Newest Review: ... impressed me was the next stage which asked me if I would like to import my contacts and emails from another email address, as ... more
Easy, proficient email provider
Member Name: tiaw
Advantages: Spam filter, navigation, security, ease
Disadvantages: Basic appearence (but who really cares?)
gmail is Google's popular alternative to hotmail, yahoo, or other email account providers. It is accessed through the main google.com page, and is certainly worth considering if you are looking to set up a new, free email address.
Sign up is generally quick and simple. Normal details are required - but in some countries this is now combined with mobile phone verification. I signed up before this came into force, so I can't comment on what exactly is involved.
Once in, the layout is quite strikingly different to the likes of hotmail or yahoo. Sure, every email provider is distinct, but this just seems more responsive and efficient. New emails appear live in your inbox without the need to refresh. Moving items between folders, or setting up new folders is not hard at all. The customisation options are diverse and thorough too - certainly too extensive to be listed here.
Another welcome feature is the IP tracker at the bottom. This allows you to see the last 5 logins, meaning enhanced security against hackers (i.e. if you notice a distinctly different IP address to your own, you can have advanced warning of an insecure account.
A chat feature down the side is enabled too, although I've never actually used mine.
The spam filter appears to be very impressive on gmail. Unlike hotmail I rarely (if ever) get something unfamiliar or unwelcome in my inbox.
Navigation, too, is a little simpler than Hotmail or Yahoo. While travelling I find that some older browsers or computers struggle with Hotmail and Yahoo - but with gmail the option always exists to use a simpler version.
Overall I believe that gmail is currently the strongest email provider out there. I trust it as my professional email account, while hotmail I use merely for personal actions. This should say it all. Google is generally quite a reliable company, and I find their email service no different.
Summary: Should be your top consideration when signing up for a free email account.