Shopping for an e-mail service is akin to shopping for detergent at SuperDuperMart: a mile aisle with 5,000 products that don’t differ very much. The little differences, however, are what make the BIG difference, and e-mail shopping is the same way. Gmail might be termed “new and improved”, to the point where someone who feels trapped in a Hotmail or Comcast account might wish to consider a change. Some of the more salient advantages of gmail are listed below.
- Speed – Gmail loads quickly, and sends and receives at a good rate, a definite plus if rapid back-and-forth communications are necessary. In addition, threaded conversations are boiled down to a single line on the Inbox page, and a single click will take the user to the entire thread.
- Capacity – Seven gigabytes of storage are available for free, which can help if a user needs to hold on to e-mails for a long time before deleting them.
- Cost – This is a “free” service, though there are add-ons available for a price, and most people will only need the free components.
- Spam – Some people like Spam, the tinned meat product, but nobody likes the spam a computer can cook-up, and gmail has effective filters to stop most spam.
- Availability – Devised to work with all browsers and operating systems, gmail is a Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3), which means it is a completely online system, and can be accessed anywhere that has Internet service.
- HTTPS – Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, or HTTPS, is a security measure whereby the user is provided with encrypted and authenticated communications, particularly valuable if you need to access your account from a public location.
- Chat – Instant chat is available, as well as voice and video chat features, and everything can be added to your iGoogle.
- Search – Need to find a message? The search function on gmail enables users to track that message down instantly.
- Have gmail Will Travel – Travelers will like the ability to access their e-mail anywhere from a phone, which allows for more complete communications than a service like Twitter.
- Multi-task – Another nice feature of gmail is that the user cannot only have multiple accounts but can also manage them simultaneously on a single page. This is great for any household where members want their own account, and also works well when users may need to separate business mail from personal mail.
Just as Hotmail seemed to be a leader of the innovative pack a few years ago, today gmail is forging to the front with its performance and multiplicity of applications.