Do you really need a professional 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 advise that you stick with a free webmail email account provider.
Why? Firstly, they may be free! They usually give you a huge storage capacity (Gmail is 7.5 GB, Yahoo is unlimited, Hotmail is 5GB) not to mention you can access your bank account from your computer via internet. In addition they offer you Charter.Net. (In order to avoid confusion I am going to make reference to email clients that need to be installed on a specific computer, like Outlook or Live Mail, as installed clients.)
YES: If you need a professional sounding address you can get a hosting option by a 3rd party provider or else you can have your personal server. Your Online Service Provider (ISP) will usually host your email also. The fees are often according to a package of hosting plus the space you use on your mailbox. When you hit the package limit you have to pay yet another fee per MB stored. (This is why if you’ve ever worked in a big company they continuously distribute requests so that you can clean out your email!)
Alternatively you can use a free Gmail account as the server. This can be particularly beneficial to small companies or work from home entrepreneurs. You can buy your own domain name that is included with multiple contact information for less than $10 annually. Check from the favorite website name provider for prices. By doing this 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 when the emails you send from Gmail are provided by your company address.
How do you want to view and manage your emails?
Again you can find big differences between using 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 their computers. Many individuals use Outlook or Windows Live Mail simply because this is this system that accompany their computer package. You can also find free email programs that will do the job just as well and this can work on Linux, Windows and Apple, so if you use different types of computer you can have the same client to them all.
This email client regularly downloads the emails from your mailbox which lets you work on your own emails while offline. An excellent trick is to synchronize your webmail with the installed client so you can work on or offline yet still obtain your emails from any computer.
Are you looking to access your email from various locations?
It is rare for everyone today to merely ever access their email from a single computer. The standard setup is to download emails to 1 particular computer and view them with an installed program like Outlook or Live Mail etc. but you can also elect to leave the emails on the server. This implies you will be able to see them using their company computers when you are on the road.
Most email account providers enable a webmail option so that you can view any emails who have not been downloaded to the computer right from the mailbox. Make sure you check using the email provider if webmail is portion 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.
Have you been likely to change address?
Many internet companies offer you a webmail address when you set increase 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 these addresses because when 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 really need plenty of storage?
Should you be an entrepreneur or you do have a small company you can probably avoid the price of having to own and manage your personal server. Most email account providers give you a range of plans for you to pick from so that you can begin small and increase your storage as time passes. Tip: watch out for plans which are relatively cheap for small quantities of storage (many come with 1GB as standard) then again charge a high price per MB next. Consider your preferences with time, not just beginning.