General discussion


What's Your Favorite Internet Email Service?

By rkuhn ·
What's your favorite internet email service and why?

Like most, I have a feeling mine is my favorite simply because I've been using it for a very long time and I'm just used to it.

Sort of like most of our choices of OS's, we're just used to it and don't want to change.

Anyways, my favorite especially with the new user inference is Yahoo Mail. But I also use Gmail as well.

I started using Gmail awhile back because they gave me a 1 GB of storage which at the time was enormous. Now everyone is going in that direction.

I can't really say I like the Gmail interface, but I realize that's just a personal preference.

Anyways, to start the thread, what I'm really asking is not just personal preferences but also performance, features, reliability, spam filtering, virus scanning, etc.

What would you recommend to someone looking to sign up for a new account? And how many of you run your own email server at home like me? What do you run and what OS, spam software, virus scanning, etc.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

Here's a really dumb question.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to What's Your Favorite Inte ...

In addition to the information rickk requested, would the respondents be so kind as to answer one more question?

I've never used an Internet-based e-mail service. What do each of you see as the advantages and disadvantages over server or POP3 based mail systems?


Collapse -

Not What You Are Looking For But

by rkuhn In reply to Here's a really dumb ques ...

The most obvious answer is, for example, my Gmail account.

I use it for anything on-line that requires an email address for registration, account setups, etc.

That's 1 GB of spam infested, pyramid marketing scams, Nigerian crap. That's all I really use it for. Sorry Google, but thanks.

My own email server at home is for very limited purposes, my Yahoo account is for friends and family, and my work account is for work.

Collapse -

Biggest advantage of Internet-based sevices

by NickNielsen In reply to Here's a really dumb ques ...

Being able to send mail from anywhere you can log in. There are some limitations to POP mail.

For example, if the WiFi hot spot where you are working gets its service from BellSouth (excuse me, the "new" AT&T) and you need to send email, you're screwed. Bell South does not allow SMTP clients to send mail through their servers unless you have a BellSouth account. In addition, even with the account there are two limitations:
1. You must set up a client configuration which breaks the client for all other connections (non-default ports).
2. The From address must be within the BellSouth domain (bellsouth.*); all other domains are blocked by default to prevent relays.

Edit: The biggest disadvantage to me as a user of web-based email is the time delays inherent in marking messages, finding the correct button, and waiting for the server response, particularly during peak times (lunch and right after school/work).

That said, I have two POP accounts (personal and corporate) and two personal webmail accounts (Hotmail & GMail). I don't really have a favorite; each serves its purpose.

Collapse -

Some information about email, webmail, POP, IMAP, SMTP

by oeaguirre In reply to Here's a really dumb ques ...

Hi, first of there are a few very important differences between webmail and POP/IMAP accounts. I prefer webmail, specifically gmail because of its light interface (no moving ads, no machine-consuming scripts) and big space (more than 2700 MB); btw, gmail can be used as folders, just label one or more emails and then 'archive' them, they will disappear from your inbox.
Ok back to the topic, webmail is a way to accessing your emails via a web interface,
pros: you can access it from any internet connected machine.
you don't deal with backups or disk space
cons: you cannot access it from offline computers (but that's now very uncommon nowadays).
POP: a way to access and download emails from a pop-capable server.
I'd recommend configuring the POP client to synchronize instead of download the messages, that way, you still have your emails on the server, not only on your computer.
IMAP: another way to access and download emails from a server, but this is more advanced than POP as it does not download the whole emails but only the headers to show you the list, then if you want to read one, it only downloads the one you want to read. It can be used on an 'offline' or disconnected fashion and the client (i.e. thunderbird) would keep the synchronization even your output or to-be-sent emails. Another advantage with IMAP is that it supports serverside folders, which POP doesnt.

SMTP is another part of the story, it is the Simple Mail Transport Protocol, and it is used only to send emails. Sending and receiving emails are two very different 'tasks' and are completely independent.

To be able to have a local SMTP server (be it sendmail or postfix, which I recommend) you need not only to setup a Unix machine (I would not recommend a windoze machine for an internet services server), the email server (which can be very easy, as with postfix) but also you'll need to deal with backups (or you'll be exposed to loosing your inbox if something happens to your server/disks) but also to the dynamic IP schema which is the normal way of working with ISP that uses *DSL with DHCP. Hence you'll need to setup and use some kind of dinamic DNS system.

hope this answers some doubts (and dont produce more :) )


Collapse -

Not Problems, but not enough knowledge

by Shaun.G In reply to Some information about em ...

It is all very well to say that, and I understood most of what you wrote, hoever, I do not have the knowleddege to set up something akin to that at all.

Collapse -

mail on not to mail

by weddude In reply to Not Problems, but not eno ...

i use web-based also opera-mail work for personal main and hotmail or yahoo for junk..
i let my sons use my isp based mail accounts

Collapse -

unless you are in elementary school josh....

by kaicremata In reply to Not Problems, but not eno ...

you can do it...
i solve 50% of my problems by googling something like this
"set thunderbird to work with google"
and then look at your choices,
you may have to fiddle with your question,
but as you read you will find the path...

crap, one day i couldnt find my tape measure and had some special envelopes i needed to format them for my printer

i googled "ruler or tape measure or something like that"

found one, downloaded it, printed it and measured my stuff...

good luck

Collapse -

Reasons to use an Internet-based e-mail service

by Donavan McDonough In reply to Here's a really dumb ques ...

Advantages for me.

Reason 1

For the last 11 years I have travelled to a remote part of India on a regular basis. The place I visit has had very little in the way of Internet infrastructure. Now it has changed.

Until recently, trying to connect to my home ISP to access my e-mail via a webmail interface was painfully slow - it could 2 to 3 minutes just to sign-in.

The answere was to use Yahoo Mail. It took about 5 - 15 seconds to log in.

Reason 2

On a few accasions my ISP's mail server has had some down time. When this happens I'm still able to e-mail out via an Internet based e-mail service. A handy backup service.

Resaon 3

It has served as a handy storage option - because the e-mail and its attachemnt is stored on a large server that can be accessed from anywhere.

If the data I need is downloaded via getting my e-mails on to my home or work computers I do not have access to the data.

Having it sit on a Gmail or Yahoo e-mail server means that it always there.

Reason 4

A few of my friends have problems with receiving personal e-mails at their work e-mail address. This way work stuff goes to their work address and personal stuff to their Yahoo/Gmail/etc. account.

Reason 5

I've had my 10 meg ISP mailbox full a few times. So if someone wants to send me a really large attachment it goes to Gmail.

Reason 6

I am about to carry out a very large survey that will flatten my 10 meg mailbox. By having the replies go to gmail there is no chance of getting replies bounced because of a full mail box.

Reason 7

The Internet Cafes in India like else were or riddled with keyloggers, sypware etc. If I have to send and receive e-mail I make use of an small obscure Internet-based e-mail service that I have on standby. Having that password stolen is not train smash.

Reason 8

From time to time I might sign up for a software product trail to evaluate. The trail may come with a selection of templates form which you choose. Recently I wated to try 3 different templates. However you could only choose one. With Gmail and Yahoo mail I just signed up 3 times.

Reason 9

On the odd occassion I have been worried about an attachment that I have received. As a double precaustion I have forwared it to my Internet based e-mail accounts to see if their virus scanners pick up anything.

On one such instance it was the right thing to do. This saved me a potential headache and the need to wait a few days or weeks for my anti-virus company to update their scanner signatures.


Because I understand how Internet-based e-mail services can be used in my computing lifestyle I have been able to set things up so that there are almost no disadvantages that I expereince.

A disadvantage is that of having 4 or 5 different address books. You need an e-mail address that is on your desktop and is not in Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Rediffmail and Planetsave etc.


As a Standard Operating Procedure I first view ALL my e-mails in a webmail interface - deleate what I know is not what I want or need, maybe do a goolge search on the odd name or company and then download from my ISP. I do not trust any spam filter / blocker. I've found that it worth the extra effort.

All my e-mails to Gmail and Yahoo stay on their servers. The only thing I do maybe print the e-mail.

Collapse -

Thanks for the sidebar responses

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Here's a really dumb ques ...

I don't do much with e-mail at the house and don't care about my work mail when I'm not at work, so I never had a reason to utilize web mail. I still don't, but now I understand the advantages and why people would want to use it.

Thanks to everyone that has or will respond.

Collapse -

MSN without a doubt

by denkile In reply to Here's a really dumb ques ...

I like MSN Premium after trying:
Juno, AOL, Earthlink, Gmail, Google, Comcast.
I keep everything in the mailbox and no email on the PC/hard-drive.
'Prefer forwarding from other mailboxes
over is simpler.

Related Discussions

Related Forums