Zoho Mail vs. Gmail—An In-Depth Comparison

ZohoMail vs. Gmail debate comes down to feature variety vs. ease of use, but how does email security fit into both options? Find out in this thorough analysis.
Though Google’s Gmail is one of the most recognizable names among email service providers, it’s far from the most secure option. One of the alternatives is Zoho Mail, another popular choice made by the Zoho Corporation—an India-based firm specializing in software development for everything from customer support to business analytics.To help you make an informed choice between the two, we’ve composed this detailed Zoho Mail vs. Gmail comparison discussing the following questions:
  • How do you make the right choice between Zoho Mail and Gmail?
  • Which platform offers superior security?
  • Is there a better alternative to G-Suite and Zoho?
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Zoho vs. Gmail—how to choose the right email provider

Regardless of the email service you use, a few crucial elements will decide the quality of your overall experience, including:
  1. User interface (UI)
  2. Range of features
  3. Storage and attachment limits
  4. Pricing
  5. Security measures
We’ll stack Zoho Mail against Gmail by comparing them across these critical factors.

Zoho vs. Gmail—user interface

While both Zoho Mail and Gmail have updated their interfaces to keep up with modern UI trends, Gmail comes out on top when it comes to intuitive use and simple navigation.Zoho Mail is less practical independently but a better option if you use other Zoho Workplace apps.

Gmail interface

Source: Gmail screenshotGmail features a left-hand side panel that lets you organize emails into five content-based categories:
  1. Primary
  2. Promotions
  3. Social
  4. Updates
  5. Forums
The categories make your emails much easier to manage as Gmail’s filters automatically sort incoming messages—though you can still move emails between categories manually.Besides categories, you can also organize your emails by labels. These are custom tags that you can create, rename, or delete. You can also apply multiple labels to one email or nest them into a hierarchy—similar to stacking folders in a file system.

Zoho Mail interface

Zoho Mail’s folder system echoes Gmail’s labels, with one key difference—the Inbox, Sent, Trash, and Spam sections are also treated as folders. Similarly to Gmail’s sidebar, you can easily access labels from Zoho’s left-side panel.
Source: Zoho Mail screenshotThe main advantage of Zoho’s folder system lies in its consistency. Unlike Gmail’s labels, Zoho’s tags are usable across other apps in its ecosystem—like Zoho Tasks and Zoho Calendar.The lack of Gmail’s Category tabs is noticeable because this provider does a better job of organizing your emails automatically. You’d have to do a lot of manual work to achieve the same effect with Zoho Mail’s folders.Zoho Mail gives you an integrated system for collaboration and management of tasks and appointments, but in a clunkier, less intuitive interface that requires more work. Whether this trade-off is worthwhile depends on your priorities.

Gmail vs. Zoho Mail—range of features

Generally, Gmail is the more user-friendly option. It has enough quality-of-life features to make it perfect for individuals and businesses already steeped in Google’s ecosystem.
Source: Gmail screenshotWhile Google’s G-Suite is more widely used, its integration with Gmail is less seamless. You can access a miniature version of Google Calendar and Google Tasks from your Gmail screen in the form of a right-hand sidebar.Zoho Mail focuses more on integration with Zoho apps and business functionalities. Zoho’s counterparts are fully accessible from the Zoho Mail interface and take center stage with their full range of features when opened.
Source: Zoho Mail screenshotBoth email platforms have unique features that the other one lacks. Gmail offers:
  1. Smart Compose—Automatic sentence completion based on machine-learning algorithms, helping you write emails faster
  2. Advanced Spam Filters—AI-powered spam filters with more accurate predictions compared to Zoho Mail’s and most other competitors’
Zoho Mail’s distinctive features are:
  1. Email Policies—Group options for business admins, helping them manage compliance in email correspondence more easily
  2. Streams—Comments in the style of social media, allowing you to collaborate on emails without necessarily forwarding them to anyone
Despite the differences, the two email platforms share some common features. These include Gmail’s Confidential Mode and Zoho’s SecurePass messages. You can use both to share sensitive information via more secure emails that can’t be downloaded, forwarded, printed, or copied.Each platform also supports detailed search functions, helping you find specific messages by applying numerous filters.

Zoho Mail vs. Google Mail—storage and attachment limits

Gmail may be a better option if you need a free email service with a high attachment limit. Business users that prioritize massive attachments and more storage space regardless of the price might find Zoho Mail’s offer superior.With the free plan, Gmail limits your attachments to a maximum of 25 MB—anything over that goes through Google Drive. Zoho Mail’s limit for free accounts is 20 MB, but paid users can access up to 1 GB in attachment size. In comparison, Gmail’s paid plans only raise the attachment limit to 500 MB.The two platforms have a similar approach to storage space. Gmail gives you more space with a free account (15 GB) compared to Zoho’s 5 GB, but Zoho Mail’s paid accounts get you a better deal.Here’s a breakdown of their plans:
LimitGmailZoho Mail
Maximum storage with the free plan15 GB5 GB
Maximum storage with the paid plan5 TB10 TB
Maximum attachment size with the free plan25 MB20 MB
Maximum attachment size with the paid plan500 MB1 GB

Gmail vs. Zoho—pricing structures

Gmail’s pricing structure consists of four tiers, each providing more storage space and higher attachment limits.Check out the details in the table below:
PlanStorageAttachment limitPrice
Free15 GB25 GB$0
Gmail Business Starter30 GB100 MB$6 per user per month
Gmail Business Standard2 TB259 MB$12 per user per month
Gmail Business Plus5 TB500 MB$18 per user per month
Enterprise5 TB500 MBUndisclosed
Gmail’s Enterprise tier provides a higher level of email security through data loss prevention (DLP) and S/MIME encryption. Its price isn’t publicly available, and the only way to find it is by contacting Google’s sales team.Zoho Mail has two pricing structures, depending on whether you only want the email app or the entire workplace suite. Here’s a breakdown of Zoho’s mail-only prices:
PlanStorageAttachment limitPrice
Mail Lite5 GB250 MB€0.9 per user per month, billed annually
Mail Premium50 GB of storage1 GB€3,60 per user per month, billed annually
Mail Lite also comes with access to Zoho Calendar, while the higher-priced Mail Premium includes all Mail Lite features, plus email retrieval and S/MIME encryption.If you opt for the entire Zoho Workplace package, there are two paid tiers:
PlanStorageAttachment limitPrice
Standard30 GB500 MB€2,70 per user per month, billed annually
Professional100 GB1 GB€5,40 per user per month, billed annually
Both packages include access to other Zoho apps, such as:
  • Zoho Office Suite
  • Zoho Meeting
  • Zoho Calendar
  • Zoho WorkDrive
  • Zoho Cliq
In terms of features, the only difference is that the Professional plan also includes access to Zoho Connect—an intranet workplace platform with social networking features.

Zoho Mail vs. Google Mail—security measures

Email security is one of the main priorities for any business user. Professionals often convey sensitive information via email, making email privacy and security a legitimate concern. Unfortunately, both Gmail and Zoho Mail business plans fail to provide sufficient protection.By default, Gmail uses the older Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol to protect your messages in transit between servers. This encryption protocol has two significant issues:
  1. Your email provider has the decryption key, giving them potential access to your emails
  2. The emails aren’t protected while resting on servers, only in transit between them
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Gmail provides a higher degree of security to users with the most expensive Enterprise tier. Even then, Gmail’s highest account security is based on S/MIME encryption. This protocol implements end-to-end encryption, which entails encrypting your emails on the device level before they’re uploaded to a server and sent to the recipient. While better than TLS, this encryption protocol requires both the sender and recipient to enable it. That might be a problem if the recipient’s email client doesn’t support S/MIME.To turn on S/MIME, you must manually obtain and upload an S/MIME certificate to Gmail—a complex and time-consuming process for most users.Zoho Mail users also have S/MIME as an option, but only with the Professional subscription plan. Lower-tier subscriptions only provide less secure TLS encryption.To ensure your online correspondence is private and secure, opt for an email service with automatic end-to-end encryption (E2EE). Professionals and other users who prioritize privacy opt for solutions like Skiff Mail, an end-to-end encrypted email service with a full E2EE productivity suite.

Maximize your email security with Skiff

Skiff is an excellent option if you want E2EE security, coupled with Gmail’s ease of use and Zoho Mail’s feature variety.With Skiff Mail’s device-based encryption, only the intended recipient can read your emails. The messages are protected with a pair of keys:
  • Public encryption key, shared among the sender and recipient
  • Private decryption key, stored on the recipient’s device and not shared with anyone else
Each email can only be decrypted by a combination of the two keys, ensuring maximum security. Since the decryption key is only accessible to the recipient (not even the provider has it), you are protected in case of a breach or someone intercepting your message.Skiff provides additional security through two-factor authentication (2FA), ensuring your account is safe even if someone obtains your password.The provider is fully open-source and transparent, so you can learn everything about its security technology in a freely available whitepaper.Unlike most high-security email platforms, Skiff has an intuitive user interface that rivals mainstream, less secure options like Gmail. Once you sign up, you will get access to the complete E2EE productivity suite, including:

Take control of your email security with Skiff Mail

You can create a Skiff Mail account in three easy steps:
  1. Visit the signup page
  2. Create a free account
  3. Start sending fully encrypted messages with Skiff Mail
Skiff’s free account gives you access to 10 GB of storage, four email aliases, a full text search option, and native integration with crypto wallets. If you need more aliases, custom domains, and storage, upgrade to one of Skiff’s three affordable paid plans.

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