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Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail - Which Mail

Posted by Somebody's Mother on 6:26 PM
I have too many email addresses.  I have a work address, a home address and three webmail addresses with the top three webmail providers: Gmail, Hotmail/Windows Live and Yahoo.  Webmail is very handy in that you can pick up your email anywhere at any time - you just log in and go.  When I went to India, however, there was major confusion among my family members.  Which email address should they write to me at?  In my travels, I’ve often found that some email addresses are harder to get into than others.

In writing this article, I Googled “compare webmail” and found three interesting sites that reviewed Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail:  consumersearch.com, ghacks.net and techcrunch.com.  I found that all three of these techie blogs said pretty much the same thing about all three.  So, here’s what I found:

Yahoo Mail has the most users - I would have guessed that it would be Microsoft’s Hotmail.  Yet hands down, all three blogs preferred Gmail as the best free webmail service.  Free is definitely the operative word as $20.00 a year will buy you greater amounts of storage and email service with little or no advertising.  Apparently Yahoo’s pay service cuts advertising completely while Hotmail will still show you Microsoft advertising. 

For the everyday person who doesn’t receive hundreds of emails a day, I don’t see storage as an issue.  My Yahoo account was my first email account so I started storing important emails in folders and after a few years, I still seem to have oodles of storage space to go.  The advantage with Yahoo is that you can do several things at once and have tabs at the top of the screen so you can go back and forth and look at several email messages at once without having to reload the page.  Unfortunately, every time I send an email, Yahoo puts advertising at the bottom of it and I really don’t appreciate that.

I like the Hotmail screen because, of all three, I find it the cleanest looking. If you’ve ever used Outlook Express, it’s very much like it in terms of having access to a calendar and reminders.  There is advertising to one side for dating services but I don’t tend to clue in to it very much although I suppose my subconscious mind is probably working over time trying to discern what I really want to buy and works at ignoring the lovely lady who wants to date someone, but not me.

All three reviewers like Gmail best.  I agree with them that, of all three services, Gmail loads up the fastest and when you’re in a foreign country working on a ten year old computer, that is really important.  Gmail also offers a great deal of storage space.  I can’t seem to use more than 1% of the space that I’m allotted but I do tend to delete old messages. All three also claim that Gmail has the best spam filter and I would agree with that. I get almost no unwanted email there. 

My own beef with Gmail is that I often find it difficult to locate the reply and forward buttons or to find the actual email that I’m composing.  This is because Gmail is the only one of the three that shows you all your correspondence in one screen, and if you’re not used to it, it can be somewhat confusing.  Yet, over time, I’ve noticed that the more you use Gmail, the more you understand its ways.  Gmail also allows you to colour code and label your emails for easier recognition.  This isn’t something that I tend to use much but others do find this useful.

In short, Gmail seems to be the way to go according to the tech-mavens, but I think that most people just get used to the one that they’ve used the most, and stick to it. If you’re just starting out with a webmail address, Gmail may be your best choice.

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