POLL: Your use of free email accounts

Inspired by the revived thread about oldest Hotmail accounts… (poll to follow)…

Nowadays it seems like everyone uses gmail or other free email services. I’m just wondering what the actual distribution is.

Hmmph. Left out a logical category. Someone could have had a free email account in the past but nowadays only has an account that they pay for.


What entities provide email for a fee? I’ve never heard of that since compuserve days.

It’s mostly bundled with something else, such as internet connectivity (you get an email address or a block of them from your ISP) or web hosting space or something, but where it’s considered part of what you’re paying for—you can’t just browse over to their web site and sign up for a free email address from them in the absence of wanting any of their other services.

ETA: replying to Proctustus

By paid email, I assumed you meant an email provider such as this. I think pretty much everyone with Internet service has email accounts that are included with the service, whether they use them or not. I have a few AT&T email accounts that I basically never use.

I pay for hosting for the internet domain for my business. I consider the email <me@mybusiness.com> to be paid email. And since I can host additional domains for only the annual registration cost, I also have a personal <me@myname.com>.

It’s pretty much impossible to completely get rid of my gmail address, but any mail it gets is just forwarded to my custom personal address.

Not all ISP’s even give you “real” email. When I had AT&T DSL, all of their email accounts were really just yahoo accounts. It wasn’t that way when I had AT&T dialup, though.

I put that I’ve never paid for e-mail service because I’m in the group that has always had the e-mail bundled with other paid services - ISP, web hosting, etc.

I’m currently using Google Apps for my business and have what I need for free from that for now.

I’ve got an email supplied by my ISP but the services around here are so poor that changing ISP’s has become a fairly regular occurence.

I’ve switched to an Outlook account for 95% of my stuff, ghve a GMail account for the Play store and I use the ISP email as a spam trap if I want to sign a petition etc

I use the e-mail address that came with my ISP account. So, it’s free in the sense that I don’t pay any extra for it and don’t get any rebate if I don’t want it. I know everyone is doing it, but I don’t like the thought of confidential or otherwise important messages living out there on the web somewhere. Mine are all down on my local machine; even if my ISP decided I was a pedophilic drug dealing terrorist and nuked my account they still can’t make messages and contacts I have already received go away.

I know there are disadvantages to that practice, so you don’t need to tell me them. Use what you are most comfortable with.

I have two and use them about equally, one business (company’s domain) and one personal (gmail).


I have a gmail account which I use to subscribe to newsletters and the like. I have a Yahoo email account which I rarely use these days but which I need to keep active so I can log in to Flickr. My primary email account is the one which comes with my internet account. I don’t want it clogged up with ‘offers’, so I use it only for friends and important stuff.

I have a Gmail account that’s my primary personal account, a Yahoo account that I use for site registrations/junk, and an Outlook account through work.

My Gmail account is my primary email account.

I have a second Gmail account that I only recently set up to use as a contact address on my blog.

I stopped using the free ISP provided email about ten years ago, when we switched providers several times in a fairly short period of time. My friends were grumbling that they kept losing track of my current address.

I still use my email address from college (class of 2001) because it’s very easy to give out, it has my name in it, and for a while it had the best spam protection. So I’ve always used it as my shopping and sign-up email address.

I have Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail addresses too. And one @aim.com which is what you get with an AOL IM screen name. Been using the Gmail more but I can’t get away from the college one. One time they said they were gonna cancel it and I said “No, dude!” and they said “ok” and that’s the last I heard of it.

I also run a mail server for my company, which I’ve had longer than I’ve been out of college. So I’ve got my work email and also an email address I set up to collect my personal bills.

I’ve never wanted for email, I guess.

I technically have an email account from my ISP–but it’s for the whole household, and none of us actually use it for email. I believe we could have set up four more.

Ever since the ubiquity of webmail, it’s pretty hard for an ISP to compete. Prior to that, there wasn’t really any advantage in not using your ISP provided address.

I would say I do have a paid email, but it is not “current” in the sense that I actually currently use it. Still, option 2 seems to be the closest answer.

People pay for an email account? Really?

I’ve been using the same email account from my ISP for 17 years now. It’s my main account, and more importantly, it’s my business account (I’m self-employed). It’s the one that Outlook defaults to. Anything I do online that involves money goes through that account.

I also have a Gmail account that I use for signing up for stuff online, and as backup. I check it every month or so, but no-one uses it to actually get in touch with me.

I have multiple free accounts (one each of gmail, hotmail, yahoo) plus multiple paid-for accounts that are part of my domain packages.

I typically use the yahoo account for any use I think might attract spam (entering competitions etc).