by April 1, 1999 0 comments

email.jpg (13608 bytes)
After the phenomenal success of Hotmail—the
world’s first free e-mail service—a lot of other free e-mail service providers
joined the bandwagon with more features, better interface, filtering, address books, and
so on.

Today, mainly three types of free e-mail services are being
offered on the Net: POP mail, Web-based e-mail and mail forwarding. A fourth kind called
IMAP service has also started gaining ground in the free e-mail world.

In POP mail, a user can download messages from the mail
server using a mail client like Outlook Express. Since all the messages are stored on a
user’s computer after downloading, a user can refer to these messages at any time
without connecting to the Internet, thus saving precious online time and money. A
disadvantage of POP mail is that it downloads all messages at one go. So if you’re on
a slow connection and one of the message has come with a huge attachment, you have no
choice but to download the whole message.

In Web-based e-mail services, the mail resides on the mail
server and can be accessed using a Web browser. The user has to log onto the site to
access his e-mail. Most Web-based free e-mail service providers give added functionality
to their users like online spell-checkers, personal address books, etc. The advantage of
this is that you don’t need a mail client to check your mail, so the hassles of
creating a mail account are not there. The disadvantage is that you can check your e-mail
as long as you’re online.

Some free e-mail service providers act as "mail
forwarding" services. They give you an e-mail account, but don’t store your
messages on their servers. Instead, they only pass the e-mail coming to this account to
another account that you specify. Therefore, you must have an e-mail account (POP or
Web-based) before you sign up with a mail forwarding service.

Mail forwarding services have the advantage that you
don’t have to stick to one e-mail account. If you get a new e-mail account, you just
have to change the configuration of your mail forwarding account to point to the new
account. This way, the mail forwarding account acts as your permanent e-mail account.

A fourth kind of mail service—IMAP—is now being
offered by some mail service providers. It’s better than POP3 in that it just shows
you the header and subject fields of each e-mail message, from where you can choose the
messages you want to download. Have a look at the Free e-mail services on the Internet in pdf format. Install Acrobat from here

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