Google Accounts and G Suite Editions Reference


On this page you will find tables listing all types of Google and G Suite accounts, including those that have been discontinued. At the very bottom is a link to a PDF with a historical reference grid showing all accounts, and how they relate to each other, on one page.

Please note you can't mix G Suite plans; that is, you can't have most users in one domain under G Suite Basic and just a few using G Suite Business or Enterprise.

The information on this page is for quick reference only. Click here for an Introduction to Google Apps and G Suite.

Account Charts


Account Description
Google Account This is for individual use, and is completely free, with 15 GB storage. While you can sign up using your own e-mail address as your login identity, you cannot use your domain name with Gmail or relate your account with a domain name in any way. That is, to use Gmail, you must use an address. There is no way to centrally administer free Google Accounts among members of the same company. No support for G Suite Sync for Microsoft Outlook, meaning you can only use a web browser or mobile app for accessing e-mail.

The Google Account is the descendant of the original Gmail accounts first offered in 2004 by invitation only; it now serves as your identity for all other services from the Google Play Store, YouTube, and AdSense console to your Chrome browser settings stored in Google's cloud.
Business email This was designed for an individual who has an existing free Google Account, but wants to use his own domain for sending and receiving e-mail, for $5 per month, with 30 GB storage. Once set up, messages sent to your existing Google Account (with an address), and your domain e-mail address, will go to your existing inbox, and you can choose to send from either address in the Gmail interface. Your existing contacts, calendars, and Google Drive all remain intact. As long as you haven't added another user to your account or any aliases to your business e-mail address (which Google refers to as "unlocking additional G Suite features"), you can cancel and your account will revert to the way it was before. Once you "unlock features", the G Suite Basic admin panel and other features (such as Outlook sync, and optional Vault) become available, but your original address becomes permanently tied to what is now your new G Suite Basic account—you cannot revert it back to a free account.

Business email was introduced in the summer of 2016. Prior to that, there was no way to merge an existing Gmail account into G Suite.
G Suite Basic With this account, your company will have all domain e-mail delivered into and sent from the Gmail system. The price is $5 per user per month, with 30 GB storage per user. This comes with a control panel for setting up users, and supports syncing and importing user accounts, e-mail addresses, and calendars from existing mail systems (such as Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes). Users can install and use G Suite Sync to access their Google mailbox in Microsoft Outlook. There is no limit to the number of users you can have under one domain. Google Vault (for supporting e-discovery requirements) is available, but as a paid add-on for $5 per user per month; you can select which users have it and which don't.

Formerly called Google Apps for Work (Sept. 2014 through Sept. 2016), Google Apps for Business (Nov. 2010 through Sept. 2014), and Google Apps Premier Edition (from its inception in Feb. 2007, through Nov. 2010).
G Suite Business This has all the features of G Suite Basic, but you get 1 TB per user if you have four users, and unlimited storage per user if you have five or more users. This also adds Team Drive, Advanced Drive features (auditing and reporting), Google Cloud Search, and Google Vault for every user. Data loss prevention (DLP) for Google Drive was included in this plan when rolled out in 2016, but dropped from Business a few months after the Enterprise plan was released. DLP is now only available with Enterprise for new accounts. If your Business account has DLP, you can use it until January 31, 2020, as long as you continually renew. G Suite Business is $10 per user per month.

This plan was introduced in June 2014 as Google Apps Unlimited, then rebranded to its current name in September 2016.
G Suite Enterprise This has all the features of G Suite Business, plus data loss prevention for Gmail and Drive; S/MIME support (digital signatures and encryption for e-mail); advanced mobile device management; dial-in access to meetings; and enterprise-grade archiving, security, and log analysis support. This is $25 per user per month. Introduced in September 2016.
G Suite for Education This is G Suite Business for nonprofit schools and higher education institutions, for free, and with all advertisements removed, but without the Google Cloud Search feature. It also includes the Google Classroom app (which is sort of like Blackboard, if you're familiar with that).

Introduced in October 2006 as Google Apps for Education; at that time, Google Apps was free anyway, and included Gmail, Calendar, and Google Talk, but the Education edition added tools to integrate user accounts with the school's existing user account system, which would eventually be offered to business upon release of the Premier Edition in 2007. At that time, Google Apps for Education was upgraded to match the Premier Edition, but still for free. It was then upgraded again to match Google Apps Unlimited (now known as G Suite Business) in September 2014. Rebranded in September 2016 to G Suite for Education.
G Suite for Nonprofits This is G Suite Basic, for qualified nonprofit organizations, for free.

Introduced in Jan. 2012. Prior to February 2013, it was only free for organizations with under 3,000 users. Large organizations simply got a 40% discount off G Suite Basic (known as Google Apps for Business at the time). Now, nonprofit organizations of all sizes can get the service completely free.

Known as Google Apps for Nonprofits prior to rebranding in September 2016.
G Suite (team-managed) This is a way to get G Suite Business for groups of people within an organization that will not or cannot migrate their entire e-mail domain to Google. The price is $10 per user per month. Here is how it works: Somebody with an e-mail address on a given domain can sign up for G Suite (team-managed), and that person then becomes the team admin. The team admin can add and remove other users on the same domain (that is, the part of the e-mail address after the @ sign), and control sharing and other options. You can't use Gmail with this account, though, since your e-mail stays within your organization's IT system. Also, a team-managed account does not include group calendars, Cloud Search, or Google Vault, as does regular G Suite Business (referred to as "domain-managed").

This was introduced in early 2015, as Google Apps (team-managed), before the rebranding to G Suite.

There is currently no team-managed option for G Suite Basic.


Account Description
Google Apps (free) Descended from the very first incarnation of Google Apps from February 2006. Originally, it was called Gmail for Your Domain, because it started somewhat low key, in that all it offered was the ability to use your own registered domain name with Gmail. After Google Calendar was introduced later that year, it was renamed Google Apps for Your Domain. In February 2007, it was renamed to Google Apps Standard Edition, to distinguish it from the newly introduced paid edition (Premier). Compared to Premier, this showed ads based on text in your e-mails, lacked capability to integrate with existing IT systems (such as user directories, e-mail migration), and did not offer technical support or an uptime guarantee. Over the next several years, it was sometimes referred to, together with Premier Edition, as Google Apps for business (with and without a capital "B"), to distinguish Standard and Premier (for business) from the Education and Government editions. When Google formally renamed Google Apps Premier Edition to Google Apps for Business in November 2010, the free offering was simply called Google Apps from then on.

Originally, there was a limit of 200 users, lowered to 100 some time in 2007, then to 50 in 2009, and then finally to 10 users in 2011. Existing accounts with more than the limit were unaffected by these changes.

Finally, at the end of 2012, Google discontinued new sign-ups for the free edition of Google Apps entirely. If you had an account at the time, you can continue to use it to this day for free with 15 GB storage per user. If you have over ten users, you cannot add any more without upgrading to a paid G Suite plan. If you have less than ten users, you can still add up to ten.
G Suite for Government This was Google Apps for Work (previously known as Google Apps for Business, and currently known as G Suite Basic), for local, state, and federal government agencies in the United States, at the same price of $5 per user per month or $50 per year, for the same 30 GB per user. But, with this account, data was stored only on FISMA-accredited servers within Google's data centers in the United States, physically segregated from other systems, in order to meet confidentiality standards that public agencies require. There was no option to get an account with unlimited storage that was stored in these high-security areas.

Introduced in July 2010 as Google Apps for Government, and effectively discontinued in January 2016. While you can still find pages today that market G Suite to government, this is no longer a separate, special offering. Here's why: In January 2016, Google achieved accreditation from FedRAMP (equivalent to a FISMA accreditation) for their entire system, meaning a government agency can now purchase the regular editions of G Suite, including the unlimited storage editions, and know that the data centers meet their security requirements.
Google Apps Team Edition Launched in February 2008 for members of an organization to collaborate when the organization would not or could not migrate their entire e-mail domain to Google. Anyone on the same e-mail domain could sign up for free, and then they would automatically see each other's names in Google Docs, Google Calendar, and Google Talk, making it easy to connect to and share with others (Google Drive didn't exist yet). This was ideal for students at schools that were not on Google Apps. Unlike G Suite (team-managed) (its paid replacement), there was no team admin, and therefore no centralized control of sharing options or who is in or out of the team.

The option to sign up for this disappeared from Google's site in December 2009. Although Google didn't force anyone to migrate their accounts at that time, it did eventually shut down completely.

Click here for the  Google Account Types Historical Reference chart.

Click here for an Introduction to Google Apps and G Suite.