Four best Gmail alternatives—the ultimate guide

A suitable Gmail alternative should deliver everything the popular email service provides—and more. Our top reviews will help you make an informed decision.
According to recent data, the number of email users is predicted to reach 4.6 billion in the next two years. While Gmail has been the dominant email service provider (ESP) for many years, users have become increasingly aware of its vulnerabilities, prompting them to look for suitable alternatives.In this article, we mention the main reasons for switching from Gmail to other ESPs and review four Gmail alternatives according to features, pricing, and security practices. You’ll see the pros and cons of each option, so you can choose the one worth leaving the famous Big Tech provider for.
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Gmail Overview—what are its strengths and weaknesses?

Source: Google WorkspaceGmail boasts over 1.8 billion users worldwide and owes its popularity to the ease of use, generous free plan, and numerous integration possibilities it offers.The famous email service provider’s interface is straightforward and easy to navigate, enabling users to organize their folders in a clear and transparent way. It is well-optimized for both mobile phones and computers, syncing information easily from every device.Large storage space (15 GB) is another major pro for the provider because it more than satisfies an average user’s needs. For users who like to collaborate and stay organized, Gmail is seamlessly integrated with Google Drive, Calendar, and Meet.While the above reasons seem like more than enough for sticking to the Big Tech giant, it’s important to be aware of the major drawbacks. One of the most significant ones is the lack of safety and privacy in online communication.Gmail, like most email services, offers encryption to safeguard users’ emails. Encryption entails converting message contents into cipher unreadable to anyone without a decryption key. Gmail offers its users two encryption protocols to protect their data while traveling between servers:The issue with these two types of encryption is that the provider creates and stores the decryption keys, meaning they can access plaintext copies of the emails. Besides the provider retaining control of the user data, a hacker infiltrating the servers can steal the decryption keys and access the messages.Gmail’s encryption methods leave major vulnerabilities putting the privacy and security of users’ personal data at risk, which is why it should be a major consideration when choosing an alternative.

How to choose a Gmail alternative

Many services offer greater email security than Gmail, but that still doesn’t make them suitable replacements for the popular provider. Most privacy-oriented email services sacrifice ease of use or functionality for security, which is why the majority of users still choose Gmail and other mainstream providers over them.The good news is there are security-focused providers that deliver in all aspects that influence the overall experience.When selecting a Gmail alternative, you should look for:
  1. Superior encryption standards
  2. Useful and affordable features
  3. Intuitive user interface
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Choose first-class encryption standards

If you want to ensure the complete safety and privacy of your transferred data, choose an email service with end-to-end encryption (E2EE).E2EE provides the highest level of protection against unauthorized access. It entails encrypting emails at the device level, with the message remaining in the encrypted form until reaching the authorized recipient. The key is created by the recipient and stored safely on their device, ensuring no one else can access the content of your messages—not even the email service provider.All other types of encryption have vulnerabilities that don’t allow users full control of their data.

Look for a feature-rich and affordable option

An alternative email service should provide a similar amount of free storage space to Gmail’s 15 GB. You should also look for helpful features within the service’s free plan that simplify the use, save time, and enable effortless organization of data. The advanced features should be available for an affordable price.

Go for a service with a clean user interface

It's important to choose an email service that features a modern and intuitive interface, providing the same ease of use and convenience as widely known services like Gmail do.You may also look for an alternative with numerous customization options to tailor the email experience according to your preferences.

Best alternatives for Gmail—breaking down the top competitors

Numerous new and well-known email providers have a unique set of features, security policies, and pricing plans, but these providers have lived up to the expectations of most users:
  1. Proton Mail
  2. Tutanota
  3. Skiff

Proton Mail—privacy-first email service

Source: Proton MailProton Mail is a provider focused on taking privacy to the next level with end-to-end encryption. A privacy-oriented email service with a free plan, an intuitive interface, and a comprehensive product suite makes for a suitable Gmail alternative.

Pros and cons

Proton Mail has a web, Android, and iOS app, which is convenient for users who use multiple devices every day. It is easy to set up, with the Easy Switch tool helping users import their emails and contacts from other providers in a few clicks. Another plus for functionality are integrations with the platform’s other end-to-end encrypted products—Drive, Calendar, and VPN.Proton Mail implements PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) encryption protocol to safeguard your online communication. The E2EE standard ensures your messages are safe from any unauthorized access, even by the provider. It further fortifies the security of your emails by implementing 2Factor Authentication and a no-logs policy. 2Factor Authentication provides an additional layer of security for your account, while a no-logs policy prevents the server from storing and analyzing data for the purpose of sending personalized ads.Proton Mail’s major disadvantage lies in the limited free plan offering up to 1 GB of storage and 150 messages a day. It is useful for testing a new email service but isn’t enough for an average user’s long-term needs. If you subscribe to the individual paid plan, you can get up to 500 GB of storage, 15 email addresses, and unlimited messages, along with additional features like auto-reply, catch-all emails, and unlimited labels. While that’s a significant improvement compared to the free plan, you can get much more space and features within some of the other services’ free plans.Proton Mail’s encryption protocols are not without faults either. The PGP standard, created more than 20 years ago, is considered by cryptography experts as outdated and full of vulnerabilities. Weaknesses of this particular encryption standard resulted in instances of hackers stealing the encryption keys and accessing private messages.


Along with the free plan, individuals can sign up for one of two plans:
  1. Mail Plus—$5.42 a month for 12 months/$3.80 for 24 months
  2. Proton Unlimited—$10.86 a month for 12 months/ $8.70 for 24 months
End-to-end encryptionOutdated PGP encryption standard
No-logs policyLow free storage
A comprehensive product suite that includes Drive, Calendar, and VPN.

Tutanota—the user-friendly Gmail replacement

Source:Tutanota.comTutanota ensures secure emailing with advanced EE2E and 2Factor Authentication available for all users. The user-friendly, minimalistic, and ad-free interface is an excellent choice for users who don’t want distractions.

Pros and cons

Tutanota is a popular, free privacy-oriented email service. It uses AES-128 (Advanced Encryption Standard) and PFS (Perfect Forward Secrecy), advanced cryptographic protocols offering solid protection from unauthorized third parties. The platform takes your IP address off the email headers and offers metadata encryption, preventing IP-based attacks and metadata leaks.Tutanota is open source, meaning its encryption standard is public and open for reviews and feedback from independent contributors who can attest to its security.Users can enjoy the service's minimalistic user-friendly interface and customize it based on their preferences. Tutanota is available for IOS, Android, and desktop computers, so you can use the service wherever you are.The downside is low storage space for free users. Tutanota offers only 1GB of storage for free, which isn't enough for an average user’s needs. For more storage, the user has to pay for a premium account or purchase extra storage ($2 for 10 GB).Tutanota offers numerous features, but you have to purchase most of them as add-ons. While this may not be a deal-breaker for some, users with greater needs may find the service more expensive than anticipated.Another possible drawback is the fact that Tutanota is based in Germany, which is part of the so-called 14 Eyes countries—an international partnership of countries that share intelligence among members. Tutanota has disproved all possibilities of authorities accessing users’ plaintext emails, so that concern can be put to rest.


Along with the free plan, users can sign up for one of the two paid plans:
  1. Premium—$1.30 a month/$1.9 for an annual commitment
  2. Teams— $5 a month/$4.35 for an annual commitment
Advanced EE2E for all usersLow storage for free users
Customizable user interfaceUsers have to purchase most features as add-ons
Available for IOS, Android, and desktop computers.

Skiff—the safest Gmail alternative

Source:Skiff.comSkiff is a comprehensive E2EE Gmail replacement that offers users full ownership and control of their sensitive data. It’s the best alternative for users who want the design and ease of use of modern solutions combined with high-level security measures.

Pros and cons

Skiff Mail uses the latest E2EE technology with two separate encryption keys (public and private). The public key is used for encryption and gets shared among users, while the private (decryption) key is created by the recipient and stored on their device. With the decryption key never leaving the user’s device, the chance of an email service provider or unauthorized third party accessing it is virtually zero.Skiff offers additional security protocols such as zero-knowledge login, which doesn’t require you to give your login info to the server, and 2FA for preventing anyone with access to your password from entering your account. The service is open source, and you can check the public whitepaper to confirm its security practices.Unlike most other email service providers, Skiff doesn’t cut down on additional features, storage, or design for the sake of security. Skiff's modern and intuitive interface can rival Gmail’s in terms of simplicity and ease of use.Advanced features are not reserved for paid customers, but all users can enjoy them for free. The generous free plan includes:
  • 10 GB storage
  • 4 aliases
  • Email search option
  • Auto reply
  • Schedule and undo send
For users who want to communicate anonymously on the web, Skiff offers crypto wallet integrations with wallets such as Coinbase, MetaMask, and Brave.Skiff Mail is available on IOS, Android, or desktop devices, so you can check your emails wherever you are.


By signing up for Skiff Mail, you get free access to the other end-to-end encrypted products, such as:Note that Skiff cannot protect you if your device is fully compromised by malware, which goes for all email services. Follow the right security practices to keep your device safe.


Along with the free plan, users can sign up for one of two affordable paid plans:
  1. Essential—$3
  2. Pro—$8
  3. Business—$12

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Sign up for a free Skiff account with three steps:
  1. Go to the signup page
  2. Create a Skiff account
  3. Start using the full-encrypted product suite on your mobile or desktop computer
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