If you are considering getting an email account, consider choosing an email provider that offers the service free of charge. This is important because paying a monthly or yearly subscription fee can easily add up, especially if you plan to use the email address for many years. Many online services, including social networking sites, such as Facebook.com and Tweeter.com, require Internet users to provide a valid email address, often used for verification purposes. With many free email providers offering a highly usable service with various features and utilities, there is little reason why one would need to pay for a premium account.
Use Gmail for your email needs. Gmail is a free email service offered by Google, which supports Post Office Protocol (POP3) and Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP). These platforms are helpful if you would like to use your email address with an email client program, such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird.
Choose Yahoo! Mail if you would like to use Yahoo! Messenger within your email account, without needing to download additional software for your Instant Messaging needs. However, the free Yahoo! Mail account does not support Post Office Protocol (POP3). As of May 2010, Yahoo! Mail is the largest provider of free web-based email service.
Select Microsoft’s Windows Live Hotmail as your email provider. Windows Live Hotmail supports both Post Office Protocol (POP3) and Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP); with these platforms, you can configure your account to any compatible handset or email client program. As of May 2010, Windows Live Hotmail offers 5 GB of online storage and the ability to add and check third-party email accounts within your inbox.