No doubt, many of you already have multiple email accounts registered with different email services. Services have changed much in recent years with even email protocols changed from the evergreen POP3 to the new standards of IMAP. Here we assess how these email services have evolved with the times and which one is the best optimised to suit the needs of everybody.
We looked through a number of email services such as Gmail, Yahoo!, Rediffmail, Indiatimes, Windows Live and even In.com. We looked for ease of registration, how easy it was to organise emails, storage options, email protocols, security options and any other features these services could provide.
After going through all the features and assessing usability, the best email service according to us is Gmail. We came to a unanimous decision and feel you all will agree, it’s simple and one of the most used services on the internet. Gmail gives you ample customisation options along with the possibility to be just used for emails alone. With a Gmail account, your inbox has 7.5 GB of available storage space for both emails and attachments. The attachment size provided by Gmail is also the largest at 25 MB. The security features in Gmail also push it above the others: not only does it have SSL, it also provides TLS (Transport Layer Security) which is a step above SSL. Along with POP3 support, it has IMAP support, so that you can remotely access your email from anywhere without downloading it to your PC. The IMAP feature is not found in other email services.
Gmail allows users to manage their emails more efficiently with filters, colour co-ordinated labels, a search feature that works brilliantly (thanks to Google of course). Along with just email functions, you can chat at the same time as checking your emails, and with Google Docs, any Word, Excel or PowerPoint document can be instantly opened for reading or editing, straight from the email. Transliteration is another feature of Gmail.
Also important is Gmail Labs – this allows users to customise their email experience even further. Mouse gestures, offline mode, keyboard shortcuts, interface tweaks – these are some of the Labs features that can be activated in Gmail. Recently, Gmail has added the feature of allowing users to import their emails and contacts from other email services such as Hotmail, Yahoo!, or any others that use POP3. With this you won’t really need to log into any other email service other than Gmail.
The few drawbacks of Gmail – yes there are some – include the distracting Ad line: some might like this, while many of us don’t. Another thing is that you can’t send .exe files as attachments, even if it is wrapped in a zipped file. According to Gmail, this is a security issue – a fair point, but we feel there should be a better way to handle this. Also, no images can be added to the signature with BB codes or html codes. Yahoo! and Rediffmail were also in the running to win the for email services, but they simply lack the number of features of Gmail. Though Yahoo!’s storage is unlimited, the attachment size is limited to 10 MB, it does not support IMAP – but it does allow users to chat. One thing we noticed with Yahoo! was that you also have the option to create a @ymail.com id – it seems somebody was trying to copy the successful category winner. Rediffmail also has unlimited storage, but a 20 MB attachment limit and does deserve a mention for being extremely plain and simple to use. Rediffmail also has great transliteration features when sending emails.