Email has become a permanent fixture of modern life, and there are many email services that are completely free. The downside to most free services is the presence of advertising, but most programs are feature-rich and make the trade-off worth it. If security is a concern, some services place a heavy emphasis on keeping your email safe.
GMX provides unlimited storage and got an overall 9.10 out of 10 rating by Top Ten Reviews. Unlike many other free email services, GMX lets you import contacts from your social media accounts, such as Facebook. It also compares favorably to other services with its high attachment limit of 50 MB. There is also a live chat option that works with friends who also have a GMX email.
Other features include an online calendar, mobile device access, the ability to manage multiple email accounts and direct customer support. If you really don't like ads, GMX might not be for you as they are quite prominent in the interface, but its many other features make GMX an excellent free email choice.
ProtonMail focuses on high security, earning it a perfect five-star rating from Help Net Security. Because the company is based in Switzerland, it's subject to very strict privacy protections and in fact you don't even need to provide any personal information to create an account.
The interface is clean and simple, and email can be organized in up to three folders and labels. You can also customize the layout to suit your tastes. The free service allows for 500 MB of storage. There are also paid options if you decide you want more storage and folder options.
Another free program that focuses on security is Tutanota. In fact, the name means "secure message" in Latin. All emails are automatically encrypted as well as your attachments and contacts. Even better, emails from those who respond to you are encrypted as well. It's open source and the free service allows for 1 GB of storage.
If you want additional options, there are affordable paid subscriptions and you can buy additional storage as well. The email service has a very positive reputation and is a perfect choice for people who want a simple-to-use program that protects their privacy.
4. Zoho Mail
Zoho Mail has several paid options that integrate with its other business apps, but the free service has many excellent features. You get 5 GB of storage and several ways to organize your mail, such as thread nesting, that you won't find in other programs.
There are also no ads, which is a major plus for users who want a full-featured free service without advertising clutter. Zoho has a near perfect satisfaction score based on actual user reviews.
Outlook is the free version of the Microsoft's online email client, officially replacing Hotmail. In addition to an Outlook.com address, you get a calendar, folder options and the "Focused Inbox" that steers you toward reading the most important emails first.
You can customize the layout and colors, and you can integrate with other apps such as Skype, Facebook, Trello, and more. Outlook receives positive reviews from tech magazine Wired, calling it "the Future of Email."
Gmail receives high praise from user reviews because of its ease of use, clean interface and plugins that you can add for more efficiency. 1.2 billion people use Gmail as of early 2018, which attests to its popularity. Gmail does a good job of filtering out annoying spam messages and places email by default into Inbox, Promotions and Social tabs to help you focus on the most important messages first.
You get 15 GB of storage space for free, but this is shared with your other Google data, including Google Photos and Google Drive. If that isn't enough, there are options to buy more storage for about $2 per month for 100 GB, $10 per month for 1 TB, and $100 per month for 10 TB.