Do you really need an expert sounding email address? NO: If you just need email for personal use or you are pleased enough with an address like 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 generally provide you with a huge storage capacity (Gmail is 7.5 GB, Yahoo is unlimited, Hotmail is 5GB) not to mention you can access your bank account from any computer via internet. In addition they provide you with Charter Spectrum. (To prevent confusion I will reference email clients that ought to be placed on a certain computer, like Outlook or Live Mail, as installed clients.)
YES: If you want a professional sounding address you can get a hosting option by a 3rd party provider or else you can have your personal 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. When you hit the package limit you have to pay an extra fee per MB stored. (That is why if you’ve ever worked in a big company they continuously send out requests so that you can clean from the email!)
Alternatively you can make use of a free Gmail account as the server. This really is particularly good for small companies or work from home entrepreneurs. You can buy a domain address that comes with multiple email addresses for less than $10 per year. Check from the favorite domain name 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 manage your emails. You can set it to ensure that it looks as when the emails you send from Gmail are provided by your company address.
How would you like to view and manage your emails?
Again you will find big differences between utilizing a webmail client and and installed client. In order to control the me(at)mycompany.com type emails, most people install a message client on their own computers. Lots of people use Outlook or Windows Live Mail simply because this is the program that comes with their computer package. You can also find free email programs that can get the job done just as well which can work on Linux, Windows and Apple, so when you use several types of computer you can have the same client upon them all.
This email client regularly downloads the emails through the mailbox which lets you work on the emails while offline. A fantastic trick is to synchronize your webmail having an installed client so you can work on or offline but still get the emails from any computer.
Are you looking to access your email from various locations?
It is actually rare for everyone these days to only ever access their email from one computer. The standard setup would be to download emails to one particular computer and look at them with an installed program like Outlook or Live Mail etc. however, you can also elect to leave the emails on the server. This means it is possible to see them from other computers when you are on the road.
Most email account providers enable a webmail option so you can view any emails that have not been downloaded to the computer directly from the mailbox. Ensure you check using the email provider if webmail is area of the offer.
And, as mentioned above, you can synchronize your emails between webmail plus an installed client which means you can access your emails anywhere, from any computer with access to the internet.
Are you currently likely to change address?
Many internet providers offer you a webmail address when you set your internet account. It is usually something like me(at)verizon.com or me(at)bigpond.com From personal experience I suggest steering clear of these addresses because as soon as you move or change internet provider you should change your email address. A webmail address or even a company address is vgncjo more portable since it can be applied with any provider.
Do you need a lot of storage?
If you are an entrepreneur or there is a small company you can probably avoid the expense of having to own and manage your personal server. Most email account providers offer a range of plans for you to select from so that you can begin small and boost your storage with time. Tip: watch out for plans that are relatively cheap for small quantities of storage (many come with 1GB as standard) but then charge a high price per MB after that. Consider your requirements over time, not just getting started.