About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

July 6, 2010

Online Email Accounts

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , — Ron @ 5:40 am

I get a lot of questions about online email programs.  I hear: Which one is safest?  Which one is best?  Which one has the better features?  Etcetera, etcetera.  I have to say that I believe a lot of those questions can best be answered by each individual.  You may have to try out several if you don’t use one as your main email program now.

I prowled around the net looking for the most popular programs and found the following as of May, 2010.  At that time, the most popular email websites according to “Email Marketing Reports” were Yahoo! Mail, Windows Live Hotmail, Gmail and AOL Mail.  This data is based on US Internet usage and is in descending order of popularity. image image imageimage First of all I wonder who does not have an email account by now.  However, I am sure new users hit the net every day.  Toward the end of 2009 there were a reported 1.4 Billion active email accounts in the world.  That works out to about one for every five people on earth.  So there are still many out there that have none.

Many users have multiple email accounts.  For instance, I have one specifically for this column.  I have another one for friends and family, an extra for online purchases and a final one acts as a “throwaway” account.  The last one is used when I have to sign up on a site for something and I know that it will create more spam.  I use it for what I need and then check it every week or so and delete all of the junk mail.

In some respects I realize that I am not that much different from other geeks.  I imagine that in reality less than 1/5 people have email accounts.  As an example, my wife, a non-geek, has two email accounts – one for personal use and the other for work.  I would imagine that is more the norm.

As for me I have tried them all.  However, some I haven’t looked at in years.  In the past I have  used all of the top four and still have those accounts active.  I know they are because I checked them this week.  Over the long haul I have chosen to go with as my main online email provider.  They have other extras I really appreciate although Windows Live mail is looking good.  Maybe we will look at that next week.

Let me know which online email services you use and like best.

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