Best Free Email Services 2017

Just because you pay for email doesn't make it good

Email in browser
Marvid/iStock

You can be picky. Your chosen email service will reward you with plenty of – possibly unlimited – storage, effective spam filtering, a fast and productive web interface, access through desktop as well as mobile email programs, and more. You can even get a highly secure email account for free if you like.

Looking for free email, you may also be interested in free POP3 and IMAP email services.

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yandex_eng_logo.png
Yandex. Yandex

Yandex.Mail offers a full, rich and usable email experience with powerful web access, mobile apps, POP as well as IMAP access and unlimited storage. Mobile apps for iOS and Android let you use Yandex.Mail in your hand.

For efficient email handling, message templates and the options to schedule emails and be reminded when you receive no reply in time stand out as exceptionally useful. Text snippets and possibly a dash of machine learning could make both the templates and regular email writing even easier, and the filters for sorting email could be more versatile.

A set of handy keyboard shortcuts makes Yandex.Mail efficient to use on the web while built-in e-cards add touches of fun and color. It's a pity Yandex.Mail does not work as a full IMAP email program on the web; you can access existing POP accounts, though.

Read the full Yandex.Mail review. More »

Outlook Mail on the Web
Outlook Mail on the Web. Microsoft, Inc.

Outlook Mail offers a rich email experience on the web and can be accessed via IMAP and POP as well as Exchange ActiveSync (which includes calendars, to-do items, and contacts).

The web interface shines with a clear interface that offers many an option. While Outlook Mail can sort important email from the rest and even categorize newsletters, bills, photos, and more automatically, it also lets you set up folders or apply custom labels as it suits you.

Special filters show you just the email you need and help keep your inbox trimmed. At the same time, Outlook Mail on the Web could be even smarter: it could suggest replies, for example, or include tools to postpone emails or schedule and track their delivery.

On the plus side, you can use Outlook Mail as your email hub on the web: it lets you access your other POP and IMAP accounts – including all folders for IMAP. Its functions can be extended quite dramatically with add-ons – say, to categorize or, yes, schedule email, or to save message text online.

Read the full Outlook Mail on the Web review. More »

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 iGmail is Google's approach to email and instant messaging.

That means collecting lots and lots of emails (with ample, though not unlimited storage), then relying on search and sorting to find them again.

True to that proposition, Gmail categorizes emails automatically using tabs (Primary, Social, and Promotions among others) automatically and comes with powerful search tools, which also double as helpful filters. Here, Gmail shines. Its spam filter, of course, also profits from the email analytics smarts and is practically precise.

Gmail's web interface lets you see messages in the immediate context of their conversation and helps you jump over the answering hurdle with contextually appropriate answer snippets to get you started.

POP and IMAP access let you access your email with any email program or device. Unfortunately, Gmail itself can retrieve email only from POP accounts. Its use as the one hub to access all your email accounts is thus limited, in spite of all Gmail's power (you can use an external SMTP server to send using non-Gmail addresses, for instance, to make sure your emails do not appear to be junk).

Gmail puts contextual advertising next to the emails you read. It's a great program but if you ever decide you need to remove a GMail account from an Android device, it's fairly simple to do.

Read the full Gmail review or find out how to create a free Gmail account right now and get the most out of it with these top tips for using Gmail. More »

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ProtonMail
ProtonMail's web interface offers easy to use, free and secure email. Proton Technologies AG

ProtonMail lets you use highly secure and anonymous email for free using capable mobile apps and an equally potent web interface.

The focus on encryption means your emails are safe from snooping, but it also means you cannot easily export them or access them using POP or IMAP.

Fortunately, ProtonMail's web and app interfaces offer solid email productivity themselves: you get keyboard shortcuts, rich-text formatting, and capable spam filtering. With ProtonMail's cryptographic prowess, you can even set emails to expire automatically.

More powerful email filters and templates or text snippets would render ProtonMail even more productive. Many a feature that depends on email contents is a tad trickier for ProtonMail to offer, of course, because everything has to happen in the browser or app – this is the only place where emails exist in their decrypted form.

Read the full ProtonMail review or find out how to create a ProtonMail account right away. More »

InboxbyGmail
InboxbyGmail. Google

Google's Inbox  is an alternative interface to Gmail designed to help you manage not just your emails but the information found in those messages.

Emails are automatically grouped, for example, and information extracted from them to be presented in what Inbox – and, they hope, you – deem a more useful form. You get updates on shipments in that manner, for instance, or itineraries for trips (consolidated from booking emails). Inbox by Gmail lets you act on grouped emails in unison, too, which can boost email productivity, as can, to some extent, postponing messages.

While Inbox does suggest terse starting points for replies that usually make sense, it cannot offer further help composing messages with contextual text snippets or simple email templates.

As helpful as all of Inbox's tools and fresh approaches can be, they can also confuse and overwhelm, especially at first.

Read the full Inbox by Gmail review. More »

AIM logo. AOL, Inc.

AOL Mail, AOL's free web-based email service, shines with unlimited online storage, excellent spam protection and an easy to use web interface.

Everything works in quite straight-forward a manner and, though simple, has been designed thoughtfully, it is apparent, and from experience.

Unfortunately, AOL Mail lacks a bit in productivity. Its web interface offers no labels, for instance, no smart folders, and no message threading). AOL Mail does make up for some of these shortcomings with functional IMAP (as well as POP) access.

Read the full AIM Mail review. More »

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iCloud logo
Apple Inc.

iCloud Mail is a free email service from Apple (for anybody using an Apple device such as an iPhone or Mac computer) with ample storage, IMAP access, and an elegantly functional web application. It focuses on the bare essentials and ensures these work just right while the absence of any advertising helps thwart distractions (and privacy concerns).

That interface at icloud.com does not offer labels or other more advanced tools for productivity and for organizing mail, though, and does not support accessing other email accounts either. POP access to iCloud Mail is missing, too.

Using IMAP, you can set up iCloud Mail in just about any email client on any computer or device.

Read the full iCloud Mail review. More »

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Yahoo Mail
© Yahoo

Yahoo! Mail is a most venerable email service. Tested over time, it contains much that has proven useful: practically unlimited storage, for instance, custom folders and filters to automatically file emails in them.

While Yahoo! Mail is a joy to use overall, free-form labeling and smart folders would be nice additions, as would email templates or suggested replies.

Speaking of replies, Yahoo! Mail's composition excels with stationery that is much more charming and classy than cheesy and rich editing with near-effortless emoji (as with instant messaging) access.

While Yahoo! Mail does lack in organization tools, its search engine is extra helpful: not only does it return results comprehensively and fast, but these are also grouped in useful a manner.

Read the full Yahoo! Mail Review and find out how to get most out of it with these Yahoo! Mail tips. More »

Mail.com and GMX Mail are reliable email services filtered well of spam and viruses.

Unlimited online storage lets you archive and file (in custom folders, while labels or other tools for organizing are missing) instead of delete with the unspectacular but straight-forward interface and mobile apps. When you reply, the unspectacular interface offers access to colorful email stationery and a sweet set of emoji – some of them super-sized.

If you want to forego the emoji and stationery, POP and IMAP access are unfortunately available only as a paid add-on.

Read the full Mail.com and GMX Mail review. More »