Currently, my I use the e-mail address and service provided by my ISP (RoadRunner cable modem). To get e-mail anywhere other than at my home computer ranges from awkward to impossible.
I’d like to set up a free or low-cost internet-based e-mail account so that I can check e-mail messages at any computer on the web. I’d appreciate any recommendations or experiences of the Teeming Millions as to which service I should use.
Personally, I’ve never had a problem with Hotmail. So long as you make sure you don’t allow your address to be added to the Member Directory and are careful about handing out your address, you shouldn’t get junk mail.
However, a lot of other people don’t like Hotmail. To be fair, many think Yahoo’s mail service is as good (and some think it’s a lot better). I’ve tried it – I didn’t like it – but it seemed to do the job well enough.
Basically, there are an awful lot of of free web-based mail providers out there. The main bits of advice I have are:
(1) Pick an established, large, well-known company. I’ve seen two email providers I used for junk mail addresses cease trading in the last year. Hotmail, Yahoo and comparable companies are less likely to go bust.
(2) Be careful who you give an address to and in checking/unchecking the relevant boxes when signing up. That, in my experience, is the major factor in the amount of junk mail received.
Now this is what I meant. I’ve heard other people say the same thing about Hotmail and Yahoo, but my experience has been completely different. I’ve only ever seen Hotmail down for more than half an hour once in the last four years. I can use the Hotmail POP feature fine. I don’t get spam.
Even if you get Spam in either Yahoo or Hotmail, I’ve found that their Bulk Mail Folder/Junk Mail Folders work really well, if you activate them. On Yahoo I have a lot of junk mail because I subscribe to a bunch of stuff. So I just turn on my Bulk Mail folder and everything goes there. It’s all good.
I have a Hotmail account that gets a fair amount of spam, but they recently upgraded their spam filters so that I can set it high enough that none of it goes into my Inbox anymore. One plus about Hotmail is that you can use Outlook Express with it–I’m usually opposed to how Micro$oft gets its tentacles into everything on your computer, but in this case, it’s kind of nice, because you can check your email without having to put up with all the advertising you get on the web site. The only thing to be aware of with that is that it’s not really POPing your mail, so you can’t delete a message in OE without deleting it on the server as well–I found that out the hard way (you can, however, move messages to a local folder to save them on your hard drive).
The idea of one address that can forward to any address appealed to me, so I signed up with them. The service seemed to work well, so I made Bigfoot my primary account, used it for everything. Gradually, the amount of mail I was getting tapered off. Then people started using other ways of contacting me, saying “Why didn’t you respond to the email I sent” - the answer was, I never got it. Then I had the few people who knew my real email address forwarding me bounce notices from Bigfoot, claiming the email they were trying to send me had been identified as spam and was being returned undelivered. This was really aggravating because spam was coming through! It’s just real mail that wasn’t making it. Sometimes email did get through, but would take days (or weeks!) to get to me. Finally, the address was too unstable, too unreliable, and I had to stop using it. I advised my nearest and dearest to use my real email address, and stopped handing out my Bigfoot contact address.
Then I got an email from them…
They were changing to a pay service. Unless I paid them $19 (I think) a month, they were going to send me advertising material to subsidise the cost of their service - that is, pay us or we’ll spam you. I emailed them, and told them how disgusted I was with their service. I stopped using it even though it was free! Never in a million years would I pay them for it.
I haven’t heard back from them. Don’t expect to. But I’m not going to pay for an account that loses my mail.
I have a Hotmail address. I made the address up out of a collection of letters and numbers, and I don’t get spammed. If you go for an address like bobsmith78@hotmail, you’ll get spam, but you’re less likely to if you go with b1o9b7s8mith@hotmail - it’s an ugly address, but it won’t come up in a dictionary attack. Make sure it’s not listed in the Member’s Directory, or you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Mine seems reliable and I’ve had no trouble with it. I use MSN Messenger to access it, or Outlook Express.
Stay away from mail.com/email.com, or any webmail they outsource for (you would see mail.com’s logo somewhere on the page, probably at the bottom). Clunky interface, sl-o-o-o-w servers and lots o’ spam.
Yahoo’s great, Hotmail’s so-so. I personally like the obscure ones, since spammers usually don’t have their domains in their attack lists. Plus you can get a really cool username/domain combo, such as firstname.lastname@example.org. (Well, that one’s already taken. :))
Good luck, honey. One of the ideas behind “free” email is they have to support it somehow, and advertising is pretty much the only way they can do that. Ergo, cookies.
The best is Yahoo, because they will allow you all variations- Access from the web, or from your browser’s mail utility(Outlook Express,etc.) , or both. This lets you click on mailto links on web pages, and also reach your mail from any other computer at work or the library. And when you use your own computer there is no maximum space limitation. All this for a single ad email per month, which you can delete without reading.