Gmail alternatives


I’ve been a Google user since the earliest days, when they were just a search engine, and I’ve been on gmail almost since inception. Lately, though, I’m concerned about how much Google knows about me, and so I’m starting to look at alternatives.

I switched to Duck Duck Go for most searches. I swapped from Chrome to Brave as my browser. Once I have the spare cash, I’ll probably swap into an iPhone.

That leaves Gmail, though, which has however many messages I’ve sent over however many years, and while I realize I can’t delete the profile they’ve built up, I would like to switch to a paid, not-ad based email service. The top options that keep coming up are ProtonMail, Tutanota and Fastmail. I kind of like the idea of having my provider be somewhere with better privacy laws than here in the USA, so the Euro options seem attractive, but really I just one that works reliably and well. I have no problem paying for the privacy-based service; I realize that’s the trade off now.

Does anyone have any experience with any of these options? Or other alternatives. I know Proton etc. can do secure email and all that, which is overkill for me. I don’t email anything secret (oh look, he got another email from Bandcamp announcing some new ambient album), I just don’t want the time/contents/subject/recipients to be added to my already overstuffed targeted marketing profile.


I’ve been using Hotmail since 1996. For some reason people laugh when I tell them this.


I laughed!


I also heartily chortled.

Seriously though, if for some reason I wanted to switch away from Gmail, I’d go with these guys:


If I was going to pay for a service, it would be because I wanted more privacy and security than Gmail, and thus I would go with protonmail.

But I don’t pay for shit.


I’ve been using it since 1995 I think. I can’t be sure because in 2001 they purged all my old emails and then sent me a notice saying if you want us not to purge old emails, move them to any folder other than the Inbox. I was so pissed. I lost all my old emails to friends from college, professors, etc. I got in touch with them to complain, but they said there was no way to get the old emails back at that point.

Luckily competition with Gmail started soon after that and they never pulled that stunt again.


Oh man, I would have dropped them like something that’s heavy if they had deleted any of my emails. That ain’t cool.


I switched away from Gmail, but still keep the app on my phone for the things I don’t care enough about to move, but will eventually. I just use iCloud for my mail now. It’s fine, it supports IMAP, but only provides 5gb of space unless you pay (and that space is for everything else as well). I looked into stuff like Fastmail, it just didn’t seem worth it.

I trust Apple for the part, so it works for me.



Fun fact: Originally “HoTMailL.” So that you don’t forget that it’s web-based, I guess.


I use Protonmail and dig it. Great service.


I have been using fastmail since probably 2004 or so. Great customer service, the price is pretty reasonable.


I still use my Hotmail address to sign up for everything. It’s where spam goes to die.




So what do you guys do when you switch email addresses? I haven’t changed in years. I’m kinda thinking about keeping Gmail for the stuff that’s already non-private (social media, everything you sign up for with newsletters and coupons and shit) and using a new address only for stuff like finance and personal communications.


I own my domain, I’ll never have to switch.


I also use Hotmail since sometime in the last millennium. I hate it less than I hate gmail which I can’t stand. I have to use it at work and it sucks.


I’m not sure this is the right place but since Hotmail was mentioned, I thought I’d post this

Late on Friday, some users of Mail received an email from Microsoft stating that an unauthorized third party had gained limited access to their accounts and was able to read, among other things, the subject lines of emails (but not their bodies or attachments, nor their account passwords), between January 1 and March 28 of this year. Microsoft confirmed this to TechCrunch on Saturday.


After this pushback, Microsoft responded that around 6 percent of customers affected by the hack had suffered unauthorized access to their emails and that these customers received different breach notifications to make this clear.

Checked my hotmail (that I barely use anymore) and thankfully no breach notification but I’m not sure I’m comfortable that support staff/partners can read my e-mail (even with NDAs or similar). It’s probably fairly normal in web-based enterprise systems to help debug issues but personal e-mail is different to me.


Further reading reveals that Proton has many hassles, the most glaring of which is the inability to search your inbox without downloading everything locally. Also not clear how good their anti-phishing, etc. capabilities are.

I guess that’s a roundabout way of saying that I’m not really worried about the government reading my email. so Proton’s not the service for me. I am worried about Google using it to micro-target me, but there’s no Windows/Mac/Android (and, in a bit iOS) alternative I can find that has Google’s robust feature-set, convenience and (except for the whole privacy thing) security.

So congratulations, Google. You won. Still using Brave and Duck-Duck-Go though.


Doesn’t Proton encrypt the emails?

In that case, we should not to expect them to search the mails.
Privacy vs Usability, we’ll have to pick one.