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Out Of The Box Should you store your e-mail on the Web?

By Robert J. McGarvey

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Web-based e-mail is coming into its own in '98. The bigplus: When your e-mail is stored on a Web site, you can check itfrom any computer; there's no special softwarerequired. That means your e-mail is as close as thenearest "cyber cafe" in any city worldwide. Ifyou're in Singapore and your computer is at home, you can popinto the airport's Internet depot, pay a few dollars to rent acomputer, log on to the Web, and read and respond to your mail.

Proof of the growing popularity of Web-based e-mail is that forsome months, AOL has been testing NetMail by giving members who areusing recent editions of Microsoft Internet Explorer the ability tofetch their mail from a Web site (for more information, go to AndMicrosoft recently bought Hotmail ( with theintention of turning the Web-based mail service into a Web-basedpost office for Microsoft Network (MSN) subscribers.

Don't use MSN or AOL? Don't feel left out. FreeWeb-based e-mail is easy to find. Excite (,Lycos (< a href=>,Yahoo! ( even Entrepreneur ( it, and diligent surfers will stumble across many moreproviders. One tip: In setting up a Web-based e-mail account, lookfor a stable provider that's been on the Web for many months.E-mail seems simple, but bugs have riddled some systems, and othershave suffered from security flaws. So choose wisely when setting upa new mailbox.

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