The 12 Best Free (and Private) Email Accounts and Service Providers of 2022

You need an email account — whether it’s for networking, job recruitment, downloading resources, transferring files, setting reminders, meeting with colleagues, or something else.

Even with the rise of office chat platforms, you still depend on email for a surprising number of things. But unfortunately, not every email service is completely free. And even the free ones might not be the easiest to use or have all the features you need.

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It can be a challenge to find an email service provider at no cost that balances the right features with usability. To help make your search easier, we put together a list of the different types of email accounts you can set up, followed by the best email service providers you can host your account on right now for free.

Types of Email Accounts

There are two main types of email service providers to choose from: Email clients and Webmail.

Let’s briefly go over these different types of providers.

Email clients you’ve likely heard of include Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, and iCloud Mail.

Examples of webmail providers include Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Hotmail.

Now, take a look at seven of the best free email service providers (and five of the best email accounts for privacy) you can get your hands on today — both webmail and email clients included. For each email service provider, we’ve highlighted a unique feature to help you find the best fit.

1. Gmail: Best for Offline Accessibility

Best Free Email Accounts: Gmail

Unique Feature: Native File Collaboration

Sign up here.

Type of email: Webmail

Who should use it: Anyone who already uses and loves the rest of Google’s products.

It might seem like an obvious top pick, but Gmail is just too versatile not to get our first slot. According to Litmus Labs, Gmail has the second-highest email provider market share (behind Apple iPhone’s native email app).

Ironically, one of the reasons Gmail has become so popular is because of all the communication options in your inbox that don’t involve email.

Gmail is a regular email inbox tool you can access once you have a Google account. Since it’s built into Google Suite, you can also access a group of free apps that allow you to chat, video conference, and share files with the people in your contact list.

Google Hangouts, available from your inbox’s left sidebar (or the right — you can customize how your inbox is displayed), lets you text and video chat with other Gmail users for the things that might not warrant an email message.

Like most other email accounts today, Gmail also has an intuitive calendar where you can set meetings and reminders.

Pro Tip: You can also use a free product like HubSpot Meetings to easily schedule meetings without back-and-forth emails.

Unlike other email accounts, you can use your Gmail address to log into and manage your YouTube account, as well as collaborate on shared documents and spreadsheets right from a cloud-based Google Drive.

Offering a generous 15 GB of free email storage, Gmail does everything it can to make your inbox less chaotic, including advanced filters that automatically push emails into separate folders as they arrive. And none of these functions costs a dime.

Notable Features:

  • Allows you to un-send emails
  • 15GB free email storage
  • Accessible from any internet-connected device
  • 99.9% protection from suspicious/spam emails
  • Texts suggestions that help you write emails faster

2. AOL: Best for Interface Organization

aol best free email account and service providerBest Free Email Accounts: AOL

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Unique Feature: Unlimited Storage

Sign up here.

Type of email: Webmail

Who should use it: Anyone who uses email for most of their communication.

America Online (I feel nostalgic just typing those words) has quietly kept up with today’s standards for a good user experience and is now once again one of the best free email accounts available to you.

Purchased by Verizon in 2015, AOL delivers your email from its classic news-driven homepage and comes with the contemporary spam filters and virus protection you’d expect from your email provider. You can also send text and instant messages from specific windows in your email inbox.

AOL does have something over Gmail, though: unlimited storage. Additionally, you can import email contacts from a CSV, TXT, or LDIF file, so you’re not creating your “buddy list” (get it?) from scratch.

Notable Features:

  • Unlimited storage
  • Highly customizable
  • Offers a spellchecker to reduce errors

3. Outlook: Best for Multiple App Integrations

Best Free Email Accounts: Outlook

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Unique Feature: Multiple App Integrations

Sign up here.

Type of email: Email client

Who should use it: Anyone who uses many different platforms to connect with others.

If you ever cringed at the sight of a “Hotmail.com” email address, you can thank Outlook for this outdated domain name.

But there’s good news: Microsoft has reinvented its longstanding email service, and your free Outlook.com email address has many advanced features waiting for you.

While it touts a calendar and message filter similar to Gmail, Outlook also integrates with several other popular communication apps.

For example, you can connect Skype, Facebook, PowerPoint, PayPal, and even task-management software such as Trello — making it very easy to reach and work with non-Outlook users without leaving your inbox.

Outlook offers 15 GB of free storage for each user, along with a super-clean interface.

Notable Features:

  • Like with Excel or Word, you can use Add-ins with Outlook
  • Easy access to other Microsoft apps like Skype
  • Provides aliases that add anonymity to your email
  • Excellent email organization
  • Great search feature

4. Yahoo! Mail: Best for Lots of Storage

Best Free Email Accounts: Yahoo Mail

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Unique Feature: Media and attachment history

Sign up here.

Type of email: Webmail

Who should use it: Creatives and anyone who sends and receives attachments frequently via email.

Yahoo! Mail, another well-known platform, sits just behind AOL in storage space with a whopping 1 TB (that’s a terabyte) for free, along with a few key social media integrations.

You can have custom background themes and search for key information from your inbox with Yahoo! Mail.

Yahoo! Mail makes it easy to find every photo, video, and document you’ve ever attached or received via email in their tabs on your inbox’s sidebar. This makes the platform especially appealing to those who share documents regularly or simply want an album made of every photo they’ve ever had shared.

Notable Features:

  • Connects seamlessly with Yahoo Calendar
  • Outstanding email organization
  • Customizable themes
  • Instant notifications for new emails
  • Decent security to keep your account safe and secure

5. iCloud Mail: Best for Data Encryption

Best Free Email Accounts: iCloud Mail

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Unique Feature: Label senders as VIPs

Sign up here.

Type of email: Webmail

Who should use it: people who use Mac and want everything on one system.

If you’re a Mac user, you may want to consider using iCloud Mail as your email provider. Their free email account comes with 5GB of storage that you can use to sync your photos, files, or email.

However, it’s important to note that storage is shared between all of your apps and devices — so if you take a lot of photos on your iPhone, you may eat into your email storage allowance for the month. Upgraded plans start at $0.99/month and go up to $9.99/month.

One of the most significant advantages of using iCloud over other email providers on this list is the ease of integration. Apple builds its desktop and iPhone mail apps with all email clients in mind, but it pays special attention to making the experience delightful for iCloud users.

Notable Features:

  • Search functionality
  • Ability to label senders as VIP to automatically filter important messages and save time
  • One-click “Unsubscribe” feature
  • 5GB free email storage

6. Mozilla Thunderbird: Best for Managing Multiple Accounts

Best Free Email Accounts: Mozilla Thunderbird

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Unique Feature: Customization features and the ability to open multiple emails in tabs

Sign up here.

Type of email: Email clients

Who should use it: Anyone looking for a simple but customizable email inbox.

Thunderbird, a free email application from Mozilla, known for Firefox, offers a quick email inbox setup and a simple, easy-to-use user interface.

The app offers customizable features, such as theme settings and app extensions to improve your email experience. The email app also allows you to open multiple emails in tabs, similar to how you would open various web pages in Firefox browsers.

Notable Features:

  • It has a large extension library
  • Integrates with Google Calendar to make task and meeting scheduling easier
  • Smart email organization to reduce cluster

7. Yandex Mail: Best for Translating Emails

Best Free Email Accounts: Yandex Mail

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Unique Feature: 10 GB of free cloud storage

Sign up here.

Type of email: Webmail

Who should use it: anyone seeking a free email with additional storage capabilities.

Yandex is a Russian web company that offers a global email tool. You can sign up for a free account with the tool, link it to your Facebook, Twitter, or Gmail accounts, and personalize your email inbox.

Like many of the other providers on this list, Yandex’s email inbox can be set to filter or prioritize emails so you see messages from real people. It can also recognize keywords in messages and subject lines and organize emails into categorized inboxes. Additionally, users who sign up for Yandex mail get 10 GB of free cloud storage.

Notable Features:

  • Auto-reminder for unreplied mails
  • In-built translator
  • Read receipts on sent emails
  • 10 GB free cloud storage


8. Zoho

Best Free Email Accounts For Privacy: Zoho

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Unique Feature: 25 Business Addresses

Sign up here.

Type of email: Webmail

Who should use it: startups and small businesses.

This is the first of the free email accounts for privacy to make our list, but it holds a ton of potential for businesses.

The first thing you’ll notice about Zoho is its user-friendliness. From integrating with Google Drive, Box, and other cloud-based file managers, to its built-in task manager, this email service offers a simple way to accomplish all of your daily tasks.

The real difference-maker, though, is the ability to customize the domain name for up to 25 connected email addresses. Want to replace “@zoho.com” with the name of your business’s website? You can do so under Zoho Lite, which gives you 5 GB for free — all under username@yourdomainname.com.

Notable Features:

  • Doesn’t scan your inbox for advertisement purposes
  • Emails are in an encrypted format
  • Notifies you if your messages don’t deliver
  • Integrates easily with the Zoho CRM

9. ProtonMail

Best Free Email Accounts For Privacy: ProtonMail

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Unique Feature: Encrypted email

Sign up here.

Type of email: Webmail

Who should use it: Anyone who sends and receives sensitive information.

ProtonMail offers just 500 MB of free space, but for the worthy trade of encrypted email, allowing you to send messages that nobody else can see and disappear after a month.

What’s the catch? Is the service hard to use? ProtonMail is easy to use on any device without any software needed to encrypt your emails, as with most webmail platforms. Its inbox interface is as easy to understand at a glance as the other email services on this list.

And the tool offers quick color-coded labels to help you further organize which emails deserve the most care and protection.

Notable Features:

  • No personal information is required to open an account
  • Compatible with other email providers
  • Optimized inbox to boost productivity
  • End-to-end data encryption

10. GMX Mail

Best Free Email Accounts For Privacy: GMX Mail

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Unique Feature: Alias email addresses

Sign up here.

Type of email: Webmail

Who should use it: Anyone who needs multiple emails with one central inbox.

While you may not have heard of GMX Mail, it’s been around for quite a while (since 1997) — and it has a bunch of features that make it worth considering.

First off, GMX offers 65 GB of storage. That’s a lot of storage for a free email service. In fact, they claim that it allows you to keep nearly half a million messages in your Inbox!

Another feature worth noting is the ability to send large attachments. While many services have low caps for your email attachments, GMX Mail allows you to send files up to 50MB. That’s great if you share a ton of photos, presentations, or other large files from your account.

But the feature of GMX Mail that really sets it apart is the ability to set up to 10 alias email addresses all from within one account. This can be useful in many situations — both personally and professionally.

On a personal note, you could use one alias for all of your online purchases and logins — to keep marketing emails separate from your private messages. From a business perspective, multiple email addresses can help manage role-based emails such as support@yourdomain.com or sales@yourdomain.com.

Notable Features:

  • Spam filter to protect your inbox from suspicious messages
  • Easy-to-use inbox management templates
  • Mail collector for keeping all your emails (even from other service providers) in a single place

11. Trustifi

Best Free Email Accounts For Privacy: Triustifi

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Unique Feature: Data loss prevention

Sign up here.

Type of email: Webmail

Who should use it: Anyone who doesn’t want to choose between having a secure and functional inbox.

Trustifi combines the best of a productive and secure email provider in one place.

With available whitelisting and blacklisting options, you can easily choose who you allow to send you messages. Trustifi is also compliant with HIPAA/HITECH, PII, GDPR, FSA, FINRA, LGPD, CCPA, and more, so you don’t have to worry about losing your account overnight.

You can even use the Trustifi add-on to add an extra security layer to your Gmail or Outlook inbox.

Notable Features:

  • Ransomware and fraud detection
  • Ability to set expiry dates on sent emails
  • Seamless integrations with other email systems or service providers
  • End-to-end email encryption

12. Mailfence

Best Free Email Accounts For Privacy: Mailfence

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Unique Feature: Legal protection

Sign up here.

Type of email: Webmail

Who should use it: Anyone looking for a secure email account that integrates with other tools.

Mailfence is a secure browser-based email service provider based in Belgium. Given the laws in Belgium, all your data is locked away from any third-party access.

Their free plan gives you 500 MB of email space. But to truly enjoy the best of Mailfence, you’ll have to hop on a paid plan that starts at €2.50/month.

You’d be able to create up to 10 aliases on the paid plan and have 5GB of email space, among many other features.

With Mailfence, it’s easy to organize your day and business because you’d be able to easily integrate your email account with your contacts, calendar, and documents.

Notable Features:

  • Quick integration with a suite of tools
  • True OpenPGP end-to-end encryption

How to Make an Email

No matter which provider you choose, creating an email is a simple process. But, it’s still important to know best practices so you can have one that fits your needs the best. The purpose of an email is to provide a space for you to have easy, secure communications. Follow the steps below to create an email:

1. Choose An Email Provider

Select an email provider based on your needs as a user. Think about which features, such as top-tier security, email scheduling capabilities, or integrations, are the most important to you. Also, consider how much storage you will need and what type of provider works best.

2. Choose a Username

Select a username based on the purpose of the account. If it is a professional account, then your name with a significant number will do. The name of your business will do if it’s a business account. You might also consider your name@businessname.com for professional accounts.

3. Create a Password

Email providers generally have minimum requirements for how secure your password must be. These often include a number or a special character. Follow these guidelines and choose a password that is very unique and has a variety of letters, numbers, and characters to make it very secure.

4. Secure Your Account

Many email providers include ways to add extra security to your account. Take advantage of these features to keep your account and data safe. Setting up two-factor authentication is a great place to start.

5. Write a Signature

Set up an email signature for your account. This saves a lot of time as you are writing emails and helps keep your closing consistent. Include information like your name, your title, and your contact information.

Making the Most of Your Email

And with that, you have some of the best options for free email accounts this year. But who knows? Your next email address could be entirely different while giving you just what you need to succeed.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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