Difference between Email and Gmail

With the increasing use of electronic devices and gadgets, the technological era has demanded easy and secure methods or platforms for communication in digital mediums. When it comes to sending or receiving digital messages over the Internet, Email and Gmail are two of the most popular terms used as a means of communication these days. Although both the terms are used interchangeably, there are significant differences between Email and Gmail.

Difference between Email and Gmail

This article differentiates Email and Gmail, helping us understand the functions or requirements of both. In addition, the article is also helpful in deciding to choose the right communication medium for personal and commercial use. Before we compare Email and Gmail, let us first understand both with their brief definitions:

What is Email?

Email is a short form of ‘Electronic Mail', where the term 'mail' refers to a digital message (or files, or both). The term 'electronic' defines that communication is made using electronic devices. Email is also denoted as ‘E-mail’, ‘e-mail’, and ‘email’.

By definition, “Email is defined as a method that facilitates the exchange of digital messages and files between two or more electronic devices (such as desktops, laptops, notebooks, tablets, smartphones, etc.) via the Internet.

Most electronic devices come with built-in email support, providing a basic text editor for composing new emails. Using the editor, users can either create a new email or copy the content directly into the email composer. However, users must have the recipient's email address to send an email. The email address is unique to each user for a single email account. But, users are free to create more than one email account to have more email addresses for specific purposes.

Email messages typically have two primary components, namely the header and the body. The header contains a summarized log of the sender and recipient along with the subject and date of the message. Besides, the body contains the main text-based message and multimedia content, such as graphics, images, videos, etc.

Advantages of Email

The following are the main advantages of the Email:

The email service is free of cost.

We can send and receive multiple emails using the email service.

Emails help us to send or receive messages much faster than traditional or physical post/mail systems.

Emails can be stored for a very long time, allowing users to keep records digitally. Users can decide to keep or delete emails according to their own using the email client.

Since there is no use of paper, email is considered to be much nature-friendly than the physical postal system. An email has helped in reducing the wastage of natural resources to great extent.

What is Gmail?

Gmail is the short form of 'Google Mail'. It is defined as the most popular and widely used web-based email service launched by Google and helps users to exchange digital messages (send and receive email) over the Internet. The Gmail web-based interface can be accessed on any computing device using the web browser. Additionally, users can also install the Gmail application on different devices or platforms, and sync their emails accordingly.

According to sources, Gmail was primarily designed to facilitate communication for those already working at Google. However, it was later released for public use with many new features and integrations over time. Gmail became popular in a short time because it could store several gigabytes of messages and data for as long as the user wanted.

Gmail currently provides 15 gigabytes of free disk space to each user account. However, users can increase this limit and avail themselves of more services by paying some extra money. It helps companies and businesses to have a centralized solution for managing their emails and documents.

Gmail is currently a fully-featured email service with all the necessary services and products. It uses standard email protocols, namely POP, IMAP, and SMTP. Email protocols mainly help users to fetch or download their emails from servers on different devices and platforms.

Advantages of Gmail

The following are the main advantages of Gmail:

Gmail is considered the most secure email client because it has many security features including virus detection. If there is a malicious link or attachment, Gmail usually blocks it from the execution and notifies the user.

Gmail has a spam filtering feature that automatically detects spam emails and moves them to a folder called Spam. However, users can access the spam folder and check whether they are important or not. Also, messages stored in the Spam folder can be moved to another folder or vice-versa.

In addition to all the email features, Gmail also has a strong personalization feature. It allows users to modify the font style, font size, color, background, theme, and more.

Gmail is freely available for personal use and users can store emails or files up to 15 GB. Also, users can create multiple accounts to have multiple individual Gmail IDs.

A single Gmail ID or address can be used to access all Google services like Google Play, Google Docs, Google Drive, YouTube, etc.

Email Vs Gmail: Key Differences

Let us now list down some of the major differences between Email and Gmail:

Email is an abbreviation for 'Electronic Mail', while Gmail is an abbreviation for 'Google Mail'.

Email is the way of exchanging electronic messages or emails and digital data over the Internet, whereas Gmail is the platform or email service provider that allows users to exchange emails or data.

• Email is not as secure as Gmail.

Email does not have any virus detection feature and therefore may be vulnerable. In contrast, Gmail checks for viruses in every email that passes through its servers, ensuring security for users.

The email has no spam filtering feature and notifies for each unnecessary and repetitive email. On the other side, Gmail has smart spam filtering and can be configured to get notifications only for important emails.

Email does not provide scheduling features for mail, whereas Gmail enables users to schedule mail at specific times.

Email receives or downloads incoming messages at specific intervals specified by the user. Besides, Gmail receives each message as soon as it arrives, eliminating waiting times. 

Difference between Email and Gmail

Difference Between Email and Gmail

Let’s discuss the differences between Email and Gmail side by side with the help of the following comparison chart (in a tabular form):

Email Gmail
The term Email is an abbreviation used for 'Electronic Mail'. The term Gmail is an abbreviation used for 'Google Mail'.
The email was introduced by engineers between 1965 and 1975 (circa 1971) while working on the ARPANET project. Gmail was first introduced in 2004. However, it was initially available to invited users.
Email is referred to as the technology that helps to exchange digital data (text messages or digital/media files) over a communication network such as the Internet. Gmail is referred to as the platform that allows users to send and receive emails. It is a free service offered by Google with limited disk storage.
Email is a means of electronic communication and may or may not consist of texts, documents, and media files. Gmail is an Email client through which electronic communication is established and emails are sent or received.
Email is not considered secure because it has no security and may contain malicious links or attachments. Gmail is more secure than any other email service as it has many security features such as virus protection, email filtering, spam protection, etc.
Email does not work without an Email service provider like Gmail, Yahoo mail, Hotmail, etc. Gmail uses different protocols to allow easy, secure, and systematic management of emails.
The typical structure of an Email ID is username@domain. The typical structure of Gmail ID is username@gmail.com.
Email does not allow users to schedule emails at a specific time. Gmail has an email scheduling option that allows users to schedule emails at the desired time. It helps users to automatically send formatted emails at a specified time.
Email does not allow users to manage or move emails into different folders or categories. Using Gmail, users can create new folders or use the default ones to manage/move specific emails according to them.
Email is not affiliated with advertisers and therefore does not contain any advertisements. Gmail makes a profit by displaying relevant ads to target users to continuously offer free email services to users for personal use.
Email offers features like auto-syncing and manual syncing. Gmail offers features like auto-syncing, manual syncing, scheduled emailing, virus protection, spam filtering, email reminder, etc.
Email enables users to set auto sync time and peak sync time by choosing hour, day, or week. Emails will be fetched/received as per the specified configuration. Gmail automatically syncs emails as they arrive. However, the respective device must have the auto-sync feature turned on.
Email does not support any kind of third-party extension to extend the functionalities. Gmail offers support for a wide range of third-party extensions that can help extend or add more features. For instance, users can track email delivery status, read receipts, etc.
Email offers minimal customization options or formatting styles. Gmail provides amazing formatting or customization features. Users can modify font, color, and email style using tools and HTML/CSS.

What is the primary difference between Email and Gmail?

The fundamental difference between an Email and Gmail is that email is a way of exchanging electronic messages or digital data between electronic devices via the Internet, while Gmail is one of the many email platforms (or client, or service provider) that lets users avail email service and exchange messages with easy GUI support and extended features. It is not easily possible to use an email service without an email client or email service provider.


The above comparison between Email and Gmail makes it clear that there are several notable differences between them. Although both the terms (Email and Gmail) sound similar and are used interchangeably, they have their own features or characteristics and are used differently. Specifically, email is nothing but a communication method whereas Gmail is a platform through which emails can be sent or received.

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