Free Email Comes with a Price – Hotmail, Yahoo Email, Gmail – Worth It?
0 (0)

The Internet Patrol - Patrolling the Internet for You
Rate this post!
 

Hotmail, Yahoo email, Gmail, AIM mail – these are all free email services, but are they worth the price you pay? Sure, free email services such as Hotmail, being web-based, allow you to access your email from virtually anywhere in the world, but other web-based email services do that as well.

The downsides to free email services are legion, and many well-documented. Hotmail is known as both a spam magnet and originator. Meaning not only will you get tons of spam, but email you send may be blocked due to its free email service of origin. Of course, this problem is not unique to Hotmail – all of the better known free email services are targets for spam, precisely because everyone knows that millions of people use them because they are, well, free. And Hotmail and Yahoo are some of the most spoofed email domains around by spammers.


But aside from those known issues, which I won’t cover here, few people actually stop to think about this: if this email service is free, how is it being subsidized? In some cases it’s obvious, such as Gmail’s context-relevant ads. More than a few people have commented on how unnerving it can be to be reading a particularly private email, and to see ads for adult toys and other intimate services right next to their email.

But what about the not so obvious cost to subsidize? Earlier this year I wrote about “domain shame“, which is the issue of how the email domain you use reflects on you professionally and even personally. Most (although not all) would not use a Hotmail or Yahoo account for their business correspondence, but many obviously do for personal communications without giving it a second thought, even though many email recipients echo the feelings of the person who observed “When I see a Yahoo or Hotmail domain I think not only cheap, but also disposable and possibly porno, because of the anonymity of those domains.”

But beyond that, how about the advertisements carried in your email, delivered to your family, friends and (oh dear) colleagues every time you send them an email from one of those free email services? There’s nothing I love more than getting a footer full of ads every time I open up a friend’s email.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:
What info did you find here today?:

 

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use these free email services, mind you. I’m just saying that you should be aware of their actual cost.

And for an excellent discussion on the more technical and procedural downsides (rather than just the social downsides) of free email services, see here.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:
What info did you find here today?:

People also searched for cases in UK \contact\ \Email\ gmail com loc:US
Rate this post!
 

11 thoughts on “Free Email Comes with a Price – Hotmail, Yahoo Email, Gmail – Worth It?
0 (0)

  1. mY MOBILE NUMBER-8449393819 HAS GOT 3 CRORE 35 LAKH RUPEES FROM CHEVROLET CAR COMPANY UK ; TO CLAIM;
    NAME – SHANKAR SAGAR
    MOBILE NUMBER -8449393819
    AGE-20; SEX- MALE
    ADDRES- VILL- MANIHAR KHERA ;
    TEH- BILASPUR
    DISTRICT – RAMPUR ; STATE – UP
    PIN CODE- 244921

  2. MY MOBILE NUMBER-9829804769 HAS WON 3 CRORE 35 LAKH RUPEES FROM CHEVROLET CAR COMPANY UK ; TO CLAIM;
    NAME – SARWAN KUMAR LORA
    MOBILE NUMBER -9820804769
    AGE-39; SEX- MALE
    ADDRES- VILL- BANATHALA ; VIA – BAY
    TEH- DANTHA RAMGARH
    DISTRICT – SIKAR ; STATE – RAJASTHAN
    PIN CODE- 332601

  3. HI,MY NAME IS FAHAD,SIR PLZ HELP ME TO DESCRIBE THE SOURCE CODE .IN EVERY TIME WHEN I WAS DOWNLOADING ANG NOTES ON THE NETS,IN EVERY NOTES ALL AUTHORS SAYS “COPY THE SOURCE CODE”.SO HELP ME PLZ TO MODIFY THE SOURCE CODE..I WILL VERY THANKS FULL TO U ,IF U HELP ME.

  4. Gee, I have been using the same Yahoo address since I had to go to the library to access it. On a bad day I get one offer to buy the house I rent and an offer to review my credit. I can delete the bulk mail with one click and save anything I want in any of several folders. This before I even have to consider if I want to trust the various anti-viral programs I run and down load to disk. I barely remember what a pop-up is and have access to my mail from any chatroom on earth or connected by satellite should I find myself elswhere. Can’t say I have a big worry about customer support, in ten years I have never felt the need. kissy, C

  5. My IT Instructor gives lectures on this sort of thing at least once or twice a month. The internet is inherently insecure, and will contenue to be unless it was totally overhauled. Which probably isn’t worth the money…. Free e-mail accounts are the same. I pay for a domain for my buisness related e-mail, and keep my free account for posting on blogs, newsgroups, subscribeing to newsletters and anything else where spam might result. What it boils down to is that you need to use a paid account for important stuff, and use a free one for whatever else.

  6. In my own experience, Hotmail has improved its spam filtering, while go.com has become the worst, with 95% or more of incoming being totally obvious and redundant spam, and no easy method to report it. gMail has been spam-free, and Lycos nearly so.
    None of this spam problem will go away until IANA and other authorities make the domain registrar /accountable/ for the accuracy of their registration data. Countries such as Korea and mainland China should be totally filtered off the web until they cooperate in stopping the spam deluge originating or relayed from them.

  7. BillWebb hit the nail right on the head…I have yet to receive any spam on my Gmail account, while my broadband service provider E-mail account is loaded with around 70% spam…So much for paying $50.00 a month and a free spamless account…

  8. Gmail does not send ads with your email. The sender is the only one who sees them, unless the mail is sent to another Gmail account. I have never received a piece of spam from a Gmail address, and their filters as as good as anyone’s. They do not, for practical purposes, limit size of attachments (10+ MB) nor storage (2.6 GB and counting,) and I’m betting their servers will be up and running when this one is history. POP3 and forwarding are available. I get far fewer problems than I did with Earthlink email, both webmail — obnoxious ads — and POP3 — either spam or over-filtering.

    As to privacy: if you’re not encrypting your mail, you ain’t got none.

    Diffr’nt strokes.

    Bill

  9. Uh, gary, you still need an address – those progs download/upload from an address…

    I use free EMail because not only can I get at it [almost] anywhere, but while I am paying for some at my ISP (7, I think) I’ve changed ISP four times in six years… A complaint about them: most have a set-up for getting POP3 from other accounts, but no way of finding out how to get THEIR addresses for retrieving with another handler…

    And look around when you go to some sites – they may offer free EMail. A newspaper in South Africa, M&M (not open for new accounts last time I looked), an electronics manufacturer in Japan, etc. They don’t look free to people you mail to.

    Lots of spam at YAHOO – but they handle it well by pushing it into a Bulk/Spam folder. I get about 430 in there per day, but only 5 or 6 in my Inbox.

  10. There are plenty free web based email programs that are available and good, example, Fast Mail, or you could download a good free one such as Outlook Express or Thunderbird, if you have pop three.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.