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Top 8 Email Providers to Revamp Your Inbox in 2021

Posted by Carla Andre-Brown on February 22, 2021

Top email providers to revamp your inbox
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Carla Andre-Brown
Content Marketer

Carla is a content marketer at Mailbird. She enjoys discovering new SaaS tools and writing about creative solutions and ideas. She also teaches Digital Marketing and Social Media at BCIT. Learning about instructional design, coffee, and chuckle-worthy videos have a special place in her heart. You can find her on Linkedin.

Published on February 22, 2021

Choosing an email provider is a big decision because it is an essential tool for reaching so many of our personal and business goals. In this article, we will explain how the right email account will help you as your inbox grows. We’ll explore a list of essential criteria you can use to review an email provider plan: storage, security, customization and tools, user support, mobile access, and price.

We’ll also give you our comparison of the top email providers’ selection of basic plans versus their business plans. Follow along to compare Gmail and Google Workspace, Zoho Mail, Yahoo Mail, and ProtonMail.

How Is an Email Provider Different from an Email Client?

An email provider is a service that lets your register an email address and also helps you send and receive messages. 

  • Examples of email providers: Yahoo, Outlook, Gmail 

When you use an email provider, you may create your own email address, like johndoe@yahoo.com or johndoe@gmail.com. Some of them also allow you to create professional email addresses using your company domain, like johndoe@bestcompany.com

An email client is software you can use to access your email. 

  • Examples of email clients: Mailbird, Thunderbird, Apple Mail 

When you use an email client, you may open your email addresses created with different email providers. 

Many email providers also have their own email clients, like Outlook and Gmail — you can create your email address and use their own product to open it and manage conversations. 

But also, there are “pure” email clients like Mailbird whose goal is to help you effectively manage your email from different providers. The unified inbox makes it possible for you to combine all of your emails from different accounts in one place.

Difference between an email provider and an email client

Criteria to Choose an Email Provider

Now that we understand the difference, let’s break down what you should look for in an email provider to register your personal or business email address. Here are the main criteria to consider. 

Security

Having a secure email provider is incredibly important to avoid unauthorized access to your data and third-party applications. It is recommended to use two-factor authentication at the very least. 

Most providers can offer additional features like:

  • End-to-end encryption
  • Anti-spam technology to weed out malicious emails before they reach your inbox
  • Open-source code to enable you to look at the history of the software and previous bugs.

Storage

The greater your enterprise, the greater space you’re going to need. Even for personal use, 1 GB is not so much. Conversely, 15 GB (what Gmail offers) is a significant amount for personal use, especially if your emails are mostly text, which takes up minimal space. 

Data

Activity

1 GB

Send 5000 emails

15 GB

Send 75,000 emails

1 TB

Send nearly 41 million emails

Consider how you keep and send large files because there may be attachment limits. It can’t be as easy as deleting old emails to gain back space because you may need to recall archived documentation for an issue. 

Another thing, check to see if there are limits on how many emails you can send daily. Are you scaling up your email campaigns? Part two of our post on how to choose the best email software for your business covers everything an email marketer must consider.

Customization and Tools

In order to have a professional appearance and operate smoothly across multiple channels, consider:

  • A custom domain address 
  • Quick configuration and integration between calendars and task managers you’ll use frequently to accomplish your to-do list 
  • A layout that helps rather than hinders you

Choose an email provider that works seamlessly with your routine.

User Support

Even if you’re not moving lots of data over, when the going gets tough, a reliable tech support service offers more value than you may realize.

  • Fast-tracked tickets to get to the bottom of issues quickly
  • Prioritized onboarding experience
  • Learn how to incorporate new features via exclusive webinars or info sessions

Mobile Access

If you are constantly on the go, your email should be too. At the very least you should be able to write and check emails, update calendars, and browse your attachments through the provider’s app. 

Referring back to customization and tools, your email should make it easy for you to forward tasks to third-party apps like Dropbox or Trello from your phone.

Price 

Free versions, like Gmail and Yahoo, may be adequate for personal use or for a small business, but paying for more services is a simple solution to improving or optimizing your workflow.

Both affordability and the breakdown of payments are important factors. Many providers have options to pay monthly versus annually. Some accept Bitcoin. Some base the price on your storage needs. Overall budget aside, know what these additional selling points add up to.

Criteria for choosing an email provider

Top Email Providers Compared for Small Businesses

We’ve taken some of the work out of your decision-making process and compared four of the best free plans against their business counterparts. 

Between our list of criteria to guide us, the intel from signing up for accounts ourselves, and poring over recent reviews, we have summarized the top email providers. This should help you determine whether it’s a good idea to upgrade or switch providers.

Gmail

Gmail has 1.8 billion users for good reason. People love that Gmail is compatible with so many applications, and not just the huge set of apps owned by Google. Gmail makes standard interactions accessible. We like them for their price (free) and generous storage capabilities, but they don’t offer a custom domain address. 

Features

  • 15 GB of storage
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Spam protection from Google’s advanced technologies
  • Basic integration with Google Apps
  • Smart Compose with Gmail’s predictive text feature
  • Google Knowledge Base for user support
  • Compatible with Android and iOS
  • IMAP and POP3 supported

Pricing

  • Free

Google Workspace

Google Workspace (formerly known as GSuite) stepped onto the scene as a single unified experience for working online. They integrate all of the collaboration and communication tools you can find across Google Apps into one plan, and the more you pay (there are three tiers), the more perks you get.

Google Meet is a popular tool included in Google Workspace

Custom domain email addresses and Google Meet catch our eye, but the added customer support is a huge bonus too.

Features

  • 15 GB plus additional storage in Google Drive
  • Two-factor authentication, Google Endpoint Management (for Standard and Plus)
  • Custom domain email address
  • Video conferencing for up to 150+ participants with Google Meet
  • Cloud Search for first-party data (for Standard and Plus)
  • 24/7 email and phone support 

Pricing

  • $6 USD / Month for Business Starter
  • $12 USD / Month for Business Standard
  • $18 USD / Month for Business Plus

Zoho Mail Lite

Zoho Mail sets itself apart as a provider because they are specifically designed to work with teams. This is why they offer custom domain emails at a low cost. Our personal experience with Zoho Mail taught us that it was great for customizing the layout, but their mobile app seemed fairly basic, and the storage limit could be bigger.

Features

  • 5 GB of storage
  • Two-factor authentication, encryption, intrusion detection
  • Supports up to five users on one plan
  • Custom domain email address
  • Hassle-free migration tool to move your data
  • Email support, Zoho Knowledge Base
  • Compatible with Android and iOS
  • IMAP and POP3 supported

Pricing

  • $1 USD / Month for Zoho Mail Lite

Zoho Mail Premium

You’ll get the standard Zoho features along with quite a bit of added storage and offline access. We are fans of the white labeling feature, which enables you to give safe access to reports you have created.

Zoho White LabellingFeatures

  • 50 GB
  • S-MIME encryption service
  • Offline access
  • Email recall
  • Email backup and restoration
  • White labelling
  • 24/7 live chat and toll-free phone support
  • Compatible with Android and iOS
  • IMAP and POP3 supported 

Pricing

  • $4 USD / Month for Zoho Mail Premium

Yahoo Mail

Yahoo has been around for quite some time. They’ve managed to keep themselves high on the list with their unbeatable storage space and attractive folder organization. People who get a lot of incoming photos to their inboxes are big fans of Yahoo Mail because it automatically populates photos in a gallery.

Unfortunately, most reviews have qualms with the number of ads you’ll get in your inbox.

Yahoo email inbox

 Features

  • 1 TB of storage
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Superior anti-spam technology
  • Compatible with Android and iOS
  • IMAP and POP3 supported

Pricing

  • Free

Yahoo Mail Pro

Yahoo Mail Pro doesn’t have a lot to differentiate it from the free plan. Its major selling point is that it is ad-free. If your storage needs go beyond 50 GB, this would be the best option for you.

Features

  • 1 TB
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Ad-free
  • Priority customer support and easy cancellation
  • Compatible with Android and iOS
  • IMAP and POP3 supported

Pricing

  • $3.49 USD / Month for Yahoo Mail Pro

ProtonMail

Based in Switzerland, ProtonMail is notorious for their dedication to privacy. Your messages are end-to-end encrypted. We love that the company is designed and maintained by open-source code so you can see what is being done to fix bugs and continue to improve. The free version doesn’t offer a lot of storage or customer support, but the peace of mind that your messages are not in the wrong hands is a huge bonus.

End-to-end encryption explained with ProtonMail

Features

  • 500 MB
  • Zero access to user data and end-to-end encryption
  • Password-protect messages to recipients
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Open-source
  • Compatible with Android and iOS

Pricing

  • Free

ProtonMail Professional 

The professional plan from ProtonMail is a great option to help you keep things secure and support their strict policy to stay away from ads. They offer an impressive five secure custom email addresses for one plan and certainly enough storage for a small organization. The customer support improves with this paid plan as well.

Features

  • 5 GB of storage per user
  • 5 custom email addresses
  • Unlimited sending limit
  • Password-protect messages to recipients
  • Catch-all service for custom domains
  • Short email domain for sending and receiving messages
  • Multi-user support
  • Compatible with Android and iOS
  • IMAP and POP3 supported

Pricing

  • $8 USD / Month for ProtonMail Professional

We have summarized our research on the top email providers in this table for you.

 

Gmail

Google Workspace

Zoho Mail Lite

Zoho Mail Premium

Yahoo Mail

Yahoo Mail Pro

ProtonMail

ProtonMail Professional

Storage

15 GB

15 GB and additional space on Google Drive

5 GB

50 GB

1 TB

1 TB

500 MB

5 GB

Security

2FA

2FA

Google Endpoint Management

2FA

Encryption. Intrusion detection

2FA

S-MIME encryption

2FA

2FA

2FA

Zero Access to user data

End-to-end encryption

2FA

Zero Access to user data

End-to-end encryption

Customization and Tools

Smart Compose

Video conferencing 

 

Custom domain email address

Custom domain email address

 

Migration tool

White labelling 

Email recall 

Custom domain email address

Smart folder organization 

Ad-free

Password-protected messages to recipients

Password-protected messages to recipients

Custom domain email address

User Support

Google Knowledge Base

24/7 Email and phone support 

Zoho Knowledge Base and community

24/7 Live chat and toll-free phone Support 

Live chat support 

Priority customer support

Email support 

Multi-User support 

Mobile Access

Android and iOS

No single app for Google Workspace

Android and iOS

Android and iOS

Android and iOS

Android and iOS

Android and iOS

Android and iOS

Monthly Price

Free

$6 – 18 USD

$1 USD

$4 USD

Free

$3.49 USD

Free

$8 USD

Google Workspace seems to be the top email provider for people and companies looking for value by virtue of its access to other tools, like video conferencing. The downside would be that there is no dedicated single app for mobile or desktop. The desktop issue is remedied by using an email client that allows Google Apps to be integrated and save you from bouncing around.

Zoho Premium is a great option if you share analytics with a lot of external clients, thanks to their white labeling. It comes at a reasonable price as well.

Yahoo seems to be a clear winner if you require an unprecedented amount of storage capacity, but they don’t offer nearly as many tools or security features as our other contenders.

For users determined to maintain a tight ship security-wise, it’s clear ProtonMail Professional is the way to go. Their open-source platform is a huge selling point. It’s worth noting that ProtonMail is not great for massive email blasts — their anti-spam ethos will hurt your efforts here.

Conclusion

There’s no such thing as the best email provider for everyone because each one of the top tools on the market has its benefits for different needs. We hope we’ve helped you choose your own best fit.

If you are looking for a great email client to manage all your business and personal correspondence in the same place, together with task managers and messengers conveniently organized, try Mailbird for free. It will save you a lot of time and bring comfort to your everyday communication.

Get Mailbird, the best email client for business that supports all email providers and helps manage multiple email accounts

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FAQs about Top Email Providers

What is an email provider?

An email provider hosts your email address and enables you to send and receive emails. Great providers also offer additional features.

What is the difference between an email provider and an email client?

An email provider is an app where you can register your email. An email client is an application that can run your email, as well as other integrations on your desktop.

What are the best email providers for business?

— Google Workspace is a superior email provider for businesses because it offers a wide variety of tools your business can use to streamline operations. With video conferencing for 150 participants, it’s hard to beat.
— ProtonMail Professional is a good option for small businesses because you get exceptional privacy and custom email addresses. It is not recommended for large teams with extensive email marketing needs.
— Zoho Mail Premium has some of the best features for business email, such as email backup and restoration, email recall, and white labeling.

What are the best free email providers?

— Gmail is a really attractive free email provider for small businesses because of all of the applications you can integrate. The only downside is that you can’t get a custom domain.
— Yahoo Mail appeals to people looking for free email providers because of the folder customization capabilities. If you don’t mind the ads, it otherwise has a very simple and attractive layout.
— ProtonMail is the unrivaled provider for anyone who wants peace of mind that their emails will not be compromised without paying a high cost.

Which email provider has the most storage?

Yahoo Mail outshines all of the other email providers with 1 TB of storage.

Which email provider has the best security?

ProtonMail offers the highest-caliber security to its customers, thanks to their security-focused origins and up-to-date privacy policies.


Avatar

Carla Andre-Brown
Content Marketer

Carla is a content marketer at Mailbird. She enjoys discovering new SaaS tools and writing about creative solutions and ideas. She also teaches Digital Marketing and Social Media at BCIT. Learning about instructional design, coffee, and chuckle-worthy videos have a special place in her heart. You can find her on Linkedin.

Published on February 22, 2021

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