14 Dec 2019
I recently published a post with instructions on how to host email on your own domain. Since publishing, I’ve been asked a number of times about why I used Zoho Mail as an example, instead of something more mainstream like Gmail. In this post I intend to tell you some of the reasons why I think Zoho Mail is better than Gmail.
Before we get started, I’d like to quickly mention that this is just my own opinion. Your needs may be different than my own, but Zoho Mail works extremely well for me and is worth considering.
Zoho Mail has both free and paid versions, much like Gmail. However, Zoho Mail is better than Gmail in that there are no adverts in Zoho Mail, including the free version.
As I mentioned above, Zoho Mail doesn’t support advertising, so no tracking is required. Both Firefox and uBlock Origin cannot find any trackers within the Zoho Mail webmail page:
I find it reassuring to know that I can pay a company to host my email for me, so I don’t have to worry about the admin overhead of self-hosting. But I can do so privately, without fear of being tracked.
The price of something doesn’t get any cheaper than free am I right, or am I right? Yeah yeah yeah, Gmail is also free, but we’ve already established the free version of Zoho Mail has no ads and is more private.
Aside from advertising and privacy though, Zoho Mail’s free tier allows you to use your own domain. It will also give you up to 5 mailboxes, each with 5GB of storage.
You don’t need your own domain to use Zoho Mail either. You can sign up for a free personal account and use the
If you want to use more than one domain or take advantage of some of the advanced features that Zoho offers, you can sign up for a paid account.
Their lowest package offers multiple domains, 5GB of storage per user and access to Zoho Docs. There’s also a host of other services, such as shared calendars. This costs just 80p (approx $1) per month.
If you want to use Gmail’s paid mail service, GSuite, then that’s going to cost you £4.14 (around $5) per month, but you get 30GB of storage. If you want more storage from Zoho, you can add an additional 25GB for £28 (around $37) per year. Or you can upgrade to one of Zoho’s other plans.
5GB of mail storage may not sound like a lot, but it really is. I would class myself as a heavy email user, but I am fastidious when it comes to keeping my mailbox in order. I tend to keep 5 years of mail within my mailbox, and I’m currently using less than 1GB of my storage. So 5GB will be more than enough for most users.
Google tends to use their own protocols for some of their services. For example, instead of using CalDAV and CardDAV for calendar and contacts syncing, or using ActiveSync, Google uses their own proprietary protocols that make their services difficult to use outside of their ecosystem.
Zoho Mail doesn’t have that problem as they support standard protocols that are widely adopted. IMAP, POP, CalDAV, CardDAV and ActiveSync are all supported on Zoho Mail.
The Zoho Mail mobile app also allows you to manage mail, contacts, calendars and files. So where you need 4 apps for Google’s mail services, you only need one for Zoho. Or you can use your device’s native mail apps.
All this makes connecting to your Zoho mailbox on a number of different devices and operating systems extremely easy, especially when using lesser known operating systems, like Linux.
For me personally, using Zoho Mail is a no-brainer and it’s quite clear to me that Zoho Mail is better than Gmail. You may feel differently, but I would implore you to consider Zoho Mail if you’re thinking about changing email provider.
I’ve been a happy Zoho Mail user for around 4 years on and off. My Wife is also using Zoho Mail and is completely non-technical, but she can easily access and manage her mail, as well as things like our shared calendars.
If you’re interested in a full comparison of Zoho Mail and Gmail, take a look at this document.