Almost everybody in Nigeria has a Gmail account. Not a bad thing really, especially when it offers a great service, coupled with all those free add ons that the likes of Yahoo and Fastmail were charging an arm for.

However, for some personal reasons, you may feel the need to search for an alternative. Reasons like not wanting to use the same email service as everyone else. Or perhaps you just feel like rebelling against something—anything. Or for the paranoid like me, not wanting to entrust all your digital life to one single operator, Google!

One other common reason is the non-availability of a username of choice. For a country with 160+ million residents (and still counting in dozens daily), only a few early adopters were lucky to sign on to Gmail with a username of their choice.

The list of alternative free email service providers, some comparing more favourably to Gmail are listed below;

Zoho

Top on my list is Zoho. Zoho is a service based out of India offering email with unlimited storage, along with a slew of added services comparable to Gmail. What probably gives them a plus over gmail is the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) services being offerd, though the free version is limited.

It even has its own Google Apps alternative.

If you rely on your webmail for your business, you’re going to love Zoho. Offering a feature set similar to that enjoyed by Google Apps users, Zoho will brand your webmail with your company’s domain name, letting you send out emails in style. www.zoho.com

GMX

If you’re looking to break free of Gmail, GMX is a great place to start. Offering users 5GB of email storage accessible via POP or IMAP and the ability to send attached files up to 50MB in size, GMX can hold its own in a blowforblow fight with Google’s email service. GMX is owned by the web hosting giant, 1and1 www.gmx.com

Hushmail

The folks at Hushmail pride themselves on providing a highsecurity webmail service to their personal and business clients. With the Hush Encryption Engine protecting your webmail’s privacy, you can be certain that your digital information is in good hands. www.hushmail.com

Inbox.com

Much like Google, Inbox.com is a veritable department store of online awesomeness. Aside from offering users 5GB of free email storage, the service also provides file storage, photo sharing capabilities, a virtual message board, and computerside email notification and download clients. It’s hard to argue with that kind of value. www.inbox.com

Outlook

Hotmail has been around since the beginning of time and like they say, more than 360 million users can’t be wrong. Recently, Microsoft rebranded Hotmail as Outlook. Thanks to a number of recently introduced new features, one of the most popular webmail services in the world is now also one of the most versatile. Offering calendar, instant messaging, and online storage solutions, Microsoft has done Outlook some serious justice in recent years. www.oulook.com

Lavabit

Sick of spam? So’s Lavabit, and it’s got an email account with your name on it. By providing clients with an impressive mixed bag of antispam technologies, Lavbit makes for a sane email experience that’s mostly Viagra and Nigerian prince–free. www.lavabit.com

 

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