Google Workspace (G Suite) vs. Gmail

  • Email Archiving
  • Google Workspace (G Suite) vs. Gmail

    When people think of “Google” and “email,” Gmail — the search engine’s free email service — typically comes to mind. But did you know that there’s more than one version of Gmail available, or that Google offers an entire workplace productivity suite that includes business email?

    In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) vs. Gmail — what they are, what they’re used for and key differences between the two.

    What is Gmail?

    Gmail is Google’s free, web-based email hosting service. Launched in 2004 as an invitation-only service and made publicly available in 2009, Gmail now boasts over 1.5 billion users, with some estimates placing it closer to 1.8 billion. By signing up for a Gmail account, you get access to 15 GB of free cloud storage across Google Drive, Gmail and Google Photos. Gmail accounts also double as Google Accounts, meaning users also get access to Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and more.

    What is Google Workspace?

    Google Workspace is an online productivity and collaboration application suite. The earliest iteration of Google Workspace, Google Apps for Your Domain, was launched in 2006 and later rebranded as G Suite in 2016. On October 6, 2020, Google officially announced that it would be rebranding its popular business apps toolset once again, as well as adding a new, deeply integrated user experience — and so, Google Workspace was born.

    Google Workspace is home to a wide variety of productivity apps, including Hangouts, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Forms and more. For the purposes of this article, it’s worth noting that Google Workspace also includes Gmail — however, this version of Gmail is very different from the one we typically think of.

    According to Google, “Google Workspace’s Gmail features include custom business email @yourcompany, unlimited group email addresses, 99.9% guaranteed uptime, twice the storage of free Gmail, zero ads, 24/7 phone and email support, Google Workspace Sync for Microsoft Outlook, and more.” Google Workspace allows for up to 30 email aliases per user. As part of the official Google Workspace rollout, Gmail will now integrate with Chat, Meet and Rooms in an effort to create a unified communication platform to compete with Microsoft and Slack.

    Google Workspace is a paid service, starting at $6 per user, per month for Business Starter; to see the different pricing tiers and a snapshot of what’s included in each, please refer to the chart below.


    Business Starter Business Standard Business Plus Enterprise
    $6/user/month $12/user/month $18/user/month Pricing Available Upon Request
    • Custom and secure business email
    • 100 participant video meetings
    • 30 GB cloud storage per user
    • Security and management controls
    • Standard Support
    • Custom and secure business email
    • 150 participant video meets + recording
    • 2 TB cloud storage per user
    • Security and management controls
    • Standard Support (paid upgrade to Enhanced Support)
    • Custom and secure business email + eDiscovery, retention
    • 250 participant video meets + recording, attendance tracking
    • 5 TB cloud storage per user
    • Enhanced security and management controls, including Vault and advanced endpoint management
    • Standard Support (paid upgrade to Enhanced Support)
    • Custom and secure business email + eDiscovery, retention, S/MIME encryption
    • 250 participant video meets + recording, attendance tracking, noise cancellation, in-domain live streaming
    • As much storage as you need
    • Advanced security, management and compliance controls, including Vault, DLP, data regions and enterprise endpoint management
    • Enhanced Support (paid upgrade to Premium Support)

    Google Workspace (G Suite) vs. Gmail: Key Differences

    There are a few key differences that set Google Workspace and Gmail apart:

    • Gmail is free to use, whereas Google Workspace is a chargeable service; Google Workspace plans range from $6–$18 per user, per month.
    • Gmail users have full administrative control over their email and Google Account login credentials. Google Workspace grants you administrative control — including the ability to create, edit and delete accounts — over all Gmail addresses created using Google Workspace.
    • With the free version of Gmail, users are required to use the extension. With Google Workspace, users can create their own domain name.
    • Gmail users have access to up to 15 GB of cloud storage. Depending on which pricing plan you choose, Google Workspace users get access to anywhere from 30 GB of storage to unlimited storage.
    • Both Gmail and Google Workspace grant users access to additional productivity apps, however, which apps you get depends on which service you choose. With a free Gmail account, you get access to basic apps and services, including Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides. With Google Workspace, you get access to all of the same apps as Gmail, as well as Google Meet, Calendar, Chat, Keep Sites, Forms and Current. Google Workspace also comes with a far more expansive feature set, with smart search capabilities, in-depth security controls and more.
    • Both Gmail and Google Workspace users can share documents and other materials, though it takes more effort to do so with a free Gmail account. Google Workspace administrative users have ownership over any documents created by individual user accounts.
    • Gmail users in need of assistance can refer to the service’s built-in knowledge base or Google’s Gmail Help forum. Google Workspace users have access to 24/7 phone and email support.
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    Should You Use Gmail or Google Workspace?

    The answer to that questions depends entirely on your use case. Gmail was designed explicitly for personal use. Although it’s certainly one of the best free email services on the market today with a wide range of additional features, it lacks many of the capabilities that would make it appropriate for business use.

    Google Workspace, on the other hand, was developed with enterprises in mind. Google Workspace provides businesses with custom domains for email address, group email addresses, a full suite of workplace productivity and collaboration apps, 24/7 support, enterprise-level resource ownership and administrative controls.

    These last two items are especially important from a business perspective: Any time an employee leaves a company, their access to company files and data must be immediately rescinded in order to prevent them from potentially sharing sensitive information. Google Workplace makes it easy to do so by granting administrative users the ability to change individual account credentials, essentially locking former employees out of their company-provided Google Accounts.

    Google Workspace (G Suite) vs. Gmail at a Glance

    Google Workspace (G Suite) vs. Gmail
    Google Workspace Gmail
    • Business Starter: $6/user/mo.
    • Business Standard: $12/user/mo.
    • Business Plus: $18/user/mo.
    • Enterprise: Price available upon request
    • Gmail (business email)
    • Meet (video & voice conferencing)
    • Chat (messaging)
    • Hangouts (messaging)
    • Calendar (shared calendars)
    • Drive (cloud storage)
    • Docs (word processing)
    • Sheets (spreadsheets)
    • Slides (presentation builder)
    • Forms (survey builder)
    • Sites (website builder)
    • Currents (engage employees)
    • Keep (notes & lists)
    • Apps Script (work optimization)
    • Cloud Search (smart search)
    • Gmail (personal email)
    • Meet (video & voice conferencing)
    • Hangouts (messaging)
    • Calendar (shared calendars)
    • Drive (cloud storage)
    • Docs (word processing)
    • Sheets (spreadsheets)
    • Slides (presentation builder)
    • Keep (notes & lists)
    Additional Features
    • Ad-free
    • Single sign-on for all business apps in cloud
    • Branded interface
    • CRM-compatible
    • Google Voice add-on
    • Email scheduling
    • Smart Compose
    • Advanced search
    • Offline mode
    • Confidential mode
    • Unsend emails
    • Business Starter: 30 GB
    • Business Standard: 2 TB
    • Business Plus: 5 TB
    • Enterprise: Unlimited
    15 GB
    Security & Management
    • Admin (security & admin controls)
    • Endpoint (device management)
    • Vault (enterprise archiving)
    • Work Insights (data-driven insights)
    • 128-bit TLS encryption
    • Spam filtering
    • Antivirus scanning
    • Confidential mode
    Support 24/7 phone and email support
    • Knowledge base
    • Community forum

    Make the Most of You

    Although both Gmail and Google Workplace offer some form of archiving capability, they can’t compare to the services of a dedicated archiving solution.

    Intradyn archives emails in real time and stores them in a secure, scalable cloud infrastructure, so you can save on storage, ensure regulatory compliance and be prepared in the event of an eDiscovery request or future litigation. Whether you use Gmail, Google Workspace or any other email service, you can count on Intradyn to handle all of your business’ archiving needs.

    Want to evaluate your options, first? Put Intradyn to the test with this free guide to evaluating email archiving solutions, or by talking to one of our specialists today.

    Azam is the president, chief technology officer and co-founder of Intradyn. He oversees global sales and marketing, new business development and is responsible for leading all aspects of the company’s product vision and technology department.

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