Last updated on March 27th, 2020 by Vinita Menon

When you think of email, there’s a decent chance Gmail is the first name that comes to mind. As of 2018, there were 1.2 billion monthly active Gmail users, and it’s estimated that by 2022, the average number of Gmail accounts per user will grow to 1.9. But not all Google accounts are created equally and it’s easy to get confused by the various options that are available.

In this blog, we’ll demystify the differences between Google’s free Gmail service and the Gmail Business Email offering that’s included in Google’s G Suite plans.

What’s the Difference Between Gmail and G Suite?

When Gmail launched in 2004, it quickly became the most popular email service. At the time, its modern design and user-friendly features, like a searchable inbox, conversation threads, and free storage, set it apart from competitors like Yahoo and Hotmail.

As its popularity grew, Google realized that its business users wanted a business-class email service, with more security, storage, features and, most importantly, custom email addresses. So, in 2006, Google launched a suite of productivity and collaboration tools known as Google Apps for your Domain. A decade later, it was officially rebranded to G Suite.

Essentially, this gave businesses two options for email. They could continue to use the free email service, albeit with a Gmail address. Or they could get business-class email by purchasing a bundle of productivity tools.

What Does This Means for Small Businesses?

As a small business owner with a modest budget, purchasing business email can be a luxury. Especially considering that you cannot just buy business email from Google without paying for the other apps and features that come with G Suite.

On the other hand, using a free Gmail account to communicate with your customers and partners can seriously jeopardize your credibility. According to a business email survey we conducted, 58% of customers said they would not be comfortable sharing credit card information with a business that was not using a real business email address. 63% believed that a business using a personal email address was not professional, and 69% questioned whether such a business valued data privacy.

Either way, it’s costing you, whether you’re purchasing a G Suite license or paying for your Gmail address in terms of trust, credibility, and sales. 

So what exactly do you get with Gmail and G Suite, and how do you choose the right offering for your small business? Let’s take a look.

What Do You Get With Gmail?

Gmail is the personal email service that you know and love. A Gmail account is the free Google account you get when you sign up for email, with an address that ends in It lets you send emails, organize your inbox, use productivity tools, and much more. You also get access to Google’s other applications like YouTube, Maps, and Photos.

Here’s what you can do with Gmail:

1. Create and send emails.

  • Write emails faster with Gmail’s intelligent autocomplete feature.
  • Attach files up to 25MB. Larger files will directly be uploaded to your Google Drive folder and an access link will be generated in your email.
  • When using Gmail on a Chrome browser, you can read, respond to, and search through your email even when you’re not connected to the internet. Any emails you write, archive, or label will get automatically updated and synced once you’re back online.
  • Get reminders about old emails that you need to read or respond to.
  • Create a custom signature that goes out with every email you send.

2. Preview, save, and print attachments in the emails you receive.

3. Purchase more storage.

  • Gmail gives users 15 GB of storage for free across email and other services, like Google Drive and Photos.
  • Once you use up the 15 GB, you can buy additional storage by paying a monthly or annual fee.

4. Organize your inbox exactly the way you want.

  • Instead of creating a long list of folders in your mailbox, segregate your email under different labels.
  • Create filters that automatically organize your incoming email, with actions like ‘Skip the Inbox,’ ‘Mark as read,’ ‘Apply the label,’ and more.
  • Quickly find important emails by ‘starring’ them.
  • Use ‘Snooze’ to postpone notifications for certain emails until a later date and time.
  • Archive emails that you don’t want in your inbox, but want to preserve. Delete emails you don’t want to keep and they will go into Trash, getting deleted automatically after 30 days.
  • Gmail claims to block 99.9% of suspicious emails, sending them straight to Spam to get deleted automatically after 30 days.

5. Find an email using Gmail’s search feature.

6. Access productivity tools.

  • See your schedule and events at a glance on Google Calendar
  • Make notes and lists in Google Keep
  • Make to-do lists in Google Tasks

While its list of pros is long, Gmail has a few crucial cons to keep in mind:

  • You cannot use a custom domain for your email address. In order to use your business’s domain, you have to use the Gmail Business Email product.
  • In using a free Gmail account, you give Google permission to scan your inbox and use that information to serve targeted third-party ads.
  • If you do decide to use Gmail for your business and have a small team, with every person using their own IDs, you will have no security or administrative controls over how each person uses their account. This leaves you with no confidentiality or control over the information that is exchanged and no way to secure your company’s data when an employee leaves.
Looking for an alternative to G Suite? Try Titan for free!

What You Get With G Suite

If you want access to Gmail Business Email, you’ll need to purchase a G Suite plan. Ranging from $6 to $25 a month per user, the G Suite plans vary in features and cost. Here’s a look at what you’ll get with each plan.

G Suite Basic 

$6/month or $72/year 

  1. Business email through Gmail with a professional email address
  2. 30 GB cloud storage on Google Drive
  3. Video and voice conferencing for up to 100 people 
  4. Secure team messaging on Hangouts Chat
  5. Shared calendars
  6. Access to apps like Docs (documents, spreadsheets, and presentations), Sheets (spreadsheets), Slides (presentations), Forms (survey builder), Sites (website builder) and Keep (notes)
  7. 24/7 Support
  8. Security and admin controls
  9. Endpoint management to keep your company’s data secure 

G Suite Business

$12/month or $144/ year 

  1. Everything that is included in the Basic plan, plus…
  2. Unlimited cloud storage on Google Drive
  3. Video and voice conferencing for up to 150 people 
  4. Smart search across G Suite with ‘Cloud Search’
  5. Archive and enable retention policies for emails and chats
  6. eDiscovery for emails, chat and files, and audit reports about users’ activities with Vault

G Suite Enterprise

$25/month or $300/year 

  1. Everything that is included in the Business plan, plus…
  2. Video and voice conferencing for up to 250 people
  3. Data loss prevention for Gmail and Drive
  4. Enterprise-grade access control across devices, with security key enforcement
  5. Integrate Gmail with authorized third-party archiving tools
  6. Manage users, devices and apps with Cloud Identity Premium

A Better Email Choice for Small Businesses

While Google undoubtedly offers a great email service, both with Gmail and G Suite, it leaves small business owners in the lurch. If it seems a little ridiculous that you can’t just buy Google’s business email solution without paying for everything else, there are other options on the market.

For starters, check out Titan –– the world’s first email built specifically to address the communication and productivity needs of small businesses. Not only is it economical, but Titan is also packed with features that you really need, with the option to add more as your business grows. Here’s what you get with Titan:

  1. A free 30-day trial, followed by a $1.49/month fee post-trial
  2. An ad-free email service that lets you use your own website domain as the address
  3. 10 GB storage, with the option to upgrade to 30 GB
  4. Read receipts that notify you when someone has opened your email
  5. Conversation threads that give you the full picture of messages
  6. Integrated video calling that generates a video meeting link right in your email compose window
  7. Shared calendars with easy, one-click event creation
  8. 24/7 personalized support via email and live chat
  9. The ability to access multiple clients, including Gmail, from your Titan inbox
  10. Native apps for Android and iOS
Looking for a professional email service for your business? Try Titan!
  • G Suite
  • Gmail
Originally published 12th February 2020 02:00:14pm, last updated on March 27th, 2020

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