What Is the Best Email Service for You?

| October 30, 2012

evaluating email services There are numerous email services available from which to pick for use in your home or small business. Finding the right one takes knowing the different types of email available and what features they provide. Continue reading for some tips on choosing an email service and, if in need of Internet, start your search at DexKnows Internet service providers.

Types of email accounts

There are generally four types of email services, the major difference being how emails are stored and retrieved.

The different types are:

  • Web-based email services
  • POP3 email services
  • IMAP email services
  • Email forwarding


Gmail, Yahoo! and Hotmail are examples of web-based email services. When using one, you access your email through your browser. You write, reply to, send, forward and organize emails using a graphical user interface (GUI) that sometimes can be modified.

Free web-based services often have feature banner ads or some other type of advertising. You also need access to the Internet to read the emails unless you download them to your computer. Using them may sometimes mean having to an update your web browser, which can be difficult for people whose computers aren’t up to date. A web-based service can be programmed to fetch emails from another type of email service.

POP3 email

A POP3 email service stores your email on a remote server. You connect to the server and download your emails onto your computer into whatever email software you use. Messages are often deleted from the server when you check your email.

Such services may not give you as much email storage space as web-based services. Although it used to be difficult to access emails while away from home or traveling, now there are ways to access the emails via the web. You can also read your emails without accessing the internet because they are stored on your computer.

IMAP email

An IMAP email service is similar to POP3 in that emails are stored on a remote server. The difference is that you can choose which messages to download to your computer. Copies will remain on the server until you delete them.

Email forwarding service

Email forwarding services let you forward your email to an existing email address. This helps if you have a specific email address that you want to use or if your email address supplied by your provider is difficult to remember. You can change your internet service provider and still use the same email address. This does add another step between the sender and you, which adds more of a chance of something going wrong. Email forwarding services also may have a small advertisement to help raise revenue.

Other considerations

Things to keep in mind while choosing an email service include storage space and email attachment size. Email service providers may limit how much storage you have to store your emails and how large the file attachment can be (how many megabytes (MB)). There is more storage today than there used to be, but it is still a consideration.

The limit on the size of email attachments can limit attachments such as large data files and photos. It may prevent you from receiving more than a few photos in a single email. Knowing this lets you tell people sending you photos to only send a few at a time. If it’s over the size limit, often 5 megabytes, the service may kick back the email to the person who sent it.

Other considerations include ease of use and added features, including whether the email service comes with a chat program.

Keep these factors in mind while deciding upon an email service. Meanwhile, check for a provider at DexKnows Internet service providers.

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Category: Evergreen, Tech

About the Author ()

Central Ohio journalist with 15 years experience at daily newspapers. Freelance writer and amateur photographer. Storytellers are my heroes, poets my idols and photographers my looking glass.