Most people you come across now use some sort of cloud service for their email provider, whether that be Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo or another provider. However, those are three of the big go-to providers for email. It’s generally accepted that Gmail is the service everybody goes with, but you still have other quality options. Today, we’re going to compare them side-by-side and give you a better idea of what each one offers.
Gmail over the years has become a pretty powerful service. For the standard user, it’s simplicity is near unbeatable. Once you log-in, you’re able to quickly compose a new email, find contacts, browse received mail, etc. Not only that, but the integration with other Google services is unmatched. We’ll touch on that in a moment.
For more advanced users, Gmail has powerful filters. It makes sorting through emails by sender, keywords, attachments, and by size a breeze. Not only that, but these filters can be used for a certain level of automation. Using these filters, you can automatically mark messages as read, delete them, apply certain labels and even setup an automatic response.
Not only that, but Google has developed a sort of “priority” system to make sure you’re getting all the mail that’s important to you right in your inbox. Gmail will label emails as important based on your interaction with certain emails (e.g. who you open emails from, who you respond to, who you compose emails to, etc).
It’s a really neat system, but obviously one of the biggest parts is that you’re not just signing up for Gmail — you’re signing up for Google Services. With your account, you’ll get 15GB of storage to use across all of the Google services you use, including Google Drive. If you’re a Google user, using Gmail just makes your experience all that more seamless.
Outlook is similar to Google in a lot of ways. There’s a few differences here and there, but the most obvious and major difference is in design. Outlook’s primary method of organizing all of your mail is through folders. When you create your account and first log-in, the left-hand pane is a bunch of default folders. You can organize your mail into these as well as create new folders and apply different sets of rules so that certain types of mail sit in that folder. It takes some getting used to, but in some ways, it’s a much better system.
Gmail has a tendency to play around with its layout and design every so often, so one thing you might appreciate about Outlook is that it’s consistent with a basic 3-pane design. The very far left pane will be your navigation — the place where folders and categories sit. The middle pane will be all of your emails within those folders and selected categories. The far right pane is where you’ll be able to read those emails.
There’s also this neat tool called Rules. It’s almost identical to Gmail’s filters, sans a couple of minor features. You can create all sorts of rules to filter through your emails. There’s also a level of automation with these Rules, too. However, the only really difference between Gmail’s filters and Outlook’s Rules is that you can’t send automated canned responses in Outlook like you can in Gmail.
Overall, Outlook is a good choice for those who aren’t a fan of Gmail or want to move away from Gmail.
Yahoo Mail is also one of the bigger email providers, but there’s nothing that truly sets it apart from the rest. For the most part, you’re going to get a pretty heavy replica of Gmail with Yahoo Mail. There’s a ton of similarities between the two providers, and that may or may not have something to deal with Yahoo’s CEO — Marissa Mayer — being a former Google employee.
Either way, it’s the same fluid experience found on Gmail that keeps you coming back. One of the more unique factors is that, with your Yahoo account, you actually get a whopping 1TB of storage for all of your emails, their attachments and so much more.
One of the other differences about Yahoo Mail is that it gives quick access to a bunch of other tools right by the “compose” email button. This includes quick access to your Calendar, Contacts, Notepad and Messenger.
It’s also worth noting that Yahoo Mail is a hard service to recommend, as they’ve been under quite a bit of scrutiny lately for a security breach they delayed telling the public. Those issues have since been fixed, but still something to keep in mind as you choose your primary email provider.
There’s no clear winner between the three. After all, each email provider has something unique to offer. However, we hope by following along and seeing what they have to offer side-by-side, you’ll be able to make a better informed choice as to who your go-to email provider will be.