In this section, TheFreeSite.com takes a look at the best general-purpose free Email services on the Web. These services are all totally free and are usually supported by advertising. Even if you already have an Email account on your home computer, a Web-based Email account can be very handy for corresponding when you're on the road.
This very useful Web-based "E-mail retrieval application" lets you easily access your E-mail from almost any POP3 or IMAP4 server. Mail2Web.com is free and requires no registration. Mail2Web.com differs from Web-based E-mail services like Gmail in that it allows you to use your existing E-mail account.
A versatile, free Web-based E-mail service, Gmail offers a generous 15 gigs of space. The service is ad-supported (but there are no popups or banners, only small text ads). Gmail has lots of handy features, including spam protection, an integrated chat feature, mobile phone access, automatic mail forwarding and POP3 access. The Gmail interface supports over 70 languages.
(In Sept. 2016, Yahoo reported that hackers stole account info for at least 500 million users in a data breach that occurred in late 2014). Yahoo! Mail, currently the Web's second most popular free Web-based E-mail service, with over 280 million users, offers a powerful package that includes such nifty features as spam filtering and password protection for outgoing E-mails. We particularly like the Norton AntiVirus feature, which automatically scans incoming E-mail attachments.
Are you worried about the privacy of your email? You should be, given the security woes that plague email these days. Hushmail offers a privacy-oriented email service with built-in encryption. Premium versions of Hushmail, with extra features, are also available for a fee, but the basic version is free.
(Note: this service is expired. In Feb. 2013, Microsoft switched Hotmail users to its new E-mail service, Outlook.com). Owned by Microsoft, Hotmail is the Web's largest free Web-based E-mail provider, with over 324 million users. Hotmail offers mail filtering that allows you to direct mail into folders and also features a spell checker and a signature option, as well as the ability to customize your layout. You can add up to 20 recipients per message, as well as send attachments of up to 10 megs.