Best alternatives to gmail?

Google is now demanding that I link my Google and YouTube accounts and that I give them my phone number. That ain’t gonna happen.

I suppose the next step is that they start demanding a phone number to access gmail accounts … and even if it is not in their immediate plans, I am choosing now to stop using all Google services.

Anybody have an opinion on good alternatives to gmail?

The phone number is only for retrieving your account should you forget your password (and I think you can just give a Google voice number, can’t you?). It’s not like they’re going to call you otherwise. Ever.

I made a spanking new google account to link my youtube account to which I don’t intend to use. You could do that. I didn’t have to give my phone number but you could give your Chinese takeaway’s number if you don’t mind them potentially ever having the opportunity of going through your mail in a gigantic password-recovery cock-up.:slight_smile:

Can’t you just click past the page where they ask for information like that? I’ve given Gmail no phone numbers or YouTube accounts and I can still use my account just fine.

I’ve only ever given Google my phone number when I signed up for Google Voice - I never had to add it to my overall Google account, nor have I been asked for it when logging into any Google service.

And Google is “demanding” that you link your Youtube and Google accounts because, well, Google is Youtube now, and they have been for several years. Youtube has become one of the varied services Google offers, right alongside Docs, Voice, Talk, Picasa, Earth, Maps, Bookmarks, Books, etc. that you can access with one simple login. For free. From anywhere.

I don’t get what the issue is.

No, you can’t give a fake number. They call you or text you a verification code that you must enter to active your account before you can sign in.

I went on youtube today to look for a video and got the message that I must link my google and youtube accounts. It said if I didn’t want to, I could open a new google account and link to that. I tried opening a new google account (that I intended to never use) to link to my youtube account. That is when it demanded a phone number.

I suspect everybody will be subjected to this eventually. I am seeing a lot of discussion of this starting to pop up in web searches. I in no way abused my accounts, so that is not a factor.

Anyway, my decision is made. I am abandoning all use of all google related services. I haven’t regularly used google for search for several years, but I will miss youtube a bit.

I am looking for alternatives for email.

Edit: Some of the new posts on other boards I’m finding are from people who have been locked out of their gmail accounts until they provide a phone number.

Good luck with that. :dubious:

Is Compuserve around? They might still offer email.

IMO, if you don’t want gmail, the best free, web-based email out there other than gmal is yahoo mail. I don’t care for their new look (I have an old account that is grandfathered into the “classic” yahoo mail look, though I suspect eventually I’ll be forced into the new interface.)

It has a really good spam/junk email filter, plenty of space, and is easy enough to configure to work with outlook or some other desktop email client if you want.

But from the sounds of it you already have an older gmail and youtube acounts that you didn’t have to give a phone number for, thast you could link, but decided not to? Why? What’s the downside of linking them?

I’m now testing GMX mail and so far, so good. I like the interface and the way I can add pictures easily to the message body I am seeing. The sign up information is minimal. Prior to this one, I attempted another that wanted everything but my SS number so I canceled out of the registration. I also have a Gmail account and they have not demanded anything like you stated of me. I maintain separate accounts for Facebook, Myspace, YouTube and so forth. A request is not a demand. Last year or so Hotmail was going to phase out accounts that were collected in Outlook Express. They had too many complaints and accounts going away so they recanted and left it alone.

I had to look this up, since I was curious. It is, apparently!

Yet I don’t think they give out their eponymous “Generic compuserve,” addresses anymore.

But yeah. I don’t think I ever gave Gmail my cell. And if I did, I don’t care.

Yahoo has Ymail.

Windows live mail has made hotmail more full featured to keep up with google.

And then there’s the other fitty-gajillion places on the internet where you can get a free e-mail address. I used to have a free mail address at That was sweet.

bouv, I simply don’t want my entire life, every web search, every video watched, every road trip planned, every email sent, AND my telephone number all connected in one database by company whose CEO said “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”

Give them inch and they’ll take a mile. To me, Google has now gone too far. Maybe it hasn’t happened to you yet … but it hadn’t happened to me either, until a couple hours ago.

Al Bundy Thanks for the GMX suggestion. I’ll give it a try. I have also reactivated a Yahoo email address I haven’t used for years. The only thing I really use the account for is for places that demand an email for registration, like this board – just a way to prevent uncontrolled spam.

YouTube did not request. They demanded. Here is the cut & paste message I get when I try to log on to youtube now.

Link your YouTube and Google Accounts
You will no longer be able to sign in to YouTube without a Google Account.
If you do not want to link this YouTube account, you can sign out here.

When I tried to open a new Google account (with the intention of never using it for anything but logging in to Youtube), they demand a telephone number where they will call or text a code that you must use to active the account before you can log in. It is not optional. And further research finds people who have been prevented from opening a new account because ‘there is already an account linked to that phone number’ – so people who change phone numbers are going to have problems in the future … I’m just done with them.

So, the choices they present being to link all my Google owned web activities together OR to be able to separate one (and only one) Google service from the others by giving them my phone number – I find Google us presenting me with a false dilemma. I choose the option they failed to mention – to simply delete Google from my life.

Sure. Go take your business to the benevolent corporations. Google will really miss you a lot, especially since most of their shit is free anyway :rolleyes:

You’re fighting a losing battle.

For me, the battle is over. I have already won.

Those who simply give in cannot win.

Except you don’t have e-mail. And will be forced to accept some shitty service, since there is nothing better than Gmail.

Kinda like declaring victory over a cold winter night by lighting the roof on fire and staying warm.

I have had phone number verified accounts with google forever. I dont get any text spam or junk calls. I have dozens of customer using their free services and loving it.

The guys at google are big on things like net neutrality and open source information. Its not much more nefarious than a phone book.

Sorry guys, but I don’t feel the love. Even if I were to agree that gmail might be the best email service, I am unwilling to pay the price. A Rolls-Royce is a better car than I drive now, but I am not willing to pay that price, either.

This is IMHO and you are all certainly entitled to your opinions about Google … but I am not asking for that right now. I am asking for opinions or recommendations for free email services other than gmail.

I checked out GMX and it looked good until I tried to use it. Turns out they seem to have a massive spam problem and the addresses are banned from a lot of places, including this board. My old Yahoo email works, but does not work with a POP email program like Thunderbird, so that’s not really the solution I am looking for.

Anybody else have a free email service they’re happy with?

You just want a POP e-mail account? Doesn’t your ISP provide one?

Yes, and it gets zero spam. I want to keep it that way. I use my ISP account for general communications and use a free email address for things that might result in spam.

The price of… free? Get over yourself.

Your opinion of Google has been expressed and acknowledged.

Your opinion of me and my reasons (of which I have only mentioned a small number) is, IMHO, uncalled for and inappropriate.