Google's mailing service, Gmail, is recognised as the most popular email service for users around the world. Figures from Statista found that it had 1.5 billion active users worldwide in October 2018.

Despite this, there are a number of options available which provide features that Gmail lacks.

If you're in search of an email service that you can customise to your preferences or one which gives you the freedom to merge all your many messaging platforms behind one slick interface then read on.

These are some of our top picks for alternatives to Gmail.

Read next: Best free email marketing services

Additional reporting by Christina Mercer & Laurie Clarke

What to consider


With several email providers available, choosing the best email client can often be a difficult decision to make.

Gmail is a popular first choice for many, yet a lot of users seek an alternative email account for various reasons.

You might be after a different user experience or another design and interface. Or you might be put off by Google's notorious data harvesting. Whatever the reason, it is important to consider your team size and pricing limits when finding the best email client for you.

If your organisation is considering upgrading its email account, it is a good idea to clarify your team size as some email platforms have a limit of the number of users per business package. Consider this so there aren't any difficulties when switching.

There are free and priced alternatives to Gmail, and although most of the email alternatives offer very similar features to Gmail it might be worth paying a few pounds for an email account to get a better-tailored user experience than what Gmail offers.

If you go for a paid account, there will be a free trial period for you to test the services before making a final decision.

FastMail


FastMail is a paid, fast and simple email service, offering both individual accounts and accounts for organisations.

It is available on all devices, including browsers and desktop apps. FastMail is also available in multiple languages.

All features are similar to Gmail, with added two-step verification for security. It also includes the ability to sync emails from other accounts including Yahoo and Gmail.

Pricing starts from $3 (£1) per user, a month. It also offers a 30-day free trial.

iCloud Mail


Apple's iCloud Mail is the email client you can set up using your Apple ID. Signing up gets you 5GB of free storage space and an upload limit of 20MB for individual files. 

For ardent Apple users already enmeshed in the ecosystem, why not add mail to your extensive list of Apple services? It's ad-free and boasts a sleek interface.

The only complaint regularly levelled at the service is the lack ability to group emails into folders, so assess whether this is a must for you before signing up.  

Outlook


Microsoft's long-running email service remains Gmail's main competitor, with more than 400 million active usersOutlook allows users to manage all their email accounts from various providers without switching between apps and prioritises emails in a Focused Inbox.

Skype is built into the service to support chat and video calls within the inbox. Outlook can also automatically add email information such as flight itineraries to your calendar.

A wide selection of integrations covers both Microsoft's vast product catalogue, enabling Office file editing directly from the inbox, and third-party services such as Google Drive, PayPal and Facebook.

Zoho Mail


Zoho Mail is available in both as a subscription service for business users that starts at $2 (£1.50) per user per month and a free personal edition, both of which are entirely ad-free.

The webmail service is designed to provide powerful features in a minimalist, user-friendly interface. It comes bundled with Zoho Docs, which enables users to store, share and collaborate on text documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

Features include a thread-nesting style conversation view in a nested-tree format to track the history of interactions within an email thread, and CRM integration for simplified management of business communications.

Mail.com


Mail.com is a free, web-based email server owned by German internet company United Internet, with a selection of over 200 domains for users to choose from.

The email provider offers 2GB of storage, mobile service and an easy to use interface. It also allows users to send attachments of up to 50MB.

Mail.com also acts as a mail collector, so users can collect emails from different accounts and have them merged into one. This allows users to send and receive messages from various email services such as Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo.

Overall, Mail.com is designed in a user-friendly style that gives customers the flexibility of usage in a way that suits personal needs.

Yandex


Russia-based Yandex provides a free web email service with 10 GB of free storage space. It also offers an attachment upload limit of 30MB per file.

Yandex mail offers a customisable interface for users to customise the mail platform as they like. Features include a timer, which allows messages to be put on a scheduled time and sent when required.

Similar to Mail.com, Yandex can also be integrated with other mail accounts to merge messages into one account.

The security and privacy features are also quite good, with added built-in antivirus and protection against spam and fraud.

GMX Email


GMX Email may lack the fame of its illustrious competitors on our list, but it is carving out a reputation to rival them all and has already attracted more than 20 million customers.

The free webmail service is designed for both personal users and SMEs, and offers unlimited email storage, mobile web service and integrated calendar. Features includes the GMX Mail Collector, which lets users file multiple third-party inboxes into their GMX account.

The company places a high emphasis on security. An advanced virus protection scans all emails and attachments for threats, while seven-anti spam modules reduce unwanted mail.

AOL Mail


AOL has maintained its position among the leading email providers since the AOL Mail was launched back in 1993 and the service remains free for anyone who signs up for an AOL account.

AOL Mail offers unlimited storage space, up to 25 MB of photo and video attachments, and virus protection and advanced spam filters help keep the inbox secure.

Users can chat with their buddies from AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) directly in the email inbox send text messages, create multiple calendars for different categories of events, and customise their inbox interface.

Yahoo Mail


Yahoo's reputation took a massive hit in 2017 following the revelation that the company had leaked details about all three billion of its users.

The search giant's standing had already plummeted during ex-CEO Marrisa Meyer's gaffe-ridden five-year tenure, but if you can banish the memory of that and its latest security disaster, it still provides one of the best email services on the market.

Yahoo Mail is a highly customisable service supports personalised interface themes, Flickr, Dropbox and GIF integration, smart views to organise emails into tidy categories. A multitasking functionality enables easy switching between mail, contacts, calendar, notes and messenger, while IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) settings allow you link all your emails into your Yahoo Mail.

Tutanota


This is one for all you security conscious emailers out there. This service provides end-to-end encryption on all of your emails and all of the data on your device, including contacts and any attachments. 

The software is open source, and the service comes with a lifetime guarantee of remaining free to all. And despite the heavy focus on security, Tutanota manages to retain an intuitive interface, accessible via the Android or iOS apps, or from any web browser.