Since you can read this site, you have already gotten on the Internet. This means you only have a short step or two to get free e-mail.
Several sites are available offering free e-mail. The sites and the advantages and disadvantages they offer follow:
|Site||Advantages||Disadvantages||Click on the link below to go there|
|Yahoo! Mail||Large storage sizes (250 Mb as of January 2005) and very widely used. Also offers good virus-scanning tools. Does a decent job of filtering out spam.||If you have a common name, someone else probably has already taken "firstname.lastname@example.org." Banner ads on every page.||mail.yahoo.com|
|Hotmail||About as universal as Yahoo! Mail. Storage limits recently expanded to a competitive 250 Mb.||Spam filtering generally isn't as effective as Yahoo's. Banner ads on every page, and you get dumped into MSN when you sign out. If you're not a Microsoft fan, be aware that Hotmail is a Microsoft-owned product. It doesn't always "play nice" with browsers other than Internet Explorer.||www.hotmail.com|
|GMail||If it ever opens up to the public, Google's GMail will offer 1000 Mb of storage to its users. That's beyond huge. It sorts messages according to the "conversation," more than by the sender. No pop-up ads or banner ads. Allows users to search within their messages, in case you need to find a message, but can't remember who sent it or when. Very good spam filtering.||You can't get it if you haven't been "invited." In other words, it's not public yet. It's also in the "Beta," or experimental, stages, so there could be bugs. It also targets advertising messages to the individual user based on keywords that are automatically searched in your e-mail...so it's not exactly that Big Brother is watching, but more like HAL. Also to note: Having that much storage might just encourage you to be an e-mail pack rat. Then again, it might just let you send things like video files of family events to Grandma.||www.gmail.com|
|Mail.com||Lots of domain name options||Not as widely-used as Yahoo! or Hotmail, so people may occasionally send your messages to the wrong address if they don't use address books.||www.mail.com|