FREE EMAIL ACCOUNTS--WHERE TO FIND THEM
I Need An Email Account. Help!
What Should I Look For?One of your first considerations in choosing a provider for your free email account is the storage space. This will be especially important if you do not have your own computer and are accessing your email through a work, school or another computer. These free email accounts are usually web-based--meaning they do not download to your computer but are stored on the server providing the free email service. If you expect to be getting a lot of email, you will want to choose one with ample storage space. We'll include this information later in the article.
Another feature to consider is a spam filter. Spam email--like junk mail that comes to your home--can take up a lot of server space. Also, you probably don't want to spend all your online time deleting junk email. Many of the free email services also have a spam filter, which automatically filters spam to a special folder so you don't have to waste your time going through it. After a certain number of days, the spam filter is automatically emptied. However, it might be a good idea to occasionally look through your spam folder to be sure a valid email hasn't found it's way there by accident.
Most free email accounts will also come with a virus filter. Be sure the one you choose does. While spam is annoying, viruses can be fatal to your computer system.
Look for a user-friendly interface. Is the email service easy to use? Can you locate emails easily? Compose easily? If you are "computer-literate," this probably won't be a problem; but if you are new to computers, be sure you can figure it out easily.
Some free email services will allow you to download your email to the email program you use on your computer. If this is something that is important to you, look for a service which provides this feature. You'll have to configure your free account to do this, but it's very handy if you want to read and process this email when you're not online, look for this feature while you're shopping around. The provider will have directions to do this.
Recommended Services For Free Email Accounts
Here are our top picks for free email accounts.
Gmail is Google mail. Their storage capacity is great enough that you'll probably never have to delete an email. Gmail is easy to use, both for reading as well as composing. Incoming filtering makes it easy to find all emails related to a single subject. You can download a notifier which alerts you whenever new email arrives in your inbox. And they offer a free "Instant Messaging" chat service, too. One drawback is the online ads that are included in the interface, however they are not as noticeable as other free email services.
You'll receive 5 GB of email storage space as well as an easy to use interface, spam and virus filterings. You can also access Inbox email through your computer's email program, and there is a notifier to let you know when new email arrives.
Now with unlimited storage space, Yahoo email has been around a long time. They use good virus and spam filters. The interface is easy to use, and they are very reliable. Sometimes the advertising is a little intrusive, but it's a small price to pay for free email service. A free Instant Messenger utility is also available.
Doesn't offer as much storage space (10MB) as many others, but it has an easy to use message editor and easy and customizable web interface. You'll also get basic spam and virus filtering, and probably the biggest advantage is that the ads are shown sparingly. For some, this may make up for smaller storage space.
AIM Mail is AOL's free web-based email service. You get 2 GB of online storage, very good spam and virus protection, among other features. Most users find it very easy to use. One downside is that it adds a tagline to all outgoing email.
Free, and free of pop-up ads too. Includes 125MB online mailbox, and there are plenty of stationery options if you like that sort of thing. Good spam filtering, no security features like virus scans. Still a pretty good program for your money.
If you're looking for a primary or additional email accounts, check these services out. You should find what you are looking for at one of these sources.