Do you need a specialist sounding email address? NO: If you just need email for personal use or you are pleased enough with an address such as me(at)gmail.com then I would propose that you stick with a free webmail email account provider.
Why? Firstly, they are free! They often give you a very large storage capacity (Gmail is 7.5 GB, Yahoo is unlimited, Hotmail is 5GB) not to mention you can access your account from any computer via internet. In addition they give you Charter.Net. (To avoid confusion I will refer to email clients that should be set up on a particular computer, including Outlook or Live Mail, as installed clients.)
YES: If you require a professional sounding address you can get a hosting option by a 3rd party provider or else you can have your own server. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will normally host your email also. The fees are generally according to a package of hosting plus the space you use on your own mailbox. When you hit the package limit you pay an extra fee per MB stored. (This is why if you’ve ever worked in a big company they continuously distribute requests that you should clean out your email!)
Alternatively you can utilize a free Gmail account when your server. This is particularly beneficial to small companies or work from home entrepreneurs. You can buy your own domain name that comes with multiple emails for under $10 each year. Check from the favorite domain address provider for prices. In this way you can have your professional sounding email address forward or POP to Gmail and make use of Gmail’s free email client to handle your emails. You can set it to ensure that it appears to be in the event the emails you send from Gmail are coming from your company address.
How do you want to view and manage your emails?
Again you can find big differences between utilizing a webmail client and and installed client. In order to handle the me(at)mycompany.com type emails, most people install an e-mail client on the computers. Many people use Outlook or Windows Live Mail simply because this is this program that is included with their computer package. You can also find free email programs that can perform the job just as well which can work on Linux, Windows and Apple, so when you use several types of computer you can have the same client on them all.
This email client regularly downloads the emails through the mailbox which allows you to work on your own emails while offline. A fantastic trick is to synchronize your webmail with an installed client so you can work on or offline yet still get your emails from any computer.
Are you looking to access your email from various locations?
It is rare for anyone nowadays to merely ever access their email from a single computer. The standard setup is to download emails to 1 particular computer and view them via an installed program like Outlook or Live Mail etc. however you can also elect to leave the emails on the server. What this means is you will be able to view them off their computers when you are on the road.
Most email account providers enable a webmail option so that you can view any emails that have not been downloaded to the pc directly from the mailbox. Ensure you check with all the email provider if webmail is area of the offer.
And, as mentioned above, you can synchronize your emails between webmail as well as an installed client so that you can access your emails anywhere, from any computer with internet connection.
Are you currently very likely to change address?
Many internet providers provide you with a webmail address when you set your internet account. It will always be something like me(at)verizon.com or me(at)bigpond.com From personal experience I suggest steering clear of those addresses because as soon as you move or change internet provider you should change your email address. A webmail address or a company address is vgncjo more portable since it can be utilized with any provider.
Do you really need a lot of storage?
If you are an entrepreneur or there is a small company you can probably avoid the price of being forced to own and manage your personal server. Most email account providers offer a range of plans that you should select from which means you can start small and improve your storage with time. Tip: avoid plans which are relatively cheap for small amounts of storage (many include 1GB as standard) then again charge you with a high price per MB next. Consider your preferences over time, not just beginning.