The Top 6 Popular Free Email Providers Online Other Than Gmail & Yahoo

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email providersPersonally, I am happy to give my entire online existence over to Google. They have my email, my Analytics data, my search history, my mobile device, my credit card information, and the list goes on. Some people may not feel that this is the smartest thing to do, and I don’t blame them. Those same people may still want to reap the benefits of web mail (in contrast to plain old desktop email, powered by Thunderbird and its ilk).

Free Email Providers

So I’ve gathered up a list of several popular free email providers that you might want to take for a spin if Gmail or Yahoo are not your thing.

email providers

Microsoft’s webmail offering underwent a somewhat similar cycle to its Web browser: Like Internet Explorer, Hotmail used to be a dominant force in webmail. Then Gmail came along, and Hotmail lost its spot in the limelight. But just like Microsoft didn’t give up on Internet Explorer and kept working on it until they had something great with IE10, so they persisted with their webmail offering, until today we have

This thoroughly modern webmail service gives Gmail a serious fight in terms of polish and features. Unlike Gmail, doesn’t scan the contents of your email in an attempt to target ads to your messages. It’s also tightly integrated with Office Web Apps, and uses the service to let you view and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint attachments. Its “sweep” feature lets you file away scads of email at once, keeping your inbox neat and tidy.

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Even if you’re perfectly happy with your current webmail provider, is well worth a look. With tens of millions of active users, Microsoft seems to be doing something right.

free email providers

If you feel that your email domain name is the most important part of the address, you should definitely check out Its default domain name ( is cool enough, and is even one letter shorter than you-know-who. But if you’re looking for something more specific, offers an enormous list of alternative domains for you to pick from, such as “”, ““, and even ““.

It also boasts unlimited email storage, drag-and-drop labels, and more.

Yandex Mail

free email providers

Yandex is primarily known as the leading search engine in Russia (where it’s more popular than Google), but it also operates a free webmail service, Yandex Mail. While the service’s native tongue is Russian, it is also offered in an English version. Yandex Mail includes features you won’t find on Gmail, including an automated follow-up feature that will remind you if you haven’t received a reply to your email within five days. This is an invaluable feature that’s long overdue on Gmail, so it’s nice to see Yandex stepping up to the challenge and surpassing Gmail on this front.

The service also includes a built-in option for deferred sending, so you can compose an email and schedule it to be send later on. Both of these features can be added to Gmail using external add-on services like Boomerang, but these cost money.

Another nice Yandex feature is that it lets you use your Google account for authentication, so you don’t have to remember another password to log into your email provider.


free email providers

Hushmail is a bit more of an esoteric service. Their main claim to fame is that fact they provide “private, secure” free email accounts. Why the quote marks, you ask? Because Hushmail (quite famously) betrayed user trust in 2007 by providing email correspondence to federal agencies, complying to a Canadian court order. You can read a complete analysis of the incident in Wired’s Threat Level column of the time.

In brief, what you should know is that Hushmail’s mechanisms are not completely secure, although they are still significantly more secure than those offered by other free email providers. Conversely, their free option only includes a paltry 25MB of storage – a far cry from the unlimited space offered by some of the other vendors on the list.

If privacy is a key concern for you, check out Hushmail, but don’t blindly trust them. Configure your own settings, and don’t give them your encryption key at any stage of the process.

Zoho Mail

email providers

Zoho makes a complete suite of online productivity tools, including a spreadsheet, a Wiki service, and more. Zoho Mail is their free email offering, and it looks quite spiffy. If you already use Zoho, that means you have a Zoho Mail account. One of its distinctive feature is that it is 100% ad free – not a single banner in sight.

Final Thought

Did I miss an important free email provider? Are you using an unknown provider that is absolutely awesome, and are dying to tell the world about it? Share it all in the comments!

Image Credit: ShutterStock

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44 Comments - Write a Comment



Read the title of the article…





So you think people know about Gmail and Yahoo but not Hotmail? Strange given Hotmail predates Gmail. So many people have left Hotmail and Yahoo for Gmail.  Checking their old email accounts with the “new” features confirms they made the right decision to go to/stick with Gmail.



Not quite sure why Hushmail even made the list.

Check out Lavabit:

Erez Zukerman

Wow, Lavabit does look excellent! I wonder how I managed to miss it in my research — their SEO might need a bit of work. ;)


Dr. U. K. Deb

Rediffmail at is a pretty good service and worth a second look.

Erez Zukerman

Interesting – do you use it yourself?



I never heard of before today, even though its sounds obvious.
signed up right away on ‘’ domain. but, forwarding email is premium.



I use Yahoo Mail, GMail, Hotmail, Lycos Mail, AOL, and a half dozen other smaller services. I like the fact that some of them allow POP3/IMAP access for free. Personally I’m partial to GMail and Yahoo Mail, but the others are decent alternatives (esp. Hotmail).


Erez Zukerman

Sure thing Petar!


Erez Zukerman

Haha :D True


Erez Zukerman

What do you mean “the support is not really there”? They just don’t reply? Were you a paid user?

The GMX downtime sounds absolutely crazy. I think I would switch in two days if anything like that happened. That’s actually the reason I pay for my Google Apps account — to have no downtime, ever.

Ron Spain

You give money to Google? That’s sick.


Mike is actually part of GMX nowaday. If you are living in Germany, Austria or Switzerland you won’t be able to signup for [unless you are using a Proxy or VPN server]. Also the free GMX account only offers 1GB of mail storage.


Les Milovana

I have used Hotmail for ten years I think.
No problems.
I have used Googlemail now gmail 3 years no problems.
Gmx only a year again no problems.

I have found that yahoo is making it impossible to use thunderbird or outlook express or outlook on more and more accounts.

Outlook and hotmail together are unbeatable.
Although gmail is better than the others at keeping sent emails offline.

Hotmail is my master email address.

Others used for more dubious uses.


Ishar Jay

what about ? I’m not using it but i think it’s a popular service.



I feel so bad for AOL :(


me too )


My Name is Sr. Ramiro De Emerico

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J. Simon van der Walt

AOL. A while back I was looking for a second alternative email to google. Tried a couple of things, hotmail, yahoo etc, but found myself really happy with their offering.



I have a very short email attention span, so I’m constantly trying different providers, jumping around from one to another as my “service du jour.”  Right now I’m liking Hotmail (I use ‘’ domains) except for two security deficiencies: restriction of passcodes to 16 characters and inability to use special characters in security question answers.

I did have Lavabit for a few years back in the early 2000s but I left when I learned that it was really more of a one-man, hobby-type service.  (Lots of useful feedback on Lavabit at

I do have a Yahoo account, but I don’t use it.  I simply can’t trust a service that doesn’t provide full-session SSL for its webmail.  They keep saying they’re concerned about users’ privacy and that they’re “looking into” SSL, but nothing ever comes of it.  Too preoccupied with bells and whistles.  (But maybe I’ll use its free SSL IMAP service with Outlook.)

I do like Hushmail, including its new interface.  With my email needs being on the sparse side these days, I really don’t have a problem with the 25mb storage.  Despite the notorious 2007 “betrayal,” I do feel that it’s probably safer than other accounts more prone to hacking attacks.

And FWIW, I really like one not mentioned here: the new “myopera” email webmail.  It’s being developed by the team (Opera bought FM a while back).  Neat.  Clean.  Fast.  It’s still in beta and adding features, but it’s fast becoming my favorite.


Robin Ashe

Glad to see Zoho there. It’s my go to one. I’ve jumped around with a bunch of others, but zoho is the one that really works well.


I thought Zoho allowed sign-ups for @zoho addresses.  But the only pages I find are for registering one’s own domain.  ???

Erez Zukerman

I believe you can have a Zoho-only email; but you might get better help if you ask this on MakeUseOf Answers :)

Erez Zukerman

Do you like it better than Gmail?



i’ve used hotmail for years but my account has sent heaps of spam the last 6mths and wont stop regardless of all the suggested safety measures i’ve found and tried.
i just dont like gmail so only use it as backup, but folks says its the most secure free account possible.
have setup .. any ideas if it’s trustworthy? i dont want start sending a bunch of crap again without knowing it.

Erez Zukerman

Good question. TBH, I haven’t used personally so I would be hard pressed to say. The best places to look for an answer on this would be MakeUseOf Answers, or – excellent email-related forum system.



I’m with Gmail, and was very happy, until it stopped allowing me to forward attachments. This may be a particular problem on my laptop only (perhaps some sort of Java enabling problem??), as everything works ok from other pc’s. But no response to my help enquiry means I’ll have to change soon.

Erez Zukerman

That sounds like an interesting problem. It’s not Java because Gmail doesn’t use Java. It does use JavaScript, though, which is very different from Java.

You might want to ask on MakeUseOf Answers: — maybe someone could help you solve it!


Thanks Erez. You are probably right, it could be a Javascript problem, but I don’t know how to solve it. I can’t even access the Options menu on Chrome – it’s blank when I try. Deleting and then re-loading Chrome didn’t solve anything either. How do you access Javascript?

Erez Zukerman

Hi there,

You can’t really “access JavaScript” — it’s not a user-serviceable feature, it’s just a part of the browser.

Once more, I would suggest MakeUseOf Answers — the crew there might be able to think of some great ways to resolve this.


I’ve just spent the last half hour researching MakeUseOfAnswers, but in the end, when I described my problem, they wanted 32 euros to solve it….and although the problem is annoying, it’s not worth 32 euros to me. I’m convinced it is some sort of Javascript problem, probably from an over zealous ad blocker or some-such…but thanks anyway for your support.


Hi Erez,

I’ve been looking at your page with interest. I’ve been quite happily using Gmail until quite recently when they “Improved” it. Now it’s really slowww, also when you use the scroll bars to scroll through headers and messages; the scroll bar will get to the bottom but the headers and message take upto a minute to catch up. Originally there was a link to send feedback and I told them what I thought – no reply. I went through the so called bug reporting procedure – no result. I even contacted them – no reply. Now I can’t find the “Contact Us” link. They clearly know about the issue but don’t want to know anyone’s views.

So I’m looking for an alternative to Gmail – it’s lost the plot and from what I’ve found out these issues go back to November last year. They don’t seem to be able to grasp the fact that everything was fine before the “upgrade” – they will blame everything else. There were suggestions about replacing the browser with Google Chrome; I’m not going to take the risk after my experience with their so-called “Graphics Editor” Piscarso – for some reason it scans the Hard drive for image files and then hangs up if it finds a problem file. It doesn’t need to scan for files; I can find my own. Anyway I’m rambling on…

What I want to know is; do any of these recommended email services mask the ip address? Like Gmail does; I like this feature; it’s useful when replying to scammers/Nigerian Bankers etc.



After careful considration I decided to go for GMX.

However it didn’t go through. It insisted that I type in a code that wasn’t there and stated that my password wasn’t secure enough. (????) Surely no one’s going to guess: “FK%4659D”

Tell you what: FORGET IT!!!



Hello BigM! As the editor for MakeUseOf Answers I have to jump in here. Your most recent comment, which I cannot reply to directly, has me concerned.

Who and where did someone ask 32 Euros form you on MakeUseOf Answers? Asking a question on MakeUseOf Answers is completely free and also the answers are free. If anyone asked money of you, I have to know who it was or where you were linked to a paying site to remove the respective comment.

Feel free to email me directly: tina at makeuseof dot com Thank you!


Hi Tina.
I was on Just answers at 12:42 and 12:45 yesterday according to my history log. I believe I had just filled in some optional information as to what I’d already tried, when up popped an expert, offering a solution. When I progressed further, the solution was going to cost 32 euros.. Sorry, I can’t remember who the expert was, except I think he had worked for MS or had msn or something like that in his description.


I have sent you an email to discuss this further. Please rest assured that MakeUseOf Answers is completely free and anyone asking for money to solve questions on Answers is a scam and will be banned from the page as soon as identified.



there’s also…


Bill Noyes

I have used a number of the mentioned emails .
Yahoo has been my favorite until they made it impossible for me to renew an email I have had for years. I am sure there was no hacking, yet forced me to change my PW 3 times.
Most of the others require me to use “theirs or anothers” tool bar.
I like what I have I don’t want to add or change my toolbar. All I want is another email only! I have,, gmx,
Yahoo, gmail, hotmail, . Had rocketmail, ymail.



I have some problem with my yahoo ID, I forget password and answer of hint question. How can access my yahoo account.



Hushmail _IS NOT_ Free



my gmail account have been hacked x2 now where is the security your suppose to have with the company .They have all personal info the too my over (or should i say dismantal my emai.) all because ofmy Big fish account that hacker use. i fell that my accounts were not protected!!!



Yahoo the past week has been almost inaccessible – have had to change my password FOUR times. This morning Safari can’t even find the server so I’m now looking into some other than Yahoo. Have Gmail as my “good” account but used yahoo for companies wanting to send info on new products. Tried downloading Thunderbird but it is NOT free as far as I can find – kept asking me to pat umpteen dollars a year to have an email account with them. I’ll try one of the suggestions given here.


Carole Sheffield

I found this article because I am searching for a replacement for gmail. I’ve used it for a very long time but recently, saved emails have randomly disappeared from my gmail folders. I have been unable to find out why this is happening nor have I been able to retrieve the emails that have disappeared. I have lost too many precious things to remain with gmail.

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