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Email Lesson 5

Other Types of Email

Web Mail
In this lesson, we'll explore other email options, including web mail and instant messaging.

Web mail, sometimes called web-based email, functions somewhat like a traditional email client and can include many of the same features.

Web mail doesn't require any special email client software. Free web mail accounts such as HotmailTM or YahooTM use an email client that appears in a web page. You can access your web mail account on any computer with Internet access.

Just type in your web mail service's URL and log in.

To set up your email client correctly, you need to:

  • Determine which web mail service you want to use.
  • Sign up for a free account. (This requires some personal information.)
  • Determine a user name and password.
  • Read the Help page if necessary.

Web Mail Advantages and Considerations

Convenient.
Web mail is kept on an Internet server, so you can access it with any computer that is connected to the Internet. You can also set up new web mail accounts easily.

Accessible.
Even if you change ISPs, you'll still be able to access your web mail account.

Choice.
Pick a web mail service that best suits your needs. For example, is the access point (URL) always available? How much storage space are you allotted? Does it feature an electronic address book? Is your privacy being protected?

Waiting.
If the speed of your computer and bandwidth are slow, you may have to wait long periods of time to read simple text messages.

Advertising.
Not only will you have to view ads as you check your email, most services will affix some sort of advertising line to your email message. For example, "For the best free web mail, check out www.webmail.com." Also, some web mail providers sell member lists to advertisers, which may result in a lot of unwanted mail in your INBOX.

Privacy.
Keep your web mail password secret and change it often. You never know who may want to read your email.

Instant Messaging

Instant Messaging (IM) is another type of email software  that is frequently used for chat. Chat some what mimics a conversation. Instead of talking, you type messages back and forth in real time.

An instant messaging service is software that runs on a personal computer. Like other email services, you need an Internet connection and software to use instant messaging. AOL Instant MessengerTM, Yahoo! MessengerTM, MSN MessengerTM, and ICQTM are just a few of the instant messaging services available.
Most services are free.

To set up your instant messaging service correctly, you need to:

  • Determine which IM service you want to use.
  • Download the IM software.
  • Sign up for a free account. (This requires some personal information.)
  • Determine a user name and password.
  • Read the Help page if necessary, and you're ready to go.

Instant Messaging Features

Instant messaging service may include the following features:

  • Create a contact list (buddy list).
  • Add, Edit or Delete people from your contact list.
  • Know who in your contact list is online at any time.
  • Be alerted when others in your contact list log on.
  • Send and receive messages from those in your contact list.
  • Search for others using the service.
  • Functions may include: chat, voice, message board, data conferencing, file transfer, Internet games, and exchange web-page addresses.
  • Groups can conduct conferences or just 'hang out' online.

Instant Messaging Advantages and Considerations

Real time.
Instead of waiting for someone to reply to your email message, if someone in your contact list is online, you can chat in "real time."

Turn it off.
There may be times when you don't want to be available for chat.

Privacy.
Do you want everyone to know when you log on?

Difficulty.
Poor typing skills can inhibit IM communication.

Waiting.
If the speed of your computer and bandwidth are slow, you may have to wait long periods of time to read simple text messages.

Advertising.
View ads as you "message" others.