Best Email Providers: Four of the Best Email Services Online

bestemailproviderIt’s nearly impossible to imagine life without email. Facebook and Twitter may come and go, but email still remains the medium of choice for all business communication. This is the reason why a robust, feature-rich email service provider is a necessity to stay on top of business today.

In this article, we will take a look at four email service providers – Gmail, Outlook, YMail and Thexyz, and see what their best (and worst) features are.

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Gmail

Gmail – by Google – is arguably the best email service online. From deep integration with existing Google services (Plus, search, YouTube, Docs, and Drive, for starters), and a robust list of features, it’s the first choice of more than 425M users online.

Pros

  • UI: One of Gmail’s best feature is its strikingly minimalist UI. When the service was first launched in 2004, this UI was a refreshing change from the clunky interfaces that dominated most email service providers of the day. Of course, the UI isn’t just aesthetically pleasing; it is also highly functional, making it easy to deal with hundreds of emails quickly.

  • Storage: Gmail also offers large storage (10.1 GB – and increasing – which is a lot) space which means you’ll have plenty of room to store all those hefty PDFs and image files.

  • Google Search: Searches within Gmail are powered by Google’s search engine. Which not only means that you get access to the best search service possible, but can also use filters to narrow down your search to specific folders, dates, or file types.

  • Priority Inbox: Gmail automatically sorts your mail into Important, Starred and Everything Else depending on who is sending a mail.

  • Spam Filters: Gmail’s spam filters are among the best in the industry – thanks to all the tricks Google learned running its search engine. Though the occasional spam mail might slip through, you’ll more or less get a spanking clean inbox.

  • Inbox Tabs: One of Gmail’s latest features is the tabbed inbox. With this feature, Google automatically sorts your email into ‘Primary’, ‘Social’ and ‘Promotional’ categories which can be accessed through separate tabs at the top – a huge timesaver for people who receive a ton of email.

  • Gmail Labs: From preventing drunk emails to showing your current location in your email signature, there are dozens of nifty features stowed away in Gmail Labs.

  • Docs, Drive, and Plus: There are plenty of perks that come with a Google account. For starters, you have instant messaging in the form of Gtalk, social networking in the form of Google+, and easy integration with services like Google Drive, Voice, Docs, etc.

  • Security: Gmail is one of the few free email service providers that offers two-step authentication. This makes your email nearly impossible to hack.

  • Mobile Access: If you use Android, Gmail’s deep integration into the OS makes it the best email service provider around.

  • Plugins: If the default Gmail features fall a little short of expectations, you can check out the dozens of Gmail extensions, including the popular Rapportive, Mailbox, etc.

Cons

Gmail may have everything a lay user could ask for, but it’s still not exactly perfect. Two chief concerns for most users are:

  • No Preview Pane: Without a preview pane, you can’t really read an email and view the inbox at the same time.

  • Privacy: The Google ads algorithm automatically ‘reads’ your emails and shows you appropriate ads in the Gmail sidebar. This has been the source of tons of privacy concerns, which have been amplified in light of the recent accusations of Google’s collusion in the NSA monitoring scandal.

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Outlook.com

The revamped version of Hotmail, Outlook has a lot of things going for it (not to be confused with Microsoft’s desktop mail management software of the same name). Let’s take a closer look.

Pros

  • UI: Microsoft surprised everyone when it released Outlook.com with a stunning, Metro-inspired minimalist UI. The old Hotmail was slow and clunky; Outlook.com is beautiful and functional, perhaps even moer than Gmail.

  • Skype and Facebook Messaging: Microsoft owns Skype and sits on the Facebook board. This unique position makes it possible for Microsoft to offer extensive messaging services built right into Outlook. A single click gives you access to all your Facebook and Skype friends – a feature even Gmail can’t boast of.

  • Customizability: Outlook also offers a high degree of customizability i.e. you can configure your account according to your priorities. You can set up filters, manage tabs and classify mails according to their degree of importance.

  • Microsoft Account: If a Google account comes with privileges, how can Microsoft be far behind? Outlook offers direct integration with SkyDrive and several other Windows Live Tools. It works charmingly well with Windows Phone and Windows 8 as well.

Cons

Great though it may be, Outlook.com is still defined by it being not Gmail. It’s UI is great, the list of features very strong, but there’s nothing particularly special about it which might cause people to shift their loyalties to Microsoft instead of Google. Sure, the Skype and Facebook integration is nice but useful only if you like to chat a lot inside your email. For most parts, Outlook falls short when compared to Gmail, though existing Hotmail users should now have no reasons to complain!

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Yahoo Mail

Remember the good old days when Gmail wasn’t around and you had an account on Yahoo Mail? Well, Yahoo Mail has come a long way since then. Read on to know more:

Pros

  • Updated UI: The most recent layout of Yahoo Mail is quite similar to the one sported by Gmail and Outlook with some exceptions. Yahoo has the same three pane model but the right pane is divided into two sections with previews being available in the bottom section.

  • Yahoo Messenger: Yahoo also offers integrated instant messaging through Yahoo Messenger along with an integrated calendar and contact list.

  • Filters, Tabs and More: Once again, you can create filters, star emails and sort them into tabs. One of the unique features of Yahoo Mail is that it lets you open photos and videos in the inbox itself i.e. you won’t be directed to a separate tab when you click on a photo or a video.

Cons

  • No IMAP: Yahoo still doesn’t offer IMAP access i.e. with Yahoo, you can’t access your email account from different locations at once.

  • Image Ads: Unfortunately, Yahoo Mail is still plagued with advertisements. Sure enough, all free email providers have this problem but it seems to be more acute in the case of Yahoo, which isn’t shy of plopping ugly image ads right next to your Inbox (though this practice may not last long under Marissa Meyer’s leadership).

Yahoo Mail has long been ignored by the company with the result that its current features fall far short of both Outlook and Gmail. That said, Yahoo has started paying attention to the service again and announced a bunch of new features, which should be enough to keep existing users from jumping ship.

Thexyz Premium Email

If you don’t mind paying for your email account, Thexyz is a great option for you. This email provider is meant primarily for a professional, enterprise audience and boasts a ton of advanced features.

Pros

  • Automatic Backup: Thexyz provides a backup of every email ever sent or received. This way, you never lose a mail, never. The backup feature is a major crowd puller in the enterprise world where data is crucial.

  • Attachment Size:This premium email provider also offers larger space allotment not just for saving mails but also for sending attachments. For instance, you can send attachments amounting to 50MB in a single email.

  • Enterprise Grade Features: Features like integrated group calendars and active syncing with smartphones make Thexyz well suited for a professional workplace.

  • Easy Migration: Finally, the migration process is handled in a very professional way and every single bit of information stored on your prior email account is transferred to your new one at Thexyz mail.

Cons:

Thexyze is decidedly not as pretty as Outlook or Gmail – although that shouldn’t make a difference to its enterprise customers. It also doesn’t have a huge plugin library like Gmail or deep integration with Skype/Facebook like Outlook. This is an email service meant strictly for enterprise customers or users who like the idea of automated backups.

Learn how to get even more out of your email by leveraging IFTTT, virtual assistants and Gmail to get things done fast!

What are your favorite email service providers from this list? Tell us in the comments below!

Comments

  1. Hayden Cantin says:

    Wait, where is Bluetie? How can you have all these other providers and you do not have the first Business Email provider? They offer the same as Thexyz, and great phone support! I love them!!

  2. Angela Ross says:

    You are dead wrong about Yahoo, which I've been using since 1998. Their recent changes have made it all but impossible to use. For example, I do not want any chat-messages (different from email messages). There is a "Settings" pane where you should be able to completely opt out of this inane and stupid pastime. The OLD Yahoo did allow that. The new one has NO option to disallow receiving chat-messages from complete strangers. You can check a box that says "only allow messages from those in my contacts list." If you check that box, and click "Save," you will still continue to get chat requests from complete strangers who are NOT in your contacts list. So the SETTINGS area is completely bogus. You did not touch upon that in your review, nor did you mention that the vast majority of continuing Yahoo users are begging and pleading for a return to the older "Classic" version. How can a company deserve any praise if they completely ignore repeated requests and feedback from their customers? They claim that is IMPOSSIBLE to return to the old version. Why? do they not want to "lose face"? Otherwise, knowing how computers can be programmed to do anything we want, it is QUITE POSSIBLE to return to the old version, only Yahoo would seem to have egg on their faces for going back. They deserve NO accolades in the "pros" section above. Please correct your errors. Thank you very much!

  3. I totally agree with Angela. I'm in mourning over the loss of the old Yahoo.

  4. The new version of Yahoo mail is the worst of the worst. I have had yahoo mail since 1995 and have been paying for the mail plus version for over 10 years. If I paid for software from a company and all of a sudden they change the whole interface without warning or instructions, then that company wouldn't be in business very long. Essentially, this is what yahoo has done. I was unfortunate enough to also have been included in the September 11th 2013 "Sneak Attack" where they replaced my inbox with a crappy picture from flikr and made all my type white! OMG!

  5. Mark Spikes says:

    Yes, I second what Angela says. Yahoo has been going down the drain for several years. One spike up when they offered the tabs view – which lasted a short while. Oddly, there is LESS advertising on the new version. I never minded the advertising as it was neatly placed – and kept my service free. Odd, inferior product and less advertising.

  6. Roger Brown says:

    So glad to see these negative posts about Yahoo Mail. I have been SO pissed off at them for months. Sadly when we started with them it was great and stayed that for many years until earlier this year. They took away the classic look and colors and recently made it almost unusable for me. You can no longer sort emails by any other than date. Can't sort by sender. Nothing. My operating system is Windows 7 so it should be working better but it's not. Glad to see I'm not the only pissed off yahoo mailer! Changing providers is such a pain since we put our email addresses in such a myriad of places but dreaded as it is, it may come to that. If only they had a real human person available in support to get help from. Not gonna happen. Heard they have a new CEO who is supposed to be on the ball for customer service. If this latest round of excrement is any indication, she's failing right along with yahoo mail.

  7. Eryck Machado says:

    I've been using Yahoo Mail for the past 11 years and I can say the email service worsened to a very low level. I have daily error messages and sometimes can not access my email for 2, 3 hours. I use their premium and paid service (35 bucks a year) and have already sent many messages to the customer support and never got a single reply. I am so frustrated that I do not recommend it to anyone!

  8. You got it, Angela. I am reading this article right now because I am seeking to change away from Yahoo. After reading this article praising Yahoo's recent degradations, I now discredit the author's reviews of any of the others as well.

  9. Loretta Thielen says:

    Can't send more than one photo on Yahoo now, recipients aren't getting attachments, even though they appear sent to the sender. Can't type on the screen, Keys don't respond, prompts grey out, takes forever to send one email. It's embarrassing to try to conduct business with someone using Yahoo. I've had terrible trashy spam, invasion of privacy issues since the new Yahoo came out. It is frustrating, infuriating, and yes, I'm shopping for another provider ASAP. What a pain to have to transfer all my contacts & save my emails. Warning, if you don't have Yahoo now, stay away!!! Had Yahoo for about 15 yrs or more. Never had a problem like this. And HELP is impossible to find.

  10. Yahoo updated UI is a good thing?!! Are you out of your mind? Maybe it were if it worked, but I'm here because I can't use it and wanted a suggestion for another. Gmail would be a step back from the old yahoo, microsoft won't let me use the password that I used for years and I don't want to change, my old mail.com is worse than gmail, and a paid service when there are free ones? Well, I guess I'll keep looking, you haven't been of much use.

  11. Stephanie Fischer says:

    I agree Yahoo stinks. I have had 3 Samsung phones, and yet the stock email client randomly works, then randomly says log in incorrect, for all accounts, nothing fixes it, then randomly works again.

  12. Angela Ross says:

    Searching for past emails has also bitten the dust. If I KNOW that I received an email from (for example) Jane Doe only 3 days ago, and I search "FROM Jane Doe", that email does not even show up on the results list. The search results are a random sampling of emails that both Jane sent to me and I sent to Jane. This happens even though I've specified "FROM" (and not TO…) — which is what Yahoo is telling us to do, now that they've eliminated the Boolean style searching that the old Classic Yahoo allowed. With the Boolean style search, we could indicate a date range, a key word, and many other useful factors that would result in an accurate list. If nothing else, Yahoo should, at very least, bring back the old Boolean search capabilities —- even if they staunchly refuse to bring back Classic Yahoo mail.

  13. James Paige says:

    I switched to gmail from the "new" yahoo. They ruined it. Yahoo used to so easy

  14. No one can disagree with Angela. She hit the Bulls-Eye on yahoo. A better term would be Hit the B-S on yahoo because that's what yahoo is. Customer Support is a joke, they send Boiler Plate replies but do not fix any problem. I am transitioning to other email providers.

  15. How is the author connected to yahoo??? The must be a connection.

  16. I so agree with all of you! So this sent me on a hunt for a different provider, since Yahoo doesn't care what the customers want. Does anyone have any suggestions on a different email provider that would be closer to what we had before? Frustrated and hating the email reply button that makes you wonder if you sent yourself and email or is that from someone else? Make that Confused and Frustrated!

  17. Charlene Rakhshani says:

    yahoo sucks! files take forever to load, and the limit is so small! they want us to go to dropbox to send files. when i'm on dropbox, yes. but when i'm on yahoo, no! why have an account with yahoo, anymore? i'm shopping after 15-20 years. thanks, yahoo!

  18. Alexander Worzel says:

    yeah yahoo is here and there its sketchy and i agree its just not user friendly after the updates they did to my sister

  19. Barbara Finch Turner says:

    I agree with all these . . . my Yahoo used to be usable and intuitive. Now it's simply badly managed rubbish. Whoever told Yahoo that just because Google mail turns all emails into one long bean-feast that it's OK to do so. This whole thing makes no sense to me and is so very frustrating in trying to sort out who should see what in an email string. This isn't what I pay Yahoo for. As soon as I find a decent alternative service I'm out of here!

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