DebugMail vs. Google SMTP

March 10 2023

In this article, we will explore two methods of email testing Google SMTP and DebugMail, compare their advantages and disadvantages, provide tips on how to set up a test environment for effective mailcatching.

DebugMail vs. Google SMTP: Which Email Testing Option is Right for You?

Setting up a Google account for email testing
Setting up DebugMail for mailcatching and debugging
Comparing Google SMTP and DebugMail
— Pros and cons
— Features and functionality
Additional resources

Let’s start by comparing which tool is faster and easier to integrate into a web project.

Setting up a Google Account for email testing

To test email delivery, you can use Google SMTP, which is one of the most popular options for email testing. Follow these step-by-step instructions to set up a Google account for receiving emails:

  1. Click on the gear icon in your Gmail account and select See all settings.
A screenshot of the Gmail interface showing the gear icon and the "See all settings" option highlighted.
Go to the Google Mail settings.
  1. Navigate to the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab and enable IMAP access.
A screenshot of the Gmail settings page with the "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" tab selected and the option to enable IMAP access highlighted.
In the Gmail settings page, find the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab, and check the Enable IMAP checkbox to configure email access through IMAP protocol.
  1. Click on your account icon and select Manage your Google Account.
A screenshot of the Gmail interface with the user's account icon highlighted, and a menu showing the option to "Manage your Google Account.
Click on the icon located at the top right-hand corner of the screen.
  1. Go to the Security section and scroll down to the Signing in to Google block.
A screenshot of the Google Account settings page, with the "Security" section highlighted, and the "Signing in to Google" block visible after scrolling down.
Access the Google Account settings page and navigate to the Security section.
  1. If the App passwords tab is not visible, enable two-step verification.
  2. Access the App passwords tab, enter your account password, and specify the data for which you want to generate a password for the application.
A screenshot of the Google Account settings page, with the "App passwords" tab visible. A form is shown where the user can enter their account password and specify the application for which they want to generate a password.
Configure password settings to establish a connection between the application and Google SMTP.
  1. Click Generate, and copy the generated password to paste it into the code.
A screenshot of the Google Account settings page, with the user having generated an app password. The password is displayed and a button to copy it is highlighted.
Copy the password that was generated and paste it into the code of your application.
  1. To complete the process, specify your Gmail account data, including login, password, port, and host (which are set as default values to and 587, respectively). Then, run the script. Once the script has executed, go to the test recipient’s page to read the message that was sent.
A screenshot showing the view of an outgoing email sent from an application or online service, as displayed in Google Mail after it has been configured as an SMTP server.
The final view of an outgoing email from an application or online service.

Setting up DebugMail for mailcatching and debugging outgoing email traffic

  1. Go to the DebugMail website and log in to your account.
A screenshot of a web browser with the DebugMail website loaded.
Go to the DebugMail website.
A screenshot of the DebugMail website sign-up page, with options to sign up using Google, Github, or email credentials.
Log in to your account.
  1. Create a team and a project within that team.
Team creation step in DebugMail.
Create a team to work on projects.
Project creation step in DebugMail.
Create a project, for example, with the name of your app or online store.
  1. Click on the gear icon and go to Settings.
Connection of a fake SMTP service project to an application or online service.
Each project has its own individual settings.
  1. Select the desired code generation method.
Directory of presets for integrating a fake SMTP server into the code of an application or online store.
Choose the technology that you would like to integrate with DebugMail.
  1. Copy the generated code.
Snippets and creeds for integrating fake SMTP into an app or service.
Use the pre-made add-in to integrate with DebugMail.
  1. Paste the code into your project and run it.
  2. Go to DebugMail to check how the email was sent.
Elements of projects and emails in the Debug Mail online SMTP service.
DebugMail workspace.

Setting up everything will only take 2 minutes of your time.

Comparing Google SMTP and DebugMail 

Pros and Cons

Google SMTPDebugMail
ProsWidely used and trusted email service provider.Trusted email testing service with clear legal documentation.
High level of customization and control.Integration in 2 minutes.
Provides Gmail API.Quick project and team creation.
Reliable email delivery.Comfy and cheap plans.
Unlimited acceptance of emails per day.
ConsTime-consuming setup and configuration process.No spam rating.
Daily sending limits may affect email testing.

When choosing between Google SMTP and DebugMail, it’s important to consider factors such as the size and complexity of the project, budget, and level of customization required. Ultimately, the decision will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the developer or development team.

Features and Functionality

Google SMTP provides email logs that can be accessed through the Google Admin console or via third-party email tracking tools. These logs include information such as the sender and recipient of the email, the date and time it was sent, and the status of the message (e.g. delivered, bounced, etc.). This can be helpful for tracking email delivery and troubleshooting any issues that may arise. Additionally, Google SMTP allows users to customize their email signature, which can help to give a more professional look to their test emails.

DebugMail offers a convenient email management solution with the ability to create teams and projects for each site or application. Projects can store, sort, group and delete all captured emails, which is useful for team collaboration. DebugMail also offers an API for integrating email testing into existing workflows, making email testing more efficient for developers. Role customization is also available, allowing users to pay a monthly subscription if there are multiple team admins.

While Google SMTP may be a simpler option for individual developers, the additional features and functionality of DebugMail make it a powerful tool for teams and projects. DebugMail also eliminates the risk of accidentally sending a test email to a real subscriber before the tester has verified that the outgoing emails of the project being developed are correct.


Google SMTP and DebugMail offer great solutions for email testing in development. We hope this article has helped you determine which option is right for your individual needs. If you’re interested in learning more, check out the additional resources below.

Additional Resources

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