Out Of The Box

Should you store your e-mail on the Web?
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the May 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Web-based e-mail is coming into its own in '98. The big plus: When your e-mail is stored on a , you can check it from any computer; there's no special required. That means your e-mail is as close as the nearest "cyber cafe" in any city worldwide. If you're in and your computer is at home, you can pop into the airport's depot, pay a few dollars to rent a computer, log on to the Web, and read and respond to your mail.

Proof of the growing popularity of Web-based e-mail is that for some months, has been testing NetMail by giving members who are using recent editions of the ability to fetch their mail from a Web site (for more information, go to http://www.aol.com). And Microsoft recently bought (http://www.hotmail.com) with the intention of turning the Web-based mail service into a Web-based post office for Microsoft Network (MSN) subscribers.

Don't use MSN or AOL? Don't feel left out. Free Web-based e-mail is easy to find. Excite (http://www.excite.com), Lycos (< a href=http://www.lycos.com>http://www.lycos.com), Yahoo! (http://www.yahoo.com) and even Entrepreneur (http://mail.entrepreneurmag.com) offer it, and diligent surfers will stumble across many more providers. One tip: In setting up a Web-based e-mail account, look for a stable provider that's been on the Web for many months. E-mail seems simple, but bugs have riddled some systems, and others have suffered from security flaws. So choose wisely when setting up a new mailbox.

To contact Robert McGarvey, visit his Web site at http://members.aol.com/rjmcgarvey

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