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Hotmail & Yahoo Mail: Best of the Best

By Cory Kleinschmidt, 1/23/2000

Last time, Andrew href="http://www.traffick.com/story.asp?StoryID=44">reviewed the non-Hotmail and non-Yahoo
Mail web-based e-mail options (are there really any other viable options, though?).
This time, I take a look at the leaders in this arena: Hotmail and Yahoo Mail.


1. Hotmail
(MSN Mail)


Capacity: 2 MB (upgradeable)

Address book: Yes

POP Mail checking: Yes, up to 4 accounts

Automatic forwarding: No

Spam filter: Yes; up to 10 different filters!


Cool Extras:



  • Dictionary and thesaurus when composing messages. You'll definitely use this
    handy feature!
  • Spell checker
  • Free newsletters with Hotmail WebCourier
  • Stationery allows you to quickly decorate your messages with different styles
  • Allows you to scan incoming attachments with McAfee VirusScan, so you won't
    have to worry if that .EXE you receive is loaded with viruses
  • Use Hotmail offline synchronization with Outlook Express. This is reason alone
    to use Hotmail instead of any other web-based e-mail site. When you check your
    regular POP mail from your ISP, you can also configure Outlook Express to receive
    and download your Hotmail messages. To set this up, go into the Hot Tips section
    under the Hotmail News button on the left-hand navigation bar.
  • Be notified when you receive messages with MSN Messenger, Microsoft's answer
    to AOL Instant Messenger.


Comments: Hotmail, which was named after the Web's coding language, HTML,
is the industry standard for web-based e-mail. Hotmail was already huge before
Microsoft plopped down $400 million for it, and it continues to be the leader
in growth. It seems that everybody has a Hotmail account, and for good reason:
It has it all, especially for users of the MSN portal. Hotmail is also a solid
bet because of its integration with the target=_blank>Passport system that Microsoft owns. Passport is a great idea because sites
in the Passport network tap into the Hotmail registration database and don't require
you to set up a unique username and password for any site in its network. Also,
the ability to store your credit card data securely in its digital wallet is nice.


The only drawback to Hotmail is its overwhelming interface. When a new user lays
eyes on a web-based e-mail site, it can take a while to acclimatize to the interface.
With Hotmail, it takes a bit longer due to Microsoft's insistence on plastering
it with links to MSN content and other links that only serve to clutter up the
place. Other than this small gripe, Hotmail is the one to beat.


Rating: 3 stars. Top notch.


 


2. href="http://mail.yahoo.com" target=_blank>Yahoo Mail


Capacity: 6 MB, upgradeable to 20 MB for $19.95 per year

Address book: Yes

POP Mail checking: Yes, up to 3 accounts.

Automatic forwarding: No

Spam filter: Yes


Cool Extras:



  • Vacation autoresponders let everyone know that you'll be out of town for a
    while.
  • Spell checker
  • Subscribe to Yahoo content and have it delivered in your inbox; options include
    the Yahoo Daily Wire, Yahoo Weekly Picks, and Yahoo Weekly Live Wire.
  • Reminders allow you to set up e-mail, Yahoo Messenger, or pager reminders
    for any event.
  • As with Hotmail, you can receive your Yahoo mail at any POP account using
    Outlook Express, Eudora, or any other mail program, but there's a catch: You
    have to sign up for Yahoo Delivers and receive targeted e-mail offers for categories
    that you can specify (which sounds a lot like legal spam!)
  • Integration with Yahoo Calendar.


Comments: There sure isn't much glitz to Yahoo Mail, but it does sport
one of the cleanest interfaces of any other competitor, which is why I prefer
it for my non-business e-mail. With Yahoo Mail, you can manage your e-mail quickly
and easily, and if you already use My Yahoo as your portal of choice, you can
get e-mail alerts with Yahoo Companion. If I didn't use Yahoo Mail, I would almost
certainly fall in with Hotmail.


Rating: 3 stars for its ease of use.

Cory Kleinschmidt is the webmaster of Traffick.com. 

 

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