For most of us, email is part of our daily lives. Whether it’s for personal or professional reasons, we use emails as a main form of communication in our current digital age, especially when starting a new business or creating a portfolio. There is an ounce of trust, professionalism, and credibility that is understood when an email is sent from a business email account as opposed to a free email account for individuals and businesses alike.

To deep dive further, we will look at the real differences between free emails and paid, business emails. We list the advantages and disadvantages of each to help you make an informed choice for your email communication.

If this sounds interesting, then stick with us.

Introduction to Free vs Business Email

Let’s begin with a quick definition and overview of each email type: Free Email and Business Email

What is Free Email?

Free email is essentially a free-of-cost email service that anyone can sign up for. The free email is offered by different companies that aren’t necessarily focused only on email services, but many of them make their money through advertising. Examples of some free email providers are Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Outlook Mail. It is easy to sign up for a free email amount and it can be done in a couple of minutes. However, you are obligated to carry their specific domain name in your email, such as or

What is Business Email?

Business email is a paid email service that is either part of web hosting that you buy, or it is where you buy email hosting directly. The email service can also be known as professional email or custom email. Unlike free email, the paid email is configured to your domain of choice so instead of using a given domain name like “”, you can create an email account customised to yourself or your business, such as

Now, What Are the True Differences Between Free and Business Email?

  1. Domain of Your Choice

As hinted above, one of the differences comes down to the domain of your choice. When you are building your presence online, you want to make sure that everything is in unison. For example, if you are starting a studio called Example Design Studios, ideally, you would want your domain to reflect your studio’s name. In doing so, this would also increase the overall recognition. With a business email, you are not limited by a domain name that has nothing to do with your business like “” as you are with free email. Instead of promoting another domain or company, having an email address with your domain allows all actions and communications to be focused solely on you and your studio.

By having control of your domain and email service, you create a professional vision of your business and are the full decision-maker of its online reputation. Plus, you have endless possibilities and amazing availability on domains from having different domain roots like .com, .online, .co, and more, to changing your studio’s name to EDesignStudios if you want. A free email account has limitations on name availability and the domain while a business email account has no limitations, allowing you to customise it to what you want. It is personalised to you, your business, and your creation so you can get on with your important projects.

  1. Security & Privacy

The security of your emails is a major differentiator between free emails and business emails.

With free email, you have no control over your data or the inner workings of your account. Instead, the email provider has full access to all of your information from your storage to every single email. They can choose to delete your account due to product changes and their email services tend to come with basic security features and occasional reminders to review your privacy.

Meanwhile, a paid email service makes security and protection a priority. With your own business email, you have full access to your account and all the data attached to it.

Having two-factor authentication with a business email service also means that messages will only be accessible to you and data encryption encodes your email to ensure that only the intended receivers will read them. In addition, anti-spam and anti-virus security measures will allow you to feel protected against any potential security breaches or cyber-attacks.

All in all, business emails add an extra level of security by offering automatic backups, spam protection, and no AI reading your emails to display contextual ads. With a business email, you can relax and know that your emails are secured and yours only.

Better security helps protect your business’ reputation ensuring that all personal information shared is protected and not stolen through potential data breaches. A business email address also indicates to your team that their email should be used in a professional setting and thus, it’s unlikely for them to share personal information or access their emails during off hours. Thus, less private information is shared on business emails due to the nature of its purpose.

  1. Storage Space

Storage space from free email services and paid email services can vary depending on the email provider.

With a free email account, your storage is typically around 5 GB except for Gmail which offers 15 GB. However, if you are working with many attachments and visuals, it may be advised to opt for an email service that provides more storage space so you open the imagery and attachments.

Business email accounts start from 10 GB per user and can go up to 50 GB per user or more. It’s important to note that the storage space is per user and with a dedicated domain, it makes it easy to add on an additional email account and increase your storage with a simple click.

Overall, having enough storage space in your email is important because it allows you to keep your email history and reference elements in the future when needed.

  1. Email Account Creation

Anyone can create a free email account at any time with email service providers like Gmail and Outlook. It is a simple process where you answer questions about the security, availability of the email address and then you are up and running.

However, with a business email account, it is more controlled. Only the domain owner can create your email account and it is up to them to choose an email package with powerful productivity tools and advanced security, which will allow you to work more efficiently. Although it may take a bit more time to get the email account up and running, it can provide more benefits, such as email templates, reminders, and an in-built calendar to aid your workflow. At the end of the day, email services are used to help the productivity of your business in terms of communication, but also time management.

  1. Goodbye Ads

Oh, advertising! Advertising is everywhere from your Netflix series to your Instagram feed, even in your emails. Well, your free email services that is.

When you sign up for a free email, you are asked whether you agree to personalised or standard ads. Why do they ask you this? Essentially, ads are the main source of earning from a free email service. By offering free email, they have the right to display ads, which can appear in your inbox, dashboard, and on the page while you are reading an email.

On free Gmail accounts, there are two additional tabs in every account: Social and Promotions. These are where all commercial newsletters and notifications from your social media accounts arrive. These tabs may be hidden from your main Inbox display, but the emails and ads are still coming into your account whether you like it or not. Receiving ads while you work may distract your workflow and overall, be quite annoying.

Now, business emails usually have anti-spam security measures that ensure you are being sent the communication you want. These services limit advertising and de-clutter your email to make sure that you are not being served ads. In addition, the anti-spam security measures ensure that you are being sent the communication that you want. Without ads, you won’t be distracted and can stay concentrated on the projects at hand.

  1. More Features

Paid emails have more features than free emails. Why is that? Well, it is a paid service that is optimised to increase your productivity and allow you to focus on your business.

Free email services may offer you a basic email with a basic calendar, while the business email package offers more advanced features, but it depends on the exact package and version that you have.

Let’s have a look at a free Gmail account and OnlyDomains’ Business Email Prime Package and have a glimpse at the different features.

  1. Better Customer Experience

There may be times when you need some help with your email account. How-to Guides and Searches are great, but imagine you are in a situation, like recovering an email, where you would like some customer support help.

With a free email provider, there is limited support as the free email is seen as a self-service product. Also, there are so many customers that in terms of resources, they are not able to provide customer support for every single free user. Thus, if you have a problem or need help, they may be difficult to get a hold of.

Meanwhile, paid email providers are the complete opposite. They are here for you and have real customer support from real people. They’re waiting to get you back on track and solve any tech issues. It’s simple to connect with them by creating a ticket, starting a chat, or even giving them a quick call. They are accessible and ready to give you an amazing customer experience.

Another advantage of paid email like OnlyDomain’s business email is that there is an easy mobile app where you can review and answer emails quickly, making emails available on the go. The design makes it simple and easy to use too without complicated, dated interfaces.

  1. Reliability & Consistency

Let’s be honest. Things can change at any time and in an instant. Look at Twitter: one minute it was the cute blue bird and the next, it was X.

Similarly, free email can change at any time. Since you aren’t paying for the service, the provider has no obligations to maintain the product and thus, they can pivot it in any way they like, to suit their business needs. Thus, there is a lack of reliability and potential lack of consistency due to its spontaneous nature.

Business email accounts are reliable as they are paid services. As the customer, you agree to a certain service and the business email provider needs to uphold that service or inform if there are any changes in advance. Also, the nature of a business email is dedicated to consistency. It allows consistency amongst teams with email addresses with the same domain, making communication easier with the same naming convention.

  1. Branding & Professionalism

When you are starting a new business, your reputation is key. Growing your brand awareness will definitely be on your mind, but before jumping the gun, make sure your branding is polished and professional-looking will help convince people that you are worth the investment.

Business emails make your business appear credible and professional. They create an impression of trust, effort, and dedication. When a potential customer inquires about your business, the prospect accepts a business email because it shows that you have created a dedicated communication stream to discuss the potential opportunity at hand. Not using a business email may make them feel that the business is amateur, not professional, and not trustworthy.

  1. Welcoming Feedback

Feedback is more open to business emails compared to free emails.

When you use a free service, you are often seen as the product. You are given a certain service with basic features and clear limitations. However, when you pay for a service, you have a say and have the opportunity to share your feedback and help shape what the service becomes. You aren’t just a number, but a customer who is investing their time and money in an evolving service.

Having a business email account does exactly that. It encourages your email service provider to reach out, get your opinion on what’s good and what’s not, and share your feedback. But it also encourages individuals to answer your cold emails because it shows that you are open to their feedback and that you are speaking to them on behalf of a professional business, not for personal reasons. Plus, when you send an email using a business email address, it will create curiosity as people may look up your domain and start discovering your business website too. From there, they will start forming an interest and might possibly reach out to you with questions.

Looking at all the differences, let’s summarise and see which email service is more advantageous: Free Email or Business Email.

Business emails reflect your overall business and contribute to how it grows. And we want to help you grow. So why not discover more about our business email here at OnlyDomains?

Now, if you have a domain already, adding paid email is rather simple.

A Couple of Key Things to Note:

  • Owning a Domain Name is enough to get started.
  • Paid, Business Email can be set up before having a live website.
  • No need to worry about 12,000+ decisions like when you create a website, simply choose your email address and a secure password and then you are set.

And if you don’t have a domain, why not check out what domains are available and take a step towards a paid, business email just for you?

This article was written by Michelle Nicolaizeau, Product Marketing Manager at OnlyDomains.

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