E-mail, or electronic mail, is a service that allows Internet users (both the human and robotic kind) to exchange messages to one another. E-mail message can be anything from a simple note reminding a university student of an upcoming frat party, or an advertisement promoting cheap Cialis (advertisements through e-mail is called "SPAM").

To benefit from the exchange of e-mail, a person must have an e-mail address. This is usually a username, followed by the "@" symbol (pronounced at), then the domain name where the e-mail address is being hosted. Once someone has an e-mail address, they must have an e-mail account. Generally, when a person gets an e-mail address, they get an e-mail account as well. This account provides an Inbox for e-mail messages to be stored as well as an Outbox for a user's pending e-mails to be sent.

UC Davis students are offered the option to have a UC Davis e-mail account. Some opt out, creating an e-mail account at many free e-mail services. E-mail offers an affordable solution for university students to keep in touch with relatives in other states and countries. E-mail also provides a way for people in different countries to connect with each other.

Gmail's extremely plain and simple homepage Free e-mail services

  • Google Mail. Google Mail, or "Gmail", prides itself on allowing users inbox space in the gigabytes. It runs a counter on the Gmail homepage, proving that it's always adding Inbox space for Gmail users. Gmail is currently open to people who receive an invite from either a current Gmail user, or by a person entering their mobile phone number at Gmail's sign-up page. Gmail runs on the idea that a Gmail user will never have to delete a piece of mail again. Gmail is one of the few e-mail providors around to offer free POP and SMTP, though this is often a slow service due to the fact that it's over a secure connection. Controvery arose when Gmail announced it would run unobtrusive advertisements based on the content of mail messages. Gmail assures users it does not invade privacy by reading messages. Gmail has customizable quips and sometimes useful links above each folder — for example, the SPAM folder offers (food) recipies that include SPAM. Recently, Gmail offered a RSS ticker to senior Gmail users. Google Mail
  • Yahoo! Mail. Yahoo! Mail has been around for nearly a decade. Yahoo! Mail was one of the first widescale free e-mail providors. Yahoo! Mail was one of the first to create a solution to annoying SPAM messages by offering a Bulk Mail folder. Users of SBC Internet Services or Prodigy Internet are provided with a free premium Yahoo! Mail account. Yahoo! Mail also has services for small businesses. Yahoo! Mail used to offer free POP access until it became too much for the company to handle. Yahoo! Mail gives users the ability to color-customize its e-mail pages. Users with a Yahoo! Mail ID can also enjoy benefits from the rest of the Yahoo! network, including games, classifieds, Yahoo! 360 (similar to MySpace and Yahoo! Geocities. Yahoo! Mail, in competition with Gmail, now offers every free user 1GB of Inbox space. Yahoo! Mail generates revenue from flash and signature-line advertisements. Yahoo! Mail
  • Hotmail. Started in the mid-1990s and purchased by MSN in the late 1990s, Hotmail is the runner-up in free e-mail services competing with Gmail. Most Internet users seeking to use e-mail for the first time prefer the ease of use of Hotmail, although more experienced internetters usually find the interface cluttered, ad-laden, and slow. Users running Microsoft's Windows XP operating system will find their Hotmail address serves as their ".net Passport" which allows them to use certain Microsoft features. Hotmail users gain access to MSN Messenger, a popular messaging program (especially among International users, who do not find the "A" in "AOL Messenger" appealing). Hotmail currently offers 250MB of Inbox space. Hotmail
  • Mail.com. Mail.com offers something unique about the way people e-mail. Unlike Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail, users of Mail.com are given the choice of many different domain names to fit their personality. Mail.com offers 100MB of Inbox space. Mail.com is frequently down due to system upgrades. Mail.com
  • Mailinator.com — Instant junk mailbox — Websites with compulsory registration often require that you enter a vaild email address. However, the more often you give out your email address, the more spam you're going to get. Enter mailinator, a free service that offers temporary, public email accounts. Simply enter [email protected] as your email address, then go to mailinator.com and check your temporary mailbox. Mailinator.com
  • dodgeit.com — Offers the same service as Mailinator above, the website is a little lighter weight and you can get an RSS feed of your mailbox. DodgeIt.com

Premium e-mail

All of the above free e-mail providors (except Gmail) allow their users, and often push them, to purchase upgrades to their e-mail accounts. Some e-mail providors only offer premium e-mail.

  • GoDaddy. GoDaddy was made famous for a line of risque commercials that aired during the 2004 Super Bowl. GoDaddy is mostly known for its domain registration and hosting plans, but with the purchase of a domain name, a person receives a free premium e-mail account. The catch is the purchase of a domain name, which can be quite literally anything that isn't already taken. Most people choose their name or business (if their business isn't something like Macy's or CNN). GoDaddy

Activist e-mail

  • riseup.net provides mail, lists, and hosting for those working on liberatory social change. We are a project to create democratic alternatives and practice self-determination by controlling our own secure means of communications. http://riseup.net

Student e-mail

UC Davis offers students the ability to obtain a UC Davis e-mail account. UC Davis Email Tired of going through "my.ucdavis.edu" to get to your e-mail? Click here: "UC Davis G-mail"

UC Davis Listservs

UC Davis students can manage their campus listserv subscriptions by visiting this UC Davis Listproc website