium plan available, the free one is limited to 500 MB of storage space, can only send up to 150 messages per day (which is more than enough for most people anyway), and requires the "Sent with ProtonMail Secure Email" signature.
Several other features are also not available in the free edition, like automatic replies, sub accounts, and more.
Though Zoho Mail does have a free email service, Zoho as a whole is like an online suite of several apps that are centered around business use.
The first thing I noticed about Zoho Mail when composing a message is how minimal the design is, which can be a great thing. When you make a new message, you can quickly switch between the new message and the rest of your mail through the small tabs on the right side of the page.
All the standard compose tools are included in this email service. You can even add images from Zoho Docs, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, and other services, as well as include tables in your messages.
It's easy to create new notes, tasks, calendar events, contacts and bookmarks in Zoho Mail since it's closely connected with some of those other Zoho apps.
Streams is a feature in Zoho Mail that makes it easy to create groups where you and your team members can interact with shared messages and attachments. It works a bit like a private social media site.
Another great thing about this email service is that you can truly customize a lot of what you see on the page, as well as use keyboard shortcuts, filters, a vacation reply and add domains to the white list and/or black list.
All Zoho Mail addresses end as @zoho.com.
The major difference I find in Mail.com versus the other providers in this list is that you can choose between over 200 free domains. Instead of being stuck with one, like @outlook.com or @gmail.com, you can pick from a huge list.
The email domains are categorized into sections so it's easy to find one that relates to certain jobs, hobbies, tech and music. There are also US, world and spiritual domains.
Some of the top choices include mail.com, email.com, usa.com, myself.com, post.com, dr.com, techie.com, engineer.com, cheerful.com and writeme.com.
Once you create your email account, you can even build up to 10 alias addresses that work with your "main" address. For example, if you were to build a doglover.com address as your main one, and then use an asia.com address as an alias, any messages sent to either address will go to your doglover.com inbox.
Besides the extreme flexibility to choose a custom domain name for your email address, there really isn't much else to be excited about when it comes to creating a Mail.com email account.
You can, however, connect other email addresses to it so that you can send and receive those messages through Mail.com. There's also an email filter, calendar and file storage vault with 2 GB of free space.
Note: Mail.com uses the exact same interface and features as GMX.com. You can create an email account at GMX as well but you're only given the option to have it end in @gmx.us or @gmx.com. However, you do get unlimited storage space with GMX.
Tutanota (Latin for "tuta nota", meaning "secure message") is similar to the ProtonMail service above in that it automatically encrypts all your emails. However, you can disable end-to-end encryption if you'd like.
The first thing that stood out with this email service is that you can't proceed with creating your account until you make a really secure password. Some places will urge you to make your password stronger but still accept it; Tutanota requires it.
The web interface is really easy to use and provides nice menu transitions that really bring together the mail folders and email settings.
When sending messages to non-Tutanota users, you can choose to make them password protected or to keep them unencrypted. If a password is chosen, the recipient will get a custom link to open the message, where they must enter the password to read and reply.
Probably the nicest feature about this is that when the Tutanota user responds back to the user not using Tutanota, the messages are still contained within the temporary account. This means you can have back and forth communication with any other email service and they can keep the link open the whole time.
Even though it isn't as well known as Gmail, Yahoo, etc., Tutanota supports an email signature, mobile apps for Android and iOS, 1 GB of email storage, automatic contact creation for recipients you email, spam rules, and premium features for a cost.
You can make an account with any of these domains: tutanota.com, tutanota.de, tutamail.com, tuta.io, keemail.me.
The Best Free Email Accounts
Choose the Best Free Email
Free email accounts may seem like a dime a dozen, but there are some free services that stand way above the rest. This article will help guide you through the best free email accounts and which features make them the best.
When choosing a free email account, you'll want to look for a few characteristics to help you determine which one is best for you. The free email accounts will differ in how much email storage you get, what the interface looks like and how it can be customized, and what types of advanced features are included, like messaging, filters and the ability to import.
It also is probably important to you what your actual email address is. If you can't find one that you like at your first pick for a free email account, I recommend moving onto another one to see if it's available there. Remember to try different combinations and variations to get an address that's not taken.
Note: It's important to never reveal personal information in your email address, like your home address or phone number. It's common for email addresses to be a name with a couple numbers, or a word or phrase that means something.