OnMail Review | PCMag

Gmail completely dominates e mail with round 1.5 billion customers. It’s virtually the default e mail service, however previously few years, some glorious Gmail alternatives have popped up. Many are email services specialized in privacy and safety. OnMail is not that. Its enterprise mannequin relies upon partially on accumulating and promoting knowledge. The pitch, as a substitute, is that with OnMail, e mail will be higher. The interface is clear, for one factor, and there is a give attention to placing the consumer in management. No message can attain your inbox until you explicitly enable a given e mail tackle. Search is pushed by AI, that means you need to use pure language to seek out what you want. If you are involved about privateness, we do not advocate OnMail. It’s additionally not probably the most compelling service for those who’re in search of a brand new e mail account. But for those who’re trying to make your Gmail expertise higher, you can sync that account to OnMail and reap its advantages.

How Much Does OnMail Cost?

OnMail gives a free model with 10GB of storage. Attachments are restricted to 100MB and you’ll import emails from as much as three third-party accounts. 

Paid plans begin at $4.99 per 30 days or $49.99 per yr for the Personal plan, which incorporates 100GB of storage, a 250MB attachment restrict with the choice to make use of a password-protected hyperlink for bigger information, and the flexibility to import emails from as much as 5 third-party accounts. The plan helps utilizing your personal top-level area, and even gives a complimentary area for those who do not at present have one. 

The Professional plan prices $9.99 per particular person per 30 days or $99.99 per particular person per yr and gives 500GB of storage, a 1GB file attachment restrict, and branded file switch pages.

OnMail is competitively priced, although not low-cost. As a degree of comparability, Hey(Opens in a new window) would not provide a free model and begins at $99 per particular person per yr with 100GB of storage, which is twice the worth that OnMail costs for a similar quantity of storage. It’s value stating that Hey makes use of an analogous strategy to managing e mail as OnMail with what it calls an Imbox—for important emails. InMoat ($9 per 30 days) likewise has you create an allow-list for messages you wish to see, although InMoat is a third-party instrument you utilize on an present e mail account; it would not offer you a brand new e mail account the way in which Hey and OnMail do.

ProtonMail gives a free model with 500MB of storage to start out, which is much lower than the 10GB OnMail gives. Proton’s paid plans begin at $4.99 per 30 days, the identical as OnMail’s first tier of service, although Proton comes with much less house (15GB). Our Editors’ Choice winners for safe e mail are Skiff (free for 10GB, $96 per yr for Pro) and PreVeil (free). Keep in thoughts that OnMail monetizes your e mail knowledge—these different providers don’t.

OnMail’s pricing is a bit of larger than what Google itself gives. Gmail comes with 15GB of free storage, which is greater than OnMail’s 10GB. Paid storage plans for shoppers by way of Google One(Opens in a new window) begin at $19.99 per yr for 100GB of storage, which is lower than half of what OnMail costs for that very same quantity. For $99.99 per yr, you get 2TB with Google. OnMail gives 1 / 4 of that storage for a similar worth.

Which Platforms Does OnMail Run On?

OnMail is at present out there within the browser and as an Android, iPhone, and iPad app. Versions for Windows and macOS are “coming quickly” based on the product’s web site.

Getting Started With OnMail

Signing up for a brand new account begins by going to OnMail.com(Opens in a new window) and clicking the Get Started button. You have to decide on a brand new e mail tackle at onmail.com, as there is no possibility for signing up utilizing an present e mail tackle. After that, you could select a password and a restoration e mail tackle in case you get locked out of OnMail. From there, you resolve whether or not to permit Edison (the corporate that created OnMail) to gather knowledge for analysis functions, then select which plan you wish to use. You don’t want to offer a bank card to make use of the free plan.

From there, you go to your new inbox. In a desktop browser, the largely white (or, for those who’re in darkish mode, largely black) interface has two fundamental panels: an inventory of folders to the left and your messages to the fitting.

(Credit: OnMail)

OnMail, in contrast to Gmail, would not have an Archive. Instead, it has a Done folder. The concept is that most individuals use their inbox as a to-do listing. Open an e mail and also you see a distinguished test mark, which you faucet to mark an e mail as finished and transfer it out of your inbox. It took me a second to seek out the “finished” button, however that is perhaps attributable to 15 years of conditioning by Gmail to work a unique manner.

When your inbox is empty OnMail treats you to a photograph and an inspirational quote, and you’ll customise the photograph for those who like. When it is loading, OnMail additionally greets you with a “Good morning” or “Good afternoon.” These niceties make the applying really feel inviting.

Unique Features in OnMail

OnMail’s defining attribute is what the corporate calls a Permission-based Inbox. Basically, while you get a message from a brand new e mail tackle, it would not present up in your inbox. Rather, a bit of window pops up asking if you wish to get emails from this particular person or not.

A pop-up window in OnMail lets you block or accept messages from a new sender that you see the first time that sender delivers mail to you

(Credit: OnMail)

You can click on the little window to preview the e-mail if you would like, then select Accept Contact to see all messages from this tackle going ahead, or select Block to have this message and future ones from the tackle go straight to your trash. It’s a less complicated, if excessive, answer to protecting your inbox clear. Just watch out to not by accident block anybody essential.

The inbox, by default, is break up into two tabs, Primary and Other. I could not work out what was supposed to finish up in Other. In my exams, solely LinkedIn messages confirmed up there. You can additional “break up” your inbox into extra tabs utilizing filters. OnMail’s filters are much like those you get in Gmail, however they’re made easier by way of design.

Creating a filter in OnMail; the filter called

(Credit: OnMail)

You can filter primarily based on e mail tackle, phrases within the topic line, and even phrases within the message physique itself. Advanced choices assist you to use frequent search operators, for those who favor.

The interface for scheduling a break in OnMail so that between the dates and hours you set, you will not receive any incoming messages; they will be delivered later

(Credit: OnMail)

OnMail additionally gives the flexibility to pause your inbox. During a pause, no new emails present up in your inbox. You can set off these breaks on a one-time foundation or on a schedule. The concept is to stop e mail from distracting you throughout work hours or to cease your self from being pulled into work emails throughout the night.

Many different little options add to the expertise. For instance, the search perform makes use of pure language processing, that means you’ll be able to kind one thing like “Emails from Jill final week” and get correct outcomes. The sidebar options collections like Travel, Shopping, and Packages, that are routinely curated. You get a built-in calendar, although it is in all probability not sturdy sufficient to interchange the best calendar apps as a result of you’ll be able to solely have one calendar in OnMail, and there is no solution to subscribe to others.

Importing From Other Accounts in OnMail

It’s clear that the OnMail staff needed to construct one thing distinctive, and so they have. The fundamental barrier to adopting OnMail for most individuals could also be that they do not wish to hand over an e mail tackle they’ve had for many years. For them, an import characteristic could reduce the hurdle.

The phrase “import” here’s a little complicated. It’s not a one-time import however reasonably an ongoing, two-way sync between OnMail and your different e mail account.

Importing works with Gmail, Outlook, iCloud, Yahoo, and AOL e mail addresses, in addition to another e mail account utilizing IMAP. OnMail pulls in your total e mail archive from these providers and continues pulling in new messages. You may even ship messages out of your outdated tackle from OnMail, that means nobody has to know you’ve got switched e mail suppliers.

I examined with a Gmail account and it labored nicely. One hitch is that whereas all messages are imported, labels and folders are usually not. If you will have an elaborate submitting system, you are going to discover this limitation disappointing.

No Ads (But Not Totally Private)

OnMail would not have advertisements, which may lead you to suppose maybe it is privacy-focused. It’s not. Emails saved on OnMail are usually not encrypted, and the enterprise mannequin includes analyzing the info in emails and promoting insights from them. To quote the OnMail website(Opens in a new window):

“To create a viable e mail service whereas additionally rejecting an ad-based enterprise mannequin, OnMail’s creators at Edison present e-commerce analysis to companies within the type of Edison Trends(Opens in a new window). Edison creates insights about on-line buy patterns from aggregated and anonymized transaction knowledge extracted with permission from shoppers utilizing the Edison Mail app, or those that opt-in with OnMail.”

Edison, the corporate behind OnMail, was acquired by market analysis agency YipitData(Opens in a new window) towards the tip of 2022. Data sharing happens in each the free and paid model of OnMail, although in all instances you’ll be able to disable it within the settings.

The list of options you see when importing one email account in to OnMail; the options include Gmail, Outlook, iCloud, Yahoo, and IMAP

(Credit: OnMail)

The Downsides of OnMail

OnMail, as of this writing, would not provide a desktop shopper, and the online model is not an excellent substitute. It additionally has no help for keyboard shortcuts by any means, that means anybody used to navigating their e mail with out touching their mouse goes to seek out themselves at a loss.

OnMail would not help third-party e mail shoppers both as a result of there’s no IMAP service(Opens in a new window). In different phrases, you’ll be able to’t arrange an OnMail account after which use it by way of one other e mail interface. If you need an e mail shopper your solely selection is Edison’s personal Edison Mail app, which gives apps for Android, macOS, and iPhone/iPad. So for those who use Gmail primarily as an e mail server, and also you work together along with your Gmail account utilizing different e mail functions, OnMail isn’t substitute.

Exporting can also be a bit of annoying. There’s no solution to migrate straight from OnMail to different providers—simply the flexibility to export all the pieces to .MBOX information. You can open these information with Thunderbird, Apple Mail, or Outlook, however it is a bit of a convoluted course of.

An Interesting But Not Highly Compelling Gmail Alternative

OnMail actually gives a unique tackle e mail, and it has loads of nice options that are not in different providers. It’s additionally very clear, visually. In some ways, it appears like a non secular successor to the gone-too-soon Google Inbox.

What OnMail is not, although, is a privacy-centered different to Gmail. Anyone who desires that ought to take a look at our Editors’ Choice winners for privacy-focused e mail providers, Skiff and PreVeil. Both provide a free tier of service, so there is no barrier to giving them a strive.


  • Affordable different to Gmail

  • Generous free possibility

  • Permission-based inbox

  • Imports and syncs messages from different e mail accounts

  • Paid plan helps customized domains


  • Owned by a market analysis agency and backed with knowledge harvesting

  • Can’t use with third-party shoppers

  • No keyboard shortcuts on desktop

  • Folders and labels aren’t included when syncing with one other account

The Bottom Line

OnMail fantastically rethinks the way in which e mail works with its permission-based inbox strategy. But it prices you each cash and knowledge.

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