Gmail Alternatives?

  • I've been using Gmail for a few years now. It's okay, but I'm a bit tired of it, and it's labels, and using things Google. I've been wondering if there was an email provider that you guys thought would be better than Gmail. I used to use Outlook, but I really don't like that at all. Are Zoho and Yahoo any good? If I don't switch, will Vivaldi's M3 work with Gmail's "labels" and everything Gmail? That would at least make it easier to use M3 with, as Opera Mail isn't all that great with Gmail.

  • Moderator

    Check Thunderbird (much improved over when I used it years ago) and Fossamail.

    (This is in the "Software" forum, so I offered you software. If you are looking for a different PROVIDER, (ie you would have to change your email address), that's another matter.)

  • Moderator

    Also, Zoho is a company that sells a business 1) email client software and 2) email provider services (that happens to have a webmail interface for clients with paid accounts)

    And Yahoo sux eggs.

    Edit: Zoho has a free personal webmail service with no ads, and the storage limitation is 5 Gb. and also have free services (with ads) with similar storage limitations. To remove the ads you pay a small annual fee. Neither of these offer any software - just webmail services.

  • Yes, I was talking more about providers than software. Wasn't sure where else to create a thread.

    So, is Zoho a good provider? Which provider do you use? And will Vivaldi's M3 be able to import in Gmail's Labels?

    I also find that none of the software really works with Gmail.

  • Moderator

    I have provider accounts with gmail (3), Vistaprint (2, because i have two websites with them), and

    Never tried Zoho. Sounds OK if you can live with a 5Gb account. I can't.

    Thunderbird does the best job of coordinating with gmail labels for me so far. OperaMail does the best job of reflecting gmail's folders. I also use EMClient which is OK if your volume is not as overwhelming as my wife's and you only have two accounts. Otherwise you have to buy a license.

  • I guess I'll stick with Gmail as a provider for now. The provider market seems to be pretty stagnant, so it doesn't get much better with Gmail. Thunderbird and Opera Mail hasn't worked with Gmail for me, though i'm using the portable versions for those apps. Opera Mail for some reason had a tough time getting my labels to work correctly. It'll all go down into the inbox folder, which I would like it to at least work like Gmail with it's labels. I hope Vivaldi's M3 will work with Gmail like that, and also give a really nice and easy to use interface that is also customizable, kind of like Opera Mail, but nicer looking. Anyway, looking forward to innovation in the future!

  • Moderator

    My expectations for M3 coming out of the box are that it will be robust but limited in options. I don't expect to see a mobile version of it soon, if ever. It's pretty certain that when mobile Vivaldi comes, it will ship without email. The only point of having email in a browser is that, on desktop, you can integrate the email into the UI, and have it always-visible. That would make no sense for a mobile product because there's not enough screen space to browse and do email at the same time.

  • I'm sure they'll build on features over time. I do know that Gmail is probably the most popular provider of all, so they're going to want to make sure that M3 can import all Gmail email properly, and set some of the Labels that Gmail has, or at least make folders for them so you can have your normal mail in the Inbox folder, and then Social and Promotions in another folder. And any folder you created in Gmail to be imported too. If that's what M3 will do, then that would be great.

    It would also be great to have calendar and tasks along with it.

    I also use Google Drive for docs, which works well, but I'm not sure Vivaldi will create an online office suite, though that would be cool.

    As for Mobile, I don't expect it to be integrated with Vivaldi Mobile either, but it would be nice if they did a separate email client on Mobile, like an app for it. There are many non-provider apps like CloudMagic on Android, so it'd be cool to see how Vivaldi can do that on mobile, but as a separate app.

  • I have run 2 Zoho accounts for a few years now, but i use them [as with almost* all my webmail accounts] as POP3 so i keep all my data on my pc not in their servers. I chose them due to a credible-looking security & privacy policy. My earlier provider had been Lavabit, which was excellent… til the bloody NSA/PRISM/Snowden outrage & its aftermath. Though i still use Zoho, over the past year i moved away from it as my primary accounts, due to my utter mistrust of my data privacy with any providers' servers physically located in a jurisdiction legally[?] reachable by the disgusting US NSA bastards [I'm not a Yank, & refuse to be a passive player in their data-theft game]. I have never used Gmail & never will, due to their egregious non-privacy data-commodification ethos.

    After much research i opened a [French] OpenMailBox account [POP3 again], based on security & privacy again. This proved to be an annoying misstep, as ironically soon after starting it i discovered that the French govt had passed domestic laws mimicking the idiot US Patriot Act, with powers to compel domestic email vendors to grant server access.

    After more research i ended up with my current primary vendor, [Italian] Inventati/Autistici. Their dominant privacy/security white-hat hacker individual-first govt-&-corporates-last ethos strongly appeals to me. I had to jump through a few hoops to get an account [they vet applicants], but have been happy with it since.

    Relatively recently i also opened a Vivaldi webmail account, again with POP3 for my pc client (FossaMail]. I'm kinda "marking time" with it so far, til i can better gauge the official policies & practices [but the email server location being Iceland not USA instantly appealed to me]. I also appreciate their "our Mail service does NOT use CDN and is served only from our Iceland data center".

    • Exception is my [Swiss] ProtonMail account [does not [i]yet offer POP3]. Once they do, this will be my primary account, as their legal jurisdiction & physical servers' location [Switzerland] are fab for privacy & security, plus their encryption is mighty.

  • Hi Steffie,

    Wow, those are a lot of options! So Zoho seems like it would be a nice idea, and is encrypted, but the only reason you're suspicious of it is because it's in the US, right? I guess I'll have to look into that to see how secure it is, since I don't think I use POP3, I use IMAP, because I'd like the server to store all my messages.

    I found an article here that talked about how it's hard for the NSA to crack Zoho mail messages:

    I checked out ProtonMail, and it's a very good-looking webmail! That's one of the things I liked, and I liked how you can put CSS and edit the themes. I clicked "inspect" on each of the parts of it, made those corners rounded, cause ya know how much I love rounded corners, and now I just need to figure out how to make those CSS changes permanent.

    I love the 2-column view with the inboxes on the side. Opera Mail is kind of like that too, and I like viewing my emails like that. Gmail is only a one-row kind of view, which is too simplified and takes a long time to navigate through emails individually.

    The only thing I'm not entirely sure about is only the 500MB limit for free users. I've never paid for email, but I'm sure I'd consider it once I make more money.

    Gmail is meh, but I get a maximum of 15GB as a free user. Now, I've been using Gmail for 4 years now, and have only accumulated 1.84GB of the 15GB that I use for email, which is not a lot. I do have thousands of emails in newsletters gathered in one inbox over the course of almost a year or so. Now, do you think I could get by as a free user of ProtonMail for now?

    Another thing I don't love is not being able to set my own fonts and format my own emails. I wish they provided that functionality. But they seem to update quite often, so I'm hoping they can bring out formatting in the next update, and then after that maybe a calendar/tasks. I don't know if they'll ever get an office suite though.

    I'd also have to create my own folders and see if it'll be easy to do so and navigate between them. Other than that, I like what I see.

    I mostly just want something that's better to use, looks pretty, and is generally more secure. Then, once M3 comes out, I'll be putting my email there. I assume it'll have a similar layout to OperaMail and ProtonMail.

    I'd also like to still be able to use some Google services, like maybe Google Drive, but I don't want to be too dependent on Google. That way, when any other services come along, I'm not too tied and can be pretty flexible.

    And is it possible to set up my Gmail account with ProtonMail with end-to-end encryption so I can use my Gmail with the security and privacy benefits that ProtonMail provides?

    I'll also look into webmail, but it seems a little primitive so far. I could just wait until M3 comes out and then see. I do like it being based in Iceland, and I hope they get end-to-end encryption with Gmail accounts that makes it private and secure.

  • Yes, i quite like Zoho, & the primary reason for my disquiet about it is indeed coz its servers are US-based [though i confess a degree of uncertainty about that, given that Zoho managerially seems to span India & US]. In my case additionally, there's a minor annoyance about how it manages Sent items, but this pertains to POP3 not IMAP, so would be of no relevance to you.

    Given that your preference is for webmail server-based IMAP email [for entirely valid reasons], but conversely my strong preference is for POP3 client-based email, i suspect that little of what i posted earlier will actually be of much help for you. Certainly i was aware that some of those vendors i mentioned earlier have only what some might regard as insufficiently large user data storage allocation, but in my case that never mattered given my POP3 client-side usage. In your case i definitely agree that storage might be a critical factor for you.

    Not that i think this will sway you, but i'll offer it just for thoroughness. Aside from privacy concerns that people of my cynical outlook have wrt webmail vs NSA/GCHQ/ASIO etc, another issue of alarm to me regarding storage of all my years of emails on their servers not my pc, is… what happens if your email vendor abruptly goes out of business? In my case, i mentioned that years ago i used Lavabit. I had been blissfully unaware of NSA, PRISM, Snowden til one day when i sat at my pc to send & receive new emails i discovered to my horror that Lavabit had been shutdown overnight by its owner, in protest against being served court orders to hand NSA / FBI / whoever the encryption keys [they wanted to access Snowden's account, but this would have also allowed them into everyone's account]. Because i use POP3 not IMAP, the majority of my emails were still safe on my pc, but i did lose any emails that any of my contacts might have sent me since i last synched. Had i been using IMAP sans local backup, i'd have lost everything. So, how confident are you that your IMAP data is truly reliably safe for you, for the remainder of your life?

    Re ProtonMail, yes currently their Webmail offering is extremely meagre, & i have not seen any improvement there for many months. I don't know to what extent they are actually working on it behind the curtain. I know they have been trying to monetise their operation; whilst i know nothing of their success there, i suppose if money's tight then development might be glacial.

    Re your query "…possible to set up my Gmail account with ProtonMail…", i do not know… but i strongly suspect the answer's probably No [currently].

    Neither of these is recent, but FYI as more PM background reading:

    Good luck.

  • I just checked my Gmail, and it looks like I do use POP3. I use both POP3 and IMAP for my Gmail. So I guess I'd probably use both if I'm able to. That's probably why I've never lost any emails in case of anything.

    Although I don't imagine Gmail shutting down anytime soon, I can see why using POP3 would be needed, so I guess I would like to use that as well, though if ProtonMail doesn't offer it, then I don't mind for now. As long as M3 will eventually provide both POP3 and IMAP, then that'll be good.

    For ProtonMail, do you know if their development moves that fast? I checked and it looked like it was a year ago that someone had asked for formatting in email. That's a big feature for me that I would probably need. Once they get it, I would definitely consider moving onto ProtonMail fully, because I love everything else about them.

    Will I be able to use either email for M3 when it comes out? I'm hoping that whatever M3 does, it'll have lots of features like 2-row layout, formatting, and ability to change fonts for everything that I read, but OperaMail can do that anyway, so I think it'll come.

    Will M3 come with end-to-end encryption for accounts like Gmail? It'd be great to have if it can guard all emails from spying, and their servers will be set in Iceland. I also hope they have IMAP and POP3 for emails.

    I made a really nice SD thumbnail for ProtonMail if you'd like. I just Googled a logo of ProtonMail, resized it to 440x360 and it looks perfect on the SD page:

    Edit: I can't seem to attach pictures on this forum. It's a problem of mine. But here's a picture in Google images, and you could save it, resize it, and then you'd have the perfect SD thumbnail for ProtonMail:

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    Try :whistle: (You can log in with forum account)

    Or for vintage fans

  • "For ProtonMail, do you know if their development moves that fast? I checked and it looked like it was a year ago that someone had asked for formatting in email" –> I have no inside knowledge, but based on my own observations, PM Devs do NOT move fast. There are LONG periods of nothing new seeming to happen. A couple of months ago i posted on their blog with a question about POP3 availability plans. After three weeks my post had not even been moderated, let alone actually allowed onto the site. I gave up waiting at that point, & all i do now is check back in every several weeks to see if there's anything new. All that said, i do continue to use my PM webmail account, just not anywhere near as intensively as i would if POP3 was available.

    Re your M3 questions, i assume they are simply speculatively rhetorical, or else aimed at someone else. Certainly i have zero knowledge about it. I never even used Opera's apparently much-lauded M2, so at this stage i don't even have enough understanding to know if i should be getting excited about M3 or not. One fundamental question about it i do have, on which i've seen little or no chatter, is whether M3 is literally "just" email, or whether it's more of a full PIM offering. If the former, it'll be of zero practical use to me. If the latter, i'll compare it to Thunderbird/FossaMail+Lightning & make a judgement on the merits.

    PS -- I'm so naive on this topic that i don't even know why M2 was called M2, nor M3 is apparently going to be called M3... i've just blindly mimicked what others have said, & hope i'm getting it right.

  • Moderator

    So as nearly as I can tell, the FIRST iteration of email in Opera was called "M2" and I suspect this was because it was the second generation of email functionality. The most important advance in M2 over the prior generation of email clients was the fact that it stored only ONE copy of every email, rather than multiple copies for multiple folders, and treated every folder as a "search," thus allowing you to classify, find and view, one single copy of an email, in multiple views.

  • Ta Ayespy. <br /><br /><em><<see, people, it's not actually all that hard to be courteous>></em>

  • Opera 6 did have a mail client on some platforms, no idea what version it was actually added in. But when they rewrote the browser they had to rewrite the mail client as well, hence the mail client in Opera 7 became M2.

  • So with that thinking, M3 should be an improvement and innovation from M2 then!

  • Moderator


    Opera 6 did have a mail client on some platforms, no idea what version it was actually added in. But when they rewrote the browser they had to rewrite the mail client as well, hence the mail client in Opera 7 became M2.

    Thanks, sgunhouse! Valuable historic knowledge. I had email in Opera 5 and 6 of course, and kept using Opera on thru to the end, at Opera 12. Somehow, the re-write between 6 and 7 escaped my notice, as at the time I was merely using the tool, not getting into how its guts were put together. So, first, there was Mail in Opera, and after the 6/7 re-write, there was M2.

    Good to know.

  • Moderator

    A fascinating bit of Opera history:

    Note the introduction of "M2, Opera's new e-mail and news client" in the second changelog.


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