What’s the difference between email and Gmail?

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What’s the difference between e-mail and gmail? Which is better? I’m new to this and quite confused. Sorry if this is too basic but I would really like to know.
Zed Rojwick

Before I provide a detailed answer, let me ask you – What’s the difference between a car and a Ferrari?.

A Ferrari is just a type of a car, right? Well, Gmail is just a type of email service.

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And my analogy is actually apt because Gmail is a sort of a Ferrari when it concerns email.

E-mail or electronic mail has been around for decades. It’s older than the World Wide Web. It is also the most used activity online though that may not last long with multitudes of instant messengers like Whatsapp.

But I digress.

Gmail is Google’s email service. The search engine giant launched the service on the 1st of April 2004, and from the very beginning Gmail was a class apart. When competitors like Hotmail (owned by Microsoft) and Yahoo! Mail (owned by Yahoo!) were offering just a few megabytes of storage space, Gmail was introduced with 1 gigabyte of storage. Most people thought it was an April Fool’s prank.

Anyway, Gmail’s introduction created a sensation online. Microsoft and Yahoo! who were once the leaders soon lost out to Gmail which quickly became the most popular and reliable email service on the Internet.

Would your Gmail account be able to send and receive email from other services?

Yes! Like I mentioned before, Gmail is just an email service. There will be no problems in sending and receiving email messages from other services.

Should you use Gmail or is Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail good enough for you?

That all depends on what you want. Gmail definitely offers many more features than the competition and keeps introducing new ones regularly. But the competitors have now pulled up they socks. Hotmail has been rebranded as outlook.com and Yahoo! Mail performance has vastly improved.

Here are my two cents. Gmail will work well if you use an Android cell phone. However, if you have a Windows phone and/or a Windows computer, I suggest Microsoft’s outlook.com service.

One final advice. Ask your friends and family which email service they use and then decide. I say this because in case you ever face a problem, you can quickly contact them for assistance.

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