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Are you currently having trouble with your email service?  Let me share with you some guidelines on choosing which service to use for your email.

Don’t Use The Email Address Provided by your Internet Company

What if you change internet providers next year?  What if they get bought out?  The truth is that most interenet providers don’t spend much time on their email service.  They offer a limited feature set with a slow web interface and expect you to be happy.  Don’t settle for that.  Choose a service that will go with you wherever you are.

Don’t Use a Service That Puts Ads in Your Emails

This is just my personal opinion, but I consider it tacky and unprofessional to see an email service that adds an advertisement to the bottom of every message you send.

Don’t Use a Service that Doesn’t Have IMAP Support

IMAP support enables you to sync changes across multiple email programs.  If you read an email on your phone, it is also marked as read in Outlook, Apple Mail, or on the web interface.  It also does the same thing with deleted emails.  You don’t have to worry about which computer you used to download the email.  Everything stays in sync

Don’t Use a Service that Lets Spam Through

I don’t want to see ads for medical conditions that I don’t have. 😉  I want to use a service that blocks out spam so I don’t have to deal with it.

So what do I recommend?

I think Gmail is currently the best email provider.  They do a great job with all of the things I have listed. I’ve been using it since February of 2005 and I am glad that I chose it.  I have over 20,000 messages archived in Gmail, and I can search through them and find information that I need.  I have my ipod touch and the Apple Mail program setup to check my email using the IMAP service, so everything stays in sync.  And it has caught over 2000 spam emails sent to me in the last 30 days.  It’s fast, clean, and it just works.

But I don’t want to switch?

Gmail has added the ability to import your old email and contacts from other services.  The details are here.  You can import from  Yahoo!, Hotmail, AOL, and many more.  If you are using another service, I would suggest that you check out Gmail and try it out.  It’s free and you will eventually need a google account for one of their other services.

And if you are within a company, then you need to know that you can setup Gmail to run on your companies domain using Google Apps.  Dump Microsoft Exchange Server and just let Google handle it for you.

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