Basic Email Features
Attachments - The ability to send/receive files along with your emails. If you want to be able to send, for example, word processor documents, spreadsheets, image files, etc. to someone then you need this feature.
Filters - Ability to filter incoming emails into different folders based on criteria you specify. This is useful if you receive a lot of incoming mail and want your messages filed/categorized automatically. You may also be able to use filters to delete certain incoming mail automatically.
Signature(s) - Facility to attach a text signature to the end of outgoing emails. If you want a simple way to add your name and any other personal details to the end of outgoing emails then you need this feature.
Min. Storage Limit - The minimum amount of storage space you would like your email account to permit. If you receive a lot of mail, or mail with large attachments, you will need to set this to a high figure. Most providers offer at least 2MB.
Definable Reply-To Address - Allows you to specify any email address you like as the "reply-to" address when sending an email. This feature is usually used by people that have more than one email account but want all outgoing emails to appear to be sent from the same, single account.
Retrieve POP Mail - Allows you to collect mail from other POP3-accessible mailboxes. If you have multiple POP3-accessible email accounts and would like to be able to consolidate all your emails into one account, then this feature is your answer.
POP Accessible - Your emails are accessible using standard email software, such as Eudora, Outlook, etc. If you want the option of using email software on your PC to manage your email account(s) as well as Web access, or you want to do most of your emailing offline, then you need a POP3 accessible account.
No TagLine/Footer Ad - This is the small advertising comment that most free email providers insert at the bottom of any emails sent from their system. If you want to use your account for professional or other formal communications then you really need an account that has no tag line advertisement. Note: At the moment we have only a few providers that we know of that do not have a tagline ad.
Advanced Email Features
Automatic Forwarding - Automatically have all incoming emails forwarded to another email account. This feature may be useful if you are able to access another email account more easily and want to be able to receive all your emails in this single account
Vacation Reply/Auto-Responder - Allows you to create an email that will automatically be sent as a reply to all incoming emails. This may be used while you're on vacation or for any other kind of automated reply.
Spell Checker - Facility to spell check your outgoing emails. If you use your account for important communications, where correct spelling is crucial (or you're just not good at spelling!), this feature is a must!
Message Search Facility - Ability to search for emails in your inbox and other folders based on criteria you specify. This is especially important if you keep a lot of emails filed in your account in different folders and need to be able to find a particular message quickly and easily without searching manually.
Download Messages - Ability to store a copy of an email on your own computer. If you want to be able to store the text of any messages in separate files on your computer you need to be able to download your messages.
Dictionary/Thesaurus - Look up words in a dictionary or thesaurus when composing an email. This ability may be useful if you are writing formal or complex messages and are just not able to find the right word to use yourself.
Receive Voicemail - Facility to receive voicemail messages in your inbox that you can listen to using the computer's speakers. If you need voicemail capabilities and you want a simple, free, voicemail system that you can access over the Web (or possibly by phone) you need this feature.
Receive Faxes - Ability to receive faxes in your mailbox as well as email. This feature is excellent if you need to be able to receive faxes as well as emails in the same inbox and do not want to, or cannot afford to, buy a fax machine.
Calendar - Facility to enter appointments and events into a web-based calendar. If you need to be able to access your appointments from any PC, anywhere in the world, then you need a web-based calendar.
Reminders - Reminders will be sent to your email account to remind you of events that you've specified. If you're forgetful or just have too much to remember, this feature could be a life saver!
ToDo/Task List - Online todo/task list. This feature may be very useful if you travel a lot or want to be able to access your tasks from any PC with Web access.
File Storage - Store files online that may later be retrieved from any computer connected to the Web. This is a great way of "transporting" files without using disks and also gives you worldwide access to your files. This feature can also be used to backup important files.
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