Now that Google has almost ended its free Google Workspace offer, some will want to find a free or less expensive alternative. Here are your options.
Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) has ended its free offerings – you can no longer pay for a domain name and use Google business email for free. This won’t really bother large organizations, as they all already use a paid plan, but small businesses or individuals using Google Workspace are now forced to pay or find an alternative.
Upgrade to a paid Google Workspace account
For most users, the easiest transition is to upgrade to a paid account. You don’t have to migrate your data if you can afford the minimum €4.68 per month. For this price, you are entitled to 30 GB of storage, Gmail with your own domain name and video conferences for up to 100 participants.
Microsoft 365 for business
Microsoft’s suite is a direct replacement for Google Workspace. Its offer starts at € 5.10 per month, but you will have to spend twice as much to have emails and Office apps on desktop. Microsoft offers 50 GB of storage per box and 1 TB of OneDrive storage, which is more than Google Workspace’s 30 GB. Still, Microsoft 365 Business remains quite expensive. Google Docs, Sheets and other apps are included for free in the Google plan.
Zoho Workplace offers almost all the features of Google Workspace at a lower price. You can use your own domain name for emails with 5 GB of storage for free, without ads. You can set up a business on Zoho and invite up to 5 users at no additional cost. There is a 25MB limitation on attachments, but the rates are attractive.
If you’re looking for a free alternative to Google Workspace, it really doesn’t get any better than this. You can visit Zoho Mail’s pricing page. If you add more than five users, the offer starts at $1 per user per month (paid annually). The 50 GB inbox plan costs €3.60 per user per month, cheaper than Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 Business.
For those who want a full suite, Zoho Workplace is a decent alternative. Email, cloud storage, video calls, an alternative to Slack and office apps, from €2.70 per user per month.
If your Google Workspace business is only one person, you might consider using a domain name with iCloud email service. The iCloud+ plan costs €0.99 per month for 50 GB of cloud storage and you can use a custom domain name.
iCloud+ isn’t targeted at businesses, so you shouldn’t use it to manage multiple users in an organization. For individuals, you have access to iCloud email and Apple’s office apps, like Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Collaboration is also very effective in Apple apps.
That being said, you shouldn’t use iCloud+ if you don’t have Apple devices. Indeed, support for the service on Windows and Android is unreliable at best.
ProtonMail offers end-to-end encryption of your emails. In other words, the content of your emails cannot be read by the service provider. If you’re looking for a more secure alternative to Google Workspace, the free ProtonMail plan might be right for you.
Paid plans start at €3.99 per month, with 15 GB of storage, custom domain name support and up to 10 email addresses. ProtonMail doesn’t have an office suite, but you can use its Proton Drive cloud storage service if you opt for the most expensive plan at $9.99 per month.
Be careful, even if you use the end-to-end encrypted email service, the encryption is only valid if you send emails to other users with the same level of protection. If you send to a Gmail user, for example, encryption will not take place because Gmail does not encrypt emails on its service.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Google Docs with added security, this is CryptPad, end-to-end encrypted. The free plan offers 1 GB of storage and alternatives to Google Docs and Sheets, as well as other tools. As long as you don’t plan to store large files, the free plan should be sufficient. If you’re willing to pay, paid plans start at $5 per month for 5GB of storage.
Other Email Alternatives to Google Workspace
Here are some other decent options for anyone who wants an email service that isn’t owned by Google:
- Fastmail: 30 GB at $5 per user per month with custom domain name support. The service allows the use of aliases, has no tracking and blocks remote images by default.
- Hey: by the company behind Basecamp. Quite expensive, at $12 per user per month for custom domain names, but with useful features like tracker blocking, good email filtering, and a very pleasant reading experience.
- Rackspace: With plans starting at $2.99 per user per month, it’s a more affordable alternative to Google Workspace which offers 25GB of storage for your inbox on the base plan.