Friday, March 18, 2011

Email service comparison

As you probably know email is a service that allows you to send text and files of various formats to a recipient that also has an email address. There are a few services around and each of them offers some unique bonuses. In this post I will compare the three major email providers that I have experience with.

Hotmail email - Hotmail email is a free service provided by Windows. Creating a hotmail account will create a Windows live ID, which can offer a wide range of services (which will be talked about later). Hotmail offers a secure HTTPS login through the Microsoft cooperation. That probably doesn't mean much to you.) The hotmail inbox will show you all the unread or read messages that you have. There will be a checkbox where you can mark messages as junk (unsafe sender), delete (deletes it), Mark as - Unread, flagged, unflagged, move to (Move to a folder), and phishing scam (Trying to reveal information about you for profit.). You can create folders, which are areas where you can drag emails to categorize them. For example you could have Work, school, social, and family folders. You can attach a file to an email to deliver it in it's current form to a recipient. The Hotmail attachment system isn't the most secure out of the three, but upload speeds are quick for all attachments. Hotmail's spam protection works well for most things but lets more spam by than Yahoo! or Gmail.

Yahoo! email - Yahoo email is provided by the search engine based company Yahoo!. When you create a Yahoo! account you unlock a wide range of services provided by Yahoo. Two notable services are the Yahoo! email (which I'll get to in a minute) and Yahoo! answers. Yahoo! answers is a place where you can ask questions and have them answered by other users of the service. They established a point system to keep the asked / answered ratio in balance. You need to answer 3 questions before you can ask one (roughly). The actual Yahoo! mailing service is very similar to Hotmail's. You are able to access the Yahoo! messenger directly from your inbox. Messages can be arranged in folders like the Hotmail service. The Yahoo! Spam detection is a lot more accurate than hotmail's but it sometimes leaves non-spam messages in the spam folder. They are easy to remove but to access them you have to dig threw the wall of spam that will probably be calling the spam folder it's home. Be sure to clear it out often. You can also attach files with this email. All attachments are scanned with Norton Antivirus on the sending and receiving ends to make doubly sure that the attachment isn't some form of malaware. Linux 64-bit users will be forced to use Yahoo! mail classic with a GUI much less pleasing than the most up-to-date one. Yahoo! doesn't use a secure HTTPS connection.

Google's G-mail - Gmail takes a few of the services from the two I mentioned earlier and then provides some original Google services. To create a Gmail account you will need a Google account. This is one of the few email accounts that requires a phonecall or text verification to create. There's pretty much no getting around this. After you type the confirmation code it (it will be similar to an audio Captcha challenge) your G-mail will be created Automatically. What you currently see is a Canvas inbox. There are few (if any) emails in it and it has no applied themes. Gmail offers the ability to add visual themes to the inbox. G-mail also has a calendar that can send alerts to your desktop if there is an event coming up. Instead of folders Google has what are called Labels (similar to Blogger labels) that can be searched. More than one label can be applied to an email.For the first time out of any email service G-mail also allows you view your inbox offline. (Going by the last saved "draft" of your inbox.) You get 7564 MB of storage. This is a LOT of space and emails take up very little. To help you take up the free space on your Google memory you can store some files here. You will need to download this Drive Shell extension first. Then download the .zip file and extract it in any folder on your computer. Run the setup file and put in your Google account information. The G-mail drive should now appear under the "Other" section of your computer tab. (The place that displays your memory for backup, OS, and removable File system on Windows computers.)

I have always been a Google supporter. I do not have a biased opinion though. I always choose the service that provides the best products. This time Google wins again with the G-mail service. The offline inbox availability is a major breakthrough for anyone with a flaky internet connection. The label to email linking is also a convenient feature for finding mail later on. Lastly, the ability to add 7564 MB of storage to your system for free is what really puts the G-mail service above the rest. To give you an idea of how large 7,564 MB is my 2,000 pictures only take up 365 MB of space. I would be able to save all of these on my Google drive and still have 7,200 MB left. I could save all of my 2,000 pictures about 20 times before I ran out of room. That is 40,000 high-quality pictures that could be saved online for free.

Non related information
be sure to check out the newly updated D.O.W operations page. The war for internet anonymity has begun (see the bottom.)

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