Do you really need a professional sounding email address? NO: If you just need email for personal use or you are happy enough with an address including 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 offer you a very large storage capacity (Gmail is 7.5 GB, Yahoo is unlimited, Hotmail is 5GB) and of course you can access your account from any computer via internet. They also offer you Charter Login. (To prevent confusion I will reference email clients that should be placed on a specific computer, including Outlook or Live Mail, as installed clients.)
YES: If you need a professional sounding address you can choose a hosting option by a 3rd party provider or perhaps you can have your very own server. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will usually host your email also. The fees are usually based on a package of hosting plus the space you utilize on your mailbox. As soon as you hit the package limit you spend an extra fee per MB stored. (That 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 make use of a free Gmail account as your server. This is particularly good for small companies or work from your home entrepreneurs. You can buy your own domain name that comes with multiple emails for less than $10 each year. Check from the favorite domain address 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 up 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 wish to view and manage your emails?
Again there are 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 an email client on their own computers. Many individuals use Outlook or Windows Live Mail simply since this is the program that accompany their computer package. You can also find free email programs that will perform the job just as well and that can work on Linux, Windows and Apple, so if you use several types of computer you can have the identical client to them all.
This email client regularly downloads the emails through the mailbox which allows you to work on your emails while offline. An excellent trick is to synchronize your webmail having an installed client so 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 everyone today to merely ever access their email in one computer. The conventional setup would be to download emails to 1 particular computer and look at them via an installed program such as Outlook or Live Mail etc. however, you can also decide to leave the emails on the server. This means you will be able to see them off their computers when you find yourself on the road.
Most email account providers enable a webmail option which means you can view any emails which have not been downloaded to the pc right from the mailbox. Make sure you check with all the email provider if webmail is part of the offer.
And, as mentioned above, you can synchronize your emails between webmail and an installed client so you can access your emails anywhere, from any computer with internet access.
Have you been likely to change address?
Many internet service providers provide you with a webmail address whenever you set up your internet account. It is usually something like me(at)verizon.com or me(at)bigpond.com From personal experience I recommend steering clear of those 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 as it can be utilized with any provider.
Do you need plenty of storage?
Should you be an entrepreneur or you do have a small company you can probably avoid the cost of being forced to own and manage your personal server. Most email account providers give you a range of plans that you should select from so that you can start small and boost your storage with time. Tip: beware of plans which can be 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 requirements over time, not just beginning.