Not all Gmail accounts are G Suite accounts. And not all Google accounts end in @ gmail.com. Here’s what you need to know about the differences.
Do you know what kind of Google account you have? Do you even know if you have a G Suite account? There are many variations of accounts associated with Google, from a basic Gmail account to a paid, fully secure G Suite account.
If you’re confused about the different types of Google accounts, you’re not alone. As the Google product evolved, the company changed the name of the account types and services. In March 2019, here are the main types of google accounts you should know.
WATCH: G Suite: tips and tricks for business professionals (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
AN Gmail account is a free Google account with an email address ending in @ gmail.com. Gmail accounts arrived on the scene in 2004 and were such a hot commodity that people needed to receive an invitation to purchase an account. At that time, the 1 GB storage space and the intelligent chaining of conversations looked so modern in contrast to Yahoo or Hotmail accounts. As the amount of free storage space increased, so did users of apps associated with a Gmail account. People using Gmail can also access Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Calendar. The account allows access to other Google applications, such as Photos, Maps and YouTube.
Many Gmail users like the apps and access them anytime / anywhere, to the point of organizing the routing of their work emails to Gmail; this is more common in smaller organizations, where email security is more relaxed. The Gmail account settings allow you to display a business email address as the “reply from” address. A Gmail account is managed only by the person who owns the account, not by the organization’s IT administrator.
AN Google account is a username and password that can be used to sign in to Google consumer applications, such as Documents, Sites, Maps and Photos, but a Google account does not necessarily end with @ gmail.com. Think of it this way: all Gmail.com accounts are Google accounts, but not all Google accounts are Gmail.com accounts. For example, a user can sign up for a Google Account with his @ yahoo.com email address. Using this account, she can create, edit and collaborate on Google Docs without using Gmail.
A common myth is that G Suite users cannot share and edit Google Docs with users who don’t have a G Suite account. Anyone can sign up for a free Google Account and use it to access and edit documents, spreadsheets, slides and more.
G Suite accounts
G Suite accounts are received many editions: Basic, commercial, business and settings for non-profit, educational or governmental organizations. Unlike a standard Google or Gmail account, a G Suite administrator manages all accounts associated with each of these editions. G Suite provides access to a core set of apps that include Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Documents, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Google+, Hangouts Meet, Hangouts Chat, Sites and Groups. G Suite subscribers also receive access to email and phone support.
To learn more about the various editions that G Suite offers, read Choosing the right edition of G Suite for your business.
Two other types of organizational Google accounts
Google also allows organizations to create and manage two other types of organizational accounts: Cloud Identity and Managed Google Play.
Cloud identity accounts can be created and managed by an administrator, but do not have access to paid G Suite applications. A Cloud Identity account can help an administrator manage mobile devices, provide and synchronize directory services, and provide people with single sign-on services for other applications, among other features.
Google Play managed accounts let an organization’s administrator deploy and manage Android apps. Managed Google Play accounts do not have access to paid G Suite apps.
Many Google users have several types of Google accounts. Google allows you to sign in and switch between multiple Google accounts, Gmail and G Suite on Chrome and mobile apps. For more details on how to use and switch between multiple Google accounts, read 5 tips for managing multiple Google accounts and Using Chrome with more than one Google account.
note: Not all accounts allow access to all services provided by Google. For example, in March 2019, you cannot use an organizational G Suite account to sign up and share family access to Google’s YouTube TV service.
How many different Google accounts do you have and use? Do you use different accounts on different devices, or sign in and switch between Google accounts in apps? Tell us what your experience was in the comments below or on Twitter ( @TechRepublic)
Editor’s note on March 18, 2019: This article by Susan Cline was first published in June 2011. In March 2019, Andy Wolber updated and added content to the article.