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Summary:Gmail is a free (gratis), advertising-supported email service provided by Google. Users may access Gmail as secure webmail, as well as via POP3 or IMAP4 protocols.
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Gmail is a free (gratis), advertising-supported email service provided by Google. Users may access Gmail as secure webmail, as well as via POP3 or IMAP4 protocols. Gmail initially started as an invitation-only beta release on April 1, 2004 and it became available to the general public on February 7, 2007, though still in beta status at that time. The service was upgraded fro m beta status on July 7, 2009, along with the rest of the Google Apps suite.

Gmail was originally launched with 1 GB of storage space.

On April 1, 2005, the first anniversary of Gmail, the limit was doubled to 2 GB. Georges Harik, the product management director for Gmail, stated that Google would "keep giving people more space forever."

On April 24, 2012, Google announced the increase of free storage in Gmail fro m 7.5 GB to 10 GB ("and counting") as part of the launch of Google Drive.

On May 13, 2013 Google announced the overall merge of storage across Gmail, Google Drive, and Google+ Photos allowing users 15 GB of free storage between the three services.

Users can buy additional storage, shared between Gmail, Google Drive and Google+ Photos, through a monthly subscription plan. Storage of up to 15 GB is free, and paid plans are available for up to 30 TB.

With an initial storage capacity offer of 1 GB per user, Gmail significantly increased the webmail standard for free storage fro m the 2 to 4 MB its competitors such as Hotmail offered at that time. Individual Gmail messages, including attachments, may be up to 25 MB. Gmail has a search-oriented interface and a "conversation view" similar to an Internet forum. Gmail is noted by web developers for its pioneering use of Ajax. Gmail runs on Google GFE/2.0 on Linux. As of June 2012, it is the most widely used web-based email provider with over 425 million active users worldwide.

At one time Gmail used an unencrypted connection to retrieve user data, encrypting only the connection used for the login page. However, by replacing the URL with, users were able to force Gmail to use a secure connection, reducing the risk of third-party eavesdropping on user information, such as emails and contacts, which are transmitted in plaintext as JavaScript data in the page source code. Starting in July 2008, it was possible to configure Gmail for HTTPS access only through the Settings - this prevented any insecure access via HTTP. POP3 and IMAP access uses Transport Layer Security, or TLS. At present Gmail now defaults to a secure HTTPS connection.

Although email clients such as Mozilla Thunderbird use TLS when sending email, it is not used when the email is sent fro m the Gmail servers to the destination domain's mail exchangers, unless supported, so at some stage the user's email message may still be transmitted in unencrypted plain text.

On March 20, 2014, Google announced the implementation of an enhancement of the overall security of Gmail in response to the Edward Snowden privacy revelations in 2013. An encrypted HTTPS connection will be used for the sending and receipt of all Gmail emails, and "every single email message you send or receive—100% of them—is encrypted while moving internally" through the corporation's systems.

Around 2007, Gmail had severe security issues which allowed a full account compromise via Cross-site scripting vulnerabilities affecting the homepage or information disclosure through a file which was stored on Google's server and included all the Email contacts of the currently logged in user. The vulnerability was quickly patched after the initial disclosure on the Internet.

Gmail offers spam filtering: the system automatically del etes messages marked as spam after 30 days. Users can disable the spam-filtering system by creating a rule to make all messages skip the spam filter. POP3 users can only check the Spam folder manually via the web interface, as only emails sent to the Inbox can be retrieved via POP3. This is a technical limitation of POP3. Currently about 75% of email sent to Gmail accounts is filtered as spam.

IP addresses of webmail Gmail users are disguised in order to protect security.

Gmail automatically scans all incoming and outgoing e-mails for viruses in e-mail attachments. If a virus is found on an attachment the reader is trying to open, Gmail will try to remove the virus and open the cleaned attachment. Gmail also scans all outgoing attachments and will prevent the message fro m being sent if a virus is found. Gmail also does not allow users to send or receive executable files or archives containing executable files.

Gmail became one of the first major e-mail providers to sign outgoing mails with Yahoo!'s DomainKeys signatures.

On June 5, 2012, a new security feature was introduced to protect users fro m state-sponsored attacks. Whenever Google analysis indicate that a government has attempted to compromise an account, Gmail will display a notice that reads "Warning: We believe state-sponsored attackers may be trying to compromise your account or computer." recommend
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