As with many Google products, there can be some confusion around what email service you need and which will be more suited for your business.
In this article, we’ll lay out Gmail, G Suite, and Google accounts to give you a better idea of what they all offer.
We’ll then dig into the 5 main differences between Gmail and G Suite.
Important note: G Suite rebranded in October 2020 to Google Workspace. That said, all of the features mentioned here remain the same. You can read more about the update on our dedicated Gmail and G Suite updates page.
Gmail vs. G Suite vs. Google Accounts
A Gmail account is simply a free Google email account that ends in @gmail.com. Gmail accounts have been around for nearly 20 years now and boast 1.5 billion active users.
This is where it can get a little confusing. You can sign up for a Google account with any email address – you don’t need an @gmail.com address. You can sign up with whatever email address you have, and you then get access to Google Sheets, Calendar, Docs, and Slides.
Don’t forget that in October 2020, Google rebranded G Suite as Google Workspace. For now, we will still refer to it as G Suite.
G Suite is more squarely aimed at businesses, and it had three main tiers:
With the rebrand to Google Workspace, there are now 4 tiers:
- Business Starter
- Business Standard
- Business Plus
G Suite essentially brings all of your Google products together in a central admin center, which makes it easier for businesses to manage – much more so than Gmail and Google Accounts.
Let’s now get down to the nitty-gritty and look at the differences between Gmail and G Suite.
1. Gmail Vs. G Suite – Cost Differences
Gmail – one of the most significant advantages of Gmail is that it’s free. That’s also true when you have a Google account. The services are limited, but free.
G Suite – G Suite is a paid service, and ownership of the account lies with the person who created it – or is given admin rights. Because of this, G Suite is essentially the paid version of Gmail and Google accounts, but with access to a few more business tools.
Google recently made changes to its pricing system, and at the time of writing, these are the US prices:
- Business Starter – $6/month per user
- Business Standard – $12/month per user
- Business Plus – $18/month per user
- Enterprise – for the Enterprise pricing, you need to contact their sales team
2. Gmail Vs. G Suite – Control and Admin Differences
Gmail – as Gmail is designed for more personal use than business use, you’re in full control of the admin.
G Suite – as mentioned earlier, G Suite is designed for businesses, so the accounts are centrally managed by the control admin. Email addresses are created for each member of your team, and the admin (or admins) retain full control over how these are used. This covers every aspect of the account right up to the password level. As a business owner, it’s essential to keep control of the data for your business.
3. Gmail Vs. G Suite – Storage Differences
Gmail – every single Gmail account comes with 15 GB of free storage. It’s worth noting that this is across Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Photos. If you take a lot of photos, you’ll reach that limit quicker. That said, you can upgrade to Google One if you find yourself needing more space. When you upgrade, you automatically get 100 GB of space.
G Suite – as you might imagine, the storage capacity for Google Workspace is more generous:
- Business Starter – 30 GB
- Business Standard – 2TB
- Business Plus – 5TB
As with Gmail, this storage limit is spread over Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Photos.
4. Gmail Vs. G Suite – Support Differences
Gmail – with anything that’s essentially free, you’re going to find that support is limited, and that’s the case with Gmail. You have to wait for an issue to be fixed, or you have to try and figure it out yourself. That said, there is plenty of advice in forums, and there are thousands upon thousands of help documents and articles across the Internet.
G Suite – as this is a paid service, the amount of support you receive is better. You instantly have access to 24/7 email and phone support, so no matter what issues you have, you’ll get access to help right away. By and large the support is excellent, and they should have your problem fixed in no time.
Additional Reading: G-Suite Email Signature Tips
5. Gmail Vs. G Suite – Customizable Domain Name Differences
Gmail – when you sign up for a Gmail account, you will have to choose the @gmail.com extension. As a free product, there is no option to enter your own domain. This is one of the reasons that Gmail tends to be used more for personal accounts than business accounts.
G Suite – G Suite, on the other hand, allows you to use your domain name. If you’re using Google for emails for your business, then this is the preferred option.
6. Gmail Vs. G Suite – Apps and Services Differences
Gmail – Gmail will always give you access to its basic services. Spreadsheets, Documents, Graphic designing, and Presentations and more are available for free.
G Suite – Paying for G Suite will grant you access to more cool apps and services than plain Gmail. For instance, at the Business plan level or even higher, you get to start using something called “smart search.” You can also get access to more security options. Additionally, G Suite users enjoy chats, files, analytics, and eDiscovery in their emails.
7. Gmail Vs. G Suite – Share Access Differences
Gmail – a free Google or Gmail account grants you file sharing using some of Google’s apps. But you usually have to manually set it up.
G Suite – as part of the same group in G suite, users can share their files and information with others. Admins have even more access and can own the documents, even those created in other users’ accounts, adding greater control over team members.
These are the main differences between a Gmail account and a G Suite (Workspace) account. The one you choose will depend on pricing, what you need the email account for, and what added features and support you require. Thankfully gmail extensions work on either a Gmail or G Suite Account. Join more than 250,000 professionals that have added Right Inbox to Gmail for next-level email productivity. Save time with recurring emails, email reminders and email templates all within your email.
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David Campbell is the editor of the Right Inbox blog. He is passionate about email productivity and getting more done in less time.