Do you require a specialist sounding email address? NO: If you just need email for personal use or you are pleased enough with an address like me(at)gmail.com then I would propose that you stick with a free webmail email account provider.
Why? Firstly, these are free! They often offer you a huge storage capacity (Gmail is 7.5 GB, Yahoo is unlimited, Hotmail is 5GB) not to mention you can access your money from any computer via internet. Additionally they offer you Charter Email. (In order to avoid confusion I will refer to email clients that should be set up on a certain computer, including Outlook or Live Mail, as installed clients.)
YES: If you want a professional sounding address you can choose a hosting option by a third party provider or perhaps you can have your very own server. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will normally host your email also. The fees are often based on a package of hosting as well as the space you utilize on your mailbox. Once you hit the package limit you have to pay an additional fee per MB stored. (This is why if you’ve ever worked in a big company they continuously send out requests that you should clean out your email!)
Alternatively you can utilize a free Gmail account when your server. This really is particularly great for small companies or work at home entrepreneurs. You can buy a domain address that is included with multiple email addresses for under $10 each year. Check out your favorite domain address provider for prices. This way you can have your professional sounding email address forward or POP to Gmail and utilize Gmail’s free email client to handle your emails. You can set it up so that it appears to be in the event the emails you send from Gmail are provided by your company address.
How do you wish to view and manage your emails?
Again you will find big differences between utilizing a webmail client and and installed client. In order to control the me(at)mycompany.com type emails, a lot of people install a message client on the computers. Lots of people use Outlook or Windows Live Mail simply as this is this system that accompany 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, if you use various kinds of computer you can have the same client on them all.
This email client regularly downloads the emails through the mailbox which enables you to work on your own emails while offline. A fantastic trick is to synchronize your webmail with the installed client which means you can work on or offline but nonetheless obtain your emails from your computer.
Do you need to access your email from various locations?
It is actually rare for anybody today to simply ever access their email from one computer. The conventional setup is to download emails to one particular computer and look at them via an installed program including Outlook or Live Mail etc. but you can also choose to leave the emails on the server. This implies it will be possible to see them from other computers when you are on the road.
Most email account providers permit a webmail option so you can view any emails that have not been downloaded to the computer straight from the mailbox. Make sure you check with the email provider if webmail is area of the offer.
And, as pointed out above, you can synchronize your emails between webmail plus an installed client so that you can access your emails anywhere, from the computer with internet connection.
Are you likely to change address?
Many internet providers provide you with a webmail address when you set up your internet account. It will always be something like me(at)verizon.com or me(at)bigpond.com From personal experience I recommend steering clear of such addresses because as soon as you move or change internet provider you need to change your email address. A webmail address or a company address is vgncjo more portable because it can be applied with any provider.
Do you need a lot of storage?
Should you be an entrepreneur or there is a small company you can probably avoid the expense of having to own and manage your personal server. Most email account providers offer a range of plans that you should select from so you can start small and increase your storage as time passes. Tip: watch out for plans which are relatively cheap for small quantities of storage (many have 1GB as standard) then again charge you a high price per MB following that. Consider your preferences with time, not just starting out.