Email vs Gmail – What’s the difference?

The interconnected networks of computers can be linked with various electronic devices. Communication among these electronic devices is often done through digital messages.

Email and Gmail are two popular terms that are related to communication through digital messages on the Internet. Though both seem similar, they have distinct differences in them.

Email vs Gmail

The main difference between Email and Gmail is that Email is referred to the process of sending or receiving digital messages. On the other hand, Gmail is referred to as the platform through which electronic messages can be sent or received. No ads are displayed in email while targeted ads are displayed in Gmail which even created controversies.

Email vs Gmail

Email can be sent by various service providers. Some common Email providers are Webmail, Yahoo mail, Hotmail, and various others. The security provided in the Email is comparatively lower.

Extensions are not supported in Email. The configuration of Email without a client can be complex.

While Gmail is an email service provider of Google. The security provided in Gmail is higher. The platform actively supports extensions from various third parties and delivers functionality to the users.

The registration and configuration process of Gmail is very easy and simple.

Comparison Table Between Email and Gmail

Parameters of ComparisonEmailGmail
Stands forEmail stands for electronic mailGmail stands for Google mail
PurposeIt transfers or exchanges the messages in the network of communicationIt not only transfers messages but also provides various features like virus protection, email reminder, spam filtering, and others
Interface typeThe interface depends upon the platformIt has a POP based and web-based interfaces
Sync rateAfter every 4 hours in a day, email can be syncedAfter every one hour in a day, Gmail can be synced
Data storageComparatively smaller sizeLarger size

What is Email?

Email signifies electronic mail which is a method by which digital messages can be exchanged among electronic devices. Initially, email was considered a digital version of physical mail.

Currently, email is a basic part and process of any domain like commerce, business, entertainment location, or others spheres. The development of email had started in the early 1960s.

Every email address contains the at sign (@). The early emails could only be sent to users of the same computer. The inventor of Network email is given to Ray Tomlinson.

He was the one to develop the first system which could send mail between users of different hosts. The username was linked with the destination server with the help of the ‘@’ sign across the ARPANET.

In the mid-1970s, the usage of the email was mostly for computing environments like engineering and other science-related domains.

It was during the 1990s when email became a part of other industries like defense, military, government, and even universities. The origin of web browsers made email popular to the public. The operation of email occurs across computer networks.

The basis of the email model system is store-and-forward form. The servers of email can accept, deliver, store and forward the messages across the network.

The users need to be connected through the webmail interface or mail server and do not require to be online simultaneously for the delivery of messages.

The attachment of other multimedia content in the email was extended by MIME or Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions.

What is Gmail?

Gmail is an email service platform of Google. It is free of cost platform. Gmail can be accessed on the official mobile app or the web browser.

The protocols supported by Google for using email clients are through POP and IMAP. The email platform is available in over 105 languages. The users need to register before accessing the platform.

Gmail was created by Paul Buchheit. The email platform was launched on 1st April in the year 2004. The initial launch had provided only one gigabyte of storage space to the users.

It has over 1.5 billion active users as of 2019. The content license of Gmail is proprietary. The entire platform is written in JavaScript (UI), C++ (back-end), and Java. The interface of Gmail is search-oriented and conversation view type.

Gmail has mail servers that can automatically scan emails for numerals functions like filtering malware or spam, for adding context-sensitive advertisements to the emails, and others.

The advertising practices of Gmail had faced severe criticism by privacy advocates as these advertisements had unlimited data retention and were monitored by 3rd parties. The parent company had been subjected to lawsuits that were concerning these issues.

The “basic HTML” version provided by Gmail can work on almost all browsers. The current and the previous releases of Gmail had a modern AJAX version and is supported by Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer web browsers.

The platform also allows sending and receiving emails from other addresses which are non-Gmail like Outlook.com, Yahoo! Mail, and others.

Main Differences Between Email and Gmail

  1. Email is a method or technique for exchanging or sharing information while Gmail is one out of many other email systems for exchanging or sharing information.
  2. Email does not generate revenue from advertisements while Gmail generates high revenue from advertisers to display their advertisements.
  3. The peak sync times can be selected in email while the peak sync times cannot be selected in Gmail.
  4. Additional features like spam filtering, email reminder, or virus protection are not provided in email while additional features like spam filtering, email reminder, or virus protection are available in Gmail.
  5. The URLs present in the email are displayed as tap-able links while tap-able links are not supported in Gmail.
Email vs Gmail – Whats the difference

Conclusion

Both Email and Gmail Have a common goal of receiving and delivering digital messages. However, both offer different features and functionalities to the users.

Like email does not allow customization features to the users while Gmail provides numerous options in customization of themes and background to the users.

Both have revolutionized the communication pattern among a network of computers.

The users need to understand and evaluate all the points of distinction between both the methods of communication before making a final choice of decision with any particular method.

References

  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/2556288.2557013
  2. https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/2041-210X.12869
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